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Accounting News Roundup: The Difficulty of Closing Tax Loopholes; Tax Beneift for Bike Commuting; Scott Thompson’s New Gig | 07.23.12

Tax Loopholes Block Efforts to Close Gaping U.S. Deficit [NYT]
As a member of the “Gang of Six,” Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho has emerged as something of a hero among advocates of bipartisanship, one of three conservative Republicans working with three Democrats to cut the deficit by closing loopholes that allow businesses and households to avoid paying taxes. Yet earlier this year, the senator made sure that a $3 billion loophole — protecting “black liquor,” an alcoholic sludge used as fuel in timber mills and factories — remained open in the negotiations over the highway bill that President Obama signed this month. Many budget experts criticize the loophole as a tax dodge because it allows the sludge to qualify for an energy subsidy created to wean the country off imported oil for vehicles, which black liquor does not do. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers casually point to closing loopholes as the answer to much that ails the country. Negotiations to avoid automatic military spending cuts in January, to enact sweeping deficit reduction and to lower corporate and personal income tax rates all hinge on closing unidentified loopholes.

Trump: 'Clamor for Mitt Romney's tax returns has died down' [The Hill]
"I really believe the whole clamor for Mitt Romney's tax returns has died down," Trump said Monday on Fox News. "People are getting tired of it; they're looking at the things our president has not released, and I think frankly that's starting to come to the floor, and I think they're saying, 'Wait a minute, we'd better not keep pushing this tax return stuff, because then the president's going to have to release things he doesn't want to release,' and I think that'll be devastating to him."

Bicycling commuters, you might qualify for a tax-free workplace benefit [DMWT]

Norquist: Senate Democrats up in 2014 are ‘hostages’ in year-end tax battle [The Hill]
Conservative anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist says the 20 Senate Democrats facing re-election in 2014 will be the “hostages” who will ensure that President Obama does not raise the Bush-era tax rates. Democrats have been talking tough in recent days about drawing a hard line on extending the Bush tax rates only for families making below $250,000. Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the Democratic co-chairman of the 2011 deficit-reduction supercommittee, said Monday that Democrats would let income tax rates rise across the board if Republicans refuse to drop their opposition to raising new taxes. Senate Democratic leaders have endorsed her declaration.

Scott Thompson on Life After Yahoo [BBW]
He's still not using that accounting degree.

When the Wife Has a Fatter Paycheck [WSJ]
"I don't think so much about gender roles, but I do feel angry and helpless because I can't financially support the family unit," says Greg McFadden, 39, an actor and stay-at-home dad, whose wife, Shannon Hummel, 38, serves as breadwinner (they have one child, age 6). She works as a teacher and as artistic director of a Brooklyn dance company. "I'm sick of reading these articles and daddy blogs, about how 'empowered' men are to be caretakers. Ask them how they feel about not earning a paycheck.

Teen high on LSD starts fight with a mailbox [TheNow]

Port Moody police had their hands full over the weekend dealing with a teenager who decided to pick a fight with a mailbox, apparently while high on LSD. The incident started around 5 a.m. Sunday at the corner of Moray Street and Portview Place. Police were called to the area after a passerby saw someone dancing, talking then fighting a mailbox. "Our members attended and saw this 15-year-old kid literally talking to this mailbox and full-out fighting it," said Port Moody police spokesman Const. Luke van Winkel. […] "It's just a kid who made some bad choices. Criminal charges aren't in the best interest for that kid, " Van Winkel said.


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