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Accounting News Roundup: Obama’s Plan Gets the Editorial Treatment; DC Shutdown 2.0?; Poker Players Get Prickly After Ponzi Accusations | 09.22.11

Taxes, the Deficit and the Economy [NYT]
Republicans want to close the entire budget gap by slashing government spending. The president’s balanced approach protects vital services and growth. It includes $245 billion in payroll tax cuts next year for workers and businesses to encourage hiring, investment and spending. It also includes money to invest in infrastructure and to aid struggling states. It only starts reducing the budget deficit in 2013, when the economy should be stronger. As is his wont, the president is still leaving too many details for Congress to decide.

The Spend Now, Tax Later Jobs Bill [WSJ]
According to the Sept. 19 White House fact sheet, “The President calls on [the super committee] to undertake comprehensive tax reform, and lays out five principles for it to follow: 1) lower tax rates; 2) cut wasteful loopholes and tax breaks; 3) reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion; 4) boost job creation and growth; and 5) comport with the “Buffett Rule” that people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.” But the administration’s tax plan violates these principles.

IRS Gives Employers a Break on Payrolls [WSJ]
Businesses that have been improperly labeling their employees as independent contractors got a surprise break Wednesday: A new Internal Revenue Service program will allow those businesses to reclassify workers and make only a small payment to cover past payroll taxes. The downside for such companies? Regulators say they are going to be more vigilant about misclassification of workers in the future.

US government shutdown looms again [FT]
The US government has been put at risk of a possible October 1 shutdown because of a partisan fight on Capitol Hill over disaster relief for victims of hurricane Irene and Democratic opposition to proposed cuts to subsidies for fuel-efficient cars. At the centre of the debacle lies the ongoing struggle between conservative Republicans and Democrats over how much the government ought to be spending and how programmes are paid for. In a move that shows the challenge facing Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, who are seeking to appear more conciliatory following this summer’s tough debate over an increase in the debt ceiling, lawmakers voted 230-195 against a bill to keep the US government funded temporarily.

Poker Site Fires Back at U.S. [WSJ]
The issues at Full Tilt should be likened to that of a problematic bank, rather than an illegal investment scheme, according to Jeff Ifrah, an attorney who represents the company in related litigation and is the personal attorney of Chief Executive Raymond Bitar. “A Ponzi scheme requires an investment vehicle in order to receive a certain rate of high return,” Mr. Ifrah said. “None of those things happened here.” Instead, he said, “maybe it was mismanaged.”

Colbert: The Buffett Rule [TaxProf]

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