July 7 2011

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

July 7, 2011 // 0 Comments

Scary! So what’s wrong with getting rid of the tax favors for the very rich? Those cuts were put through by President Bush’s sympathetic Congress. President Obama doesn’t have a sympathetic Congress to answer his call to end them. In 2010, we elected a Congress that now talks about shutting down the government rather than end the tax cuts for the rich. Scary. Congress okayed the tax cuts at the same time we were jumping into two expensive wars waged on borrowed money. (Personally, I thought that was pretty scary at the time.) Keeping those tax cuts (subsidies for corporate jets and the oil industry, for example) doesn’t make sense to me. But, then, I don’t have a corporate jet and I’m not raking in Exxon’s record-setting oil profits. Bet that goes for you, too. The Republicans say they want more tax cuts. From what I hear, they lean toward financing those cuts at the expense of Social Security and Medicare. Scary. I’d like to know more details on what other expenses they want to chop in order to finance tax cuts and to pay off our national debt. They seem to favor cutting wages, pensions, and contracts, all measures that would hurt the average guy. If they fire the air traffic controllers, I’m keeping my feet on the ground from now on. It’s scary enough down here just to observe Congress. Solving the Greek crisis The Greeks, too, have been spending beyond their means. The Greek government is talking of selling off its state-owned railroad system and electrical system. I think it would be smarter to lease out the Parthenon. They could call it the Acropolis Mall. It would have lots of shops and fast-food places and provide a tidy income for the government. The building is about 2,500 years old. They should think like capitalists and put it to use. Makes sense, #1 A friend’s husband works as a service technician for a large exterminating company.  One of the rules of the company is to confirm each appointment by phoning the household the night before his service call. “Hi, this is Gary from A to Z Pest Control Company. Your wife phoned us,” he said one evening when a man answered. There was a long silence, and […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

July 7, 2011 // 0 Comments

New look at home mortgages I went to a seminar recently that forced me to think outside of my financial box, so to speak. I’m from West Michigan, so my financial box is pretty conservative. Dave Ramsey isn’t my idol—that spot is and always will be reserved for the Detroit Tiger’s great player, Al Kaline—but I do appreciate and agree with most of what he says. Dave isn’t from West Michigan, but he could be. When I say his financial box is very conservative, I might actually be understating his stance. What shook up my box concerned the speaker’s treatment of home mortgages. Dave says to get rid of the darned things as soon as possible. It’s prudent to make the term of the loan 15 years as opposed to 30; 10 would be better. Make use of strategies such as bi-weekly payments. At the very least, pay extra on the principal each month. If you can squeeze in an extra payment once a year, do it. If you can pay cash for a house, do it quickly. For goodness sakes, the higher down payment you can make on the house, the better. Don’t pay any more interest to a financial institution than you have to. The speaker at this seminar had a slightly different take on the subject of mortgages. In fact, he said there is no book of “Dave” in the bible, so don’t take everything Dave says as gospel. That got a few nervous laughs from the crowd, especially by those of us from West Michigan. Starting out, he said a 30-year term is not a bad thing for a mortgage. It may have a slightly higher interest rate than a 15-year term, but it has a substantially lower monthly payment. My thought was, regardless of the payment amount, how can a higher interest rate be okay? The speaker pointed out that the lower payment was the key. We tend to dwell on the wrong part of the equation. The lower payment allows the taxpayer to set aside the difference to use how that person wants to use the money. Over time, that difference could add up to a substantial amount and could be used to buy a car or pay for […]

BIRTHDAYS — July 9–15

July 7, 2011 // 0 Comments

9th Anne Bartish, Lonnie Herrington, Terry Kalemba, Mary Lou Preston, Debbie Schuhman, Lorna Smith 10th Rena Bustraan 11th Alvera Dombrowski, Ralph Leistner 12th Sue Hone, Jill M. Mackie, Pam Reed, Maxine Smith 13th Molly Brasure, Alyssa Jerrils, Maureen Mawby, Catie Rietsema, Cindy Schluckebier 14th Chase Richard 15th Mike Baer Brian Bearinger, Emajean Clawson  

1 2 3