January 17, 2012 |
Mitt Romney has made his successful business career a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, saying his hands-on experience in corporate America is precisely what the country needs. But when it comes to showing sensitivity to the economic anxiety many Americans are feeling, he has proven to have a less-than-deft touch. A fresh example came Tuesday as Romney campaigned across South Carolina for the state's Saturday primary and discussed his personal income and the possibility, under pressure, of releasing his 2011 tax return for public examination.
January 15, 2012 |
Though its demise drew little attention because of the partisan year-end brawl over the payroll tax cut extension in Congress, a key mortgage financing benefit disappeared at the end of December: the ability of large numbers of home buyers and owners to write off the premiums they pay for mortgage insurance. The loss of that tax deduction — plus mandatory new fees imposed by Congress on all new conventional and FHA loans — could effectively increase the costs of homeownership this year.
November 9, 2011 |
Former Oregon Rep. Wester Cooley pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to a tax charge related to the allegedly fraudulent sale of stock in an online auction site. Cooley, who served in Congress from 1995 to 1997, had been charged with seven felonies surrounding the sale of more than $10 million of private stock in Tujunga-based Bidbay.com and related companies from 2000 to 2003. Under an agreement with federal prosecutors, Cooley, 79, pleaded guilty to the single tax fraud charge Monday before U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson.
October 18, 2011 |
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan would probably be seen as just another cockamamie tax scheme were it not for his surprising ascendance to front-runner ranks in the Republican Party primary. Yet one of the more interesting questions raised by the plan hasn't gotten much attention: What accounts for the enduring popularity of such tax nostrums, when they never pencil out? Cain's proposal, which purportedly would replace today's federal tax code with a flat 9% personal income tax, a flat 9% corporate tax and a flat 9% national sales tax, has the surface appeal of an advertising slogan.
September 19, 2011 |
For more than three years, the SoyMor Biodiesel plant sat idle — victim of a slump that took down more than a quarter of the plants in the industry. But biodiesel is booming again, and a sign of the revival happened recently in this small southern Minnesota town. Workers started up the plant, and soon the fuel was flowing. "Everybody kept their fingers crossed and hoped it would be a lot shorter," rehired worker Aaron Kuennen said of the long layoff as he unloaded tanker trucks full of soybean oil Thursday.
August 31, 2011 |
Amid the crowd-rousing shorthand employed by some American politicians, surely one of the hardiest chestnuts is the notion of the "undeserving poor. " You know the spiel, which plays to old and discredited stereotypes. It defines welfare recipients as spongers, drunks, tomcats and loose women; anyone with a swarthy visage or Hispanic accent as likely an "illegal immigrant"; anyone on unemployment as a lazy good-for-nothing; anyone receiving government assistance (other than bankers and oil company executives, of course)
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.
April 20, 2011 |
U.S. corporations have enjoyed a two-year bull run on Wall Street. They are sitting on a record amount of cash and are back to paying bonuses that are the envy of executives around the world. And the icing on the cake for many of them might be just around the corner: a tax cut that has bipartisan support in Congress. As part of their budget plan passed last week, House Republicans want to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%. The Obama administration and many Democrats also are looking to slice the current rate, but not as much.
April 18, 2011 |
President Obama's income dropped substantially in 2010 from the previous year due to declining book sales, but he is still comfortably in the ranks of the nation's millionaires, his federal tax returns show. The Obama family earned $1.73 million last year, largely from sales of the president's books, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope. " Obama also derived income from his new children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," but he donated all proceeds to a charity benefiting children of slain and disabled soldiers, the White House said The Obamas paid a total of $454,00 in federal taxes and $52,000 in Illinois state taxes, according to the returns, released Monday by the White House.