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TAXES: Federal

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Yid With Lid/wsj

Tim Geithner, who was picked to be Treasury Secretary (and new boss of the IRS) "forgot" to pay $34,000 in taxes. Former Senator and "non lobbyist-lobbyist" Tom Daschle was designated to run the Department of Health and Human Services got a private car and driver and didn't know he was supposed to pay $100,000 dollars in taxes on it Nancy Killefer chosen by President Obama to be the first Chief Performance Officer of the United States withdrew her name from consideration because she too has a history of not paying taxes. Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's Health and Human Services secretary, said in a letter obtained by the Associated Press that she made "unintentional errors" on her taxes and has corrected her returns from three different years. Maybe the President feels 5 is his lucky number or has so much ego that he just doesn't care, but news broke today that Lael Brainard, nominated to be Undersecretary of the Treasury Department f

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Boston Globe

“I plan to get right back in it!’’ boomed James Traficant, the former Democratic representative from Ohio’s 17th district, announcing to 1,200 cheering supporters Sunday he just might still have a little of the old magic under that memorable rug.

Just like in his salad days, Traficant promised that he would take on the federal government that he said “cheated’’ to put him behind bars for racketeering and bribery. As the crowd shouted “Run for Senate,’’ he trashed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and caused a frenzy when he proclaimed: “If we can take care of people all over the world, we can take care of people here!’’

Calling himself “a congressman and a convict,’’ Traficant, released Wednesday from prison, invoked imprisoned Nelson Mandela and said he “knew America better’’ because of his years behind bars.


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 The American Civil Liberties Union wants reality TV star Richard Hatch freed from a jail where he has been held on charges of giving unauthorized interviews.   Hatch was taken into custody after giving TV interviews that the federal Bureau of Prisons said it had not approved. He was serving home confinement for failing to pay income taxes on his $1 million prize for winning the first season of the show.

During the interviews, Hatch said the trial judge discriminated against him because he was gay. The ACLU says Hatch has a right to criticize the government.

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Taxpayers face losses on a significant portion of the $81 billion in government aid provided to the auto industry, an oversight panel said in a report to be released Wednesday. "I think they drove a very hard bargain," said Elizabeth Warren, the panel's chairwoman and a law professor at Harvard University, referring to the Obama administration's Treasury Department. "But it may not be enough." The prospect of recovering the government's assistance to GM and Chrysler is heavily dependent on shares of the two companies rising to unprecedented levels, the report said. The government owns 10 percent of Chrysler and 61 percent of GM. The two companies are currently private but are expected to issue stock, in GM's case by next year. The shares "will have to appreciate sharply" for taxpayers to get their money back, the report said. For example, GM's market value would have to reach $67.6 billion, the report said, a "highly opti

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Wall St. Pit

One of the more interesting numbers to come out yesterday was the cost per marginal homeowner of the $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit. It’s a rather astounding $43,000. That’s what it costs to lure those that wouldn’t have bought into the market.With regards to the tax credit, what really matters is the cost per additional home sold. And as I pointed out earlier today, even using the NAR numbers, the cost per additional home sold is $43.4 thousand. Here is the math: 1.9 million buyers qualify for the credit (the NAR estimates between 1.8 and 2.0 million) = $15.2 billion. The NAR estimates the tax credit resulted in 350 thousand additional purchases. So divide $15.2 billion by 350 thousand = $43,000 per additional home. And the numbers will get worse if the program is extended. This is not a trivial point as what’s at stake here is once again a government program that picks winners and then uses the fisc to subsidize those so chosen. The goal of jump starting a particularly impo

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A strongly worded report on child obesity released recommends state and local governments tax junk food and soft drinks, give tax breaks to grocery stores that open in blighted neighborhoods and build bike trails.
Also suggests that governments limit television and video games in after-school programs, require restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus and open school playgrounds and athletic fields to communities.

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The Examiner

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is perhaps best known for its volunteers' habit of signing up fake voters. This has resulted in numerous state investigations and convictions of ACORN members for voter fraud activities. But the group is also a tax scofflaw to the tune of more than $1 million, according to documents unearthed by another Louisiana-based non-profit, the Pelican Institute. Pelican researcher Steve Beatty has come across dozens of outstanding and released tax liens against ACORN and ACORN affiliates, headquartered at two addresses in New Orleans. Although some of the liens have been paid, Beatty found that several are still outstanding, including a $547,000 lien by the federal government against ACORN itself. ACORN, a non-profit, must pay federal Social Security and Medicare taxes for its employees, as well as state unemployment taxes. Even as it keeps Uncle Sam waiting for tax payments, ACORN's cup runneth over with f

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The American Spectator

If you are blessed, as I am, to have grandchildren, you may not realize that they are more than just treasured children of your children, a gift beyond measure. They are also indentured servants who will be paying off your cumulative national debt for a good part of their lives on earth. According to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) annual summer budget update, our national debt "which was as low as 33 percent of GDP in 2001, would reach an estimated 54 percent of GDP this year and grow to 68 percent of GDP by 2019." Writing on his blog yesterday, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, the same fellow who blew the whistle on the Obama administration's faulty estimates of the cost of its health care plans and was rewarded with a friendly visit with the President at the White House, says "the federal budget deficit for 2009 will total $1.6 trillion, which, at 11.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), will be the highest since World War II [emphasis added].

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The Market Ticker

This is hilarious: But many of those cashing in on the clunkers program are surprised when they get to the treasurer's office windows. That's because the government's rebate of up to $4500 dollars for every clunker is taxable. "They didn't realize that would be taxable. A lot of people don't realize that. So they're not happy and kind of surprised when they find that out," Nelson said. The amusement here is how most (if not all) states compute sales tax (charged when you register the vehicle.) When you buy a new car you pay tax on the difference between the new car's purchase price and the trade-in you present to the dealer. This is an intentional distortion in the law that is intended to favor dealers over private-party used car sales; if you sell your used car privately the new buyer pays sales tax but you do not get the offset on the purchase of your replacement vehicle - the only way to get that is to trade the car. Dealers use

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The New American

Taxes are going to go way up if the Congress passes the ObamaCare health care scheme proposed in H.R. 3200, entitled the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Just as rationing is woven into the very fabric of the bill, so are tax increases, which appear in many forms all the way through it, and are levied against every productive segment of society. To cite just one subtle, but very costly example: If you have employer-based health insurance, your income taxes are going to go up in an unexpected way. Your health insurance is no longer going to be a tax deductble expense, since the health plan will now be run by the government and not your employer. You will now pay taxes on the higher gross amount. President Obama, who said taxes will not rise for those with incomes under $250,000, expects you and your fellow citizens will contribute a quarter of a trillion dollars more over ten years under just this provision of the bill. A Trillion Dollars to Reduce Uninsured by 6%.