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If you're like millions of American workers, it's time to think about taxes again. Hopefully, you're getting a refund, even though that technically means you were loaning the government money during the year at no interest.

While receiving a refund is nice, you should check with your payroll department or a tax professional if that refund is significant- because it means your employer is over-withholding money from your paycheck.

That said, there's something nice about getting the money direct deposited into your bank- or sent to some by check, if they prefer. Here's a good chart on when to expect your refund, which is mostly based on when the IRS gets the tax forms from you.

http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/...

One other note: The IRS is pretty damn fast these days- electronically filed returns can get direct deposit refunds in 5-10 days in most cases... with no need to get a "refund loan" or other such product. If you can wait a few extra days, it can save you quite a bit.

Discuss

Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 06:52 PM PDT

America's Economy is Addicted to War

by imobannon

FYI: Each Tomahawk missile costs apx $1.5 million.
FYI: Airborne missiles can cost more than $1 million
FYI: Saudi Arabia has a larger air force than Australia.
FYI: Most of the companies that make cruise missiles, bombs and other "expendable" munitions are publicly-traded on U.S. stock markets. Those companies don't profit unless we use these munitions and need to order more.

Over the last 13 years, our nation has become economically addicted to being at war. Publicly-traded companies are judged on their growth- and their stock prices generally reflect investor opinion on whether the business will grow its market and sales.

Because they are publicly-traded companies, there are likely many pension funds, 401(k)s, and other public investments depending on them to make, and grow, their profit. Which means selling more "expendable" munitions.

I don't like this. I'm not anti-war. I am anti-idiotic and BS war. I'm also a veteran. I'm against the supposed "urgent need" for America to play the role of enforcer over in that "neighborhood." Yes, two Americans were killed in a very gruesome way- but they went in there knowing it was a dangerous place. I don't blame them, but there are hundreds of Americans killed around the world every year.

If our "allies" in the Middle East want our business and money, and for us to visit their neighborhood to conduct that business- they should ensure that their own neighborhood is safe. Once again- we already give them billions. It is their responsibility to keep it safe for their customers... the U.S. (and others).

I'm fine with attacking these groups- but why are we having to pay for it? Why hasn't anyone asked how much this "many years" conflict will cost? If there was a conflict in south Texas or Arizona, would Saudi Arabia or England lead or even join the efforts? Of course not. Even if one of their citizens were killed. Or two.

It is the primary responsibility of a nation to protect itself. It is not the responsibility of the United States of America.

Discuss

Thu Sep 18, 2014 at 06:37 PM PDT

Yes or No on Scottish Independence

by imobannon

While it looks like "No" is going to win the referendum, at least they had a simple ballot that asked if Scotland should be an independent nation.

Which made me think of what the ballot would have looked like if Florida's election people had crafted it. So here it is:

Poll

Yes or No: Do you agree or disagree with the statement that Scotland should or should not be an independent nation or remain a part of the United Kingdom?"

10%5 votes
26%13 votes
14%7 votes
14%7 votes
30%15 votes
2%1 votes
4%2 votes

| 50 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 06:49 PM PDT

This is Not America's War

by imobannon

They (ISIS) are a few thousand (even if it's 20-30,000) idiotic, Islamic, extremist, terrorists. I will consider them that, Mr. President, just as I consider David Koresh (and others) to have been an idiotic, Christian, extremist and terrorist.

They will talk about trying to bomb/bring war to us, but so do idiotic, (insert religion), extremist terrorists and governments everywhere. Most are so poorly trained, they would run out of bullets before they hit a target, which is why they prefer to blow things up.

Some are more well-trained, and ISIS seems to be, however... so are the terrorists in Africa, who say they hate the west, and the U.S. and that they are coming for us. Why aren't we scared that some idiots over there are threatening? lol. Because they are ridiculous idle threats.

(More below the Squiggly)

Poll

What should we do about ISIS?

21%8 votes
13%5 votes
2%1 votes
36%14 votes
2%1 votes
23%9 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Why hasn't Missouri's governor Nixon sent in a contingent of National Guard troops?

First of all, I think the local and aggregated police forces are really effing things up, over-reactive, aggravating things, etc (add more, it's not hyperbole).

But some of the protesters have looted, but with little true violence.

Missouri governor Nixon should tell the local/county/etc police to go home and let the National Guard calm things down. They can do good in some social unrest:

Think integration (Alabama and Arkansas). Please don't think Kent State.

Governor Nixon could even send in unarmed Missouri National Guard forces, just as he would for a natural disaster.

Discuss

This will surely be the location of future #GunFail comments.

A gun range in Oklahoma City has a cafe. And the cafe applied for a liquor license... and this being Oklahoma and all, the OKC city council approved it. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Oklahoma City Gun Range Cafe's Liquor License Approved
http://newsok.com/...

Discuss

Things that make you go, "Huh?"

Former KPMG Partner Scott London to Hold CPE-Eligible Webcast on Ethics Before He Goes to Prison for Insider Trading

Remember the KPMG scandal from about a year ago? If not, the short is: Senior partner at one of the world's biggest accounting firms was busted for giving his golf buddy inside information about two companies. The friend then traded stock in those companies, making half a million bucks and gave the accountant friends "gifts," like $25,000 in cash, a Rolex, etc... you know- things we all give our inside trading buddies.

He is going to federal "Martha Stewart" prison for about 14 months, starting in July, but before then, he's taking part in a webcast on "Ethics in Accounting."

Before he goes to jail the fallen financier is going to be the key guest in a CPE-eligible webcast on accounting ethics. The event, scheduled for June 27 at 9:00 am ET, will be hosted by former NASBA chair Gaylen Hansen. NASBA is the governing authority for continuing professional education requirements for the accounting profession.
To his credit, he pleaded guilty almost immediately and took the blame and did the whole atonement thing. He seems truly penitent. And the webcast is mostly about telling his fellow professionals not to do what he did... that the consequences are really crappy.
"What i did was clearly wrong, and I take full responsibility. However, this is a subject matter that unfortunately may be very prevalent with people who have access to confidential company information, but it's difficult to catch people doing. Even seemingly innocuous conversations with a good friend can lead a person to be tempted and think they won't get caught. I hope that my story can help prevent others from crossing the line."
Hope he can do some good. But in his own words, it's probably so common and most who do it don't get caught.
Discuss

I think my local Fox TV affiliate, channel 25 out of Oklahoma City, is going to have to cut about 30 minutes out of tonight's episode of Cosmos. "Oops, an accident."

Uh, huh. Just like the 15 seconds the station "accidentally" deleted from the premier last week. Um...

Fortunately, there are some damn good Democrats and progressives in this state. There are also some excellent institutions of science and education that are not swayed by the prevailing religious dogma in this state. We may be a minority, but we are gaining ground.

--

As the anti-science crowd plugs their ears and says, "Na na na na na na na," I can't help but think of when the show eventually discusses "Climate Change!" Ohh, the evils the anti-science crowd will have to face.

Discuss

Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:18 PM PST

Nothing Nuclear About It

by imobannon

Today's "nuclear option" by the U.S. Senate Democratic majority was not "breaking the rules." They followed the rules of the Senate, and here's why:

- When the initial rules were written that required 60 votes to override a filibuster, they either left in, or added, the ability for Senate members to override/overturn the decision of the parliamentarian ... by a simple 51 vote majority. Today's actions followed those rules.

Why aren't the rules that are followed by the House of Representatives good enough for the Senate? Elections have consequences- majority rule, with respectable exceptions for Amendments to the Constitution.

There were no laws broken- the Democrats followed the rules.

Discuss

I live in Oklahoma- think it matters to me? Nope. I voted for the person who best represented what I want my city to do. Norman, Oklahoma- we're at least a bit more liberal than the stereotype our state has earned.

Tom isn't the first gay elected official in Oklahoma, but it is believed that he is the first elected official in Oklahoma to be married to a person of the same sex. And he's my city councilman.

Norman councilor weds longtime same-sex partner.

I'm a U.S. Navy Veteran, I'm also straight- which has nothing to do with this. But I voted for the person who best served our community's interests - I voted for Tom, and I will do so for any office he runs for. (FYI, I also have a respectable Democratic state legislature representative (also a personal acquaintance) who generally thinks along the same lines as me.)

I've been involved in Oklahoma politics for many years and I served on the state's Democratic Party central committee. I love my state and my liberal voting pattern...

And I love that my friends were married (even if in another state), and that one of them is my city councilman.

Congrats Tom Kovach and Will Weir!

Discuss

Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 11:25 PM PST

Veteran to Veteran

by imobannon

This was spontaneous tonight, but I had some thoughts for many people I know, and knew, that I wanted to share...

To my veteran friends who want to also share their thanks to other veterans, post something like:

"Veteran to veteran, I want to thank Miranda Norman for serving our Nation."

Do it here, talk to them- thank them- remind them how you loved them, or search online to find the ones who came through, but you haven't seen in years. And post something like this on other pages or social media- there's no money being made here. Just thank the people who saved, or helped shape, your life.

I was just trying to recognize my fellow vet friends at first, but it is a wonderful way to share thanks for the brothers and sisters we served with - and those that served before us.

I love you all- and I thank you, too- I am humbled by the sacrifice of the ones who are no longer here, but I also want to honor those who fought and gave blood when they fought to save them or try to bring them back.

Discuss

As a veteran- A new idea for when our Nation has to go to war:

When the country decides we need to go to war, there should be a tax applied to every non-military, non-veteran family to help pay for the war. If the people decide soon after that the tax is not worth the war, then the war is not worth it...

That might limit our military conflicts, and would also have the effect of paying for it when wars are necessary, which unfortunately, they sometimes are. And if, in the general consensus of the American People, we decide that our Nation or interests are vitally threatened, then I'm sure that We, the American People would be willing to pay for it.

For my liberal friends, I think this makes sense, because one of our (many) complaints during the Bush years was that the costs of neither war were included in the budget- they were added as "supplementals" - kind of a ... "oh, and we're at war, so we also need $500 billion more this year, for that." -- And they didn't cut things to pay for it, nor did they add taxes to pay for it.

For my fiscal conservative friends, I think this also makes sense: If a war must be fought, then it needs to be paid for in some manner. These are over and above the regular peace-time costs of maintaining the world's mightiest armed force- and they need to be funded as such. And when the war is over, funding to the renewed peace-time armed forces should return to appropriate levels.

To my libertarian friends: I know you aren't much of a fan of taxes, but I also know you are very much against the unnecessary use of U.S. armed forces as the world's police force, and the money it costs us to do so. This would certainly have some impact on the use of our armed forces. While this would be a tax, it would be one that the People would always have the ability to stop- by voting out their representatives who are in favor of war (or threatening to). With a few limitations (like gerrymandering and strange Senate rules), we are still mostly a majority-rule nation.

For my Tea Party friends: I know you also hate taxes and government intrusion- but this would not be an intrusion of any sort, and the "tax" would not be one that benefited non-working people. It would only fund the operational warfare costs of our military engagements- and we could end them at any time. Nobody gets "addicted" to this- trust me, it is a rare Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airman who yearns to go back into a true hot zone for the extra combat pay. He or she would much rather be home.

For my "Constitutional Originalist" friends: The original taxes imposed by the newly-formed United States of America were authorized in order to pay for the Revolution. The bulk of that was directed toward back pay for the American Revolutionaries, most of whom had not been paid for the service for years.

For my, "Don't give a shit," friends: If you're not into politics, but that also means you probably don't vote. This might actually make you give a shit, since you could have the power to end a tax about something you disagreed with.

Overall, this would be a form of what happened during the "Greatest Generation's" efforts during WWII. That generation was called that because they all sacrificed, not just the warriors overseas. Americans not at war had to ration and help pay for the war- many things from food, tin and copper, to Liberty Gardens (neighborhood gardens), and war bonds.

This shouldn't be a revolutionary or radical idea. If a war is "necessary," then it needs to be paid for. This would be the non-partisan, very American, way to do it.

Poll

Think this is a good idea?

48%12 votes
12%3 votes
16%4 votes
20%5 votes
4%1 votes

| 25 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss
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