Tax Rascal

Occupy Wall Street Could Learn a Thing or Two from Tip O’Neill

Categories: Economy, Featured, Politics, Tax Policy

The right wing Tea Party protests may ultimately pack more of a punch than Occupy Wall Street

Now that Occupy Wall Street is approaching the two month benchmark (and has even survived its first snowstorm), it has become common for pundits to draw comparisons between it and the Tea Party movement. Both were born of populist anger over the recession and government bailouts of U.S. banks and both have expressed that anger through showy protests that garnered considerable media attention.

Even our esteemed Vice President, never one to leave anything to subtlety, has made the connection between the two movements. Speaking of Occupy Wall Street he said, “Look, there’s a lot in common with the Tea Party. Read more...

How Much Of Citi Did We Already Own?

Categories: Uncategorized

Congratulations: you, the taxpayer, now own even more of what used to be America’s biggest bank. That’s right: the government is once again raising its stake in Citigroup by switching from preferred stock (which pays a high dividend, and is basically like a bond) to common stock (which is closer to just owning part of the business).

So, in theory, We The People own 36% of Citibank. And this is considered very big news.

But is it? Consider how much the government is already involved in Citi:

  • Most of Citibank’s deposits are guaranteed by the FDIC. Which means that when you deposit money at Citibank, you’re really lending it to the government, which is lending the money back to Citibank.

More Bailout Blues: NOL

Categories: Uncategorized

The latest bailout update is that the investment banking industry may net billions of dollars thanks to an obscure tax law the treasury department is flagrantly violating. Two quick summaries:

  • TaxProf, if you’d like to know why to blame the Democrats, and
  • A Taxing matter in case you’d prefer to blame the Republicans.

Essentially, the function of this new rule is that banks that acquire other banks can shelter their own profits by applying the past losses of their acquisition target to their own profits. So if Citigroup buys out a company that just lost $1 billion, Citi can avoid paying taxes on another $1 billion in profits (assuming Citi ever makes a profit again).

There are basically two …

Tax Q&A: Who Pays for the Bailout, and How?

Categories: Uncategorized

$700 billion. It’s an incredible number. The Troubled Asset Relief program (abbreviated TARP, often just called “The Bailout”) is an unprecedented spending spree. The closest comparison, the Marshall Plan, cost about $110 billion in present dollars, so the scope of the TARP is beyond that of any new government program.

When people hear about $700 billion in new spending, their first reaction after scraping their jaw off the floor is to ask: “Who will pay for this?” with the sneaking suspicion that the answer is, as usual, “The taxpayers.”

But it’s not that simple. The first important thing to realize about paying for the bailout is that it’s not necessarily going to mean a higher tax rate or an end … Read more...

Fake Tax Cuts, Terrifying Foreclosure Videos, Dog Taxes, and More

Categories: Uncategorized

We’re all bracing for the next debate, but the taxosphere is rolling right along. Today brought in still more outraged comments about the bailout/stabilization plan/boondoggle-upon-a-boondoggle-upon-a-boondoggle. There’s a lot to catch up on in today’s tax blog posts:


Race Car Champs, Prostitutes, Biden, Palin, and Other Tax Miscreants

Categories: Uncategorized

Today’s taxosphere is still busy digesting the new bailout, but there’s plenty of other business to discuss. A pair of high-profile tax evasion cases have gotten some attention, the credit crisis is considered in more detail, and the Biden/Palin vice-presidential debate features some gaffes on both sides.


Debates, Bailouts, Tax Evasion, and Other Taxosphere Tidbits

Categories: Uncategorized

The taxosphere is abuzz with news as the bailout continues to be debated and revised. Meanwhile, day-to-day tax issues still dominate the discussion.



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