Archive for August, 2012

What President Obama and Senator Reid Won’t Tell you About Taxes

August 7, 2012

The lack of understanding of taxes in the U.S. is unbelievable. OK, I’ll take some time to educate you. Romney, Obama, Einstein and Stephen Hawking are not smart enough to figure out their own taxes. Nobody is, not even the IRS. The Internal Revenue Code and regulations add up to one million words, that’s seven times the length of the Bible. You could take the ten smartest IRS agents and have them figure a company’s tax and they’d get ten different figures.

So, accounting firms use Turbo Tax Professional Software to figure most returns and Tax Attorneys for the more difficult. Lets say you bought 100 head of cattle for $100,000 and they all died in a flood. The next year you would have at least a $100,000 loss and probably not owe any taxes. If you were running for public office your opponent would call you a skunk and say you paid no taxes. Both of those things might be true. I know a lot of people and I don’t know anybody who intentionally tries to pay more taxes than they owe. I know some very generous people but they think they can donate their money to more worthwhile organizations than the government. Organizations that don’t pay their leaders a million dollars a year or spend money on $26 a gallon biofuel.

Obama would have you believe there is something sinister about a company that pays no taxes except his darling company, General Electric. GE’s media holdings include television networks NBC and Telemundo, 27 television stations in the United States and many cable TV networks, including the History Channel, A&E, CNBC, MSNBC and Sci Fi Channel. It also owns the popular web-based TV website Hulu.

Last year GE Filed a 57,000-Page Tax Return and Paid No Taxes on $14 Billion in Profits. Harry Reid and Barack Obama probably never told you that? I doubt very seriously if GE broke any laws. They are the sixth largest firm in the U.S. and make everything from Locomotives to Jet Aircraft Engines. They buy and sell companies like you might buy and sell stock. When they take a loss it is deducted from their taxes. Whether you are a cattleman or the largest company in the world, a lot of what you do is based on the tax consequences.

Because taxes are so complicated, the Democrats can pick and chose information to propagandize for their own gain. If you have any savings invested in mutual funds, you more than likely own foreign investments. Political opponents can pick apart your tax returns, how much you paid in a given year, what charities you support, how little you donate to charity, the list is endless. Are you willing to be fat dumb and happy or will you work to become informed?

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Are You Sufficiently Prepared for Grocery Shopping?

August 2, 2012

You may have noticed that food prices are rising rapidly. Much more than the government admits. Here are some tips to help navigate the supermarkets:

The End Caps are attractive and decorative but they are often used to promote high profit items that are not on sale.

The worst buys are usually stacked at the check-out stand for impulse buying such as candy and novelties.

The items you see at eye level are the most expensive name brand items that can cost 50% more than generic. Advertising is very expensive but it does not mean name brands are better. Milk is milk, eggs are eggs, potato chips are potato chips. You may have to search for the cheaper products on the bottom shelves.

Is the price you see the real price? I am seeing stores place prices above items that look like bargains but the prices are not for those items. Creative and deceptive price tags fool a lot of people. If you complain the store will say that customers moved the items. I have seen this and complained and two days later I see the same thing.

Many times, a store will advertise a sale on a product, but if you don’t read the fine print – or look closely at the price tags – you might not realize that the sale is only on certain varieties. Maybe plain Spaghetti-Os are on sale, but the variety with franks or meatballs are full price.

Sometimes they price items in multiples like 5 for $5. In most cases that does not mean you have to buy 5. They could have just priced the items for $1 each. This uses the power of suggestion.

The most deceptive practice of all is the rigged computer. The price on the aisle is not the price in the checkout computer. Before K-Mart went out of business in my city I was seeing 50% of the items I purchased ranging up at higher prices. This happens today at just about every store. I do not believe it is accidental. The big chains are not hiring Ivy League MBA’s for nothing. Wrong pricing can mean millions of dollars to companies.

I remember a small grocery store where my brother worked in the 1950’s. The owner leaned a new broom against the checkout counter and charged everybody for the broom. If they said something the owner would exclaim, “Oh, that’s not your broom?” That pure profit was a substantial percentage of the profit. The owner later became a very prominent politician with things named after her. Sounds about right.

In all cases you have to get the magnifying glass out to ascertain the real price. I have seen some really small fine print that negates the huge bargain prices. The small print might require you to be a member of something, have a coupon or buy a case. Supermarkets have taken carnival tricks and turned them into a science. Think about shopping as a war of wits between you and the Ivy League Tricksters.