* TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb brings us up-to-date on the “progress” of the much-needed tax legislation in the lame duck (aka lame arse) Congress in “Black Friday, Indeed, for Congress: Vote Looming”
She tells us –
“Democratic leaders met this week to talk turkey and decided on two things:
1. A vote on the Bush tax cuts won’t happen until after Thanksgiving; and
2. The Bush tax cuts will be extended for those making $250,000 or less.
And that’s all we have. That means there’s a lot, obviously, that we don’t know.”
* Kay Bell touches on the same issue in “If Your First 2011 Paycheck is Smaller, Thank, er, Blame Congress” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
Thanks to the irresponsibility of the cafones in Washington that Joe Kristan “affectionately” refers to as Congresscritters the 2011 withholding tables are still up in the air.
Kay explains why January paychecks will be smaller -
“Why? Because the payroll withholding tables for 2011 that employers (or payroll companies that workplaces outsource the job to) are now based on what the law will be in January.
No, the IRS can't just take Congress' word that it will do it's job and make some final decisions on what the rates will be. Would you trust them to follow through, especially based on recent (and not so recent) history?
And the 2011 law means that there's no 10 percent income tax rate for anyone and highter tax rates for wealthier individuals.
The IRS does the work on these calculations in October or early November. The lead time is necessary to get the data to workplaces in time for them to implement them on Jan. 1.
But with the tax votes now pushed into December, expect to see your first 2011 paycheck withholding at the higher rates.
And that will mean a smaller paycheck (or two) when the coming year rolls in, even if Congress eventually extends all the tax cuts before Dec. 31.”
* USA Today tells us that, as KPE predicted in a TAX GIRL post, “House Ethics Panel Votes to Censure N.Y. Democrat Rangel”.
So now, if the full House approves formal censure, Chuck will have to stand in front of Congress while it is announced to the world that he has been a bad boy. Big whoop!
And, oh yes, Chuck will have to pay the back taxes he cheated the government out of. It would seem to me that this should be a given in order to keep his seat.
The article points out that Rangel “failed to disclose assets and income in reports to Congress and failed to report and pay taxes to the IRS on rental income from his Caribbean vacation villa for 17 years”.
Kelly quotes the reaction of Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) in her post -
“Failure to pay taxes for 17 years. What is that?”
According to Blake Chisam, the House ethics panel's prosecutor, “No other House lawmaker has been found guilty of as many counts of rule-breaking by an ethics panel”.
Rangel is a crook and should be thrown out on his arse and forbidden from running for office again!
The moral of this story is that it is ok for Congresscritters to behave unethically, and even illegally, because even if they get caught they will not have to pay any consequences other than brief public embarrassment.
And, as an aside, nobody should be allowed to be elected to Congress for 40 years. There must be some kind of term limits for all elected officials.
* Rambling Beancounter Donna Bordeaux gives us a good overview of the “Small Business Health Care Tax Credit”, one of the currently effective provisions of the convoluted “health care reform” bill, at her firm’s blog.
One problem with this credit is that is does not cover the small business owner. Among the many things that Congress does not understand is the fact that many small business owners cannot afford to provide insurance for themselves or their families, let alone their employees.