50+ YEARS OF TAXES

by Matt B


Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of people in the US who is having trouble paying their mortgage? You are not alone, but what are you doing to help your situation?

It seems as though the US government as of late is all too anxious to dump money into big business to ensure that our capitalist system is not broken. Does that make you wonder what they have planned for citizens?

Here is what the newest “stimulus bill” has in store for us: (From: USA Today)

Aid to poor and unemployed:

$14 billion for one time payments of $250.00 to social security recipients
$40 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec 31, 2009
$20 billion to increase food-stamp benefits by 14%
$3 billion in temporary welfare payments
Aid to veterans and Social Security recipients:
$14 billion to give one-time $250 payments to Social Security
recipients, poor people on Supplemental Security Income, and veterans
receiving disability and pensions.
Rebuilding:
$46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for
highway and bridge construction and repair; $8.4 billion for mass
transit; $8 billion for construction of high-speed railways and $1.3
billion for Amtrak; $4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $4
billion for public housing improvements; $6.4 billion for clean- and
drinking-water projects; $7 billion to bring broadband Internet service
to areas with little to no coverage.
Health:
$21 billion to provide a 60% subsidy of health care insurance premiums
for the unemployed under the COBRA program; $87 billion to help states
with Medicaid; $19 billion to modernize health information technology
systems; $10 billion for health research and construction of National
Institutes of Health facilities.
Education:
$54 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid to
school districts, with up to $10 billion for school repair; $26 billion
to school districts to fund special education and the No Child Left
Behind law for students in K-12; $17 billion to boost the maximum Pell
Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.
Tax Credit:
About $115 billion for $400 per-worker, $800 per-couple tax credits in
2009 and 2010. Credit phases out for individuals with adjusted gross
incomes of $75,000 to $90,000 and couples with Adjusted Gross Income of $150,000 to
$190,000.
Other:
About $70 billion to spare roughly 24 million taxpayers from being hit
with the alternative minimum tax in 2009. The change would save a
family of four an average of $2,300.

Ok, lose count? That accounts for just over $500 billion. What do you think so far? To be honest, the only thing I like here is the Education piece. I’m all for dropping money into the educational system. Ok, we have got more to go over. Here are the rest of the “highlights” of the bill that no member of the house or senate fully read.

$5 billion in aid to states to use as they please to defray budget cuts. $2.8 billion for homeland security programs, including $1 billion for airport screening equipment. $4 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment. About $13 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples with incomes over $160,000. About $13 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples with incomes over $160,000. $3.7 billion to repeal a requirement that an $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, unless the home is sold within three years. $5 billion to extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up depreciation through 2009. $2.5 billion to make sales tax paid on new car purchases tax deductible.

Ok, I apologize for that. I swear I’m not trying to bore you to death, but I see NO REAL RELIEF in all of these numbers for current homeowners. Which brings me to my point. Our government is not going to pay for your home for you. I know that is aggravating, but it is the truth. The only way to get yourself out of the situation you are in is to find a way to make it work. What I mean by that is, find all of the extra ways you can to make money. Some will fail, but if you sit back and take no action yourself, waiting for a handout, you WILL be disappointed.

I’m not trying to be condescending, but this bill is not going to help everyone who is in trouble. In fact, in my opinion, it will not help most. That is why the best plan you can implement is to help yourself, and safeguard your finances so you will be ready for situations like the one we are in. Hopefully, my entire generation will take from this “crisis” the knowledge and skills to persevere when rough economic times are upon us.

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