Displaying 1 - 10 of 417 Forum Posts1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • Feb 24, 2021 02:41 PM
    Last: 5d

    I've spoken with more than one person who expressed concern about having to claim the amount of money they received from their stimulus check(s) when they file their 2020 taxes this year. Their mood changed for the better when I told them that the stimulus checks are not taxable and won't count towards their taxable income.

    According to the IRS:

    "No, the payment is not income and taxpayers will not owe tax on it. The payment will not reduce a taxpayer's refund or increase the amount they owe when they file their 2020 or 2021 tax return next year. A payment also will not affect income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs."

    So if you were worried about how the stimulus checks might affect your eligibility for certain tax breaks or credits then rest easy. That's good news for all of us.

  • Feb 19, 2021 12:29 PM
    Last: 5d

    Parents with dependents who didn't qualify for the additional money in the first two stimulus checks will certainly be happy about this one: ALL dependent children, including 17 year old's, adult dependent children in college, and any adult dependent who is claimed by a taxpayer would qualify for an additional $1,400 per dependent if the bill as it is written now is passed into law.

    I want to caution that anything can change as negotiations progress, but it appears House and Senate Democrats are on the same page here and, since Republicans won't be required to help pass this, they appear to have the votes to get this through the finish line.

    This is wonderful, but I can't believe this is only happening now. Why in the world we left parents of 17 year old's, parents helping put their young adult children through college, and parents who are taking care of an adult dependent out of the first two rounds of checks is baffling to me, but thankfully they will be included this time around.

    As I cautioned earlier, don't start spending the money now, but things are looking good for a 3rd stimulus check to get across the finish line in the coming days and weeks.

  • Feb 05, 2021 10:10 PM
    Last: 23d

    It looks like the cap will be the same as prior stimulus checks.

    "The new Democrat plan proposes stimulus payments for individual taxpayers earning up to $75,000 and joint filers making up to $150,000. But whereas the first and second rounds of stimulus payments phased out checks on a sliding scale of $5 for every $100 over the income limit, the new plan cuts off high earners at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples." - SmartAsset

    I'm ok with that. It's streamlined and focuses on getting money to people who need it the most. My only concern is for the people who had a great 2019 but got hammered in 2020. There were a lot of people who didn't get stimulus checks when they needed it the most because of their 2019 income. I hope Congressional negotiators figure out a way to address that.

  • Jan 12, 2021 09:14 PM
    Last: 25d

    Donald Trump's 2nd Impeachment trial starts today. There will be a formal debate about the Constitutionality of the trial, which Senators will then vote on at the end of the day. That will almost certainly pass and the House mangers will begin making their case against the former President Wednesday. The trial will certainly take the rest of the week and potentially go into next.

    While it's extremely unlikely enough Republicans will vote to convict the former President, at a minimum they will be forced to go on record in saying whether or not Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he should no longer be allowed to hold a Federal office.

    My guess is enough Republicans will vote to acquit on a (Constitutionally flimsy) technicality that the Senate can't try a former President. To be clear - this is untested in the courts and Constitutional scholars on both sides of the aisle have laughed the defense out of the room. Unfortunately there aren't any Constitutional scholars sitting as jurors in the former President's trial.

  • Feb 02, 2021 12:21 AM
    Last: 29d
    This is great news. One of the best ways for us to begin to get back to some sense of normalcy, outside of vaccines, is a widespread testing program that can quickly detect and isolate anyone who is sick. At-home test kits are the best way to go in that department.
  • Feb 03, 2021 12:24 PM
    Last: 18d

    I'm totally fine with tailoring the checks to reach the people who need them the most. My only concern is when we only focus on how much money someone makes a year. $75,000/year in Ames, IA goes a heck of a lot further than $75,000/year in New York City. For starters - a 2BR apartment in Ames will cost a small fraction of what a Studio apartment costs in NYC.

    This is why I personally think it's better to tailor the checks based off the average cost of living in an area instead of a flat amount across the board. I understand that will be more difficult to calculate, but I just have a hard time ignoring people who on paper appear to have a great life, but in reality are struggling just as much as people in the heartland.

  • Feb 05, 2021 02:25 PM
    Last: 25d

    It took many months between the first and second round of stimulus checks, but a third one is likely on the way much faster than that.

    The Senate passed a budget resolution along party lines, with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, that included a $1,400 stimulus check for most Americans and additional money for dependent children. The resolution will allow Democrats to pass the legislation without fear of a Republican filibuster.

    Now the House will begin debating the $1.9 Trillion disaster package that includes a wide range of government relief in addition to the stimulus checks. Once the House passes their version of the bill it will go back to the Senate, which can pass the bill with 50 votes (with Vice President Harris casting the a tie-breaking vote).

    Don't start planning how you're going to spend your money right away because it will take weeks of debate before any legislation gets to President Biden for his signature, but since the Senate appears to have the votes it is only a matter of time before the 3rd stimulus check will be sent out.

    What do you plan to spend your 3rd stimulus check on if you get one? As the way things look now, my wife and I likely won't be getting much, but it we do get anything we will likely donate it to our local food bank. But if we get more than we expect we may treat ourselves to a new TV that I've been eyeing for awhile.

  • Jan 26, 2021 12:42 PM
    Last: 25d

    President Biden is reopening the Obamacare Marketplace in an effort to help out any eligible individual or family who may have fallen through the cracks in recent months. The Marketplace is typically only open during a strict period of time at the end of each calendar year, but the President has the authority to reopen it for a limited period of time and he intends to do so for at least three months.

    I think this is a great idea, but I'm not entirely sure how many people it will actually help considering anyone who lost their job is eligible for a special enrollment period. However, it could help those people who are employed but missed last years open enrollment deadline because it was not advertised by the Trump Administration.

    So if you fall into that category then be sure to go to Healhcare.gov after the President's announcement to see if you are eligible for any subsidies or even if you are eligible to receive coverage at no cost under the Medicaid program.

  • Jan 25, 2021 09:04 PM
    Last: 1mo

    The House of Representatives formally delivered one Article of Impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate, setting in motion what will be the first ever impeachment trial against a former President. The House impeached Trump for "incitement of insurrection" after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in our nations first ever insurrection attempt.

    The Senate has indicated they will continue their usual business until mid-February and hold the trial then.

    Trump's impeachment trial will be unprecedented for two reasons: no President has ever been impeached twice and no President has ever had an impeachment trial after leaving office.

    While it's incredible unlikely that seventeen Republicans will vote to convict Donald Trump, it is still slightly possible. I'd be shocked if more than a handful do, but I long ago stopped predicting anything political after these past four years.

    What do you think the odds of Trump's conviction in the Senate are? My guess is no more than five Republicans will vote to convict.

  • Jan 20, 2021 01:33 PM
    Last: 1mo

    The beginning of a new political era has begun after President Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States.

    President Biden devoted much of his speech calling for unity and reconciliation after years of deep political divide. In perhaps the most memorable line of his address, the new President called for Americans to "end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility and if we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes, as my mom would say, just for a moment."

    It was a striking contrast to what we have become accustomed to throughout the past four years. I'm not naïve enough to think that everything is going to get better overnight, but I do have hope that the new President can begin the work to heal our deeply divided country.

    What did you think of President Biden's address? Did he strike the right tone or were you hoping to hear something different?