Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Night Reading

The Palin's taxes are starting to get some notice. Today they were a couple of notes on both the WSJ and the Ny Times Caucus. Here are a couple of excerpts from the different stories:

Bogdanski writes that there’s “no serious debate . . . about the fact that at least the amounts paid for the children’s travel — $24,728.83 in 2007, according to the Washington Post — are taxable. The campaign’s tax lawyer [Washington D.C. tax lawyer Roger M. Olsen] has got at least that much of the law, and perhaps more, wrong. . . . And the fact that the state payroll office got it wrong, too, doesn’t erase the Palins’ unpaid tax liability.”

Bryan T. Camp, a tax law professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, said “There is no suggestion that either Todd or the kids are employed by the State of Alaska. Maybe they should be.” Mr. Camp added “The issue is whether Palin gets the $43,000 tax free – no income tax, no Social Security tax, no Medicare tax, not a dime.” His conclusion: The payments are taxable.

So if that is the case, how much might the Palins owe? Mr. Bogdanski said that, at the least, the family should have reported the $24,728 in children’s travel reimbursements. He calculates a tax bill of $6,000, based on a tax rate of between 25 and 28 percent. There would also be additional interest payments since last April 15.

Newsweek has a nice piece on the other VP candidate in the race, you know the intelligent qualified one. Since like me you have probably over indulged on Tina Fey's twin, you owe Joe Biden equal time. A little primer on his opinion on Obama:

Biden says Obama reminds him of Bill Clinton in his "confidence, cognitive ability, judgment" and intellectual security—that he can listen and absorb advice without having to prove he's the smartest person in the room, a critical leadership skill. He says he experienced an "epiphany" during a recent conference call on the bailout bill with Bob Rubin, Paul Volcker, Warren Buffett, Paul O'Neill, Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summers and Laura Tyson. "He [Obama] comes on the call and says, 'Well, folks, sorry I'm late. I've got four questions.' He was in total frigging command! Here's a 47-year-old guy in one of the most complicated economic dilemmas anyone has had to face since 1929 to '33. And it was like, 'Bang! Bang! Bang!' I called him afterward and said, 'You sold me, sucker!' "
Let's end it with a nice feel good story that have been few and far between. Here's the teaser:

ÅSGÅRDSTRAND (VG): Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her.

Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988.
At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.
-You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway, the man behind the counter said.
Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.
For the rest of the here

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