Saturday, January 26, 2008

Read It And Weep

From a Q&A at ABC News:

Question: "Tax rebate. Sounds good on the surface but last time Bush and company gave us a rebate we had to deduct it as income on our taxes the following year. Smoke and mirrors people, smoke and mirrors. This is a temporary fix in an election year, nothing more. The only real fix is to dump the present tax system and make Washington stop spending like drunken sailors on leave. It's not their money, it's ours. I guess as long as we continue to re-elect the same losers we can expect more of the same."

Linda from Florida

McPherson [ABC News expert on the subject]: Linda, The tax rebate as proposed actually amounts to a tax cut on your 2008 income even though it is based on 2007 figures. The proposal calls for cutting the federal income tax rate on the first $6,000 in income for individuals and the first $12,000 for couples from the current 10-percent rate to zero percent.

The rebate proposal assumes you are having federal income taxes withheld from your paycheck now based on the current 10-percent rate. Think of the tax rebate actually as an advance on next year's tax refund.

All the details remain to be worked out, but I think it's safe to assume any tax rebates received this year will come into play when completing your 2008 return in early 2009.
Ain't no free lunch here folks.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Wall Street Welfare

I mentioned the other day that I didn't want to hear any whinning about government handouts from rich conservatives given the plethora of government bailouts going on currently.

Here is a great article on just how some of this Wall Street welfare works. And guess who pays for it? Yep. Either through taxes or higher inflation, the crap rolls downhill.



Hiring Paul Wolfowitz to advise the State Department on arms control is like hiring Lindsay Lohan as a driving instructor.
H/T Juan Cole.

Smells like Republican welfare to me.


Consumer Psychology

There's a whole bunch of back n' forth in the economic blog world about the governments stimulus package. Some of the debate revolves around who will spend the rebates and who won't. Another issue is the timing to sending the checks with the conventional wisdom being "the sooner the better".

For what it's worth, here's my take. When the checks actually go out, within reason, won't make much difference. Those who are likely to spend it (and that's most of us) will begin spending it now, long before we actually have the checks. That's what credit cards are for. In addition a whole lot of consumers, perhaps a majority, will spend the rebate amount a couple of times blithely rationalizing each purchase as covered by the rebate check. Government officials are well aware of this and counting on it to restimulate the economy well beyond the actual money spent. The only unfortunate part is that at the end of the day, many of these consumers will simply have more debt.



I haven't been seen it yet and maybe one of you can tell me. Are the proposed "tax rebates" a gift or an advance on 2007 tax refunds (like in the previous "rebates").


What We're In For

Here's just an opening salvo in what we're in for from Republican hacks if Hillary is the nominee:

Notorious Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone has launched a 527 political organization called Citizens United Not Timid (aka CUNT) to educate the public about "what Hillary Clinton really is." The organization's sole purpose? To sell $25 T-shirts emblazoned with the organization's charming name and its red, white and blue logo. The logo is supposed to evoke a woman's crotch, but it looks more like an elephant's anus (a perfect image for Stone's role in the Republican Party).
Class act eh?


Thursday, January 24, 2008

THE Database

Convinced we started an unjust war? Can't keep track of all the lies told to the American people? Wish you could access a database of them all?
The Center for Public Integrity has just what you need. You'll want to bookmark this.


Candidate Guide

H/T Rising Hegemon:


Telecoms, Round Two

Well, Chris Dodd still plans to filibuster the telecom get-out-of-jail free card. It's still a long shot, but Dodd will be fighting all of the establishment, both Republican and Democratic.


935 And Counting

We know, we know.


A Little Getaway

Geesh, I go away for a few days for a brief get-away and the stock market tanks, the Dems get into a brawl during the debates, and the conventional wisdom says that Guiliani is fading.

Frankly, I don't ever want to hear a single Republican/conservative type rail again socialism or government giveaways. The recent greed spike by the big money boys during the housing boom is now resulting in huge government bailouts to banks, mortgage companies, bond insurers and consumers. Some lesson on fiscal discipline, eh? But let some middle class person have an appendectomy (my son's cost $102,000.00!) and have to declare bankruptcy because of the burden and it's tough s@#t baby!

As far as the Dems, let them brawl. Let's get all the dirty we can out on the table. You know Republicans will be worse during the general plus make up some stuff that's a complete lie. Better toughen up now! And as far as Guiliani, hasta la vista baby. I don't like any of the Republicans, but he holds a special place in my heart as being oily.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Today's Feel Good

Link to original with thanks to Immoral Minority


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Political News Shorthand

Here's a roundup of the latest political news:

1. McCain won in S. Carolina. It will likely be his last win as future primaries are less open. Republicans don't really like him all that much.

2. Mitt won big in Nevada, even if you discount the Mormon vote.

3. Clinton barely won Nevada.

4. Obama wants to change the narrative from victories to delegate counts because of his "win" in Nevada.

It'll all shake out Feb. 5th. I'd be hard pressed to predict the Dem winner, but I think Mitt is gonna be in.