When House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced his latest budget resolution, it predictably included harsh cuts to the vital programs for poor and middle-class Americans that are at the core of the progressive agenda.
But the House Republican budget is not just contrary to progressive values; it is also the wrong approach for our economic reality. There is nothing new here. Rep. Ryan’s budgets have all been disappointingly similar and lack a balanced approach to address our country’s economic challenges. And given the track record of this agenda, it is not just everyday Americans but also the broader U.S. economy that would suffer if the House Republican budget were ever enacted into law. READ THE ENTIRE BREAKDOWN: CLICK HER
Connecticut Is Increasing Minimum Wage to $10.10 an Hour — More evidence of how grassroots organizing changes public opinion and public policy. Connecticut has raised its state minimum wage to $10.10, the highest in the country. Meanwhile, Seattle and other cities are pushing for municipal minimum wage of $15/hour. And the Dems in Congress are pushing to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Thank you Walmart workers, fast-food workers, and others for your protests and persistence!
If the IRS comes a-knockin’, don’t be scrambling to compile your records. Many people forget to track home office and home improvement expenses, says Meighan. File away documents as you go. For example, save each manufacturer’s certification statement for energy tax credits and lender or government statements to confirm property taxes paid.
Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/common-tax-mistakes/preview/#ixzz2yOiT5V9J
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- Comcast’s executive vice president will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today to defend the $45 billion deal with Time Warner Cable as beneficial to consumers, but critics fiercely say it would give the company too much power
- Comcast’s campaign to convince U.S. officials that its proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable will benefit consumers kicks into high gear on Wednesday, when a senior executive from the corporate giant appears before a key Congressional committee.
- The proposed merger, which would combine the two largest cable companies in the U.S. and create an unprecedented entertainment and communications colossus, is fiercely opposed by many consumer advocacy groups.
- Critics of the deal say the merger would concentrate too much market power in the hands of a single media giant, potentially harming competitors and offering scant benefits for consumers. On Tuesday, more than 50 public interest groups sent a letter to the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission in which they called the deal “unthinkable” and urged U.S. regulators to block it. READ MORE: CLICK HERE
Trap #2: Line 6 – Tax calculations for recent buyers and sellers
If you bought or sold a home in the middle of the year, figuring out what to put on line 6 of your Schedule A Form is tricky. Don’t simply enter the number from your property tax bill on line 6 as you would if you owned the house the whole year. If you bought or sold a house in midyear, you should instead use the property tax amount listed on your HUD-1 closing statement, says Phil Marti, a retired IRS official.
Here’s why: Generally, depending on the local tax cycle, either the seller gives the buyer money to pay the taxes when they come due or, if the seller has already paid taxes, the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Those taxes are deductible that year, but won’t be reflected on your property tax bill. (Houselogic 1/30/14)
Get an “A” on your Schedule A form: Dodge these tax deduction pitfalls to save time, money, and an IRS investigation.
Trap #1: Line 6 – Real estate taxes- Your monthly mortgage payment often includes money for a tax escrow, from which the lender pays your local real estate taxes.
The money you send the bank may be more than what the bank pays for your taxes, says Julian Block, a tax attorney and author of Julian Block’s Home Seller’s Guide to Tax Savings. That will lead you to putting the wrong number on Schedule A.
Example:Your monthly payment to the lender: $2,000 for mortgage + $500 escrow for taxes. Your annual property tax bill: $5,500
Now do the math: Your bank received $6,000 for real estate taxes, but only paid $5,500. It may keep the extra $500 to apply to the next tax bill or refund it to you at some point, but meanwhile, you’re making a mistake if you enter $6,000 on Schedule A. Instead, take the number from Form 1098—which your bank sends you each year—that shows the actual taxes paid.
Although the expiring tax benefits were renewed retroactively in past years, that may not happen in 2014 because many in Congress would like to see comprehensive tax reform rather than scattershot renewals of individual provisions. This could delay a decision on the homeownership tax benefits until the big picture budget and tax issues are resolved. So if you can, enjoy them now! (Houselogic)
What about the reality of who controls the nation’s wealth? The richest fifth of Americans now own almost 90 percent. The top 1 percent owns over 35 percent. The bottom fifth owns almost nothing.
Yet the American ideal is starkly different. According to polls, most would prefer that the top fifth own about a third, and the bottom fifth about 10 percent. One reason there’s not more ruckus is Americans don’t know the reality. Most believe that the richest fifth own about 60 percent, and the bottom fifth owns about 4 percent. (See chart below.)
What’s the best way to inform America of what’s really happened?