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Posts Tagged ‘tax’

Seven Reasons We’re Buying a Home and Four Reasons We’re Not

March 28, 2011 Comments off

irvinehousingblog.com

Although the housing bubble and bust may have shattered notions that home prices have nowhere to go but up, Americans haven’t lost their love for owning a home.  In the latest Allstate/National JournalHeartland Monitor poll, homeownership ranked second, just behind raising a family, in people’s definition of the American Dream. Despite new home sales’ drop to a record low, about four-fifths of respondents said that owning a home is still a better financial decision than renting, and nearly nine in 10 homeowners say would buy their home again.

Those results also underscore the extent to which Americans see buying a home as a deeply personal decision. It seems the decision to buy a home is made from the heart, while the decision to rent comes from the wallet.

That is a great way to look at the situation. Most people want to buy and own. Those who look rationally at the costs often chose to rent, not because it’s the most emotionally pleasing choice, but because it’s the most financially sound decision. Those who chose to rent recognize that being house poor is its own form of Read more…

U.S. Treasury Secretary Admits U.S. Default is Imminent

January 24, 2011 Comments off

By James West

Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary, admitted in a letter to congress dated January 6th, that the United States Treasury would be forced to default on its credit obligations without clearance from congress to raise the amount of money tha the treasury is allowed to borrow.

After citing a list of “extraordinary measures” congress has had to resort to int he past to avoid entering a state of defualt, Geithner stated, “Once these steps have been taken, no remaining legal and prudent measures would be available to create additional headroom under the debt limit, and the United States would begin to default on its obligations. The extraordinary measures include, “suspending sales of State and Local Government Series (SLGS) Treasury securities; suspending reinvestment of the Government Securities Investment Fund (G-Fund); suspending reinvestment of the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF); and determining that a “debt issuance suspension period” exists, permitting redemption of existing, and suspension of new, investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF).

That the United States has already defaulted on its obligations is beyond dispute, at this point, as its the rate at which its debt service obligations is growing exceeds the rate at which the United States GDP could possibly grow, meaning that, without drastic cuts to governmenbt spending, the debt can only continue to grow.

Before our very eyes, the so-called leadership of the world’s largest economy is intentionally bankrupting the country and devaluing its currency in what can only be a precursor to rampant inflation. Since the integrity necessary to manage this problem does not exist within the United States political system, the rest of the world has no choice but to stand by and watch the value of their United States Treasury Bills diminish incrementally on a daily basis. Selling them will only exacerbate the problem, but the question must be asked, how long until the remedy is preferred over the miserable condition?

Geithner goes on to say, in a remarkable baring of the national soul,

However, if Congress were to fail to act, the specific consequences would be as follows:

The Treasury would be forced to default on legal obligations of the United States, causing catastrophic damage to the economy, potentially much more harmful than the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Read more…

We told you so: government gearing up to go after churches

January 21, 2011 Comments off

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to head an independent commission that will obtain feedback about the financial practices and oversight of churches and religious groups nationwide.

The goal is to help determine best practices and changes that encourage compliance with federal tax laws and maintain financial integrity within the religious community while avoiding new laws mandating such behavior. But those involved say it’s too early to tell how the commission’s work will affect any changes—or whether it can prevent any new laws—and how long it will take.

In a press conference called this morning in Washington, D.C., ECFA leaders outlined requests made by Grassley, who yesterday released his final report of a three-year inquiry into the financial activities of six high-profile media ministries. The issues to be explored “could potentially affect every house of worship and every member of the clergy in America,” said Michael Batts, an ECFA board member who will chair the special commission.

Grassley’s office contacted the ECFA three weeks ago to indicate its report of the six ministries—in which only two fully cooperated with investigators and no ministry received a penalty—was imminent. Read more…

Categories: GOVERNMENT Tags: , , , , ,

Oklahoma budgets could be cut up to 10 percent

January 16, 2011 1 comment

OKLAHOMA CITY — The head of the Senate committee overseeing the state budget is warning agency heads to prepare for funding cuts of up to 10 percent and directed them to produce plans on how to make the reductions.

Sen. David Myers, the new head of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, said Thursday he has begun giving agency heads the bad news as legislative leaders consider ways of filling a deficit estimated at nearly $600 million, or 10 percent of the overall state budget.

Some agency officials were shaken by the magnitude of the potential cuts, he said. “They’re giving us those responses, which in some cases are pretty painful,” Myers, R-Ponca City, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We’re going to have to look at those and evaluate how much pain do we want to put here or there. We’re going to be looking at that very steadily over the next few months.”

Although lawmakers have known the size of the estimated deficit for months, Myers’ comments are the first to specify the potential cutbacks envisioned in state programs.

Alex Weintz, spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin, said the extent of the reductions needed won’t be known Read more…