Many people that you helped when they were DOWN will be totally DISLOYAL when they get up. DON’T let that change you!!! Required from Pastor E. Dewey Smith
Is the 30-Year-Fixed Headed to 3%?
Despite a spring surge in home buying this year, especially in new construction, these lower rates should make the surge bigger and continue it throughout the summer, but that does not appear to be the case. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® reported a surprise drop in home sales in June, due to low inventory on the low end of the market, which is not as dependent on mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates are a full percentage point below where they were one year ago, and that recently sparked yet another spike in mortgage refinance applications, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. It did not, however, do the same for applications to purchase a home (HOUSELOGIC 7/27/12).
3.8% Tax Will Go Into Effect in 2013
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the health care legislation, all of its major provisions remain in effect, including the new tax that was designed to affect upper income taxpayers. The 3.8% tax is imposed ONLY on those with more than $200,000 of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) ($250,000 on a joint return). The tax applies to investment income, defined as interest, dividends, capital gains and net rents. These items are all included in an individual’s AGI. A formula will determine what portion, if any, of these types of investment income would be subject to the tax.
The tax is NOT a transfer tax on real estate sales and similar transactions. Not long after the tax was enacted, erroneous and misleading documents went viral on the Internet and created a great deal of misunderstanding and made the tax into something far more draconian than the actual provisions.
The new tax does NOT eliminate the benefits of the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion on the sale of a principal residence. Thus, ONLY that portion of a gain above those thresholds is included in AGI and could be subject to the tax.
REALTORS® should familiarize themselves with the tax, but should not advise their clients about the application of the tax. The amount of tax will vary from individual to individual because the elements that comprise AGI differ from taxpayer to taxpayer.
Senate Democrats, who are united in support of higher income tax rates for millionaires and billionaires, are paralyzed by disagreements on how to tax the estates of the wealthiest Americans.
Lobbied by business owners and billionaires, Democrats including Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana resisted a proposal from President Barack Obama to tax individual estates of more than $3.5 million — roughly three in 1,000 — at a top rate of 45 percent. The split among Democrats, who control the Senate, will give Republicans more influence on the issue after the Nov. 6 election.
“It’s something that’s really divided and perplexed our caucus about what’s the fair way to move forward,” said Landrieu, who supports repealing the estate tax and wants to reach a compromise with Republicans. “We don’t have the votes to do anything, really, with it.” As a result, when the Senate votes as scheduled at 2:15 p.m. in Washington today on a bill to extend income tax cuts that expire Dec. 31, the proposal will be silent on the estate tax. Democratic leaders in the Senate sidestepped the estate tax to focus on an issue on which almost all of them agree: Obama’s plan to let income tax cuts expire for the top 2 percent. (Read more at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-25/billionaires-may-win-as-democrats-split-over-estate-tax.html) By Richard Rubin – Jul 25, 2012
The parts of the law that pertain to expanding health insurance coverage will cost $84 billion less over the next 10 years than if the Medicaid expansion, which was to extend insurance coverage to 16 million Americans, has been compulsory for every state. Some states will expand their Medicaid programs as the ACA originally intended; some will expand their Medicaid programs less; others will expand their programs later than the initial timetable of 2014; and some states will forgo an expansion and maintain their current Medicaid programs. According to the CBO, this means about 6 million fewer Americans will be able to get health insurance through Medicaid. About half of these people will instead get federal subsidies to buy private insurance, which is more expensive than Medicaid. But the other half will remain uninsured, offsetting the extra cost and saving the government money in the end. In other words, it will cost less to do less.
The 3 million Americans who will now stay uninsured because of the new Medicaid-opt out will be among the poorest Americans–mostly poor non-parents and poor parents who live in states that already have extremely limited Medicaid eligibility rules. Click on the picture to read the entire article.
@BarackObama: “If this country is about anything, it’s about passing on greater opportunity to the next generation.”—President Obama to @NatUrbanLeague
Savings Tip: You should have 20xs your annual salary saved by the time you retire for a similar lifestyle: http://t.co/iLse9PeJ
“House Republicans are now the only people left in Washington holding hostage the #MiddleClassTaxCuts for 98% of Americans” -President Obama
Almost every day, President Obama gets letters from students who are swimming in student loan debt, and every week it seems we see another newspaper article about how the cost of college is becoming prohibitively expensive for too many American families.
While this Administration continues to do everything we can to make sure that college remains affordable and available to families in the middle class and those aspiring to the middle class, we also are focused on making it easier for families to understand the costs and benefits of higher education up-front, so that they can more easily choose a college that is both high-quality and affordable.
That’s why the Administration today released the final version of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet—an individualized standard financial aid award letter that will help students and families understand the costs of college before making the final decision on where to enroll. The Shopping Sheet is the culmination of a joint effort between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education to provide individuals with critical information about their financial decision to attend college in a clear, concise, and standardized format that facilitates easy comparisons across institution