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NEWS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2012
Some members of Congress want to fire federal workers who are seriously delinquent on their taxes. Furthermore, if they had their way, prospective employees in deep tax arrears wouldn't even be considered for a job with Uncle Sam. The Republican-led House passed legislation last month that raised the consequences for federal civilian workers behind on their taxes, or anyone who wants to work for the government. Supporters say the measure is necessary to hold employees accountable, collect about $1 billion past due and foster confidence among Americans that public servants aren't ditching their tax obligations.
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NEWS
By Darrell Gaskin | July 27, 2014
The Potomac River has long been a symbolic divide between two states with divergent histories and politics. Today, the difference between Virginia and Maryland plays out in Medicaid coverage. In Maryland, low-income workers - adults living alone making $15,552 a year or less, or a family of four earning less than $31,720 - are eligible for Medicaid. In Virginia, workers with these incomes or lower are most likely uninsured. That's because the Virginia legislature last month rejected Gov. Terry McAuliffe's appeal to expand Medicaid to cover this group.
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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2010
Baltimore lawyer Kenneth Aneckstein has had a few mega-millionaire clients die in recent months. That means their families are expected to save millions of dollars because the federal estate tax no longer exists — at least for now. But Aneckstein warns heirs to keep some money on hand for the IRS, just in case. After all, Congress could pass an estate tax and make it retroactive to the beginning of the year. "We're not out of the woods yet," he says. The resurrection of the federal estate tax has again become the talk of estate planners since the death of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner this month.
NEWS
July 14, 2014
After 30 years in Washington it's time for Sen. Barbara Mikulski to go ( "Obama requests $3.7 billion to address influx of immigrant children," July 8). It appears she has forgotten whose money she is spending. Last week she appeared on local TV bragging about the federal dollars she got to upgrade several fire stations and saying how Maryland taxpayers won't have to pay for these upgrades. Has she forgotten that Marylanders pay federal taxes? J. Heming, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE | August 23, 2009
You don't have to own a Swiss bank account to evade taxes. Maybe you purposely underreport your income to the IRS or have gone along for years without filing a tax return. Or, you made a mistake significantly in your favor on the return and never fixed it. Whatever the case, it's not too late to make it right with the IRS. Uncle Sam prefers that you voluntarily come forward and pay what's due rather than having to track you down or, in serious cases, prosecute you. And while you're at it, you might need to make good on state taxes.
NEWS
April 15, 2009
Americans hate taxes but, truth be told, these days they are more afraid of depression. So while Republicans are trying to move the masses toward tax rebellion with tea parties today in Annapolis and elsewhere intended to remind us of the pre-Revolutionary dumping of taxed British tea in Boston Harbor, they are unlikely to create much of a stir. For one thing, many American taxpayers are enjoying a nice tax cut this year - part of the effort to spur the lagging economy. For another, people are willing to accept a ballooning federal deficit if it means saving jobs and promoting an economic recovery.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose Personal finance | February 7, 2010
T he tax code is huge and complicated - perfect fodder for myth-making. Perhaps the most well-worn fallacy - shot down by many courts - is that federal taxes are illegal. It's an argument often used by people who then have turned to Tax Masters, which helps filers in trouble with the IRS, says company President Patrick Cox. Some clients claimed they didn't owe U.S. taxes because they are "citizens of the world." If that were the case, maybe they should be paying taxes to the United Nations, Cox says jokingly.
NEWS
July 14, 2014
After 30 years in Washington it's time for Sen. Barbara Mikulski to go ( "Obama requests $3.7 billion to address influx of immigrant children," July 8). It appears she has forgotten whose money she is spending. Last week she appeared on local TV bragging about the federal dollars she got to upgrade several fire stations and saying how Maryland taxpayers won't have to pay for these upgrades. Has she forgotten that Marylanders pay federal taxes? J. Heming, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
December 14, 2013
I have seen several letters posted in response to The Sun's recent advocacy for an increase in the federal gas tax ( "The toll on America," Dec. 5). All of them contain amusing fallacies. One fellow wants to abolish the federal gas tax and simply rely on state taxes to fund roads. I'm wondering if he thought of the federal-state start-up formula for road projects, which now requires the feds to pay 80 percent of the cost. Clearly that policy could not be in effect if the federal government no longer collected gas tax revenues.
EXPLORE
August 1, 2011
I am writing to express my fear and frustration about our ongoing debt crisis. I am a senior living on a pension and being kept alive by Medicare. As a senior, I have a lot of life experiences and know that we are spending more money than we can ever afford. I hear the current administration tell us that if we only tax the rich more we can pay all our bills. Presently, the rich are paying nearly 70 percent of our federal taxes, and if we took all their money it would not begin to cover our current $3 trillion to $4 trillion annual debt and not even begin address our $63 trillion unfunded obligations.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
Last summer, we sang the praises of Maryland Rep. John K. Delaney's proposal to create a $750 billion fund to rebuild and expand America's neglected public infrastructure. Turns out the freshman Democrat's measure continues to build on its bipartisan support - now with a companion bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. What makes the 6 t h District Democrat's Partnership to Build America Act so appealing is that it hits two birds with one stone. The fund would be financed by borrowing money privately - allowing private companies to repatriate foreign profits by purchasing $50 billion in 50-year bonds that will pay for the badly-needed road, transit, water, sewer, energy and other projects.
NEWS
By John Fritze and Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | December 25, 2013
Thousands of Maryland bus and MARC train riders could pay more for their commute starting in January after Congress failed to renew an expiring tax credit that rewards mass transit use. Current federal law allows bus and rail commuters to withhold up to $245 a month in pre-tax income. The cap falls to $130 on Jan. 1 - potentially costing frequent mass transit users hundreds of dollars a year in higher taxes. "Transit benefits are critical for thousands of Marylanders," said Rep. Donna F. Edwards, a Prince George's County Democrat whose district is home to many federal employees who use the benefit.
NEWS
December 14, 2013
I have seen several letters posted in response to The Sun's recent advocacy for an increase in the federal gas tax ( "The toll on America," Dec. 5). All of them contain amusing fallacies. One fellow wants to abolish the federal gas tax and simply rely on state taxes to fund roads. I'm wondering if he thought of the federal-state start-up formula for road projects, which now requires the feds to pay 80 percent of the cost. Clearly that policy could not be in effect if the federal government no longer collected gas tax revenues.
NEWS
December 5, 2013
Ah, to be in the U.S. economy of 1990s, a decade when the gross domestic product grew by about one-third and unemployment dropped from 7.5 percent to 4 percent. In 1993, the federal government raised the tax on gasoline to 18.4 cents per gallon, an increase of more than 30 percent from the previous year, and business boomed. Since then, the cost of a gallon of unleaded gasoline has more than doubled, yet the per-gallon federal excise tax has remained unchanged. States have raised their fuel taxes to keep up as best they can with local transportation needs, but the federal government's source of revenue has stagnated, a problem worsened by the fact that people are driving less and using more fuel efficient vehicles.
NEWS
By Chickie Grayson | April 24, 2013
America is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis - Baltimore, too. Ten million families are paying more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent, a severe cost burden that leaves little for food and other necessities. Over 32,000 applicants (and counting) are on the Housing Authority of Baltimore City's waiting lists. Public housing authorities can only do so much. With limited, dwindling public resources, private dollars are needed now more than ever to help create affordable housing.
NEWS
March 4, 2013
The U.S. today has both historically low interest rates and large reserves of ready cash for investment by business. The interest rates and ready cash means businesses already have the maximum incentive to invest in new production that our financial system can provide; their cost of borrowing money will never be lower than it is right now. In spite of this, U.S. businesses are still not investing in new production enough to spur hiring. American businesses fail to invest because they know their market is shrinking.
NEWS
August 29, 2011
Brian Murphy suggests that if the super-rich were taxed more heavily they would move away ("Warren Buffett is wrong," Aug. 25). I don't believe that. California has higher taxes than Oklahoma, yet the super-rich still prefer California to Oklahoma. Second, moving from Maryland to Delaware is one thing, but moving to Haiti to avoid federal taxes - the country has the lowest tax take in the Western hemisphere - is another thing altogether. There is simply no data to back up the theory that the rich will flee if the United States it raises taxes on the wealthy and super-wealthy a little more.
NEWS
Thomas F. Schaller | January 8, 2013
As Washington politicians search for budget solutions, imagine if there were a magical revenue source that operated not unlike a national consumption tax that many conservatives prefer and would mitigate global warming to please liberals, all while helping repair America's infrastructure and strengthening our national security, to the delight of almost everyone. Actually, such a tax already exists: It's called the federal gasoline tax, and it's been stuck at 18.4 cents per gallon for two decades.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | January 7, 2013
By all accounts, President Barack Obama won the fiscal cliff showdown. Why anyone would take much pride in this kind of "win" is beyond me. It's a bit like being the least filthy toddler in the mud pit. One of the main reasons Mr. Obama won, according not only to Mr. Obama but an at times cheering press, is that he had a mandate. He ran on the need for the wealthy to "pay their fair share. " To his credit, Mr. Obama never said raising taxes on the "rich" will solve all of our problems.
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