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April 9, 1988
Well, here are the two of us, trying to complete our 1987 federal income tax return. Nothing exotic--two salaries, an IRA rollover, and some non-cash contributions. We are struggling, but no dummies here; two engineering degrees, a master's in systems management and a master's in business administration. Having just returned, for a second time, from the federal building to pick up more newly required forms, we witnessed people in tears of frustration. What has the Congress done to us all?
April 15, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
With lawmakers showing little enthusiasm for an ambitious proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to overhaul the byzantine U.S. tax code, Congress has to decide what to do about dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired Dec. 31. Among them is an exemption for forgiven mortgage debt that's an essential part of a broader federal effort to solve a nagging problem, namely the spate of defaults caused by the recession....
February 27, 1994 | We received a missive, written in pencil, from Bill Henderson, editor of The Pushcart Press, inviting the technologically disgruntled to join The Lead Pencil Club's mission to be "A Pothole on the Information Highway." The club's statement (in part) follows
The god of our godless age is speed. Driven by our obsession to compete, we have embraced this electronic god with a frenzy. Soon, blessed with Fax, Voice and E-mail, computer hookups and TVs with hundreds of channels, we won't have to leave our lonely rooms--not to write a check, work, visit, shop, exercise, or make love (virtual reality will serve). We won't write letters to friends because we won't have friends--just electronic anachronisms. Next century, nobody will know the meaning of "love," though "self-love " may survive.
March 29, 2014 | By Carren Jao
Fredda Weiss used to tell people visiting her Mandeville Canyon cottage for the first time to watch for the house "that looks like the seven dwarfs live there. " Weiss' 1950s home was warm and inviting - but also a little dark and dated. So after three decades of living in the 2,283-square-foot cottage, Weiss decided to give her storybook home a happy ending. And she had just the architect in mind: Zoltan Pali. "If I was going to do this house, he was going to be my architect," Weiss says.
January 3, 1999
Two quick thoughts on the NFL. 1. It's not the officials; it's the rules. So simplify the game. No more of this "ground can't cause a fumble" business. If the ball comes loose before the whistle blows, it's a fumble--period. Get rid of "breaking the plane of the goal line" too. To score a touchdown, you must get the ball into the end zone, fully across the line. And who cares if the receiver is juggling the ball in bounds, so long as he comes down with it securely in his arms? Simplify!
February 14, 2001
Re "Three Things We Need on Taxes: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify," by Maya MacGuineas, Opinion, Feb. 11: How confused can we get? It seems to me there is a peculiar smell of the failed supply-side economic theory of the Reagan administration. How does one reconcile powerful incentives to save with the lesser ability to consume, i.e., to stimulate the dangerous slowing of the economy, under MacGuineas' proposed progressive consumption tax? In addition: If a person saves too much too soon he or she may find that, at retirement, income may be the same or even more with fewer tax deductions, and therefore the person will be in a higher bracket.
March 15, 2004
Re "Gay Conservatives Fight Bush on Wedding Vow," Feb. 26: I can think of no other word than "delusional" to describe gay Republicans (a former one myself) who were surprised by President Bush proposing an anti-gay amendment to the Constitution. How can gay and lesbian citizens support a conservative agenda that consistently votes against equality? Our tax dollars function as membership dues to a private club that refuses to allow us the privileges and protections of other members (i.e.
August 17, 1997
There's a simple way to obtain tax simplification: Simply force all members of Congress to fill out their own tax forms. RICHARD P. SHOOSHAN SALLY A. TERRY Pasadena
February 2, 2012
Simplifying the Soul Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit Paula Huston Ave Maria Press: 170 pp., $14.95 paper
January 12, 2012
The U.S. immigration system is a capricious and convoluted bureaucracy. Take, for example, the rules that children and spouses of U.S. citizens must navigate to legalize their status. Currently, immigrants who qualify for a visa, and ultimately a green card, must return to their homelands to receive it. The problem is that the moment they leave the United States, they trigger automatic sanctions that bar them from returning for up to 10 years. Some can secure waivers to reenter, but only if they demonstrate that their absence will create extreme hardship to a parent or spouse who is a U.S. citizen.
March 22, 2014 | By Emily Young
Illustrator Betsy Everitt and water utility executive Christopher Schilling were Americans working in London when he landed a new job in Southern California. With two college-bound children, they began thinking about how they could pare down and simplify. So in 2009 they bought a dark, dilapidated ranch house in Brentwood, hoping to remake it into a streamlined haven of light and space. The couple loved their one-story house's pitched roof and high exposed-beam living-room ceiling and exposed-brick living room wall.
December 29, 2013 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: I'm older than 80 and after two decades have finally just learned to maneuver my way through the Davis-Stirling Act, Civil Code sections 1350-1378. Now I'm told these codes I finally understand have all been changed. I am despondent over this. How and why did this happen, and where are these new codes supposed to be? Answer: When the California Legislature passed the Davis-Stirling Act in 1985, the law was hailed as an advancement in governing condominiums and other common-interest developments.
October 25, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
The 2013 Oscars may have been deemed a success: Ratings were up and the best picture win for "Argo" was a nice capper to a tumultuous race ran by actor-director-producer Ben Affleck. One hitch, however, was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' initial efforts to migrate its approximately 6,000 voting members to online balloting for the awards for the first time. Complaints flooded into the academy, with members carping about the cumbersome system that in some cases simply wouldn't function.
July 25, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
For a small book, Yoko Ono's new collection of instructions, "Acorn" (O/R Books: 216 pp., $16 paper), has been in the works for a long time: almost half a century. "It's been nearly 50 years since my book of conceptual instructions, 'Grapefruit,' was first published," the 80-year-old avant-garde icon writes in a brief introduction to the project. "Some years ago, I picked up from where I left off, and wrote 'Acorn' for a website event. Now it's being published in book form. I'm riding a time machine that's going back to the old ways!"
June 26, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act promises to drastically change the financial-planning calculus for same-sex couples. In states allowing same-sex marriage, married lesbian and gay couples have had to file federal tax returns as single individuals. One partner hasn't been able to transfer assets without paying a federal gift tax. When one partner dies, the other hasn't been able receive his or her Social Security benefits. Those are just a few of the complications same-sex couples have faced because of the federal government's treatment of their marriages.
June 23, 2013 | By Jen Leo
Stop hiding from your friends. With this website, meet-ups just got easier, whether you're traveling the globe for business or pleasure. Name: What it does: Simplifies the planning process for group meet-ups around the world. What's hot: Enter a city and dates for your next trip. Then MochaMeet pulls data from your Facebook friends to let you know who will be near your destination. You can also add people by email if they're not on Facebook. Click on the friends you want to invite, pick a date or dates if you want to offer a choice, and do the same for location.
June 26, 2010 | By Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times
The challenge for architects Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson was straightforward but certainly not simple: Transform a five-unit apartment complex built in 1962 into a modern single-family house. The homeowners, former New Yorkers Rachel Klauber-Speiden and Josh Empson, wanted a place that embraced California indoor-outdoor living while maintaining privacy. The result will be showcased in a sold-out home tour scheduled Saturday as part of the Dwell on Design show.
October 7, 1995
Magnolia Coach Bill Friedrich's game plan is simple: Give the ball to running back Carlos Martin. On the sideline during a 14-0 victory over Cypress Thursday night, Friedrich was yelling to his quarterback: "Give the ball to Martin! All I want to see is Carlos, Carlos, Carlos! It's very easy!" Martin had 151 yards and two touchdowns in 26 carries.
June 12, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Many factors are relevant in determining how much the state should spend to provide a child with an "adequate" public education, but this is not one of them: whether the child lives in an area that was largely agricultural during the early 1970s. Yet agricultural zoning is, to this day, a significant component in the stupefyingly complicated formula that determines California's per-pupil funding. Everyone knows the formula is a mess, but for decades the Legislature did nothing to change it. Now, taking advantage of an unusual moment in state budget history, Gov. Jerry Brown has sliced through the paralysis and reached a compromise with legislators to create an immeasurably more sensible, comprehensible and fair formula for funding schools.
May 31, 2013 | By Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times
A new pay-TV receiver from Fanhattan tries to solve three problems vexing TV viewers: clunky program guides, a proliferation of often similar Internet video services and overly complex remote controls. The new receiver, dubbed Fan TV, uses its own image-rich menus in place of the grid of channels and time slots on conventional pay-TV guides. It combines broadcast and cable networks with Netflix, Apple's iTunes and numerous other online video sources. And it's much sleeker than conventional set-top boxes.
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