When making tax policy, there’s a choice between carrots or sticks: Does the government give taxpayers credits or deductions for doing the right thing (buying their homes, giving money to charity, not emitting greenhouse cases) or penalize them for doing the wrong thing?
The final quarter marks the traditional time of year when kids dive into leaf piles, heating bills rise and investors with taxable accounts sell underwater stocks to help lower their tax bills.
What might be most surprising about the myriad economic problems around the globe right now is how many major world economies seem to have been taken by surprise by the concept of debt. Maybe they should have been reading more Margaret Atwood.
Are the thousands who have taken to the streets in the “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) protests a bunch of anarchistic slackers or do they have a point?
Seated in the conference room of his wealth management firm in San Ramon, Calif., Rich Arzaga breaks out a few tools to explain the investment advantages of oil and gas drilling programs. He’s got a fine-point pen and a sketch pad — but alas, no milkshake a la Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood.”
Though he first attended the Hollywood Bowl more than 30 years ago, Ron Moormeister remembers well those Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts. His voice waxes rhapsodic as he recalls the lineup: Mandy Patinkin, Julie Andrews, a Tchaikovsky Spectacular complete with the bombastic 1812 Overture.
Once the debt ceiling rancor faded, financial gurus and observers had little reason to think debate on taxing the wealthy would ignite again before Nov. 23. That’s when the 12-member congressional super committee issues its recommendations on finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
The Congressional Super Committee hasn’t even started cutting Social Security, but advocates are already expressing concern on a different front: the payroll tax cut extension proposed last night by President Obama as part of his jobs plan. Those payroll taxes fund the Social Security program.