Gov. Romney on Protecting American Taxpayers
In recent months, barely a day has passed without news or commentary on the growing number of delinquencies and forecloÂsures in the market for subprime mortgagesâthat is, highÂer-interest loans to lower-income borrowers. With stories of homeowners facing the loss of their homes, some policymakers are pressing for government intervention in the market. Is federal assistance required or will it just leave taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars and make things worse for the economy? And what can homeowners do if theyâre concerned about the possibility of foreclosure?
Policymakers are rushing to pass an economic stimulus package driven in part by concerns with the mortgage market. The proposal would cut personal and business taxes, but also increase significantly the limits on federal housing administration mortgage loans and the loan portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Some warn those increases could leave taxpayers on the hook for risky mortgage loans.
According to Pete Sepp, Vice President of Policy and Communications at the National Taxpayers Union, "The more loans FHA takes on from the private sector and backs with government money, the more risk there is to taxpayers of having to make good on those debts. By making good, that means a lot of money taken out of taxpayers pockets."
A recent Harris Interactive poll found 66 percent of respondents believe proposals that increase the size of the mortgage loans federal agencies ensure and purchase are "nothing more than a taxpayer-funded bailout of banks and lenders that provided and profited from these risky loans," said Sepp.
While the month of April and specifically April 15th has always garnered major tax-season headlines, October 2008 is shaping up as a strong rival. An estimated 15 million taxpayers should take note that this October could bring relief - or more headaches - to their tax liability depending on their tax situation. Here are just a few reasons why:
* Approximately five million taxpayers have yet to file a tax return in order to receive their Economic Stimulus checks.
* More than 10 million taxpayers who filed an extension have until October 15 to file their returns.
* In 2007, 1 in 97 tax returns were audited by the IRS, up from 1 in every 202 in 2000. That number is likely to rise again this year.
* Several key tax benefits are set to expire by year's end.
Amy McAnarney, Executive Director of the H&R Block Tax Institute, highlights the key elements impacting taxpayers this October.
Produced for H&R Block
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Rob McNealy announces that he joined the Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT), and signed their candidate pledge.
The pledge states Rob McNealy's commitment to Upholding TABOR, Oppossing tax increases and supporting property rights among other things.
Controversial tattoos are on the tongues of many Florida residents who are helping to pay for the cosmetic work of an accused murderer.
“Jurors will not see this large swastika on John Ditullio’s neck or any of the other tattoos he’s acquired since being in jail in 2006. The judge ruled those tattoos could sway a jury’s opinion. So, the state is paying a cosmetologist $125 a day to cover them up.” (MSNBC)
Ditullio is on trial for stabbing his neighbor Patricia Wells because he thought she was dating an African American man and for killing Wells’ friend Kristopher King because he was gay in 2006.
The Daily Mail reports King’s mother is outraged.
“‘The judge is bending over backwards for the criminal... Did somebody tie him down while he was in jail and put these tattoos on him?’”
The New York Times talked to Ditullio’s lawyer Bjorn Brunvand who believes covering the tattoos is the only way Ditullio will get a fair trial.
“‘There’s no doubt in my mind — without the makeup being used, there’s no way a jury could look at John and judge him fairly... It’s too frightening when you see him with the tattoos. It’s a scary picture.’”
To some, it’s a question of whether the tattoos are relevant to the case and if the relevance outweighs the prejudice.
“I would say that if he was charged with a hate crime--if the affiliation with Nazism is part of what he’s charged with then the jury ought to see the swastika. If he’s charged with an ordinary crime, the probably the prejudice outweighs the relevance.”
The St. Petersburg Times reports some aren’t happy that it’s taxpayers’ money paying for the cosmetic work.
“‘I didn't think it was right that the taxpayers should have to foot the bill for that.’”
In 2006 when the crime happened, Ditullio was living with an American Nazi group. Last year, the first trial ended with a hung jury. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
What is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?
It is a number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to facilitate tax processing. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a range between 70 and 88 in the fourth and fifth digit, example 9XX-70-XXXX.
It is a number issued to individuals who are required to have a US taxpayer identification number but who is not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from Social Security Administration (SSA).
Gary Booth CA Professional Corp.
Learn what kind of Taxpayers IRS is Targeting this 2011. Want more info on how to do your own taxes? Visit our website.
How Britain's fattest woman lost 18st - but still blames everyone but herself for her obesity which has cost taxpayers a fortune.mp4
This video will show you on Your rights as a taxpayer
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Thought you pulled a fast one on the airlines by bringing a carry on instead of paying for checked baggage? Maybe - but now the TSA has dashed those dreams. Spot-checking all those carry-ons is costing the government big bucks, not to mention putting a strain on TSA agents. And you know what that means -- travel costs are expected to go up again.
More travelers are opting to carry on their bags as opposed to paying to check them. Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano says inspecting those bags is costing the TSA $260 million a year. Napolitano says increasing the security fee by around $5 could bring her department $600 million per year. (WFTV)
While you might not pay to check your luggage, tax payers are still picking up the tab. So are we looking at yet another price hike? Philly’s WTXF wonders -- who foots that bill moving forward?
“Will you also face a higher airport security fee in the future or will airlines have to pony up some of their profits? We'll have to wait and see.”
But USA Today reports -- when asked whether airlines or passengers would pick up the fee, Napolitano dodged the question.
But no matter who picks up the tab, travel blog Jaunted had no reservations on what it dubbed its “annual ‘TSA wants more of your money’ blog post,” -- reminding readers TSA is always finding ways to increase security fees:
“... when that happens we do our part by reminding everyone what a wasteful, inefficient, careless, irresponsible, mindless, negligent, thoughtless, and other words that are synonyms for wasteful—and also obnoxious—agency they're running...”
And later in that scathing post -- Jaunted offers a different money saving solution:
“You know what would also have saved TSA lots of money? Not investing billions in their too-intrusive-to-succeed full-body scanners, only to inevitably look past the machines at technology that the public will actually accept. Think how cost-effective that would have been."
One way or another, says the Consumerist, that cost will eventually fall to travelers. So they say -- start planning now:
“If they get a piece of the bag check fees, the airlines will just push the cost to travelers in the form of higher fares. The solution is clear: fly naked and bring nothing except for your patriotism.”
MSNBC reports a security fee increase has been proposed nearly ever year since it was first introduced in 2002 - but Congress has never approved it. So what do you think, savvy traveler... A necessary expense? Or time to start searching for the next money-saving scheme?
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Cenk Uygur discusses a New York Times report on how banks are using government money meant to be loaned to small businesses to 'pay back' TARP. Also, 475 billion of TARP that was funneled through insurers like AIG has not been paid back.
Subprime mortgage troubles continue as Congress considers proposals impacting taxpayers. The measures would give the federal housing administration or FHA – the largest mortgage insurer - and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - the largest mortgage lender - a larger role in the housing market.
"Everybody is trying to propose that these agencies take on more risk-that they insure bigger loans, that they accept borrowers who have put less money down. All these things are going to shovel more risk onto organizations that aren't really well prepared to handle it," said Dr. Jacob Vigdor, economics professor, Duke University.
Concerns about FHA loans defaulting and the recent accounting scandals at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae raise questions about who's going to be left footing the bill.