QUOTE OF THE DAY
Chicago Tribune: Tax and Tell
Isn't the idea to welcome job-creators?
Illinois has a reputation for being an expensive and difficult place to do business, a big reason why the state has the ninth-highest unemployment rate in the country, higher than every state that borders it. Employers want to locate where they are welcome.
So you might expect that the people who write laws in Illinois — land of 8.8 percent unemployment, $96 billion pension debt, $8 billion in unpaid bills — would be falling all over themselves to welcome business.
Washington Post: Dick Armey quits FreedomWorks
Former congressman Dick Armey has quit FreedomWorks, the conservative group he helped bring to national tea party prominence.
Armey confirms that he wrote a letter to FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe on Nov. 30, resigning from the group, as first reported by Mother Jones. He told the Post that he does not know who leaked his resignation letter.
Points and Figures: Real Life Microeconomics In Action-Crony Capitalism, Corporate Style
States and even cities are competing with each other over business. Company A decides to build a new plant. The first thing the executives do is make it public, and then wait for government officials to come and present tax bootie to persuade them to locate within their state or city. In extreme cases, it has pitted city vs city. Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas have a massive border war going when it comes to tax incentives to entice corporations to locate there.
Reason: Why AT&T's CEO Wants Higher Taxes
A skeptic might point out, however, that AT&T does a lot of business with the U.S. government. AT&T Government Solutions boasts that it employs “more than 4,000 scientists, engineers and analysts—many with security clearances” who “focus exclusively on the IT requirements of government.” One federal contract AT&T won last year had a potential value of $5 billion, which is real money even to a company as large as AT&T. The company, like other wireless phone providers, also earns revenue from the “Lifeline” program that provides subsidized cellphones—so-called Obama phones—to low-income customers. And AT&T has already seen what negative effects hostile government agencies can have on its business—when a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit and FCC opposition blocked AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, AT&T wound up paying T-Mobile a $4.2 billion “break-up fee.”
CNBC: More than 300,000 Millionaires Would Go Off 'Cliff'
The cost of taxing the rich has become the central debate in the "fiscal cliff" talks.
But the costs of not getting a deal might be even worse for the country – including the wealthy, according to a new study.
The population of millionaires in the United States would fall by 315,000, or 6 percent, next year if the country goes over the fiscal cliff and the economy goes into recession as a result, according to a new study from WealthInsight. The total fortunes of millionaires would fall by $240 billion if the cliff's combination of tax cuts and automatic reductions in government-spending were to take effect.
Reuters: Republicans reject tax hike, push cuts in "fiscal cliff" offer
Both the Republican and White House plans would rely on spending cuts and increased tax revenue to trim budget deficits by more than $4 trillion over the coming 10 years. According to the Republicans, their plan would save $240 billion more than Obama's proposal.
Beyond the headline numbers, the two plans reveal deep philosophical divisions about how the country should balance tax increases and spending cuts to put the country's finances on a sustainable course.
Republicans envision $1 trillion more in spending cuts than Obama has proposed, while Obama wants $800 billion more in tax increases and $200 billion in measures to boost the sluggish economy.
USA Today: Many jobless in U.S. don't collect unemployment
About 2 million jobless Americans fear they'll lose their extended unemployment benefits, which are slated to end next month unless Congress votes to renew them.
Their concerns make a new finding all the more puzzling: Many people eligible for unemployment don't even bother to collect it.
In the depths of the recession in 2008 and 2009, only half of those who qualified for benefits applied, a study by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank shows.
The portion filing for benefits shot up to 95% in 2010 and 2011, the study says, but that still means about 200,000 people didn't claim money to which they were entitled.
Inc.: Inside Obama's Meeting with Entrepreneurs on the Fiscal Cliff
On Tuesday, President Obama met with 15 entrepreneurs from across the country to discuss the looming "fiscal cliff." Here's what happened behind the closed doors.
When entrepreneur and Inc. 30 Under 30 alum Nikhil Arora received an email from the White House last Thursday to attend a small business meeting, he didn’t know exactly what to expect or even who from the Obama administration would be present.
He said it was only “one or two days” before the now highly publicized meeting took place Tuesday that he found out President Obama himself would lead a conversation on how to avoid the impending fiscal cliff with a group of 15 entrepreneurs.
Reuters: IRS Issues 169 Pages of New Rules
The Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.
The 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, meant to help pay for healthcare, goes into effect in 2013. It is the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income.
The tax affects only individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.