Due to previous plans to attend a program by the San Jose Choral Project, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and world famous Sonos Handbell Ensemble at Mission Santa Clara Sunday evening, Jeffchristie has written a brief summary of the program for us. (Tuesday: I've added my program commentary below.)
"Bob started the show by quoting the latest stock and government bond numbers. He noted that a new tax law for the next two years was finally enacted. He feels that capital gains and dividends should not be taxed.
John was the first caller. He is said the middle class is losing ground and the rich are getting richer. Bob said the high income people should be thrilled with the new tax bill.
Don called from Oklahoma. He wanted to know if the zero percent for the people in the lower bracket was extended for the next two years. Bob told him it was.
Bob ended the segment by plugging Andrew Sorkins book "Too big to fail".
Vince called from KGO country. He ask about the 2 percent reduction in the social security tax. Bob said that it just applied to the employee portion. Employees would pay 4.2% and the employers would still be paying 6.2%.
Tom called from Albany. He ask Bob if this was a liberal talk show or a conservative one. He stated that he was a small business owner and up until last week he couldn't figure out what his income would be next year. He didn't know if he should be hiring someone or getting a temp. He then said something that Bob didn't like. Bob said he would not allow that kind of language on the program. I didn't hear what Tom said that had Bob worked up. I am not sure if Bob edited it out or if I just missed it.
Bob's guest in the third hour was Barbara Weltman editor of the J K Lasser tax guide. One caller ask if the 1099 provision in the new health care law goes into effect next year. She said it does not. Both Bob and her said this was the most bizarre thing they had ever seen in tax legislation. Barbara felt that it proves that the people in congress don't understand business."
Many thanks to Jeffchristie for his great summary. I have now listened to the whole program and want to add my comments:
POLITICS: Bob Brinker, as he often does, devoted a lot of the program to espousing his political views. He still sees the government as dysfunctional because they, "lowered taxes and raised spending." The lower taxes he referred to is the payroll tax cut -- even though he used to be all for cutting payroll taxes.
Brinker claims that the biggest winner in extending the Bush tax cuts for two more years is Obama, because it will create jobs and help the economy going forward toward the next election.
THE NEW TAX DEAL: Brinker went into great detail on this. The information is available on the internet. Here's one site that talks about some of the benefits: How the new tax law will benefit you
YEAR END TAX STRATEGIES: Brinker said: "If you are in the position to do so, if you're looking for the ultimate, ideal position to finish the year - not everybody can do this - some people have portfolios that are nothing but gains and that's wonderful too.....But the ideal position to get yourself in for tax purposes is to finish the year with a $3,000 loss. Anything more than that can be carried forward to future years. .....You can take that $3,000 off directly.... Does not apply to personal residence." Brinker also reminded listeners that each individual is allowed to give away up to $13,000 each year to anyone, with no tax consequences.
MINIMUM IRA DISTRIBUTIONS: Last year there was a one-year suspension of the required distributions for those over 70 1/2. But this year if you fail to do it, according to IRS publication 590, you will be hit with a 50% tax rate on your withdrawal.
SOCIAL SECURITY PAYROLL TAX CUT: The 2% cut next year will only apply to employees. Instead of 6.2%, they will pay 4.2%. The employer will continue to pay the usual 6.2%.
IS BRINKER LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE? Caller Tom from Albany asked Brinker if the radio show was liberal or conservative. Brinker responded: "We're right down the middle, Tom." (That must have been Brinker's joke of the day). Tom was explaining something that was not in agreement with some of Brinker's views and made the mistake of using a word that Brinker found offensive, so Brinker cut him off immediately.
Too bad, I wanted to hear the rest of what Tom had to say. But it's not a good idea to tell Brinker that he is "full of crap" if you expect to remain on the air. I have heard Brinker use words that I find much more offensive than that one. Matter of fact, the very next caller used a word that offended me.....Brinker didn't seem to hear it.
Caller Andy from Redwood City disagreed with Brinker that the tax cut extension will create jobs and he was for tariffs to protect union jobs. Brinker told him that he had recited all of the Democrat talking points very well and suggested that he contact Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont who spent 8 1/2 hours filibustering against the bill. Brinker also pointed out that "globalization had already happened and was here to stay."
CURRENT CAPITAL GAINS TAX RATES: Have been extended for two more years for all tax payers. So if you are in zero bracket now, it will hold for at least two more years.
BRINKER'S S&P TRADING RANGE: Matt in Chicago asked Brinker if dividend rates were also extended for next two years (they are) and added, "Also, do you have an expected trading range on the S&P for the next twelve months?" Brinker answered the dividend question then hung up on Matt and moved on. [Marketimer, December 3, 2010, Bob Brinker said: "....we project a target range in the low-to-mid 1300's for the S&P 500 Index as we move forward in 2011."]
Jenny and her snowman in Yosemite the day after Thanksgiving. Please click to enlarge: