April 20, 1997
In "CPI Squabble Diverts Attention From Real Issues" (View From Washington, March 30), Robert Rosenblatt claims that your "typical" 65-year-old widow would lose $3,900 in Social Security benefits by 2005 and that a middle-income family with two children would pay $1,400 more in federal taxes. Those figures have to be based upon some assumptions of inflation rates over the next eight years, something even the most astute economist hasn't been able to do or even predict. How can a meaningful discussion on balancing the budget take place until we correct the inaccuracies that have a direct effect on balancing the budget?
June 1, 1986
Standing in a line holding hands with millions across America was a thrill. There are even deeper joys if we continue the spirit through the years by giving some time to one of the many private organizations that are helping the poor and homeless and by lowering our life styles so that we can give more money as well. After all, except for accident of birth, we may have been one of them. The Bible urges us to give 10% or more of our total incomes for the less fortunate. Americans give only an average of 2% to 3% now. Imagine how good you would feel inside to know that you have helped to save lives simply by buying fewer and less fancy cars, clothes, appliances, etc. and donating the savings to church and synagogue outreach efforts or to one of the many worthy poverty crises center.
March 13, 2006
Although the article "And Now, Four-Star Hospitals" [March 13] provides a balanced view of specialty hospitals' benefits, the concerns regarding alleged harm from specialty hospitals are not well-founded. There is no evidence of any general hospital closing because of competition from a specialty hospital. A Medicare Payment Advisory Commission study found any financial harm suffered by general hospitals from specialty hospitals was temporary, and that specialty hospitals' competition actually forced general hospitals to do a better job. A Health and Human Services study found quality was consistently high at specialty hospitals, and that mortality rates were lower than at general hospitals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 1986
It is suggested that a similar article be addressed to big business, and the rich, to forgo the many tax goodies and tax shelters which enable them to pay nothing or very little in federal taxes. Also ask the speculators in securities, commodities, real estate and other items to subject their capital gains at regular income tax rates as applied to wages and salaries. Ask those who sell their homes to forgo the $125,000 exclusion from income taxes and pay regular taxes on the gain.
October 1, 2013 |
As pre-enrollment begins for Obamacare, Albert is exploring his options. He wants to know more about health savings accounts. Good idea. Health savings accounts, or HSAs, can be a good fit for some, but not for all. Basically, a health savings account is like an IRA for healthcare. Money you put into it isn't subject to federal taxes. It can also roll over from one year to the next if unspent. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions If you withdraw money from an HSA for non-medical purposes, there are penalties.
September 21, 2012 |
Mitt Romney paid $1.9 million in federal taxes in 2011 on income of $13.7 million, an effective rate of 14.1% that reflects the Republican presidential candidate's dividends, capital gains and other returns that are assessed at some of the lowest tax rates. Romney's tax return, which he released Friday, showed that he boosted his effective tax rate by not declaring all of the $4 million in charitable contributions that he made during 2011, instead only reporting $2.3 million. By doing so he stayed consistent with an earlier public statement that his tax rate for the year would not drop below 13%. The return does little to fundamentally change the perception of Romney's finances.
April 26, 1989 |
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) knows that statistics are strange and changeable things. When he was writing a law several years ago to provide an insurance fund for workers' pensions, government experts told him that an annual premium of 50 cents per worker would be enough. Let's double it to be sure, Bentsen said, and the premium was set at $1 a year. Today, the pension insurance system costs $16 a year for each worker, Bentsen said the other day, laughing at the memory of how wrong the actuaries can be. But now this same Lloyd Bentsen is making a big political bet that the experts have guessed right in figuring the cost of Medicare's catastrophic-illness program, which offers beneficiaries unlimited days of hospital care and coverage of prescription drugs.
July 23, 2011 |
Finally, good news from the gridlock in Congress. Or maybe not. The federal government Saturday stopped collecting taxes on airline tickets, so flying suddenly got cheaper, right? Wrong. Many airlines just increased their airfares to match the tax drop. At stake can be about $30 on a $300 ticket, the Associated Press says. What happened is that squabbling lawmakers failed to extend laws that authorize the government to collect the airline ticket tax and other aviation-related taxes.