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BUSINESS
September 12, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton and Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Help wealthy people dodge taxes. Go to prison. And cap it off by getting $104 million for ratting out your former clients to the IRS. In one of the largest whistle-blower cases in U.S. history, the federal government is paying that amount to a globe-trotting banker who once smuggled a client's diamonds in a toothpaste tube to avoid detection by tax authorities. The financier, Bradley Birkenfeld, later confessed his transgressions and helped the Internal Revenue Service nab thousands of Americans who had stashed money overseas to avoid paying taxes.
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NEWS
October 4, 2012 | By Michael Hiltzik
Was it the natural tendency of old campaigners to play it safe in the opening quarter? Or the tendency of longtime adversaries to score points off each other rather than illuminate their differences? Or was it that the issues on which the presidential campaign will turn are so complicated - the economy, taxation, healthcare - that it's a challenge for anyone to make them accessible for average listeners? Whatever the reason, Wednesday night's initial debate between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, provided red meat for wonks, but perhaps not so much for voters.
NATIONAL
June 23, 2010 | By Janet Hook, Tribune Washington Bureau
As the Senate scrambles to scale back a $140-billion recession relief bill, the poor, the elderly and the unemployed are bearing the brunt of the squeeze. But NASCAR track developers, movie producers and other special interests are likely to escape unscathed. Those businesses stand to gain $32 billion in tax breaks as part of the bill, which has been stalled for weeks because of rising complaints about deficit spending. In the hunt for ways to cut costs, neither party has proposed curbing the panoply of narrow tax preferences, which Congress has routinely extended each year.
OPINION
March 22, 2013 | By Aspen Gorry and Sita Nataraj Slavov
In proclaiming March as Women's History Month, President Obama stated that "too many women feel the weight of discrimination on their shoulders. " Liberals often make this claim, citing the fact that women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and call for stronger protection against gender-based discrimination by employers. Conservatives typically respond by pointing out that men and women tend to make different choices about occupation, working hours and whether to take time off from the labor force.
NATIONAL
November 20, 2009 | By Janet Hook
Amid all of the uncertainties about how healthcare legislation would affect each American, one thing is clear: The more affluent would pay higher taxes. Embracing the progressive -- and sometimes politically risky -- principle that the cost of carrying out public policies should fall to the well-off more than the disadvantaged, both the House and Senate bills would place new taxes on the wealthy to help pay for expanded insurance coverage. But the bills differ on who counts as rich and how much they would pay. Under the House bill, couples with more than $1 million in income would pay an additional surtax of as much as 5.4%.
NEWS
December 6, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Republicans and Democrats are wrestling with a variety of riddles that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff, a double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the start of the new year. Here is a primer on unraveling the knotty political and economic threads. What exactly is the fiscal cliff? The term refers to a combination of forced cuts and tax increases worth more than $500 billion. The best-known parts are the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and the automatic across-the-board cuts to federal spending.
NEWS
October 4, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Weary of contradicting President Obama's repeated attacks on his tax plan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a homespun version of a truism often ascribed to Soviet strongman Vladimir Lenin . "Look, I've got five boys," Romney said. "I'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that is not the case, all right?  I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans. " Yet both candidates played the repeat-it-often-enough-maybe-people-will-believe-it game on a big issue: for Obama, it was Romney's tax plan, and for Romney, it was how the 2010 healthcare law will affect Medicare and doctor-patient relationships.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
By now, most Americans who take their civic responsibilities seriously have no doubt seen, or at least heard about, Mitt Romney's peculiar approach to broad-based voter outreach. We're referring, of course, to his videotaped fundraising speech in Florida, in which he characterizes 47% of the American public as people who are "dependent on the government," who "pay no income tax" and who can't be convinced to "take personal responsibility and care for their lives. " Voters can decide for themselves whether Romney's words, taken at face value, bespeak a hopelessly crabbed approach to government's role in our lives or a principled stand for private enterprise and economic freedom.
NATIONAL
November 2, 2008 | Ralph Vartabedian, Vartabedian is a Times staff writer.
As Americans head to the polls, they carry their deep fears about the economy coupled with the weight of dire warnings about the potential economic fallout of an Obama or McCain presidency. Democrat Barack Obama is accused of having a "socialist agenda," and Republican John McCain allegedly wants to further enrich "millionaires and billionaires." To listen to the campaigns, the risks for ordinary Americans are extraordinary. The heated rhetoric is tapping into more than politics as usual.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
Whatever the ultimate shape of the "fiscal cliff" solution that has preoccupied all Washington, and a fair swath of the rest of country, in the final days of 2012 and into the new year, Americans of all walks of life should be asking themselves this question: How do we like being conned? The deal, passed by the Senate on New Year's morning, was made final late Tuesday when the House of Representatives signed on. Its essential elements include expiration of the President George W. Bush-era income and capital gains tax cuts on couples' incomes over $450,000, and a modest increase in the estate tax. Unemployment benefits and tax credits for lower-income families will be extended.
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