11:08 pm, April 18, 2015

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  • Nip and Tuck or Guillotine Time?
    Celtic Wolf
    Some people when they go on diets attempt to stop eating, or drastically cut certain food types and/or force purging of food. Apparently Congress is using these quick and often found out later worthless attempts. As many dieters learn, the operative word here is learn, is that dieting and health is a long term commitment. It is a change in Lifestyle. Congress needs to rethink how and on what America spends its money. The Federal Employee Benefits Package is not the solution to America's long term economic woes. We need to look at our Defense Budget, our entire Budget, as opposed to noticing one blemish they call out and have bashed - that is us the Federal Employee. So does America seek a weakened infrastructure, that is Federal Employee base, or does it seek to regain its economic power and rethink what is truly important to expend its resources and assets on.
    Celtic Wolf
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  • We agree
    Moderate
    I agree with your position 100%. Where we may or may not agree is that taxes should be raised for the wealthy. Someone defined that as over $1 million for married joint and $500000 for single. That is more reasonable then the $250000 threshhold obama originally proposed.
    worker
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  • NUF (better than virtual reality)
    deployed decoy
    Another bit of trivia on the debt. 14,300,000,000,000 dollar bills would allow the worlds population (6.8 Billion people) about 210 days of post Nr 2 paper wipes (limited to one swipe a day per person). Course even the most green American could never live with a single swipe. So I propose we trade with countries like Bangladesh (that have no idea what TP is anyway) for extra wipe credits. We could give them hot dogs in exchange.
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  • Nip and Tuck or Guillotine Time
    O2B XFed
    I find it amazing how Congress has no trouble changing the rules that people have planned their retirement around for 30 or 40 years. Regardless of if the "chained" CPI is more or less accurate than the "old" CPI any change in methodology needs to be done prospectively not retroactively. It is one thing to tell someone in their 30s or 40s this is how your retirement CPI will be done so they can make work/life style choices but it is quite another to say to someone in their 70s or 80s you should have worked longer or saved more.
    Finally ExFed
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  • I agree
    Linda
    02B CFed, I 100% agree with you and Celtic Wolf. Thank goodness there are a few Congressmen, who although they agree the Federal Retirement should be changed, they want it to start with new hires, not those already on board. Hopefully, that rational thinking is used.
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  • I agree
    Moderate
    I agree with both of you. Too bad this is political and not rational.
    worker
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  • It'll Never Happen
    X-taxman
    WOW Mod you are very agreeable today. Are you ok?? I fully agree it's a shame that people that gave 30-40+ years of their lives to the federal government and planned carefully for their retirement will have those plans compromised to pay for politicians' bad decisions. Yes, they should be exempt from the new COLA calculation but I can't reasonably expect there will be two categories of COLA's. They'll say that would be too costly to maintain, and that we all have to pitch in, yada yada yada. It sucks for sure.
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  • Agreeable
    Moderate
    I look at the issue and the comments and make my comments accordingly. I am not conservative and not a lock step liberal. And I do not trust politicians whether they are liberal or conservative. If you have read my writings, you know I am pro fed employee.
    worker
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  • it's definitely the guillotine
    marien
    While making a big deal about federal pay and retirement benefits, etc., the blade on the guillotine is being sharpened and weighted and balanced by the Gang of Six and their proposals. Contained therein is removing much of the mortgage interest deduction and other tax deductions that the middle class cherishes while "revising" the tax code. The revised tax code will, of course, mean a much lower rate for corporations and America's top money makers. The revisions to deductions, i.e., tax increases, coupled with no COLAs, frozen and reduced take home pay, increased health insurance premiums, etc., will hit the middle class right at the top of the neck near the chin.
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  • Tax Changes
    Linda
    I must admit, I agree with some of the tax changes proposed. I also agree with a lower income tax for Corporations. We do need to be competetive with Europe. But, I would also make it that if it is sold in the US, it is taxed in the US, and if it is not made in the US, then their COGS is greatly reduced. Let's bring some jobs back!...............As far as the Mortgage Interest Deductions, only 40% of taxpayers actually itemize deductions, and some can itemized without have a mortgage. So it is not as big a hit as you might think, unless you are one of those 40%. I would agree that if a mortgage is used for something other than remodeling or improving the home, the interest should not be deducted at all. Let's stop people from using their homes as ATMs. Of Course, that is not happening right now due to the deflation of housing. Old mortgages would also have to be grandfathered in. So if, you already have that type of loan, you don't lose it, but can't do it again.........Canada doesn't have a deduction for home mortgages and their housing market is better than ours right now. I don't object to loosing the Mortgage Interest Deduction as long as we also loose the EITC, Child Tax Credit, Advanced Child Tax Credit, etc. But, agree, it would have to be only for new loans. The housing market is already in the toilet, now would be a good time to do this for new loans, as it is probably not going to effect the market that much at this time.
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  • The tax code
    Moderate
    You and I will disagree with the home mortgage issue. Your 40% may be correct, but how many of the new home buyers deduct home mortgage interest? That is when interest is highest. This is a subsidy to help the newer home buyer--------------Also enforcing your use of the money would be very difficult. The IRS is already losing auditing people. I believe it would be very difficult to enforce your suggestion. Auditors have better fish to fry.----------The EITC is a way to help the poor who are working. It also encourages them to work rather than be on welfare or into crime. I believe eliminating that would be a bad move. I have no comment about the child credit.
    worker
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  • It's Too Late for Surgery
    LS
    This is a crisis created by Congress, and specifically by the new Tea Party Republicans. Their inability to see the problems which will be created by not raising the debt limit goes to demonstrate their stupidity. At this point, it's too late for the Gang of Six or any other group or process to negotiate a comprimise, draft a bill, and get it passed in both houses of Congress. A "gang" is not the way to do legislation anyway. What we need now is a simple bill that raises the debt limit without anything else included. There isn't time for anything else. If Congress fails to do this, there are only two possible outcomes. The President can act on his own to raise the debt limit, or ignore it, under the constitutional mandate to honor our debts. The alternative is for our country to go into default and stop payment of some of our obligations. If it comes to that, I hope the President issues an Executive Order to his agency heads that specified that the agency heads notify entitlement recipients how their representatives and senators failed to pass a bill to raise the debt limit and that is why they are not receiving their payments. That letter should go out every month until Congress does its job.
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  • So True
    Linda
    Congress should increase the debt limit to cover the 2011 budget, plus some for the delay in getting the 2012 budget done. Then start the tough cutting and income increases. There are a lot of ways to increase revenues without increasing "taxes" per se. Such as reducing deduction, changing definitions, etc. One to change for me is for the day traders and people like Warren Buffet. Warren stated on TV his "salary" was only $13,000. So he is paying next to nothing is FICA taxes. He is "earning" his money in the stock market. The day traders buy and sell stocks, and if more than a year old, get the lower capital gains rates, can right off all of their expenses on Schedule C and don't pay a dime in FICA taxes. Trading stocks is their job, they should pay FICA on it like everyone else. The same for the people who buy and sell land, etc...................Do some of the government agencies duplicate each other......sure.......find out which ones they are and consolidate them. Get rid of the upper management and keep the worker bees as the job will still need to be done. I would guess with the age of the Federal Work force, early outs would solve the problem of reducing federal employees in duplicate positions.........Increase the staff at IRS for enforcement.......Gee, they collect 98% of the revenue......Congress wants to be stupit and cut their budget.....Don't get that one.
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  • To Linda
    Moderate
    Day traders are investors. If you want to call them schedule C people, you would have to write a precise law that defines a day trader fairly. That might be difficult to do in a good legal and not challengeable way. I believe that if you sell more than 5 plots of land, you are considered in the business and the profits are ordinary income. Please check the Code or regs for details.
    worker
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