Friday, September 24, 2010

An Observation.

Four years ago, our TV was bombarded by ads for Jumbo home loans, teaser-rate home loans, no-interest home loans, etc. Now we see many ads for companies that will help you "walk away from your mortgage, scott-free". God, what hath we wrought?
Obamacare's Collateral Damage.

Tucked in the deep recesses of the Obamacare Law is this mind-blowing tax-reporting provision (as reported by the Paper of Record):

...To improve compliance, the new health care law requires businesses to file tax forms known as 1099s identifying anyone to whom they pay $600 or more for goods or merchandise in a year.

Businesses will also have to send copies of the form to their vendors, suppliers and contractors. The forms are already widely used to report various kinds of payments of taxable income other than wages, like interest income or dividends. But the health care law requires filing the forms in many more instances than they were typically used before.

The premise of the requirement was that businesses would be more likely to pay taxes on their income if they knew that the income was already being reported to the Internal Revenue Service by their business partners...

The claim is that whopping $17B in additional revenue may be recovered over the next ten years. Of course, the cost to businesses - particularly small businesses - is not considered. Former GE CEO Jack Welch made the following observation: a independent truck driver who hauls cross-country loads will have to issue 1099s to dozens of truck stops, simply for fueling-up his rig, or face the wrath of the IRS.

This madness must end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The President's View on Taxing Investment Return.

Another telling moment at the President's CNBC Wall Street Town Hall: during an exchange about taxes on the Ultrarich, the President suggested that it was only reasonable that a Big Wheel should pay taxes on his dividend income at a rate closer to the higher rate that his secretary pays on her wages. Perhaps the President forgot that taxes were paid on those dividends before their distribution, as income to the company. Also, the Big Wheel is not getting a guaranteed return in exchange for his labor, but the secretary is. The Wheel is also risking a loss on his capital investment, but that is another tax policy argument. Perhaps the President forgot these facts. Then again, perhaps he didn't know them - unlikely - or maybe his ideology guides him otherwise.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wonderland Comes to the Street.

On CNBC the Lecturer in Chief expounded on the economy, blaming others (GOP, Bush, the Ultrarich) for all problems, and generally how those who disagree with him are just so wrong. Lots of Obamites in the town hall crowd, and one could swear there was an APPLAUSE sign over them.

Outrage of the event: the President claimed that government is less intrusive than it was thirty years ago. Make sure to pick up your jaw before leaving the room.