Weekend Open Thread: Tax Edition   16 comments

My portfolio finished the day up 0.08%. With that done, it is time for…the weekend open thread!

Instead of the usual entertainment-related subjects, this weekend’s open thread is dedicated to everyone’s most dreaded subject: income taxes! I would like to offer a little easy tax tip.

I was doing my taxes today on TaxAct (I recommend them), and when I finished, I was getting back a $600 refund from the state of Georgia, but I was going to have to pay the federal government $42. So I went back into the program, and found the section on IRA contributions. For a simple contribution of $235 to my IRA, I turned that federal tax payment into a $3 refund. I arranged the contribution today, and now I only owe money to my own IRA account. I even increased my state refund.

In honor of my taxes, the phrase “easy money” comes to mind. With that thought, here is a scene from Rodney Dangerfield’s movie Easy Money:

I would be remiss if I didn’t include Billy Joel’s theme song from the movie:

So what tax tips do you folks have?


Posted February 28, 2014 by edmcgon in Movies, Music, Open Thread, Portfolio, Taxes

16 responses to “Weekend Open Thread: Tax Edition

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  1. I hope this gives everyone a good laugh

  2. “So what tax tips do you folks have?”

    Whiskey,boxing gloves, and heavy bag to release anger.

    • m,

      Hahaha that’s a good one. I’m going to use that from now on when people ask me.

      daily p/c ratio and volume,

      DIA: 0.79, 62.5K
      QQQ: 1.20, 514K
      SPY: 1.51, 2.37MIL
      IWM: 2.56, 588K

  3. “So what tax tips do you folks have?”

    About this one, don’t take that raise that puts you one dollar into the next tax bracket. 🙂
    Just kidding folks!
    That comes from my “Stupid things people say category.”.

    In truth Ed my tip would probably been to put in the max you can into the IRA.

    • I hear that about once a month from wind turbines guys I work with. At this point I just let it pass.
      “Why work overtime if they just take more out in taxes. My paycheck stays almost the same.”

  4. Max out your 401K, IRA/Roth IRA, and HSA in that order.

  5. Putin going into Ukraine, black swan event if the US/ EU actually comes down hard?

    • I have thought about it too. As I said before, I don’t think Putin will let Ukraine go, he has too much to loose. But I don’t think EU or USA will military interfere, that it will only stick with words on their side. Is there a moral support for military intervention in the population in USA? Here in EU not. We don’t like Putin, but we will not put our troops against him. That would start World War 3. We don’t want that, as well as the people in USA. And Putin knows that. Obama is a much worse chess-player than Putin, he makes Obama look ridiculous, as he did before in Syria. Let’s not forget this uprise in Ukraine is supported (and incited) by the West. We are the bully. And now it looks like Putin will show who’s boss, just like he did in Georgia and Syria.

    • Bobb,
      I have to agree with Plas on this one. At most, the U.S. might provide covert support to the rebels.

      • I agree with you that Putin knows he is dealing with a paper tiger in Obama. I don’t think Putin would ever have attempted something like this if we had a strong president like Reagan in office. H

        Obama and Kerry are fools, as Russia is marching in Ukraine he is putting out press release saying there will be costs….oh I am sure Putin is scared.

        What allies will trust anything he says? Line in the sand in Syria? Yeah right.

      • You mean like when he invaded Georgia in 2008?

        The Bush WH response was “Right now our focus is on working with both sides, with the Europeans and with a whole variety of international institutions and organizations, to get the fighting to stop”. Not sure how that is significantly different from what Obama has said.

        In 2008 Cheney said “Russian aggression must not go unanswered” yet not sure what was done in the end. What sanctions or actions were taken against Russia?

        Seems to me that Putin doesn’t actually care who is in the White House, he plans to do what he thinks is best in the region. In the end Republicans would be criticizing any response Obama made even if they don’t have any better ideas.


    • Well I say that the whole idea of strong president weak president is some kind of gating factor ignores many factors.
      Let me start by saying my wife is from Ukraine and all her relatives live there, so I have some idea of at least some of their views, and a bit of the history of the region, but of course I’m not an expert. Neither am I an expert on history, but I think I have some basic grasp of the key factors at least from an American’s point of view.

      First off lets look at the tools that the US and Europe has outside of direct military forces.
      Their biggest threat is “We will cut you off economically”.
      Now the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union that fell apart for economical reasons.
      The first thing to understand is that whether Soviet Union or Russian Federation you are looking at a country that without any other country has every resource it needs. On top of that the Russian Federation is not at the tail end of an arms race. They have maintain a top notch military, but they are not being crushed by the race any more. Also they are not the Soviet Union in their beliefs, as if you wanted to point at one of the main weaknesses they had it was that they put people to working doing the same old thing, whether that part was needed or not. They shunned computers and such except for the military. They shunned innovation. That is GONE! Some the top programmers in the world are in Russia. They now embrace innovation.

      In sort they took from the west enough idea to make them sure they won’t have to deal with the same kind of problems that the Soviet Union faced in the end.

      On top of that they still have a lot of the old levers of old. I see them in my wife and her relatives. Do you know that most Ukraine’s and Russians believe that the US is behind all of this, controlling it? They are very quick to believe in conspiracies. And with that they are easy to get fired up. Ask 10 people in the “west” if they think we should go to war over this. And most will say no way. You will not get the same answer in Russia. They believe they are fighting those nasty capitalists, the US CIA, and, on and on.

      My wife’s relatives said “This is all the US/CIA’s doing!”, and my wife being an American told her relatives that “no way that the US put any money or such into this, the US is not that way”. And I told my wife both are ridiculous statements. It would be impossible for the US/CIA to control all of this, and it is ridiculous to think they have not put some kind of support into the side they want. The US has always picked to support dictator A over dictator B in money and other kinds of support outside of the “surface” actions, it would be foolish to believe they are totally hands off in this situation. And even on the surface they are the ones say “go protestors, go!”. They are also the ones that immediately are recognizing the new government as legitimate. Notice how they do that really fast when the government seems to be in their favor, but really slow when it is the other way around?

      Personally I look at and say why when they president’s term was up next March, couldn’t they wait?
      Why when the election was pulled into November couldn’t they wait?

      But in fact it is more complicated then that. They didn’t march into the government with guns and say “president you are finished”.
      The president in fact ran. And he ran because his own group in the government turn on him.
      And that is something you have to understand. The Ukraine people believe that they are all crooks. The last president was in fact in jail for stealing funds and such. Now sure some of that was political, but not all, in fact this is race for the group that can steal the money faster, not one that has the country interest in mind.

      Look at the very first law they passed. To stop having Russian (along with Ukrainian) as the official languages. Is that what you do to bring a country together?

      Now back to the US and Europe and their “isolate ergonomically”. I gave the Russian side.
      Now lets take from the US side. Other than the promise we made to keep them safe when they gave up their Nukes, there is nothing in Ukraine that the US really wants, except maybe to have some kind of force close to attacking Russia. And as for the treaty well politicians and lawyers have a way of intercepting words when they want.

      Now for Europe. Lets see besides promises, well they will isolate a country, which is the source of 40% imported gas for Germany, and about 20% for the rest of Europe. How to you isolate a country and have them still pump you their gas? In fact I believe that the result of “isolating the Russian Federation”, would be a much more negative thing for Europe than it is for the Russian Federation. Nice gun it shoots both ways and does more damage to the person using it. The Russian Federation is not some some small country where this kind of thing would be effective.

      Then there is the freezing of assets. Like what? Dollars, Euros?
      People need to think on economics. If I’m a rich person in the Russian Federation and I have not made the mistake of transferring all my wealth to a foreign bank. The ONLY things that matter is my wealth and power in comparison to the other people in my society. We judge poor as people that can’t supply basic needs, and then it goes up from there. If a country has all it needs it is just how it is divide up as to whether someone feels rich or not.

      Now how about military. Lets face it what was the last time two or more of the most powerful country have gone head to head?
      The Cuban missile crisis is about it. And that was about a direct threat.

      Past you have to look back to World War II. Every “war” after that is been about being on some side of some middle country where the “big” countries that are involved could support or even attack, but with everyone in at home in that nice “big” country nice and safe. As in the Senator that has no problem with a war as long as his kid is safe at home. It is just “war games” to them.

      Well the battle ground might not be on US/Europe soil, but rest is nothing like those “conflicts”. The other side is a super power. And frankly they already have convinced their people that Ukraine is their soil (at least parts of it). So we are now talking about attack a super power on their own soil. It doesn’t matter if the “west” doesn’t agree with that definition. That how it will be painted to the Russian people and that is what the “west” will have to fight.

      Personally REALLY hope that the leaders of all the “west” countries are “weak” leaders, because if any of them get it into their heads that they can do that, this going to be VERY bad time to live through.

      • Good analysis. I’ve been to Russia (Moscow/Ryazan) myself once and to Poland multiple times. Russia is not a democratic state, but a mobster-country – take that pretty literally. Even in Poland they were afraid of the Russian mafia. They control everything in that region – now Poland less because they are part of the EU, but I can imagine they have pretty much power in Ukraine. The West incited the protest, and now we wash our hands of the matter. Our politicians have already said they are now way going to war. Ukraine is neither part of the EU of the NATO.
        Personally I believe this is another “war” on gas/oil.

  6. Bobb, you’re not seriously contending that Reagan or any other president not named Obama would consider a military response to Putin’s actions in Ukraine are you?

    The US should send troops/airplanes/drones to fight the Russian army for supremacy of Ukraine? That’s your position?

    What are the USA’s national interests in Ukraine (in which nearly half of the population are ethnic russians who speak Russian)?

  7. I think you miss the whole point I was making, and if you read my statement no where does it say to send troops, does it? No I don’t think we should send troops, drones whatever over there but if you had a strong leader along a Reagan, Kennedy who would be viewed as someone who you might push to far then this might not have happened at all.

    Putin is a bully and he sees we have a weak president right now along the lines of Jimmy Carter. When Obama told Syria that there is a line in the sand that can’t be crossed, and then they cross it and his response is nothing That opens the door to a bully like Putin.

    And what was our national interest in Libya? He seemed eager to jump in there?

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