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Old 2009-03-06, 19:18   Link #361
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
They dress it up but its just a loan.
Clarification: not "just" loans. They're also the primary means by which the US federal reserve control the money supply in the market. Want more money all around they "sell" cheap want less they buy them back up.

My econ teacher once told us that there used be seminars during the Clinton era of what to do (zomg!) if the US government clears all its debts and there are no more bonds transactions for the Fed to manipulate the money supply on. Needless to say, their optimism and their concerns alike are thoroughly misplaced.
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Old 2009-03-06, 20:12   Link #362
Nosauz
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I mean money is basically like publicly traded stock, though they don't pay dividends. If only lol.
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Old 2009-03-06, 21:50   Link #363
Shadow Kira01
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Cities, counties, and states issue bonds as well in order to get projects done. I own some municipal bonds -- the interest isn't fabulous but the profit from it is tax exempt.
What happens when you sell the bonds? Wouldn't they tax you afterwards which means that it is actually not tax exempt? Sorry, I am not good at business.
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Old 2009-03-06, 22:15   Link #364
Nosauz
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The interest you earn from the bonds is not taxed, since I'm still a student, and I'm only studied managerial accounting I don't know if the sale of a bond is taxed but I believe it isn't because its basically an equivalent exchange of money. Its like giving an IOU, but the governemnt doesn't tax the interest.
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Old 2009-03-07, 02:29   Link #365
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Minato View Post
What happens when you sell the bonds? Wouldn't they tax you afterwards which means that it is actually not tax exempt? Sorry, I am not good at business.
You don't sell the bonds. When the bond matures, you take it to the issuing entity and they give you the cash for it back plus interest. Functionally from the user view, its like a CD (certificate of deposit) a bank issues. You give them the money for X years and at the end you get it back plus interest. You only pay tax on the interest a CD generates. With the municipal bond, there's no tax on the interest it earned.

Example (highly simplified) -
1) You *buy* a 10 year bond for $20000.
2) Wait 10 years.
3) You return the bond and they give you $22000 if it was a 10% simple interest (more if it was compound).
4) You've now got $2000 more dollars that won't be taxed as income.

Naturally the bond-issuing entity has to actually come up with the money at some point. Typically they're issued for infrastructure or improvements to the community. The issuing entity figures their revenues will be enough to pay off bonds when they mature.

So when the Chinese buy US bonds and notes, they're betting the US will be around and solvent enough to make good on those instruments when they mature.
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Old 2009-03-30, 23:41   Link #366
Reckoner
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Obama practically fired the CEO of GM today, so all those people complaining about socialism might actually have something to start really backing up their statements. However, the CEO really did deserve to get fired...
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Old 2009-03-31, 00:10   Link #367
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Sources in the White House say the White House requested Wagoner resign. Since when does the White House decide who is entitled to run a company? I can't wait to hear the obamessiah's minions justification for this.

By the way, I think Wagoner was a part of the problem at GM, and he, among others, needed to go. But Obama has FAR exceeded his powers with this. I don't suppose he'll ask for the president of the UAW to step down.
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Old 2009-03-31, 00:17   Link #368
Vexx
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Um... since the government has basically taken GM into receivership, loaned them a few billion dollars and the executives simply went on with "business as usual". This is basically declaring GM bankrupt without saying so... they stopped being an independent company when they took the taxpayer's money (i.e. a majority stake in the company). A majority interest stockholder can always pull such triggers.

Last I checked the UAW wasn't bankrupt -- but its obvious if they don't also move faster, their leadership won't be around either.

The only thing I question here is that it may have been cleaner to *let* these "too big to fail" companies go into bankruptcy -- but a regular bankruptcy would have been devastating to the economy far in excess of the immediate circle. This little drama is probably the best demonstration of why corporations should be limited in scope as they used to be.
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Old 2009-04-16, 20:29   Link #369
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Found a article on Congress wanting to slap sales taxes on online shopping, which isn't very good news...
Quote:
Tax-free Internet shopping may be at an end
If a little-known but influential alliance of state politicians, large retailers, and tax collectors have their way, the days of tax-free Internet shopping may be nearly over.
A bill expected to be introduced in the U.S. Congress as early as Monday would rewrite the ground rules for mail order and Internet sales by eliminating what its supporters view as a "loophole" that, in many cases, allows Americans to shop over the Internet without paying sales taxes.
Currently, Americans who shop over the Internet from out-of-state vendors aren't always required to pay sales taxes at the time of purchase. Californians buying books from Amazon.com or cameras from Manhattan's B&H Photo, for example, won't pay sales taxes at checkout time that they would if shopping at a local mall.
"We will have the bill ready for introduction by next Monday," said Neal Osten of the National Conference of State Legislatures. "We finalized the language and now we're working out the remaining issues and adding some new provisions at the request of various stakeholders."
This is hardly a new debate: pro-tax officials and state governments have been pressing Congress to enact such a law for at least seven years. They argue that reduced sales tax revenue threatens budgets for schools and police, and say that, as a matter of fairness, online retailers should be forced to collect the same taxes that brick-and-mortar retailers do.
Even though those arguments have been unsuccessful so far, the National Conference of State Legislatures and its allies believe the recession has sliced into sales tax revenue so much that Congress will have to act. A report this week from the Rockefeller Institute says that sales taxes have declined by 6.1 percent, the largest decline in half a century.
"One of the big things the states have learned in the recession is they have declining revenues," said Scott Peterson, executive director of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, which counts state politicians and tax collectors on its governing board. "We're very optimistic about Congress this year. We think we are within a day or two of finalizing the legislation."
The final legislation is expected to be introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, and Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat, who have championed similar proposals in the past. Delahunt's office on Wednesday confirmed he was interested; Enzi's did not respond.
On the other side are the Direct Marketing Association, the Electronic Retailing Association, and companies including eBay, L.L. Bean, and Overstock.com. One of their biggest objections to the idea of collecting sales taxes on out-of-state shipments is the dizzying complexity of state laws.
Take candy, which would seem to be a straightforward item to tax. It isn't. During a 2003 discussion of tax policy, a representative of Indiana, James Turner, noted that a proposed definition of candy would have taxed the Milky Way Midnight candy bar but not the original Milky Way bar.
But further investigation showed that Turner's counter-proposal would have treated "certain flavors of Pop Tarts" and Cookies and Twix Crunchy Cookie Bars as candy--but not Cookies and Snickers Crunchy Cookie Bars. Peanut butter Girl Scout cookies would be candy, but Thin Mints or Caramel deLites would be classified as food.
Bizarre distinctions like this, coupled with the existence of more than 7,000 different tax agencies, are why the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that out-of-state retailers generally couldn't be obligated to collect sales taxes unless Congress changes the law. The justices noted in a 1992 case called Quill v. North Dakota: "Congress is now free to decide whether, when, and to what extent the States may burden interstate mail order concerns with a duty to collect use taxes."
One exception to that rule is a legal concept called "nexus," which means a company can be forced to collect sales taxes if it has a sufficient business presence. If Amazon had an office in California, it already would be collecting sales tax for Golden State residents. (Another exception is the sale of cigarettes, which is covered by the Jenkins Act.)
In response to complexity concerns, the pro-tax forces have offered a proposal that they hope Congress can be persuaded to adopt. The concept is called the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement, invented in 2002 by state tax officials hoping to straighten out some of sales tax laws' most notorious convolutions.
Since 2003, more than 20 states have signed on, either wholly or partially, to the agreement, meaning they agree to simplify their tax codes and make them uniform. If enough states participate, proponents believe it will be easier to convince Congress to make sales collection mandatory for out-of-state retailers.
"You'll see governors from states who are active participants pushing the Hill to move the issue forward--Kansas has been a long-standing leader. North Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma, those are some with members on the governing board," said David Quam, director of the office of federal regulations at the National Governors Association. "The states have done the heavy lifting of coming up with a voluntary system that makes sense. Now it's Congress' turn to grant states the authority to collect this."
Representatives of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project are gathering in Washington, D.C. next month for a three-day governing board meeting, including a "lobbying day" that's scheduled for May 13.
Under existing law, the caveat is that online purchases from sites like Amazon and eBay only seem to arrive tax-free. Legally, however, purchasers are required to pay their own state's sales tax rate--the concept is called a "use tax"--and then voluntarily report the amount owed at tax time.
California residents, for instance, are now burdened with a sales and use tax of at least 8.25 percent. State law is strict: if Californians travel to a state with a 5 percent tax and shop there, the law requires them to cough up the 3.25 percent difference when they return. Online purchases are taxed as well.
But compliance is spotty at best. California's Board of Equalization estimates the state lost $1.34 billion in 2003 because residents aren't paying use taxes--and attributes $208 million of that to online purchases.
"There's no member of NRF that does not support" the forthcoming legislation, said Maureen Riehl, vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation. "The sooner we can get it done the better, as far as retailers are concerned."
Online retailers tend to disagree. If the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) were actually simple and easy for a shipper to work with, they might be more willing to compromise, but that may not be the case.
"The states are desperate for new revenue and I think they realize they're straying far from the simplification they originally promised," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, which counts as members AOL, eBay, NewsCorp, Oracle, Verisign, and Yahoo. "That creates an urgency on their part--to get the federal mandate before it becomes clear they have no intention to simplify."
"They have no real intention of simplifying or compensating sellers for the burdens of collecting," DelBianco said. "It's a shell game."
Among his complaints: That states are unwilling to compensate sellers for the burden of sales tax collection; that small businesses with minimal sales should be exempt; that only one state (as opposed to all states) should be able to audit a business; that participating states are not paying attention to the idea of simplification and are actually making definitions more complex.
"There has to be some oversight," DelBianco said. "These guys have demonstrated--the streamlined states have demonstrated -- an inability to stick to the streamlined promise. Only the U.S. Congress is going to be able to protect sellers from unreasonable burdens."
Source: Cnet
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Old 2009-04-16, 22:01   Link #370
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Found a article on Congress wanting to slap sales taxes on online shopping, which isn't very good news...

Source: Cnet
Does that mean people who make purchases on eBay will be upset very soon? Or does it only apply to those who are American citizens? I never make purchases online, so I don't know much about it.
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Old 2009-04-16, 22:08   Link #371
chikorita157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Minato View Post
Does that mean people who make purchases on eBay will be upset very soon? Or does it only apply to those who are American citizens? I never make purchases online, so I don't know much about it.
Most likely because this bill will tax all online stores, regardless if you are outside of the state the company is operating in. This is because people don't fill in the "Use Tax," which in some states made it optional for people to fill out.

I'm against the tax bill because government should not be taxing when the economy is in bad shape... it will just make people buy even less and online companies will get the hit because of less people are willing to buy online with a tax on it and the American people already paying alot in taxes already... it would only cause more outrage (If you read the news, there are already people protesting on high/unfair taxes).

Currently, these online companies only pay their taxes on the revenue they pull in.
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Old 2009-04-17, 00:48   Link #372
yezhanquan
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Now, the main issue is not the lack of tax funds, but their efficient use. One only needs to sit down, look at the state/federal budget, and realise that a lot of money is flowing into projects which benefit a minority.
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Old 2009-04-17, 01:01   Link #373
Vexx
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Politicians have been *dieing* to tax the Intarweb since it first started engaging in commercial transactions. Yet most analysts agree it would be a Bad Thing because of the number of small operators who would simply vanish rather than try to keep books on the hideous tax codes of 50 states (+other countries?). How the hell would they handle foreign purchases? If they tried to tax it on the consumer end.... that would involve a level of intrusion into their computers not many voters would tolerate. Then there's the "where does the transaction actually happen?" problem... at the server location? at the warehouse? at the incorporated address? (all possibly in different states).

I could vaguely visualize a NATIONAL sales tax on internet purchases that was divvied out amongst the states ... but a state by state attempt would just be a pathetic mess (especially when the rules are written by technical morons ---> politicians in general).

Taxes are already paid to the state in terms of Income Tax on the profits a company make. They need to just be happy with that. States without an income tax might want to rethink their lack of one.
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Old 2009-04-19, 16:20   Link #374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post

Taxes are already paid to the state in terms of Income Tax on the profits a company make. They need to just be happy with that. States without an income tax might want to rethink their lack of one.
Not that one is the cause of the other, but states with no income tax as a whole, are the ones that have the least amount of budget problems. States like California and New York who have high income tax, are also losing tax payers and business to states that are more business friendly.
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Old 2009-04-19, 16:58   Link #375
Edgewalker
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As far as taxes go, I personally suspect that the bailouts were stealth tax increases. Basically a way to increase taxes and pay off crap without the majority of the population realizing it.
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Old 2009-04-19, 17:40   Link #376
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Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
As far as taxes go, I personally suspect that the bailouts were stealth tax increases. Basically a way to increase taxes and pay off crap without the majority of the population realizing it.
There is much debate over the bailouts passed by both President Bush and President Obama. IMO neither one would hold up to a Constitutional test. Neither one will actually do anything to 'stimulate' the economy here. They talk about 'freeing up credit', but people have over-extended themselves way beyond their means for years. Reality on their spending is finally coming home to roost.
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Old 2009-04-19, 17:54   Link #377
james0246
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Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
Not that one is the cause of the other, but states with no income tax as a whole, are the ones that have the least amount of budget problems. States like California and New York who have high income tax, are also losing tax payers and business to states that are more business friendly.
Texas has no income tax and it is 15 billion dollars in the hole. Added to that, it routinely loses 8-9 billion dollars a year because its local business pay far less taxes than they should.

Last edited by james0246; 2009-04-19 at 18:14.
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Old 2009-04-19, 18:10   Link #378
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
Uhm, Texas has no income tax and it is 15 billion dollars in the hole (one of the highest in the country). Added to that, it routinely loses 8-9 billion dollars a year because its local business pay far less taxes than they should.
Link please?

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/pubs/statebudgetgaps.pdf
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=868

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711

Oops, wrong link + failed reading comprehension.

Last edited by Cluelessly; 2009-04-19 at 18:28.
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Old 2009-04-19, 18:14   Link #379
Jinto
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Just so I get this right... at the moment there exists no law that clearly defines how sales taxes are to be collected when buying online? So to put it in blunt terms, those who have the money to own a computer with internet access can buy stuff tax free, while those who cannot effort one have to pay taxes?
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Old 2009-04-19, 18:23   Link #380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
Texas has no income tax and it is 15 billion dollars in the hole. Added to that, it routinely loses 8-9 billion dollars a year because its local business pay far less taxes than they should.
California is 42 billion dollars PLUS in the hole, and it's credit is considered GARBAGE. As I said earlier, tax payers and businesses are flooding out of my state to go to places in the South that promote growth.
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