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Posted By: Ben Jones @ 3:19 am
UK Guardian - The coming drone attack on America
Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponised
“In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, “a huge push by […] the defense sector” to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds – meaning that you won’t necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.
An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy. (The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.)
The air force document explains that the air force will be overseeing the deployment of its own military surveillance drones within the borders of the US; that it may keep video and other data it collects with these drones for 90 days without a warrant – and will then, retroactively, determine if the material can be retained – which does away for good with the fourth amendment in these cases. While the drones are not supposed to specifically “conduct non-consensual surveillance on on specifically identified US persons”, according to the document, the wording allows for domestic military surveillance of non-”specifically identified” people (that is, a group of activists or protesters) and it comes with the important caveat, also seemingly wholly unconstitutional, that it may not target individuals “unless expressly approved by the secretary of Defense.”
So, how do y’all like being declared a potential enemy of the gov’t of the US? Because that’s what this is all about.
Problem is, we did not declare them as enemies soon enough.
Just think what it will be like if only one “side” has guns?
The Department of Homeland Security has only your best interests in mind
Your AR-15 isn’t going to defend you from an armed drone.
+1. Ask plenty of Afghans. Or their kids.
“Your AR-15 isn’t going to defend you from an armed drone.”
It won’t? Darn.
I guess we might as well accept our fate then, huh?
Maybe not a stinger-armed one, but an AR15 would do a pretty dandy job of dispatching a low-flying surveillance remote. Especially if it’s employed out the passenger window of the Beech Bonanza that’s tailing it.
Beech Bonanza that’s tailing it.
From what I’ve read, UAVs are extremely hard to spot & hard to hear, due to their size. Even if radar is used. On the other hand, general aviation is very easy to spot. It seems rather trivial for a government to arm a drone with an air-to-air missile to defend itself against small aircraft that should happen to tail it.
Boy, everyone has the tinfoil hats on today.
Please note that they “cherry-picked” the document. Read the whole document. It spells out what happens to all of the materials/data generated during TRAINING.
I hate to break the news to everyone, but the military has been taking photos/videos/IR imaging of Joe Q Citizen for YEARS with manned aircraft and satellites, for various non-Big Brother reasons. Haven’t heard of anyone ever being thrown in the hoosegow using that data.
Get a grip……you are sounding like the “UN is going to bash down our doors and take our guns away” crowd.
‘Haven’t heard of anyone ever being thrown in the hoosegow using that data’
Well not hearing about it isn’t exactly comforting:
‘…the government was claiming that something unusual took place during those specific meetings. Under the Patriot Act, the Prosecution was not required to tell us what those offensive actions were. Nor was the Court allowed to tell us what type of laws might have been violated by those actions.
We were only told that conviction on either of the “secret charges” would get me five years in federal prison.’
‘Collins: Please help readers understand more about “secret evidence.” Were you and your lawyer denied access to evidence, because it was considered “secret” or “classified”? How did this work under the Patriot Act?’
‘Lindauer: It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? As if “secret charges” were not terrible enough, there was also “secret evidence” which could be applied to those “secret charges.” The Prosecution had the right to ask a jury to convict me of those two undisclosed charges without revealing a shred of evidence to support the charges whatsoever. The Patriot Act authorized the prosecutor to ask a jury to “take it on faith” that some unspecified evidence would prove that some unspecified law had been broken.’
‘If a judge so instructed before deliberations, the jury could be required to ignore the lack of presentation of evidence in weighing whether to convict me. The Judge could simply instruct a jury that the Justice Department regarded the evidence as “sufficient” to constitute a crime and that would be “sufficient knowledge” for their review. That kind of instruction practically requires a jury to convict a defendant.’
‘The fundamental question of “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” is shattered. To say the least, it drastically undercuts protections in the jury system of the United States. Conversely, evidence that might exonerate me, and prove my innocence, could be considered “secret and classified” as well. My attorney and I could be prohibited from knowing of its existence or using it in my defense.’
So tell me fixer, what part or your rights will you consider the line in the sand? What act of government violence or constitutional breach do you consider a step too far? Because chance are, it’s already happened to somebody. And as they’ve whittled away at our legal protections, at some point it becomes too late to get them back.
Don’t forget; these are men and women doing this, not angels or gods.
As a citizen who has been literally dragged from her home in the middle of the night on fabricated charges, beaten and charged with nonsensical felonies, and thrown in prison without being told why, I absolutely recommend anyone reading these posts draw their “line in the sand” and stand firm. WE are our government. WE must take responsibility for our democracy. If WE do not, who will?
If it could happen to me, it could happen to any of us.
“So, how do y’all like being declared a potential enemy of the corporations of the US?”
Says it right in the article.
““a huge push by […] the defense sector” to promote the use of drones in American skies”
Hummingbird-sized drones + AK47 arsenals in Americans’ basements = future unfriendly fire on domestic spybots
future unfriendly fire on domestic spybots ??
Except that the rain of bullets that go up must come down somewhere….
If they are coming in close enough to spy on interpersonal communications, some entrepreneur will develop a spybot-detector gun site which will enable a shot at a low angle of elevation.
Think mosquito laser, but think bigger.
“Think mosquito laser, but think bigger.”
You ought to apply for a patent.
If they are coming in close enough to spy on interpersonal communications, some entrepreneur will develop a spybot-detector gun site which will enable a shot at a low angle of elevation………
Wouldn’t that be considered ‘domestic terrorism” and subject to immediate arrest and prosecution?? Humm?
After all, who would want to thwart government intervention except “evil-doers”?
They might even engage in “hate speech” and thoughts unfriendly to the government.
They might even want to try and defend themselves, without first consulting a government-trained “qualified” cop, as the discussion with the Left goes with “gun-control”.
Yes, only a duly licensed and certified agent of the government should have any device that allows any “free” citizen to protect themselves.
Call 911. And wait.
They will be there to fill out a report. Eventually.
Yes, only a duly licensed and certified agent of the government should have any device that allows any “free” citizen to protect themselves.
Here’s the basic Catch 22 of firearms: The more firearms in the hands of the law abiding means more firearms in the hands of criminals.
Very unsettling to say the least. The Patriot Act was the beginning of the end for us. The terrorists won.
Sadly, I agree with this (both because I rarely agree with you, Grizzly, and due to the truth of your statement)
In November, 2001 I was on a commercial flight, reading a copy of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when the woman next to me inquired what subject I was studying at college.
When I replied that I wasn’t at college, rather I was reading the book to attempt to gain insight into how an educated and somewhat well-off population could allow themselves to have personal liberties revoked ‘for their own good’ and develop a permanent state of militant action, she asked “why?”
I mentioned the Patriot Act, and her eyes just glossed over: “but that is to protect us”.
I just glared and went back to reading.
“…how an educated and somewhat well-off population could allow themselves to have personal liberties revoked ‘for their own good’ and develop a permanent state of militant action,…”
You forgot to mention the torture centers (aka “concentration camps“). How could an educated and somewhat well-off population allow torture to systematically occur right under their noses?
We’re doomed. As long as the upper middle class can lease a new luxury car every few years and take the kiddies to Disneyworld or Hawaii, it’s all good. Who needs freedom when you have “stuff”?
“As long as the upper middle class can lease a new luxury car every few years and take the kiddies to Disneyworld or Hawaii,…”
My son probably would agree with you. He is temporarily out of cell phone range on a Disney cruise; I will ask him when he gets back.
It’s not about the “stuff”, it’s about being able to afford your freedoms.
Lawyer aren’t cheap.
If Bush were right that “they hate us for our freedoms”, they should hate us a lot less now.
I’ve been saying this for a long time. Everyone says I am a kook.
I’ve made several disparaging comments while standing in “line” at the TSA checkpoints in various airports.
Typical comments from the masses….”It’s better to be “safe” than sorry.” “i feel much more secure being frisked and harassed, than not having this procedure, don’t you?”
I always say NO. If the “terrorists”, whoever they are, want to blow us up, then standing in this line would be the perfect place to do it.
The idea, after all, is to kill people, not destroy aircraft.
A few people finally have their eyes opened. very few.
If the “terrorists”, whoever they are, want to blow us up, then standing in this line would be the perfect place to do it.
You think too much like a terrorist.
You will be picked up and re-educated. Stay where you are. Help will be there momentarily. Stand by.
The paranoia here scares me. Drones have been around since at least the 1950’s, and I can remember the fun we had when Eddie Sharpe rigged one to drop eggs from the “bomb bay” onto the soccer field of our middle school. “What if…” we thought. (We also used to pilfer powder from someone’s father’s reloading operation and use it to make rockets, but that’s another story….)
My point is, the creative human mind is always one step ahead of tyranny; look to the efficacy of the IED in Iraq 2 as demonstrative.
If you’re afraid of drones, google “buy CO2 laser” and find out how you can get a wholesale discount from the Chinese if you purchase more than 30.
the creative human mind is always one step ahead of tyranny
Lots of creative minds wind up serving tyranny. Results so far are mixed.
But there’s always that one pesky person with higher-order ethics to throw a monkey wrench into the machinations….
Not everyone has a price.
The paranoia here scares me.
That was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, Allena; sorry if that wasn’t clear… I don’t expect actual re-education camps, though I am troubled by the steady erosion of our privacy and personal liberties (Patriot Act, NDAA, etc).
Comment by ahansen
But there’s always that one pesky person with higher-order ethics to throw a monkey wrench into the machinations….
Not everyone has a price.
You got that right:
Wasn’t referring to anyone specific here, Primey. Just the overall tone of fear and resignation whenever someone brings up “Them”.
+1 Spook. America’s hero is one-a them Muslims as it turns out….
“But there’s always that one pesky person with higher-order ethics to throw a monkey wrench into the machinations….
Not everyone has a price.”
“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
― Frederick Douglass
Brilliant, Dio -
The terrorists won.
+1 The neocon terrorists won.
Who’s in charge today? You got neocon on the brain.
“Who’s in charge today?”
Obama is a shill, Nick. He’s not in charge.
not to worry about future drone technology being used here until you see/hear it being used in the West Bank/Gaza strip…
If drones are outlawed, only outlaws will have drones.
If drones are outlawed, only outlaws will have drones.
and if they’re not Scottish, they’re crap!
This is true as far as guns go. For proof, look to Australia, the UK, South Africa, and Mexico regarding violent crime and a singular lack of firearms ownership amomgst the civilian population.
Asia Times Online - Torture an all-American nightmare
“There’s one particular nightmare that citizens of the United States need to face: in the first decade of the 21st century we tortured people as national policy. One day, we’re going to have to confront the reality of what that meant, of what effect it had on its victims and on us, too, we who condoned, supported, or at least allowed it to happen, either passively or with guilty (or guiltless) gusto.
If not, torture won’t go away. It can’t be disappeared like the body of a political prisoner, or conveniently deep-sixed simply by wishing it elsewhere or pretending it never happened or closing
our bureaucratic eyes. After the fact, torture can only be dealt with by staring directly into the nightmare that changed us - that, like it or not, helped make us who we now are.
The president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has made it clear that no further investigations or inquiries will be made into America’s decade of torture. His Justice Department failed to prosecute a single torturer or any of those who helped cover up evidence of the torture practices. But it did deliver a jail sentence to one ex-CIA officer who refused to be trained to torture and was among the first at the CIA to publicly admit that the torture program was real.
At what passes for trials at our prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, disclosure of the details of torture is forbidden, effectively preventing anyone from learning anything about what the CIA did with its victims. We are encouraged to do what’s best for the United States of America and, as Barack Obama put it, “look forward, not backward”, with the same zeal as, after 9/11, we were encouraged to save America by going shopping.”
The NPR interview last week with the directors of “Zero Dark Thirty”
reminded me how wrong it was to collectively blame the Nazi era on the German people. What could an individual citizen in Nazi Germany have done to stop the practices which sprang up during WWII?
What could an individual citizen in Nazi Germany have done to stop the practices which sprang up during WWII?
First, read about Irena Sendler.
There were many who resisted.
It took WW2 to stop Hitler.
CIBT’s statement is still correct.
Bigelow And Boal, Dramatizing The Hunt For Bin Laden
NPR Staff December 19, 2012
On portraying “stomach-turning” scenes of torture
Boal: “This stuff didn’t occur over tea and cookies at the Regency. There were some really brutal things done in the name of national security over the last 10 years. … They also packed people in ice and froze them to death, but we didn’t show that.”
Unfortunately, the fictionalized Hollywood account of the hunt for “UBL” is likely to long outlive Senator John McCain’s sobering take on it.
December 20, 2012
Three Senators and “Zero Dark Thirty”
Posted by Amy Davidson
Three senators went to see “Zero Dark Thirty,” and they recoiled from it. The problem was torture. Senator John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, and Carl Levin—a Republican and two Democrats, respectively—have now sent a letter to Sony Pictures about their “deep disappointment,” with the movie: “We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of Usama bin Laden.” They also called it “factually inaccurate,” “false,” and “perpetuating a myth that torture is effective.” According to the AP, after watching the movie McCain, who was tortured himself as a prisoner in Vietnam, felt sick.
For a sense of how wrong the movie is about torture, read Jane Mayer’s definitive post. Like the Senators, she was taken aback when the movie showed men who were being or had already been “broken” by torture giving the C.I.A. precious, if scattered, clues—for example, about the identity of bin Laden’s courier. That is not how it happened: as the Senators wrote, “We have reviewed CIA records and know that this is incorrect.” The breakthrough about the courier came “through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program”; the prisoner who came closest to giving us the information did so before he was tortured, not after. The senators asked for a correction, or, rather, a clarification: “We believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Usama Bin Laden is not based on the facts, but rather part of the film’s fictional narrative.”
That’s interesting. So, a film emerges that two leftists and a RINO think puts America’s oligarchy in a bad light, and they condemn it.
Usually, they say that Hollywood should be free to express itself, no matter how grotesque or violent, or misleading the content.
My how times have changed.
i guess the real reason is that the leftist seldom are seen in a bad way, and the RINO’s just go along for the ride.
” So, a film emerges that two leftists and a RINO think puts America’s oligarchy in a bad light, and they condemn it.”
You totally missed their objections. It was not the torture per se. It was not that it made the oligarchs look bad.
Their objections are based on the film supporting the idea that torture resulted in useful information. Their objection is that the movie provides a justification for torture.
They tortured the guy *after* he gave them the info about Osama?
SADIST, the lot of them.
Remember when Mel Gibson made “The Passion” and how outraged our politicians were at the grotesque scenes of brutal torture? Some churches even booked theaters just to traumatize their members.
how outraged our politicians were at the grotesque scenes of brutal torture
That part I don’t remember. Maybe it never happened.
Zero Dark Thirty will join Birth of a Nation and The Will to Power in the pantheon of fascist movies.
Cashing in on lies is so typical for Hollywood.
Acting C.I.A. Director Criticizes ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
By SCOTT SHANE
Published: December 22, 2012
The acting director of the C.I.A., Michael J. Morell, has criticized a new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, saying it exaggerates the role of coercive interrogations in producing clues to the whereabouts of the leader of Al Qaeda.
In a message sent Friday to agency employees about the film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” Mr. Morell said it “creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Laden. That impression is false.”
‘The bipartisan willingness to avoid confrontation over possible war crimes makes the recently completed 6,000 page long Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture an extraordinary document.’
‘Mistakes are inevitable when one accepts that it is okay to break the rules in favor of more coercive interrogation. To cite one example of how intelligence operations can go wrong, on December 13th, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the United States kidnapped German citizen Khaled el-Masri and taken to an airport where he was “Severely beaten, sodomized, shackled and hooded” before being sent on to Afghanistan for more of the same. It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity while subsequent attempts to obtain recompense through the US courts were blocked by the Obama administration, which claimed state secrets privilege. Another well-documented rendition case, of Canadian citizen Maher Arar, consigned an innocent man to torture in Syria. Yet another rendition, of Milan-based Muslim cleric Abu Omar turned into a prime example of an intelligence operation designed by Monty Python, employing a cast of hundreds at a cost of many millions of dollars. It continues to play out in the Italian courts. Abu Omar was tortured in Egypt and eventually released when it turned out that he had no information of value.’
‘Torture brutalizes and degrades the individual carrying it out, the organization he or she represents, and the government that approves of the practice. The Senate committee report should finally put paid to the arguments being made that it is a reliable interrogation tool, but there still remains the question of accountability. A recent book by Jose A. Rodriguez, who approved and oversaw the CIA torture regime while he served as head of the Counter Terrorism Center and later as Deputy Director of the Clandestine Services, demonstrates that there are still zealots who believe in “extreme measures” in spite of any evidence presented to the contrary. The book is entitled “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives.” Well, apparently that is just not true and perhaps Jose owes the surviving victims of “hard measures” an apology.’
But Ben, we have God on our side.
To paraphrase the late, great George Carlin,
“Two nations are at war, both believe their fight just. And with God on their side, they shall each prevail……….
Someone’s going to be disappointed!”
“Yet another rendition, of Milan-based Muslim cleric Abu Omar turned into a prime example of an intelligence operation designed by Monty Python, employing a cast of hundreds at a cost of many millions of dollars.”
Your tax dollars hard at work.
“Cashing in on lies is so typical for Hollywood.”
They turned on Osama’s executioner. I can see why the left would be angry at Hollywood for telling the truth.
I’m ‘the left’ like you are the walrus — goo goo g’joob…
Whoever battles with monsters had better see that it doesn’t turn him into a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
– Friederich Nietzsche
Whoever battles with monsters had better see that it doesn’t turn him into a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
– Friederich Nietzsche
“There is a bit of the dragon in the dragonslayer.”
Cheerrie Newz on the economy…
“We’re hunting for foreign-language speakers as we continue to expand to all points around the globe,” Anderson said. “We are experiencing a phenomenal response to the job posting.
Meanwhile, my employer continues to roughly double revenue and headcount each year. Primarily domestically, save for international sales and support folks.
Not to deny that things are bad out there, but it’s not all bad news. There’s an opportunity for ideas and technology that can allow companies and individuals to operate more efficiently.
Agreed. Too bad there isn’t much support from on high to encourage productivity-enhancing innovation.
Obama has never encouraged or supported any such initiatives. He does like “green energy” and unions, though.
However, he will always take “credit” whenever any private sector company creates jobs, innovates and grows, much like his claiming to help make America “energy independent” via the Tar Sands oil fields, while blocking every effort the oil industry has made since his inauguration.
And, America buys the stories in the Press, and the campaign clips as an accurate portrayal.
In fact, I heard that Obama is going to be Time Magazine’s man of the year. Is that true?
I think CIBT was referring to corporations.
I have yet to work for any company where “innovation” didn’t involve fraud and screwing the customer.
Especially the oil companies.
what exactly is are those types of jobs…seems no one can ever explain this….weird isn’t it?
Skills gap…Bah Humbug….we have an Employer gap, where anyone smart is labeled OVERQUALIFIED…..before they can even get an interview.
what exactly is are those types of jobs…seems no one can ever explain this….
drummin works for a small but fast-growing software company.
DJ, if you are capable of learning to write software, it can be quite rewarding financially, and at least the moment, continues to have strong domestic demand—though there is always competition from overseas applicants, and off-shoring of software jobs is always a risk as well.
It’s pretty clear to me at least, though, that not everyone is naturally inclined such that writing software comes easily to them. It requires a certain mode of very methodical, logical, computer-like thinking. And yes, I work in the same industry, so I know of what I speak.
I know quite a few people who write software but are not naturally inclined to it.
And it shows, too.
And it shows, too.
Yep, I’ve seen plenty of code like that too…
“We are experiencing a phenomenal response to the job posting.
Isn’t that typically a sign to an employer that they could hire sufficient employees while paying them less?
A higher education enables a prospective employee to land a job, but if obtaining this higher education burdens the prospective employee with a lot of debts then the prospective employee becomes not only capable he is also becomes desperate.
Capable plus desperate puts the power in the hands of the employer. Add to this mix the term NUMEROUS - as in numerous job applicants - and all the advantages end up with the employer.
God Bless America!
“Capable plus desperate puts the power in the hands of the employer. Add to this mix the term NUMEROUS - as in numerous job applicants - and all the advantages end up with the employer.”
This is one reason why recessions eventually end up working out very well for corporate bottom lines…
22,000 applications for 200 jobs?
But I thought Americans were lazy.
Really, why not just join the “Free Sh!t Army”? It’s gotta be better than a $12/hr flight attendant job. They even give way free Escalades and you get a voucher for free steaks and lobster.
That’s right. And a free i-phone 6, *exclusively* for Obama voters. Steve Jobs came back from the grave to make it just for them.
Because when you’re making the “sweet spot” income of $17,000 that qualifies for the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit, life is just one big party.
Nothing gets the Angry White Man angrier than the “gifts” Obama rains on his black and brown supporters
Life in the USSA
People Who Pay More Taxes Are Happier, Research Suggests
Yeah, the BS is getting deep:
‘Majority of Rich Want Themselves Taxed More: Poll
CNBC By Robert Frank’
If this is true, why don’t they just pay more? I believe that’s allowed. More:
‘Some might say the rich are hoping to tax people richer - or poorer — than themselves.’
‘The poll shows that 64 percent say they carry an “unfair tax burden in the amount of money I pay in taxes.” Nearly three quarters of them are “extremely or very concerned about their taxes going up.”
What’s interesting about a lot of this is, most people don’t sit around all day worrying about government finances. More likely, they just want the government to stay out of their lives. It’s really just political hacks that beat these drums. And the election is over, the government is broke, so give us a break with the “People Who Are Oppressed Love Their Chains” crap.
I saw a story the other day; basically said the US government is a well armed pension plan with a health insurance business on the side. There isn’t gonna be a lot of money for anything else, and even that is going to break the bank.
Yes it is. I’ve been thinking about the power the entrenched interests wield. Without the media steering public opinion on behalf of these cowards who operate safely and orchestrate the themes(lies) we’re bombarded with daily, they are helpless and isolated.
warren buffet keeps getting wheeled out about how he wants to pay more taxes, lmao.
The working man gets stiffed with the taxes.They will pay for the last 4 years of debt binge.
If this is true, why don’t they just pay more? I believe that’s allowed
I suppose they will pony up only after others are forced to pay with them.
I am going to act bad as long as the likes of Mittens act the way they do.
Mittens prolly says “if buffett can do x why can’t I do y?
Buffett prolly says “if that person does……..why can’t I do….?
‘I suppose they will pony up only after others are forced to pay with them…I am going to act bad as long as the likes of Mittens act the way they do’
I used to prepare tax returns for a living and I never saw this. People didn’t come in and say, ‘I read Warren Buffet only pays X, so I want to reduce my taxes paid’. Instead they expected us to prepare the returns in such a way that they paid exactly what was owed, no more, no less. I also never witnessed a taxpayer express a desire to pay more in the future, under any circumstances.
Here’s what I think is notable about this tax fuss; weren’t we told that debt is irrelevant just a few months ago? Why, the cure to what ails us is government deficit spending, and resulting consumer spending. Now it’s all about reducing debt via taxes, and paying a ‘fair share’.
I dislike what’s called ‘class warfare’ because it turns us against our fellow citizens. Anytime I see a politician try and pit us against them, I begin to doubt the motive.
Instead they expected us to prepare the returns in such a way that they paid exactly what was owed, no more, no less.
That’s certainly always been my approach: pay exactly what is owed under the tax-code as written.
Unfortunately, if you ask 10 professional preparers to tell you what is owed, you will likely get 10 different answers. That’s a pretty strong hint that the tax code is too complex.
Money magazine used to do this experiment on a regular basis, back when I read it 25+yrs ago; dunno if they still do.
‘if you ask 10 professional preparers to tell you what is owed, you will likely get 10 different answers’
I can’t say if that’s true or not. Most peoples tax situation isn’t so complex that 10 different outcomes are even possible. There can be some determination made about accelerating deductions or not, etc. And there may be information not included (or gathered) from one preparer to the next:
‘Some diesels purchased or placed into service after December 31, 2005 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $3,400. (No eligible vehicles were manufactured for sale until 2008.) Credit amounts begin to phase out for a given manufacturer once it has sold over 60,000 eligible hybrid and diesel vehicles. Vehicles purchased after December 31, 2010 are not eligible for this credit.’
But generally the correct return is the one that legally determines the lowest tax due.
‘the tax code is too complex’
IMO, this may be due to a continual layering of tax changes year after year.
In the case of the experiment done by Money Magazine, they made sure to do it properly: all of the paid-preparers received exactly the same set of facts and figures.
My impression is that there is a fair amount of ambiguity in the code itself, and in preparing a non-trivial return, the preparer has to make judgement calls, such as which expenses are deductible as job expenses, what expenses can be deducted with a home office, etc. That’s just my impression, though.
That said, I agree that the continual layering of new tax changes is a big part of the problem…
BTW, I found one of the original articles; I was incorrect that it was ten preparers—actually, it was fifty different results! And they ran it at least two years in a row.
Professional Preparers Fail New Tax-return Test
March 13, 1989|By GREG ANRIG JR., Money magazine
A year ago, during the first filing season under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Money magazine asked 50 tax professionals to complete a 23-form 1040 return for a hypothetical family. The results were unnerving: No two preparers computed the same tax due — and, worse, the answers varied by as much as 50 percent.
The preparers had an excuse, however: The law was ridiculously complex and so new that the Internal Revenue Service had not yet published important regulations.
Since then, preparers have had a full year of practice completing actual tax returns and many months to examine critical regulations the IRS issued. Yet this time, when Money asked another 50 preparers who volunteered to compute the tax owed by a new hypothetical family, the answers were more off the mark than a year ago. What`s their excuse this year? The results:
– Again, each participant computed a different tax for the family — ranging from $12,539 to $35,813.
‘a 23-form 1040 return’
That’s a pretty big return. It would also be interesting to know what the range of fees these 50 firms charged. A full-on CPA might have more resources available to chase down more deductions, where H&R Block relies on a computer program with the ‘preparer’ simply imputing data and the printer spits out a return for a flattish fee. And there’s the concept of how ‘aggressive’ a preparer can be. Basically this boils down to the confidence of the preparer that a particular approach won’t result in an audit and rejection of the deduction by the IRS.
My impression is that there is a fair amount of ambiguity in the code itself, and in preparing a non-trivial return
My guess is that the vast majority of tax returns are trivial. I know that mine has been & has been so for years. It is fairly trivial, for example, to use the free online version of Turbo Tax for a trial run & compare results to a paid preparer’s version. I once had a full-on CPA, paid him too much, he seldom found deductions I was unaware of.
It is absurd to run such a test on one set of papers. A competent preparer would faced with a complex situation and ambiguous information would call in the client to ask additional questions, get additional information, ask how willing they were to risk an audit, etc.
Even with my friends I help every year (for free), there are significant judgement calls and they have less than $30K of income per year. I talk to them about it, explain the options and let them decide. They are adults. They don’t expect or want me to make the decisions for them. All I do is help translate the choices into language they can understand.
–the US government is a well armed though insolvent pension plan with an insolvent health insurance business on the side==
“If this is true, why don’t they just pay more? I believe that’s allowed.”
No, it’s not.
A quick Google search shows there isn’t even a mechanism to do so. The closest I could find was being given a credit toward your next year’s taxes if you overpay.
I may be wrong on this one. I really don’t feel like spending my day researching it. It’s not a problem I, nor most people, will ever have.
Eco, you just have the terminology wrong in your search term—it took me two seconds to find.
When you overpay your taxes, it is called a “gift to reduce the debt.”
But there is definitely a mechanism, and the US Treasury will happily accept your dollars over and above your tax obligation.
How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
There are two ways for you to make a contribution to reduce the debt:
You can make a contribution online either by credit card, checking or savings account at Pay.gov
You can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it’s a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:
Attn Dept G
Bureau of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188
Could it be that those who pay more taxes have fatter incomes and more wealth? So maybe they’re happier because … they’re rich?
Shhhh…. don’t question the narrative.
Or maybe they did a survey of senior level goverment employees who have a huge income, a guaranteed pension, and little to worry about except where their agency is going to send them next for a 5-star holiday “work session” in Aruba, the bahamas, the Yucatan, or someplace in the Lesser Antilles.
Yea. I’d be happier, too.
Or you could, you know, read the article.
People who pay higher taxes than other people tend to be more satisfied with their lives, according to a new paper written by six economists at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn. The researchers analyzed 26 years of German panel data that asked about 25,000 people the question “How satisfied are you with your life, all things considered?”
And did they adjust for the fact that those higher-tax payers also had more wealth in general?
“…senior level goverment employees…
Yea. I’d be happier, too.”
Uncle Sam has a nondiscriminatory hiring policy, and I’ve heard those senior-level goverment (SIC) jobs are pretty easy to get.
Why don’t you apply for one, if you think it might make you happier?
“Could it be that those who pay more taxes have fatter incomes and more wealth? So maybe they’re happier because … they’re rich?”
The losses associated with borrowing and buying and holding housing grow as prices continue to adjust lower.
thank you for bailing out fannie and freddie with your tax dollars.
That doesn’t help your massively inflated debt on your rapidly depreciating house.
My house is giving me tears of joy
If one lives in a high tax state, such as California, then the tears of joy generated from living in a paid-for house should increase as taxes are increased.
A paid-for house translates to needing less income. Needing less income translates to paying less taxes on income that does not need to be earned.
I like it, I love it. I want some more of it.
Are u the grinch?
Close, except the Grinch who steals Christmas only does his stealing one day a year.
I intend to improve on the Grinch by a factor of 365 or so.
“A paid-for house translates to needing less income. Needing less income translates to paying less taxes on income that does not need to be earned.”
If your children are older now and out on their own those spare bedrooms should be used by the homeless. Think of it!
Out on their own? Have you seen what rents are these days?
“Have you seen what rents are these days?”
Why rent when you can squat in a 4/3 for 3-5 years?
……. as it sinks ever deeper into a worthless state. lmao
Here is a academic paper on GDP vs. Debt & inflation…Its serious lengthily research and kind of a long read so I suggest you skim through and then just go to the end and look at the two charts…If correct, and we don’t get our $h!t together we could have a long painful slog maybe for decades…For the oldest group the pain my not be as great but for the twenty, thirty & forties it could be a lifetime of grind…
Unfortunately, we seem to be stuck in ideologies rather than economics…Does it need to crash before something constructive is done…
Here is the link…
Does it need to crash before something constructive is done…
Crashing under its’ own weight is constructive. And it will.
The “stop spending my money baby” picture:
Tea baggers will tea bag.
John Boehner: from humble origin, fiscal cliff may be his undoing
House speaker’s journey from hometown janitor to the top of US politics is on the verge of being undone by Tea party colleagues
Rory Carroll and Ewen MacAskill in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 22 December 2012 09.38 EST
John Boehner on Thursday stood not as a representative of the American dream but of Washington’s dysfunction. Photograph: Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
As a boy John Boehner mopped floors at the family’s cafe in Reading, Ohio, and helped rein in his 11 siblings as they charged around a cramped house, an early exercise in authority which seemed ideal preparation for taming the unruly.
He worked multiple jobs, including being a janitor, to put himself through college – a first for the family – and quickly rose through the ranks of business, local politics and then Congress.
“I’ve spent my whole life chasing the American dream,” Boehner said in 2010, tears welling, before becoming speaker of the House of Representatives. He seemed destined for grandeur, perhaps even greatness.
On Thursday night, as cold winds gusted through Washington, the 63-year-old Republican had reason to tear up again. A revolt in his own party killed a tax bill which Boehner had championed as a solution to the fiscal cliff. He failed to tame Tea party-linked colleagues and stood not as a representative of the American dream but of Washington’s dysfunction.
Instead of being hailed as a shrewd tactician who could bridge the ideological divide and steer Republicans to a historic accommodation with Democrats, and thus avert economic disaster, he found himself pilloried as the architect of debacle.
“I’ve never seen anything like it where leadership just completely backed down,” Colorado representative Mike Coffman told The Hill.
An unnamed GOP insider gave a saltier verdict to the Atlantic’s Molly Ball. “He just lost the respect of the caucus. No one thought he was capable of f^ck!ng this up like this.”
Tea baggers will tea bag
Oh isn’t that cute P-Bear. Using a sexual term to refer to the Tea Party true patriot real Americans who don’t rely on “gifts” from Obama and who will Restore Our Future!
I owe Stephen Colbert a debt of gratitude.
Yes, but the REAL teabaggers, Barney FRank and Friends, are almost exclusively in the Democrat party, with perhaps a few exceptions.
Though some of those exceptions you mention are hilarious!
Filed: Sunday, July 11, 2010
Republicans more likely to be involved in (gay) sex scandals
Do you remember the 1996 film version of The Birdcage when Senator Kevin Keeley’s partner in the Coalition for Moral Order was found dead in the bed of an underage black prostitute? His last words were “your money’s on the dresser, chocolate.”
It’s funny because watching politicians take a spectacular fall off their moral high-horse is immensely satisfying. Wouldn’t it be just as satisfying to learn that politicians who categorize themselves as guardians of morality are in fact more prone to sex scandal?
Well, prepare to meet some satisfying numbers:
Instead of being hailed as a shrewd tactician who could bridge the ideological divide and steer Republicans to a historic accommodation with Democrats, and thus avert economic disaster, he found himself pilloried as the architect of debacle…………..
I thought it was the President that was supposed to bring the parties together.
And Obama was seen as the great “uniter”, one who was post-partisan, post-racial, post-(you fill in whatever you want), and would LEAD America into a great unification of Left and Right, bringing prosperity and good vibes to everyone.
Naturally, as I have said since the beginning, the Republicans will be blamed in the press for whatever bad things may happen.
Where’s his proposals to “bridge the gap” with Republicans.
Diplomatic and “bridging” response: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. We won’t budge. I want tax increases, and maybe later, we can make some cuts to spending. Not.
“I thought it was the President that was supposed to bring the parties together.”
It’s hard to do this when the other party’s patently obvious sour grapes agenda is to trash the President’s record.
A real leader who does not follow religious progressivism would be able to bring about a compromise.
A real poster would not say “progressive” in some way, shape or form in his every post.
Yes, trash his record so he can’t get re-elected.
The president can’t get anything significant done without a majority in both the House and Senate. We learned that through the debt ceiling mess. Why are we surprised now?
The blame can’t be entirely laid at Obama’s feet though.
The train is careening into the station, and no one has the guts to stop it…we need a Simpson/Bowles solution, but the Republican’s don’t want to raise revenue, and the Democrats think that the entitlement programs are just fine as-is.
They are both wrong.
How to solve the school violence problem?
ARM SCHOOLS TO THE TEETH!!!
Is the NRA push for guns in schools crazy? It depends on where you live.
Reaction to the NRA’s controversial proposal to have armed guards in all schools illustrates the regional divide over guns – how and even whether to control the nation’s private arsenal.
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / December 22, 2012
Josh Nelson speaks after his group was denied entrance to the Williard InterContinental Hotel where they wanted to deliver a petition to the National Rifle Association Friday.
Breaking its silence in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre, the National Rifle Association has added to the emotional national debate on gun control by calling for armed guards at schools.
Home rifle ranges?
Or, don’t have children…..
US Birth Rate Hits New Low – A Nation of Singles
John Mauldin | Dec 21, 2012
“US Birth Rate Hits New Low – A Nation of Singles”
Leaving tens of millions of excess empty houses. Down we go!
Here are a couple of links;
U.S. Birth Rate Falls to a Record Low
Marriage Rate Falls to Record Low
Don’t worry, once the Mexodus restarts there’ll plenty of tykes to fill the schools.
here’ll plenty of tykes to fill the schools.
There are already school districts in affluent areas that are suffering shrinking primary & high school enrollments. Their ‘housing value’ has gotten so high that families with school age children can no longer afford to live there.
So it’s taken more than 40 years to achieve another “dream” of the Left. Talk with Ted Turner, who thinks we need to “depopulate” the earth. They are finally winning.
Zero Population Growth (zpg).
In the late 1960s ZPG became a big political movement in the U.S. and parts of Europe, with strong links to environmentalism and feminism. Yale University was a stronghold of the ZPG activists who believed “that a constantly increasing population is responsible for many of our problems: pollution, violence, loss of values and of individual privacy.” Founding fathers of the movement were Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, and Thomas Eisner. Ehrlich stated: “The mother of the year should be a sterlized woman with two adopted children.”
text quote from wiki.
Yale, home of Bush and now John Kerry, both Bonesmen.
Both involved in world politics. They have dreams, too.
So it’s taken more than 40 years to achieve another “dream” of the Left ??
What are you trying to say Dio that those on the right do not have a Penis or Vagina or they just don’t know how to use it ??
Common boy, tell those neocons to get after it and start procreating…
If you don’t think overpopulation is a problem nature tends to finds very nasty solutions to, you do not know basic biology.
As for ZPG, the right embraces it just as much, but for different reasons.
Clinton Pledges Funds to Add Police to Schools
WASHINGTON — Marking the first anniversary of the shooting deaths at Columbine High School, President Clinton announced $120 million in new federal grants Saturday to place more police officers in schools.
Politico - Limbaugh praises ‘classy’ NRA
“Rush Limbaugh defended the National Rifle Association Friday, calling the organization “classy” for remaining silent until its CEO Wayne LaPierre’s comments at a news conference about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
“The NRA was very classy and laid back for a week. They didn’t say anything, didn’t get involved, didn’t attempt to exploit it one way or another,” the conservative commentator said on his radio program, according to a show transcript. “They are the greatest, the largest gun safety organization in the country. So LaPierre goes out today; he gets heckled, shouted down. And when he gets to the meat of what he’s saying, CNN goes to a commercial break.”
While the policy sounds good, Columbine had an armed security guard too:
I was duly impressed by how well Wall Street fared yesterday, despite all the MSM scare stories about the U.S. going over the ‘fiscal cliff.’ A drop of 120 points on the Dow is a mere flesh wound.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the U.S. stock market will have a rip-roaring ‘relief’ rally in celebration on the eventual announcement that an 11th-hour closed-door deal has been struck. And in the worst-case scenario, the Fed has plenty more QE-to-infinity ammunition available to prop up Mr Market.
It’s all good for U.S. stock market investors heading into 2013!
Going over the ‘fiscal cliff’ is one way to ‘tax’ the 1%.
Why doesn’t Uncle Sam simply short the stock market, then go over the ‘fiscal cliff’? I’m thinking they could generate next year’s full budget gap in one Great Big Short, then prop it all back up on QE liquidity injections. They might even be able to figure out how to charge the tax to foreign investors in U.S. assets. It seems wrong to always take from U.S. senior citizens.
Updated December 21, 2012, 6:47 p.m. ET
Hunt for Safety Hits Stocks
Dow Industrials Sink 120.88 Points as Budget Talks Hit Impasse; Treasurys Gain
By JONATHAN CHENG
Stocks slumped around the world and traders sought out haven investments as concerns flared anew about the ability of Washington to reach a budget deal that would avoid the fiscal cliff.
Stocks sank as investors confronted a new level of budget disarray in Washington, but the market was on pace to notch gains for the last full trading week of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 120.88 points, or 0.9%, to 13190.84, its biggest one-day point and percentage drop in more than a month. As investors looked for shelter, bond prices gained and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.754%.
Stocks have been on the rise in recent weeks amid expectations that, despite near-daily back-and-forth headlines about state of the budget talks, a deal ultimately will be forged before a bundle of tax increases and government spending cuts take effect at the beginning of January.
Even with Friday’s decline, the major U.S. stock indexes managed to finish in the black for the week. The blue-chip Dow is up 1.3% in December and has tacked on 5.2% since mid-November. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 13.54 points, or 0.9%, to 1430.15, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 29.38 points, or 1%, to 3021.01.
The December rally was tripped up Thursday evening as House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) scrapped a Republican-sponsored budget bill aimed at addressing the fiscal cliff. That bill had been positioned by House Republicans as an alternative to a deal being negotiated with President Barack Obama. Instead, its failure raised questions about the ability of the House to pass any plan that would be acceptable to both houses of Congress and the White House.
In addition, Mr. Boehner dismissed House members until after Christmas. That move was seen as making it likely that the negotiations would stretch right up to the end of the year.
Now, with just five trading sessions for stocks remaining in 2012, investors are bracing for more volatility.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down sharper than the other major indexes in today’s market selloff. Ben Pimentel joins digits to discuss which tech stocks are weighing on Wall Street.
“It looks like we’re going over the cliff,” said Gary Pollack, head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank’s (DBK.XE -1.61%) private wealth-management unit. “Markets are very disappointed.”
Didn’t Bernanke say he will “do” more if we go over the cliff?
No need for politicians. No need for markets.
All hail the bearded one.
That’s my thought. Why not just let the Fed fix it all with its printing press technology, and stop it with the political histrionics already?
A drop of 120 points on the Dow is a mere flesh wound.
More like a scratch, one that doesn’t even bleed.
Judging by Mr Market’s response, I’d say that it’s expecting the can to be kicked once again.
I was duly impressed by how well Wall Street fared yesterday
I’m not. Wall Street is as phony as hell, although not as phony than the MSM reporting about it.
Forgot my snark tags…sorry!
Forgot my snark tags
I knew that. I just like cutting to the quick.
JibJab Year in Review 2012: The End is Here!
I’ve been a little behind this week…
But I’ve gotta say, this here is my favorite new nickname on the HBB:
Comment by Craterous Maximus
And the best part? I live in the empty skulls of our blog debt junkies, rent free.
Loan-owners are LOOSERS!
What the Hell is Happening in D.C.?
by Megan McArdle Dec 21, 2012 1:42 PM EST
The housing market is as crazy as the fiscal cliff negotiations.
This house triggered a bidding war that garnered 168 offers. Yes, you heard me right: 168 offers. For a three-level, two-unit home with the finest in décor that Home Depot had to offer—in 1991.
The house was sold for $760,951—which is $360,951 over the asking price, and $260,951 higher than similar homes have been going for in the area. And frankly, having moved to D.C. five years ago, even $500,000 seems a little much for a house in that condition.
What on earth is going on in my city? Surveys of neighborhood home sales have found year-over-year increases of up to 75 percent in some neighborhoods. Consider this string of home prices, for a small house in Capitol Hill:
List price: $149,000.
Net sold price: $139,874.
List price: $319,000.
Net sold price: $314,000.
List price: $399,900.
Net sold price: $385,000.
List price: $449,000.
Net sold price: $432,500
It just sold again for $485,000. The Washington Post says that bidding wars are breaking out all over the district:
The median home sale price in the District is up 14 percent from last year, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI). And the average number of days houses spend on the market has fallen by nearly 30 percent, to 53 days.
This seems crazy to me. Yes, D.C. is a desirable place to live, and of course mortgage rates are attractively low. But bidding wars are getting outrageous—my mother lost multiple houses, one of which had 28 offers on it. My mother, who sold real estate in New York for decades, held firm: if she couldn’t buy a house at a decent price, she wouldn’t buy at all. But that just highlights the frenzy that these bidding wars are generating in others. The normal pattern seems to be that people lose multiple houses, then decide they’ll pay anything.
And fair enough, maybe this is just the normal process of supply and demand. D.C. has effectively had a foreclosure moratorium since 2010, which has made inventory very tight. And our unemployment rate—at least, for the affluent professionals who are buying these houses—is admirably low.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/21/what-the-hell-is-happening-in-dc.html - -
“The housing market is as crazy as the fiscal cliff negotiations.”
It’s going to be hilarious when the next crash comes. Everyone I know is absolutely certain that housing has bottomed out already, as the MSM has told them.
“It’s going to be hilarious when the next crash comes.”
Whats most hilarious as the crash is already underway and everyone is looking in the other direction. lmao.
I personally don’t count crashes as occurring until the “nobody could have seen it coming” crowd acknowledges them.
Of course. The masters of the obvious will appear with their BS after it becomes blatantly obvious the “housing recovery’ is a head fake.
As usual… the mouthpieces will be a dollar short and a day late and we will be vindicated.
List price: $149,000.
Net sold price: $139,874. They might break even. MAYBE
List price: $319,000.
Net sold price: $314,000.Loss in the $250k range
List price: $399,900.
Net sold price: $385,000.Loss with financing costs in the $300k range
List price: $449,000.
Net sold price: $432,500 Probably the dumbest price and dumbest time to buy
It just sold again for $485,000. This loss will be breathtaking
The DC housing market is as crazy as the DC fiscal cliff negotiations.
— Most of the USA has other issues to deal with. I really don’t care if DC housing goes to a billion dollars a square foot. I’m not in that market and never will be.
Dumb question of 2012:
If the politicians collectively drive the fiscal policy bus over the cliff, will the DC housing market finally correct to affordable value?
In addition to the price issue, I’d like an answer to the question…WhyTF is this house (and many these days) on the market so often?
What’s going on here??
Not to mention, with every sale the seller demands to make money and the buyer is willing to provide it.
I suppose with Fed and taxpayer support, why not?
Move in, wait two years, sell. Repeat.
The market is booming,
but where are the buyers?
Inventory is looming,
Realtors are liars.
Dashing through the truth
With a no down FHA
Over the cliff we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob-tail ring
Making Realtors sleight
Oh, what fun it is to lie and sing
A crater song tonight
Why is mortgage debt forgiven treated as tax-free income but not student loan debt? Aren’t homeowners generally a lot richer than tax-strapped recent college graduates?
More generally, how come our federal government offers so many generous tax giveaways to wealthy homeowners?
Kelly Phillips Erb, Contributor
I cover tax: paying tax is painful but reading about it shouldn’t be.
12/22/2012 @ 9:37AM
Americans Replace Student Loan Bills With Tax Bills
Americans now owe an astonishing $956 billion in student loan debt. The rate of student loan debt outpaced inflation last year – and keeps climbing. I should know: I am one of those still working to pay off student loan debt. I borrowed to pay for my education because I couldn’t afford to go otherwise.
I understand that part of borrowing means paying back. I am fortunate in that I am in a position to pay my loans back – albeit slowly – because I have a job. With unemployment rates at near all-time highs, not every one is in that same position.
There is some relief available for those who have borrowed and are near default: loan forgiveness programs allow certain borrowers to reduce their monthly payments in order to pay what they can afford. The rest of the loan, at the end of the repayment schedule, is forgiven.
Awesome for those folks, right?
The problem with the plan, as with many such debt relief initiatives, is that the forgiven debt is considered taxable income. Depending on the amount of forgiveness – and the timing – that can result in a huge tax bill. How huge? Consider this: many students (including myself) owe more in student debt now than originally borrowed, despite making payments. Interest accrues beginning at the first dollar owed which means that students, especially those in graduate school programs, could accumulate more debt while still in school.
Debt is modern feudalism.
More ‘fiscal cliff’ scare tactics from the REIC…when will it end!?
John W. Schoen , NBC News
Housing recovery could also tumble off the ‘fiscal cliff’
This could be an endangered species … of home sales … if Congress doesn’t resolve the ‘fiscal cliff’ before the end of the year.
If Congress drives the economy off the “fiscal cliff,” wave goodbye to short sales that have helped the housing market get back on its feet.
At risk is a provision that erases taxes on selling a home for less than what’s owed to the bank.
Expiration of the tax treatment would create a major new headache for the one in four homeowners who owe more than their house is worth. Those “underwater” sellers would have to come up with a big check for Uncle Sam to pay the tax on the difference.
That “would be a blow to the housing recovery,” said Paul Diggle, a housing economist at Capital Economics. “The increased use of short sales, rather than foreclosures, has become an important support to the recovery.”
If Boehner can’t get his fellow Republicans on board with this plan, what would they agree to?
John Boehner’s Fiscal Cliff Plan Is Back-Door Tax Cut For Wealthy: Report
The Huffington Post | By Bonnie Kavoussi Posted: 12/20/2012 4:26 pm EST | Updated: 12/20/2012 4:26 pm EST
If implemented, John Boehner’s latest fiscal cliff offer would most benefit the rich, according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center.
Under Boehner’s so-called “Plan B,” the average family in the top 0.1 percent of cash incomes would get a tax cut of $212,506, while the median-income family would take home a tax cut of just $2,012, in comparison to tax changes scheduled for Jan. 1, the Tax Policy Center found. The average family in the bottom fifth of the income distribution would benefit the least with a tax cut of only $66.
Boehner has most recently proposed extending the Bush tax cuts on incomes up to $1 million. But that means millionaires would still get a tax cut on their first $1 million of income, so they would receive the most money under Boehner’s plan.
Boehner’s proposal would be a boon for the rich in terms of tax rates, too. Households making $500,000 to $1 million per year would get the biggest federal tax rate cut, while families making the least money would get the smallest tax rate cut. In addition, all income groups making less than $100,000 per year would get a smaller tax rate cut on average than families making more than $1 million per year.
The study’s findings may prove controversial, if history is any indication. The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank, caused a stir when it concluded in August that Mitt Romney’s tax plan was mathematically impossible.
There’s little likelihood Plan B will become law, however. Though House Republicans cautiously support Boehner’s new “Plan B”, some Senate Democrats have said it is unacceptable, and the White House has said that Obama would veto Boehner’s “Plan B” if it reached his desk.
Riddle me this:
What if the US Government ISN’T torturing anyone, they just spread that rumor to make prisoners more amenable to questioning?
After all, just about everyone has used the “fake firing squad” from time to time.
Of course, contrary to some people’s assertions, it could be that torture is extremely effective, so that is why we are (allegedly) still doing it.
Imagine the money a “tell-all” by a disgruntled torturer could rake in. A big incentive to be a Rat. But strangely, none have.
Where are they at on the GS scale. GS-11? GS-15? Or are they contractors, like Goon Squad?
Where do you apply for this job? Any prerequisites? Is it considered a “technical” or “health services” position? Does your local community college have classes? I zapped bugs with a magnifying class a couple of times as a kid, is that considered “previous experience”?
I suspect that these fine folks are former military.
Our torturers are lightweights compared to the Russkies.
Maybe we can get some of theirs here on H-1Bs.
“Russkies taking jobs Americans are too lazy/underqualified to do”
I met one at a Republican fund-raiser once. He was a mortgage broker.
We bet there could be real money in starting up a contractor company specializing in torture, need to look into that once we get through the fiscal cliff.
And I guess you also wonder if they made up some fake news stories to strike fear into terrorists’ hearts?
Speaking of fake news, there’s a story out there that Facebook won’t allow people to use pictures of Nativity scenes on their profile pages, because they are “offensive”.
Come to think of it, crucifixion is a form of torture.
Maybe fail a psych exam?
You don’t have to create a sadist, just select one from the pool.
I guess Drudge expects the President to miserable all the time?
Oh, Drudge. If it wasn’t for you nobody would read the Washington Times.
“American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals”
After being dismissed from her job as a Midtown Manhattan securities attorney in October 2009, Christina Tretter-Herriger hitched a used horse trailer to her Dodge Ram pickup and drove 1,628 miles to Texas.
The 32-year-old lawyer sold skin-care products in Houston before finding work as the assistant general counsel of a futures-trading firm where an irate customer punctuated a recorded voice-mail message with gunfire.
We posted this the other day. We LOVE articles like this because it confirms our correct prediction that the future belongs to Lucky Ducky. And when the 1% (and especially the 0.1%) are done raping this country, less than 10% will enjoy what could be considered a middle-class lifestyle
Financialization of the economy will save us. We’ll make a fortune buying and selling virtual products for ever increasing prices. It’ll be just like buying and selling tractors in Farmville:
Congress can stay paralyzed and the Fed can continue to do whatever Bernanke wants. Win-win.
Cash pulled from stock funds 21st straight week
Posted on December 19, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Investors withdrew money from stock mutual funds for the 21st consecutive week during the period ended Dec. 12, increasing the pace of withdrawals from the prior week. Bond funds continued to attract new money, as they have during all but one week this year.
The movement of cash was in line with the conservative approach that many investors have taken since the financial crisis of 2008. Money has consistently been withdrawn from stock mutual funds and added to lower-risk bond funds.
Investors withdrew a net $7.23 billion from U.S. stock funds, the Investment Company Institute said in a preliminary report Wednesday. That was up from net withdrawals of $5.85 billion for the period ended Dec. 5. Withdrawals have exceeded deposits each week since mid-July.
Cash was pulled out as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.3 percent during the weeklong period ended Dec. 12. Investors have focused on developments from Washington in budget talks to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start Jan. 1 unless an agreement is reached to cut the budget deficit.
The ICI said a net $1.25 billion was withdrawn during the week ended Dec. 12 from funds investing primarily in foreign stocks. Cash has been pulled out of foreign stock funds for 20 of the past 21 weeks, dating to mid-July.
Does anyone except for MSM journalists actually believe the U.S. will go over the ‘fiscal cliff’?
Stocks set to fall as fiscal cliff looms
By CNNMoney Staff @CNNMoneyInvest December 21, 2012: 8:43 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
It’s not the end of the world — literally or for the fiscal cliff talks — but the latest signs of gridlock on Washington have struck fear into investors.
Lawmakers in the House failed to support the so-called “Plan B”, a proposal backed by House Speaker John Boehner, late Thursday. The White House had already threatened to veto that plan, saying it would bring only “minimal” changes in projected budget deficits, but its failure underscored the lack of progress on Capitol Hill as the cliff draws nearer.
“Although the principal purpose of the proposed vote was to give [Boehner] additional leverage in his negotiations with President Barack Obama, this was nevertheless something of a set-back and is making markets more nervous,” Nomura analyst Alastair Newton wrote in a research note.
Torture and ‘fiscal cliff’ discussions sure put me in the Christmas spirit!
We’re taking Sunday and Monday off to go skiing. Maybe back on Tuesday to post more uplifting articles.
Politico - I’m no Scrooge, Obama edition
“President Obama is giving a special gift to federal workers: a day off on Christmas Eve, apparently with pay*.
“All executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Monday, December 24, 2012, the day before Christmas Day,” states the executive order he signed.
The directive says it falls under federal codes defining holiday compensation, suggesting employees will be paid for the day. It exempts employees deemed necessary for national security and other essential functions. Although, they would get holiday pay under the codes.”
Sun, Dec 23, 2012 - Page 15
US fiscal woes depress commodities ahead of holidays
Commodity markets were hit this week in the run-up to Christmas, as hopes faded for a deal to avert the US’ “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts that could send the world’s biggest economy spinning into recession, analysts said.
Unless the political deadlock in Washington is broken, the fiscal cliff measures will be implemented in the US — a major consumer of many raw materials — on Jan. 1.
“We think Thursday’s broad-based sell-off in commodity markets is a sign of things to come,” Capital Economics analyst John Higgins said.
“Three factors seem to have been responsible for Thursday’s sell-off; First, reports that negotiations over the US fiscal cliff have stalled. Second, an upward revision to Q3 US GDP growth, which may have altered perceptions of the likely duration of the [US] Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing. And third, good old-fashioned position-squaring ahead of the holidays,” Higgins added.
Commodity markets had won support last week after the US central bank launched more stimulus measures. However, data on Thursday showed that the US economy grew 3.1 percent in the third quarter, faster than previously estimated, dampening hopes of more stimulus.
Thank you, and polly as well/ The LR is beautiful w/ our furniture, and I am resuming piano lessons. We have big house furniture, and need to unload lots of little stuff, but we are the happiest we’ve been in a decade. It’s funny how much junk we all collect.
Merry Christmas everyone.
P.S. We are sick of storage rent and not being able to access our stuff. Give up the nasty comments. Uncool.
You go debt junkie!
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