Archive for March, 2009

The Tax Day TEA Party

March 30, 2009

On April 15, 2009 there will be a “TEA” party in every state of the union. These parties will represent the voice of the American People and their discontent over the current state of government. In my opinion, this is a non-partisan event. I do not care if you are Republican or Democrat, if you have been in government for the past 16 years (at least), with very few exceptions, YOU are the PROBLEM.  Both parties have spent the USA to the brink of collapse.  We need to have responsible leaders, and we will use this blog to expose the UN-responsible hacks.

For instance, every American should protest Cape Coral, Florida NOT ALLOWING people to protest.

http://www.winknews.com/news/local/42019772.html

The following are links to other TEA Party information:

Tax Day Tea Party has a great list of your local parties:

http://taxdayteaparty.com/

American Solutions is another organizing link:

http://www.americansolutions.com/Blog/Read.aspx?guid=18c32d70-c005-4813-ad46-0ce2cb1f7164

The TAX CODE is BROKEN

March 27, 2009

I would like to point out that there seems to be a serious problem with the income tax code of the United States.

taxes-3

First, we have very prominent people (Rahm Emanuel – Current White House Chief of Staff, Timothy Geithner – Current Treasury Secretary (over sees the entire IRS), Charles Rangel – Current Chairman (that is the HEAD) of the House Ways and Means Committee (the committee that WRITES the TAX LAWS), Tom Daschle – Former Senate Minority Leader, Nancy Killefer – Nominated by President Obama to the post of Office of Management and Budget, Kathleen Sebelius – Nominated by President Obama to be head of Health and Human Services and current Governor of Kansas, Al Franken – Possible Senator, Sarah Palin – Current Governor of Alaska and former Vice-Presidential Candidate, Ron Kirk -nominated as U.S. Trade Representative) and possibly 52,000 “Rich Americans” with accounts with UBS in Switzerland that have FAILED to pay the taxes that they OWE.  This does not include any of the people that are not famous enough to have their names in the media for tax troubles.

taxes-2

Many of the politicians have said that it was an “honest MISTAKE” and this EXCUSE has been accepted by their political friends and the media.  On this point, I do NOT believe that it was an “honest MISTAKE”, I believe that it was deliberate and only came to light because of the positions that they have been appointed to or have taken.

taxes-1

IF they are honest mistakes, these politicians SHOULD have known what the tax laws are.  Tom Daschle, as a former SENATOR (TOP Senator for the minority party), was one of the people that WROTE the tax laws that he did not “understand”.  IF the politicians do not KNOW how to do their own taxes, then their accountants are required to KNOW the tax laws.  Accountants are REQUIRED to be CERTIFIED, hence the CPA (CERTIFIED Public Accountant) designation. 

Does anyone believe that these people do their own taxes??  I do NOT.  Maybe it should be a REQUIREMENT of the highest politicians that they should have to do their own taxes, without help.

Second, lets assume that these people made an “honest mistake”, and for this point I will highlight former Senator Tom Daschle.  This is not to say that he is worse than anyone else that cheats makes an “honest mistake” filing their taxes.  Mr. Daschle had to restate his earnings for tax years 2005 to 2007, because these were the years the alleged “mistakes” happened.  OK, not so bad so far.  The BAD part, that makes me so _______ (angry, frustrated, fed up, irate, incensed, etc. – pick your own descriptive word(s)), is that Mr. Daschle was AUDITED, by the IRS, for his tax year 2006.  Let me say that again,  Mr. Daschle was AUDITED, by the IRS, for the tax year 2006, one of the years that “honest mistakes” were made.  What happened after the AUDIT, you ask.

NOTHING, the IRS found NO problems with his taxes.  This tells me that one of three things has happened.  1) the IRS was involved with the “honest mistakes” and allowed them to continue, or 2) the IRS is INCOMPETENT to do their job, or 3) the tax code is soooooo complex that NO ONE can understand it any longer. 

If #1 is the case, we better have an independent investigation and people better be going to JAIL and paying substantial fines. 

As much as I complain about government and the people that work in government, it is hard for me to believe that the entire IRS is INCOMPETENT.  If #2 is the case then we should DISMANTLE the IRS and make the tax code so simple, so that we do not need them any longer.

Personally, I believe that #3 is the likely culprit.

Also, I have a problem with all of these people making an “honest mistake” and not having to pay any PENALTIES.  It seems to me that the PENALTIES, that the IRS enforces, are entirely arbitrary/subjective and should be eliminated.  This is not “FAIR AND EQUAL” treatment, as dictated in the laws of the United States.  Anyone that has paid penalties should have them refunded.  Write your representatives and senators.

If I had to offer a solution today, I would be in favor of a National Sales Tax.  If you hear people argue that the tax is REGRESSIVE, tell them this can be remedied.  I would argue that the politicians determine a Basic Living Cost.  For this example, I will say $30,000/person/year.  I have picked this number, not because it should be the number, but because it makes the math easy.  I will also say that the National Sales Tax rate be set at 20% (for the same reasons).  If these are the numbers, I say that the Government should then send every person, with a social security number (or a NEW tax number), a check, every month, for $500 ($30,000 x 20% /12 months).  This should cover the taxes for basic living expenses for everyone.  This check should be sent to everyone, and if you are a dependent, then 1/2 your check goes to your caretaker and the other 1/2 gets put into an account for you when you turn 18.  This account could be used for three things only, education, house purchase, or retirement account.  If the minor passes away then this account reverts to the government.  Because it would be beneficial to everyone to make sure the government has your information, this would help solve many other issues (census, voting registration, place of residence, etc.)  I would also make penalties severe.  For instance, if it is proved that you knowingly accepted someone else’s funds, your payments would be permanently suspended.  If you are incarcerated for any crimes, your payments would be suspended for your incarceration.  I am sure that there are other examples.

Let me, and your representatives, know what you think.

Here is a list of resources used for research on this post:

Rahm Emmanuel

From the Illinois Review

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2009/02/questions-remain-about-rahm-emanuels-taxes.html

Timothy Geithner

From the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/18/AR2009011802070.html

Charles Rangel

From US News and World Report

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/sam-dealey/2008/09/15/sorry-charlie–rangel-makes-more-excuses-for-his-failure-to-pay-taxes.html

and New York Dailey News

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/09/10/2008-09-10_rep_charles_rangel_admits_he_messed_up_t-1.html

Tom Daschle

From ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/President44/story?id=6786608

Nancy Killefer

From CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/03/performance.nominee.withdraws/

 

 

Al Franken

From News Max

http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/al_franken_taxes/2009/02/06/179148.html

And CBS News

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/30/politics/politico/thecrypt/main4057466.shtml

Sarah Palin

From the Anchorage DAiley News

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/693695.html

Ron Kirk

From Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/02/trade-nominee-ron-kirk-pay-taxes/

And CBS News

http://cbs11tv.com/local/Ron.Kirk.US.2.948418.html

A possible 52,000 “rich Americans”

Frome the Financial Times

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cfb845ba-feee-11dd-b19a-000077b07658.html

And from Forbes

http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/19/ubs-fraud-offshore-personal_finance-taxes_ubs.html

And from the Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123506522244024485.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us

Rep. Frank Pushes For Prosecutions Over Meltdown

March 26, 2009

First read this article that has been posted at CNBC.

In an interview with CNBC, Representative Barney Frank says he wants to push for prosecution of the people who caused the country’s financial meltdown.

The Massachusetts Democrat says he has no specific targets in mind, but says the most significant thing lawmakers can do is make past bad practices illegal.

Frank also said that he was glad some U.S. banks had been returning government TARP money and said that was a sign that the banks were feeling more stabilized.

Earlier in the day, Frank, who is chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, told reporters that he plans to move legislation this month on mortgage origination, predatory lending and credit cards. Vowing to turn his focus from stabilizing the financial system to reshaping it, Frank said he will hold hearings to examine creating “a strongly empowered systemic risk regulator.”

Hearings are set for March 17, 20, 24 and 26.

Frank has said in the past that he expects the Federal Reserve may be handed the new role of monitoring the financial system for risk.

Some lawmakers are concerned such duties could distract the Fed from its core role as manager of the nation’s monetary policy.

“While we will continue to work with the Obama administration on stabilization, it is now essential that we continue work on our reform agenda and address the need for financial regulatory restructuring,” Frank said in a statement distributed ahead of a news conference.

“Perhaps most importantly, the American public has the right to know what enforcement actions are contemplated against those irresponsible and, in some cases, criminal actions that lead to the current situation,” he said.

At a House financial services subcommittee hearing on Thursday, Wall Street groups agreed there should be one one risk regulator but were split on who should have that role.

The Financial Services Roundtable, which represents the largest financial services firms, advocates giving the Fed the responsibility for looking across the entire financial system and identifying risks.

But the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said it has not decided whether the Fed should play that role.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a collection of state regulators, oppose the creation of one super regulator.

And some key lawmakers have reservations giving the Fed more powers, citing potential conflicts with the board’s current responsibilities of setting monetary policy and supervising banks.

“Are any of you troubled with giving the Fed so much power?” asked Alabama Rep Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the full House Financial Services committee.

Lawmakers at the subcommittee hearing also expressed reservations about rushing ahead with a plan to create a systemic risk regulator.

“We have to get this one right. We can’t just hurry to expeditiously conclude something that appears to be a fix, when it does not accomplish something of a significant nature,” said Pennsylvania Rep Paul Kanjorski, the Democratic chairman of the House subcommittee on capital markets and insurance.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29532023

I agree wholeheartedly with this article and Rep. Frank, and since Rep. Frank does NOT(?) know where to start, let me make a suggestion. 

I believe that we should start with the criminally negligent behavior and obvious conflicts of interest that are associated with Rep. Frank.

 The following are a few links to details of the specifics.

http://www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2008/20080924145932.aspx

and from U.S. News and World Report:

These two entities—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/sam-dealey/2008/9/10/barney-franks-fannie-and-freddie-muddle.html

Democrat Barney Frank, then ranking member and now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said, “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2008/10/06/democrats-were-wrong-on-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac.html

From the Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/28/franks_fingerprints_are_all_over_the_financial_fiasco/

And from Fox News:

Detailing the fact that Frank was dating/living with an Executive of Fannie Mae.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432501,00.html

And the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122091796187012529.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

And the Tax Foundation:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/23617.html

And Barney Frank was one of the Top 30 politicians receiving campaign contributions from Fannie Mae

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/update-fannie-mae-and-freddie.html

Along with Christopher Dodd and John Kerry and (although he only voted present, so maybe this does not count) Barack Obama.

Lets start with Representative Barney Frank in front of a Congressional Inquiry and Independent Prosecuter and we will go from there.

And for those that need more information from the beginning of the problem, here is an article from the New York Times, dated 1999 (Thank you President Clinton), written by Steven Holmes.

“But the government-subsidized corporation (Fannie Mae) may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.” (emphasis added)

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7DB153EF933A0575AC0A96F958260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink