It's My Money and I want it yesterday!

The problem with Over-taxing Capital Gains

Posted on October 1, 2011. Filed under: Conservative Issues, It's My Money and I want it yesterday!, Liberal Craziness | Tags: , , , , , , |

Full Disclosure: I am not rich, by any means. In fact, I still verify that I have enough money in my checking account each month before I set up my automatic bill pay for my mortgage. I admit, this may mean I have more money than many people. But, I also believe I represent the majority of Americans (who are homeowners).

I’ve been hearing a lot of banter lately on the media (radio and TV) with regard to everyone paying ‘their fair share’. My immediate reaction is, “yeah, richer folks (I mean insanely rich, like 2,000,000 or more in net income) can afford to pay more in taxes.” I further listen to the debates and realize that there’s a very important component missing in information being shared by the media: Taxing Capital Gains Hurts middle America too!

Here’s my logic:

I’m earn an income (less than $100,000 per year in the household). From that gross, I pay a huge portion in taxes to Federal government (they take it from me before I even have a chance to complain) and the State government (same complaint). I then take a small percentage out of each paycheck and place the money in a savings account since I have no health insurance coverage and I believe in personal responsibility first. I also believe people should use local support when needed and not rely upon the Federal government (which should be busy worrying over our country’s safety, borders, etc. instead). I end up saving a small amount of money each month which goes into savings. Over the years, I’ve pooled this savings and used it in a trading (stock) account. Through careful research and education, I’ve been able to do both short term and long term trades which have resulted (mostly) in a very good gain. I’ve had plenty of losses, but the wins have helped me to a good net gain. Until this big craziness over increasing the Capital Gains tax, I’ve been doing reasonably well to stay ahead of an overall net loss (due to taxes). If I consider the tax bracket in which I sit and the gains which I am able to earn in my stock trades, I am not rich – but I am not poverty level. My income is still under $100,000 but life is good.

Here’s where the fun begins. The ‘Class Warfare’ issue brought on by the administration in Washington and the self-deprecation from Warren (the big Berkshire Hathaway) has led the mainstream media (read this as folks like Chris Mathews and Ed Schultz, among others) to vilify anyone who wishes to make any income with “capital gains”. I’m  now in that category and I am NOT rich. As I’ve said to my friends, “Heck, I am just trying to make a living here. What did I do wrong?”

So, let’s say Washington (read that as Obama, Reid, et al.) get their way and the capital gains tax is raised across the board for everyone who earns it (yep, even if you only make a very small portion of your income in capital gains). I’ve suddenly lost the opportunity to have additional profits that are useful once the taxes take away a sizable portion of my gains. Further, the clever irony is that the money I used to invest in these equities is money which I received AFTER taxes were imposed. This means I’ve already paid taxes on the income. Now, I am going to pay much HIGHER taxes on the small gains I am able to make. Why should I even go to the extra trouble to 1) research various investments, 2) plan my investments, and 3) manage my accounts to make a reasonable return when the gains I used to count on to make it all worth while are now taxed to nearly nothing?

I’m fearful that the general population will fall victim to the demagogues who help them “feel good” about “being poor” since the “rich folks” will be punished with higher taxes on their gains. I’m pretty sure most people really have no idea what capital gains are. Therefore, they think, “Why not tax something I don’t have?”

I’m only one person. So, Barney Frank reading this would say, “Why should I care? It’s only one person. I’m concerned about the ‘fair’ [re]distribution of wealth to everyone!” Frankly (no pun intended), I really worked hard for my base income and I work hard for every bit of research in my capital investments. I know it’s my patriotic duty to support the Federal government. This I do. I don’t have to be happy with the way the taxes are spent (come on, why do we give money to any companies at all?). The reasonable amount of taxes (current rate of 15%) I pay on my investment income is really the only reason I can continue doing it – I am still not rich – yet. If my various sources of income keep disappearing in larger tax grabs, I am not sure if I ever will be rich.

At least I am happy to be an American!

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Dealing with Credit Errors

Posted on April 8, 2010. Filed under: It's My Money and I want it yesterday! |

One of the most important things you can do besides paying your bills on time is to check your credit report at least yearly. If you have any errors, you better act quickly to rectify any issues you have so they don’t haunt your FICO or other scores.  For example, if you use one of the credit reporting tools from TransUnion or Equifax, then you can take a glance at your report monthly or get a notification via mail or SMS message when there’s been a hit on your report. If you don’t use any service currently, there are a number programs available from the service bureaus and such.

If you have errors in your report, your report should list procedures on curing these. If you feel you have larger issues, then take a look at the government provided info:

Correcting Errors

Under the FCRA, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take advantage of all your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider.

Step One

Tell the credit reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your report you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request that it be removed or corrected. You may want to enclose a copy of your report with the items in question circled. Your letter may look something like the one below. Send your letter by certified mail, “return receipt requested,” so you can document what the credit reporting company received. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.

Credit reporting companies must investigate the items in question — usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the credit reporting company, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the credit reporting company. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide credit reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file.

When the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must give you the results in writing and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. This free report does not count as your annual free report. If an item is changed or deleted, the credit reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The credit reporting company also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.

If you ask, the credit reporting company must send notices of any corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months. You can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.

If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the credit reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service.

Step Two

Tell the creditor or other information provider, in writing, that you dispute an item. Be sure to include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the item to a credit reporting company, it must include a notice of your dispute. And if you are correct — that is, if the information is found to be inaccurate — the information provider may not report it again.

Adding Accounts to Your File

Your credit file may not reflect all your credit accounts. Although most national department store and all-purpose bank credit card accounts will be included in your file, not all creditors supply information to credit reporting companies: some local retailers, credit unions, travel, entertainment, and gasoline card companies are among the creditors that don’t.

If you’ve been told that you were denied credit because of an “insufficient credit file” or “no credit file” and you have accounts with creditors that don’t appear in your credit file, ask the credit reporting companies to add this information to future reports. Although they are not required to do so, many credit reporting companies will add verifiable accounts for a fee. However, understand that if these creditors do not report to the credit reporting company on a regular basis, the added items will not be updated in your file.

When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal. A credit reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years. Information about an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. There is no time limit on reporting: information about criminal convictions; information reported in response to your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year; and information reported because you’ve applied for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance. There is a standard method for calculating the seven-year reporting period. Generally, the period runs from the date that the event took place.

Sample Dispute Letter

Date
Your Name
Your Address, City, State, Zip Code

Complaint Department
Name of Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. I have circled the items I dispute on the attached copy of the report I received.

This item (identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be removed (or request another specific change) to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records and court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Your name

Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing.)

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True Riches

Posted on April 8, 2010. Filed under: It's My Money and I want it yesterday! |

If you’ve never read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by N. Hill, then you’re missing out on one of the best American works on building wealth. It seems as though all the top moguls of yesterday and today have at least heard of this book. Another great book, although a bit harder to grasp for some is “True Riches, or Wealth Without Wings” by T.S. Arthur. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s introductiont:

To parents who regard the best interests of their children, and to
young men and women just stepping upon the world’s broad stage of
action, we offer our book, in the confident belief that it contains
vital principles, which, if laid up in the mind, will, like good seed
in good ground, produce an after-harvest, in the garnering of which
there will be great joy.

It’s a story which reveals a message for growth. If you’ve thought of “taking the world on” during this wonderful time (we view the current economy as a positive time for starting new ventures), then let us know if you’e like a FREE (yeah, shameless) copy to read. We’ll take care of you. I’d suggest emailing info@vraisUSA.com.

Have a super weekend!

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Credit Card Myths

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: It's My Money and I want it yesterday! |

We found some super information from one of the MSN Money contributors we’d like to share:
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/CreditCardSmarts/9BigCreditCardMyths.aspx

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Lee Barret – a crook of an investigator?

Posted on March 9, 2010. Filed under: It's My Money and I want it yesterday!, Judgment Recovery, Legal Info |

We’ve received word from one of our clients about a private investigator they used in Houston, TX. The investigator in question is Lee Barret. He works in Houston under the DBA of Houston Investigation (among other DBAs). Apparently, he’s into the habit of charging people for his investigative work then disappearing with the money. This one client explained her story in detail and we understand Mr Barret as a scam artist. If anyone reading this has encountered Mr Barret, we’d appreciate hearing more of his notoriety.

We did a brief search and discovered that he’s still operating under an expired (TX) PI license and he’s likely bilking money from other customers. He’s running an operation for Nanny Cams with his current wife (Rebecca Meadows) as well. Are there any complaints on this business as well? Let us know.

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