Congress http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1803/all en-US 12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/magnifier_with_tax_on_dollar.jpg" alt="Magnifier with tax on dollar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The long-debated changes to America's tax code are now law. President Trump closed out 2017 by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, bringing sweeping changes to how much individuals and companies will pay in tax beginning this year.</p> <p>What does the new tax law mean for you? Here are some key take-aways.</p> <h2>1. You'll probably pay less in taxes</h2> <p>There's been a lot of debate about who benefits the most from the new tax law, but what's clear is that just about everyone will see at least some decrease in how much they pay. At the very least, your personal tax bracket is likely lower. The new tax brackets are: 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent, and 37 percent. (They were previously 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent). A <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/trump-tax-reform-calculator" target="_blank">tax reform calculator</a> can help you grasp how much tax you'll pay under the new law.</p> <h2>2. Corporations will pay less tax, too</h2> <p>The new tax law greatly simplifies and lowers taxes for companies. Corporations will now pay a flat rate of 21 percent on all profits, down from as much as 35 percent under the previous law. This brings the United States' corporate tax rate below the global average. The new law also eliminates the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for corporations.</p> <h2>3. You'll get more money back if you have kids</h2> <p>One of the final provisions added to the new tax bill was an increase in the child tax credit. This is a credit you receive if you have a dependent aged 17 or under. The credit was doubled, from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. The refundable portion of the credit was also increased to $1,400.</p> <h2>4. You can (probably) still deduct mortgage interest</h2> <p>Under the new tax law, the deduction for mortgage interest was capped at $750,000, but if you bought your house before December 15, 2017, it's still $1 million. So for most people, mortgage interest will still be deductible. It's important to note that this only applies to your primary residence; interest on vacation homes is not deductible. (The previous law allowed for a tax break on second homes.)</p> <h2>5. You can deduct property and local taxes, up to a point</h2> <p>There was some debate in Congress about whether property taxes, state taxes, and local taxes would be deductible, and they ultimately will be. However, these deductions will be capped at $10,000. This could mean higher taxes for those people living in certain places, such as California and New York. Some state and local lawmakers are exploring ways to offset that burden.</p> <h2>6. Many deductions are now gone</h2> <p>Under past tax law, you could deduct moving expenses from your taxes. You could deduct many work-related expenses that were not reimbursed from your employer. You could even deduct any costs you incurred when you did your taxes. These deductions and many others are gone. However, it is unclear whether taxpayers will feel the need to itemize deductions in the future anyway.</p> <h2>7. Itemizing may no longer make sense</h2> <p>As we indicated above, the new tax bill does allow for <em>some </em>itemized deductions, but it may not matter. That's because the standard deduction has been doubled, to $12,000 for single filers, $18,000 for heads of household, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. For many people &mdash; especially those who don't own homes &mdash; it may be hard to collect the amount of deductions to make itemizing worthwhile. The Joint Committee on Taxation said that 94 percent of taxpayers may now choose to take the standard deduction, up from 70 percent under the previous law.</p> <h2>8. There are no more personal exemptions</h2> <p>Under the previous tax law, the IRS allowed you to reduce your tax liability by claiming a personal exemption. This exemption was $4,050 during the last two years. The new tax law eliminates personal exemptions and instead significantly boosts the standard deduction ($12,000&thinsp;for singles and $24,000 for married couples). For most people, this still will result in lower taxes.</p> <h2>9. Investment income will be treated roughly the same</h2> <p>There were some adjustments to how investment income is treated, but dividends and capital gains will generally be taxed as they were under the previous law. Long-term capital gains &mdash; investments held for more than a year &mdash; will still be taxed at 15 percent for most people and 20 percent for the highest earners. Short-term capital gains will still be taxed as normal income, though that means the taxation will be less, since income tax brackets are lower under the new law.</p> <h2>10. The &quot;marriage penalty&quot; is almost gone</h2> <p>Under the previous tax law, it was possible for people to be stung by higher taxes if they got married. That's because in some instances, a couple with similar incomes filing jointly would jump to a higher tax bracket. Under the new law, the thresholds for filing jointly are exactly double those for single filers, except for married couples earning more than $300,000.</p> <h2>11. The health care individual mandate may be eliminated</h2> <p>Under the Affordable Care Act, anyone who did not purchase health insurance was subject to a penalty of 2.5 percent of your income or $695, whichever was higher. That penalty will go away in 2019 under the new tax law.</p> <h2>12. None of the changes apply to 2017</h2> <p>It's important to know that when you file your tax return over the next few months, you won't be working with the new tax law. Any money you earned in 2017 is taxed under the previous tax structure. This is important to remember when claiming deductions and trying to figure out proper tax rates for your income. You won't have to worry about the 2018 tax law until you file your tax return in 2019.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Things%2520You%2520Should%2520Know%2520About%2520the%2520New%2520Tax%2520Law.jpg&amp;description=12%20Things%20You%20Should%20Know%20About%20the%20New%20Tax%20Law"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Things%20You%20Should%20Know%20About%20the%20New%20Tax%20Law.jpg" alt="12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-common-tax-questions-for-beginners-answered">The 7 Most Common Tax Questions for Beginners, Answered</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-if-i-skip-my-taxes-this-year">What If I Skip My Taxes This Year?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes changes Congress deductions exemptions income brackets individual mandate investments mortgage interest tax law tax reform trump administration Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:30:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2083784 at http://www.wisebread.com Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/social_security_card_76556001.jpg" alt="Learning to stop falling for social security myths" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over 166 million taxpayers pay into Social Security, which pays benefits to over 65 million Americans. As with any program as large and sprawling as Social Security, myths about how it works can run rampant &mdash; and since the facts tend to require more than a sound bite to explain, those myths become entrenched in our collective consciousness as fact.</p> <p>But not only are these Social Security myths untrue, believing them can cause you to make poor decisions about your Social Security benefits. Here are six of the most common and harmful myths about Social Security, debunked:</p> <h2>1. The Government Is Raiding the Social Security Trust Fund</h2> <p>You will often hear people complain about how untrustworthy our government is, and offer the fact that Congress &quot;raids&quot; the Social Security Trust Fund as proof. While it is true that the Trust Fund is where excess Social Security taxes are placed for future beneficiaries, and it is also true that the government uses money in this account to pay for government programs, it is simply not true that the fund is being &quot;raided.&quot;</p> <p>Here's what's going on. Money placed in the Social Security Trust Fund may sound like it is being put in a vault somewhere for the safekeeping of future beneficiaries. But that's not how money works. Not only would that be a security risk, but the money in such a vault would lose value to inflation. In order to maintain and increase the value of the trust fund, the money must be invested in government programs.</p> <p>Think of it this way: Any time you invest money commercially &mdash; whether by putting it in an interest-bearing bank account or by buying stocks or bonds &mdash; you are probably aware that the institution is immediately spending the money you have invested. The private institution spends your investment with the understanding that it will earn profits and be able to pay you back, with interest.</p> <p>The government is no different. It spends money invested in the Social Security Trust Fund on infrastructure, military spending, government salaries, welfare, and the like, knowing that those investments will earn interest. But unlike a private institution, this kind of government spending is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.</p> <p>The government's spending of money from the Social Security Trust Fund is just as valid a use of invested money as is the lending and spending that a bank or corporation does with investors' money.</p> <h2>2. Social Security Is Going Bankrupt</h2> <p>This myth is based on a kernel of truth &mdash; specifically, Social Security benefit payments exceed payroll tax revenues and have done so since 2010. In order to maintain promised benefits, Social Security has had to dip into the Social Security Trust Fund. As of 2013, the Trust Fund began losing value, and it will become entirely depleted by 2037.</p> <p>This is the point at which most analysis stops, and that is why you will often hear the myth that Social Security is circling the drain. But it is impossible for Social Security to go bankrupt, because it was always designed as an immediate transfer of funds from current workers to current beneficiaries. (When there were more workers than beneficiaries, excess taxes were placed in the Trust Fund. This was the case until 2009). The program does not count on a specific pool of money, but on the tax revenue of current workers.</p> <p>That being said, once the Trust Fund is depleted, tax revenue is only expected to pay for approximately 79% of promised benefits. This is the shortfall you will hear experts referring to when discussing the future of Social Security. But it does not spell the end of the program. It is just a shortfall that we need to find a way to make up.</p> <p>Social Security was created specifically so it could be changed and tweaked to meet the changing needs of Americans &mdash; changing needs like this anticipated shortfall. We might have little faith in Washington right now, but it is specifically the job of our government to make changes to Social Security to deal with this coming shortfall. Eventually, they'll get around to it.</p> <h2>3. It's the Baby Boomers' Fault We're in This Mess</h2> <p>There are plenty of articles out there that place the blame for Social Security's financial woes squarely at the feet of the baby boomer generation &mdash; the largest-ever generation of Americans, born between 1946 and 1964. There are 76 million baby boomers, and having that many people retire over a couple of decades places an enormous burden on Social Security. Since our system is based upon an immediate transfer from current workers to current retirees, having the boomers retire all at once puts too many retirees into the equation.</p> <p>But the boomers' retirement is hardly a surprise. They've been around for six or seven decades now, and we have seen this mass boomer retirement phase coming for many years. According to Virginia P. Reno and Joni Lavery in the Social Security brief <a href="https://www.nasi.org/usr_doc/SS_Brief_022.pdf">Can We Afford Social Security When Baby Boomers Retire?</a>, &quot;Policymakers began to plan as early as 1983, when Congress lowered the cost of Social Security benefits for boomers and later generations by raising the age at which unreduced retirement benefits will be paid.&quot;</p> <p>Believe it or not, our government has been trying for quite some time to prepare for this moment. Part of the reason we had such a surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund was because of our preparation for the mass retirement of the boomer generation. We are far better prepared for the boomers than many doomsayers might have you believe.</p> <h2>4. Waiting for Benefits Means You Risk Not Getting Your Fair Share</h2> <p>It is possible to take Social Security benefits as early as age 62, although your benefits will be permanently reduced by up to 25% to 30 percent by taking them early. Wait until your full retirement age (66 for individuals born between 1943 and 1954, rising to age 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later), and you will receive your full benefits. If you can wait until age 70, you will receive delayed retirement credit equal to approximately 8% per year between your full retirement age and 70.</p> <p>If you calculate the break-even analysis on your Social Security benefits, it often looks like you're better off by taking early benefits. Early, reduced benefits offer you more lifetime benefits for nearly 15 years into the break-even analysis.</p> <p>The problem with this thinking is that the only way for you to &quot;win&quot; these calculations is to die young. It would actually be far worse for you to take early benefits and then live a long life on a reduced income. It is much smarter to delay your benefits as long as possible to provide yourself with the largest benefit you can get.</p> <h2>5. Immigrants Are Taking Social Security Benefits They Didn't Pay For</h2> <p>This myth is an election year favorite, and it conflates Social Security benefits with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Social Security benefits are only available to beneficiaries who either paid into the system themselves, or who are the dependents of those who paid into the system. If you have not paid any Social Security payroll taxes (or you haven't been the dependent of someone who has), you are not getting Social Security benefits. Period.</p> <p>SSI, on the other hand, is a welfare program designed to provide aid to the elderly and disabled, and SSI benefits are paid through general governmental revenues. Immigrants are eligible to collect SSI benefits, but only if they show the same level of extreme need as any other SSI beneficiary.</p> <h2>6. Privatizing Social Security Would Make the System Fairer</h2> <p>The possibility of privatizing Social Security is a common suggestion for fixing many of the problems inherent in such a large government program. These suggestions often promise that privatization will be cheaper for the government, more lucrative for beneficiaries, and fairer for everyone since you will get out what you put in.</p> <p>Unfortunately, none of those three promises would be true. Social Security is a very efficiently run program, with administrative expenses totaling less than 1% of the program's budget. But creating and maintaining individual investment accounts would be incredibly expensive, since it would incur broker commission fees and/or mutual fund management fees, which would either come from the program budget or individual investors.</p> <p>In addition, it is unlikely that the majority of beneficiaries would be able to improve upon their Social Security &quot;return on investment&quot; through investment accounts, since humans are notoriously irrational investors. Social Security benefits are guaranteed, while investment returns are not.</p> <p>Finally, attempting to create pay-for-what-you-get fairness in a social insurance program like Social Security is a non-starter. The intention of Social Security is to provide guaranteed income to the elderly, the disabled, and their families, by spreading the cost of that income over all of society. Strict fairness in such a system would leave our most vulnerable citizens in abject poverty or worse. It's also important to note that the transition costs of privatizing Social Security have been estimated at nearly <a href="http://www.ncpssm.org/Document/ArticleID/14">$5 trillion over the first two decades</a>. Those costs would need to be paid by current workers, who would potentially be paying into their privatized accounts and still be paying taxes that go toward current beneficiaries &mdash; which would feel incredibly unfair.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-social-security-you-shouldnt-panic-over">5 Sobering Facts About Social Security You Shouldn&#039;t Panic Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-working-while-collecting-social-security">What You Need to Know About Working While Collecting Social Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-of-the-toughest-decisions-youll-face-in-retirement">Three of the Toughest Decisions You&#039;ll Face in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-claim-social-security-before-your-retirement-age">3 Reasons to Claim Social Security Before Your Retirement Age</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement baby boomers benefits Congress full retirement age government immigrants myths privatized social security ssi Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:30:29 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1827091 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3992988737_bebac07fb4_z.jpg" alt="SOPA " title="SOPA " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="157" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may have heard a lot of talk lately about SOPA (which stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act). It started out as whispers between people on the Internet, now it&rsquo;s getting major pushback from sites as large as AOL, Yahoo!, eBay, LinkedIn, Craigslist, and Reddit. And today, January 18<sup>th</sup>, many sites are planning to &ldquo;strike&rdquo; to show their disapproval of the bill, including Wikipedia, Imgur, and even the mighty Google. But what is SOPA? And if it passes in its current form, how will it change life as you know it? Here&rsquo;s a quick SOPA 101.</p> <p><em>[Please note, at the time of writing this article, some elements of the SOPA bill are supposedly being shelved. Many say this is simply a tactic to draw heat away from the subject, but nothing is concrete yet. And while SOPA may be going away, it may come back again under a different name. You can<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2012/01/16/obama-says-so-long-sopa-killing-controversial-internet-piracy-legislation/"> read more here</a>.</em>]</p> <h3>What Is SOPA? Here&rsquo;s a Very Simple Rundown</h3> <p>The Stop Online Piracy Act (bill H.R. 3261) was introduced by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) to the House of Representative on October 26<sup>th</sup> 2011. The premise of the bill is that it will stop copyright infringement (pirated music, videos, games, and so on) with the use of massive penalties and criminal proceedings. These include prison terms (up to five years), website shutdowns, barring search engines from linking to sites, and cutting off payment methods like PayPal.</p> <p>On the surface, it seems like a good idea. I don&rsquo;t like piracy &mdash; I buy my movies on Blu-Ray, I pay for music, and I download games legally through sites like Steam. But if this were just about piracy, there wouldn&rsquo;t be such a huge uproar about it. The sad fact is, if this legislation is passed in its current state, it would be like stopping every ship from sailing in the oceans because 0.00001% of them are carrying illegal cargo. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">New, Legal Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h3>Is This the Same as PIPA?</h3> <p>No, although they are very much related and the consequences are similar. PIPA stands for the Protect IP Act, and was introduced way back in May of 2011. PIPA itself is a rehash of an older, failed legislation from 2010 called COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act).</p> <p>Like SOPA, PIPA gives U.S. corporations and the U.S. government enormous power over the Internet. With PIPA in place, they would have the power to force your Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to any websites &ldquo;they believe&rdquo; are infringing copyright. And as this is all a very grey area, the ISPs will always err on the side of extreme caution. Which equates to &ldquo;Oh, you don&rsquo;t like that? No worries, it&rsquo;s gone.&rdquo;</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s just the beginning. They could also forcibly remove advertising from those sites (their primary source of income), sue websites that link to them, and sue websites that have not done a good job of enforcing the strict new regulations.</p> <p>In a nutshell, so many websites are going to be so afraid of being sued, they will simply block content from almost every source. In conjunction with SOPA, it&rsquo;s a double-whammy that aims to give corporations and the government complete control of the Internet. Talk about Big Brother is watching you.</p> <h3>The Deeper Ramifications of SOPA</h3> <p>Unlike PIPA, which is more targeted, the building blocks of SOPA are very broad. It will make it possible to clamp down on an enormous chunk of the Internet, destroying the free exchange of information that has made the Internet what it is today. Many organizations, like The Guardian, are calling it &ldquo;The Great American Firewall.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sites like Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit could cease to exist as you know them today. Right now, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor for these sites. They remove content if it is found to be infringing upon copyright. It&rsquo;s the honor system, and they honor it. But if SOPA passes, there will be no good faith system. Websites will be monitored and could be shut down instantly when an infringement occurs. No business could operate like that.</p> <p>And due to the far-reaching legal liabilities they are being opened up to, many popular sites could cease to exist, period. It just wouldn&rsquo;t be possible to monitor the kind of content they have coming in from millions of people, daily.</p> <p>Any type of content that is believed to be an infringement of copyright could result in court orders, fines, and jail time. At the very least, videos and images that you now have access to, even something as harmless as a link to a funny clip from the Golden Globes or a music video you like, could be immediately pulled due to copyright infringement.</p> <h3>So, What&rsquo;s the Worst That Can Happen?</h3> <p>Opponents to the bill, and there are many, say that this is going to destroy freedom of speech on the Internet and also sabotage the information superhighway that makes the Internet possible. That all sounds like pie-in-the-sky language without examples, so let&rsquo;s bring it down to Earth.</p> <p>Here are some possible outcomes of SOPA and PIPA, based on the language of the current bill:</p> <ul> <li>Posting clips of TV shows, movies, or music videos would be a criminal offense! So would sharing them. That would destroy sites like YouTube, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">Facebook</a>, Twitter, Reddit, and many more. They would simply become a framework for &ldquo;officially licensed&rdquo; videos, and corporations cannot possibly provide the same amount of usable content that people all over the world can.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Streaming copyrighted content could put you behind bars for five years. So, if you stream ANYTHING on your own website that could be considered a copyright infringement, you&rsquo;re in big trouble. And remember, this is all open to interpretation. The song &quot;Happy Birthday to You&quot; is owned by Warner Music Group (they earn $2 million per year in royalties). Streaming a video of you singing to your one-year-old will be punishable by law. That&rsquo;s not a joke.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Karaoke videos and clips would also be illegal, as they are technically cover versions of songs that have a copyright.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Many thousands of jobs will be lost. With sites shutting down to avoid petty litigation and lawsuits, jobs will vanish in record time. The affect this could have on the economy, which is already in a rotten state, could be devastating.</li> </ul> <h3>What Can You Do to Stop SOPA and PIPA?</h3> <p>Vote with your dollars, and pressure your elected officials. <a href="http://theoriesofconspiracy.com/2011/11/list-of-major-companies-supporting-sopa.htm">There&rsquo;s a massive list of companies here that support the bill. </a>Stop buying their products and services. And then let people in government know how bad this will be. This is an election year, no one wants to get on the wrong side of voters.</p> <p>Hopefully, this will really go away and we can find another way to stop the real problem &mdash; genuine pirates who cost the movie, music, and television industries millions of dollars. But as sure as night follows day, they will adapt to any new legislation quickly and everything will be business as usual for them. It&rsquo;s us, the regular Joes, who will suffer.</p> <h3>Further Reading</h3> <ul> <li><a href="http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/technical-examination-of-sopa-and.html">Reddit.com&rsquo;s technical examination of SOPA and PIPA</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBtr4aZtmrQ">SOPA explained in 2 minutes by The Guardian</a></li> <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act">Stop Online Piracy Act - Wikipedia</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/22/2648219/stop-online-piracy-act-sopa-what-is-it">The Verge &ndash; What is SOPA and How Does It Work?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/how-sopa-pipa-can-affect-you/">How SOPA Can Affect You</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam">How to Avoid a &quot;Sweetheart Scam&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-declutter-your-digital-life">5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-smart-ways-to-improve-your-social-media-presence">Flashback Friday: 34 Smart Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Technology Congress Internet Online piracy SOPA Wed, 18 Jan 2012 17:10:16 +0000 Paul Michael 869889 at http://www.wisebread.com The Debt Ceiling Crisis in Everyday English http://www.wisebread.com/the-debt-ceiling-crisis-in-everyday-english <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-debt-ceiling-crisis-in-everyday-english" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/capitol_building.jpg" alt="The U.S. Capitol Building" title="The U.S. Capitol Building" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="154" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&rsquo;re like most Americans, you&rsquo;ve heard more than you ever wanted to hear about the debt ceiling crisis. However, hearing is different from understanding, and this is a complex problem that can be difficult to grasp. In this case, it's been even harder to get an accurate explanation about what is going on in language that&rsquo;s easy to understand. After all, if you&rsquo;re not an economist or a financier, it&rsquo;s easy to wonder what the big deal is, anyway.</p> <p>This week, I had the chance to talk to FOX Business Network reporter Shibani Joshi to see if she could shed some light on this situation and what it means for everyday Americans. She&rsquo;s been following the story closely for weeks now and was eager to help Wise Bread readers gain a deeper understanding of the debt crisis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt-ceiling-contingency-plans">Debt Ceiling Contingency Plans</a>)</p> <h3>What Is the Debt Crisis All About?</h3> <p>Basically, the country is running out of money. As of next Tuesday, August 2nd, the country will no longer be able to borrow more money because it will already have borrowed the maximum amount allowed under current laws. While this may not have a huge effect immediately (since the country does have other sources of income), if not resolved it means that, eventually, the U.S. will not be able to pay its bills. This includes payments owed on the money we&rsquo;ve already borrowed, as well as veteran&rsquo;s benefits, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and more.</p> <p>The government&rsquo;s problem is similar to the problems that, on a smaller level, caused the recession. Joshi puts it this way, &ldquo;In the same way we saw Americans living outside of their means by taking out too much credit to buy bigger homes than they could afford and maxing out their credit cards, the U.S. government uses too much credit. This is a magnified example of what happened to millions of Americans in the last decade.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Is it a Big Deal?</h3> <p>According to Joshi, this is a significant problem. &ldquo;If the U.S. can&rsquo;t pay its bills,&rdquo; she says, &ldquo;it defaults on its loans and then the entire world will be impacted.&rdquo; Many countries look to the United States as a financial leader, even during a recession. If we cannot meet our financial responsibilities, this will trickle down to effect people worldwide.</p> <p>Not raising the debt ceiling will not only effect people around the world financially, but in other ways, too. &ldquo;We are the most stable nation in the world, and the beacon that the world looks to for security,&rdquo; Joshi says. If we are proven to be less secure than we appear, that will effect how other countries interact with us and could, eventually, lead to shifts in power around the globe.</p> <h3>Should You Panic?</h3> <p>Not yet. The August 2nd deadline isn&rsquo;t hard and fast, except that we cannot borrow more money after that date. However, &ldquo;we still have cash coming into the government, and the government will be able to pay its bills for a short time after August 2nd,&rdquo; Joshi explains. This means that there is more time and space for lawmakers to agree on a plan than is being touted in many news sources.</p> <p>In addition, Joshi stresses that &ldquo;this is sometimes just how the system works. An outcome will be reached. It may not be fun or pretty, but it is how our system works.&rdquo; She believes that, while lawmakers may hold out until the very last minute, they are not willing to sacrifice the well-being of the country they serve and the rest of the world for a few partisan ideals.</p> <h3>If We Don&rsquo;t Raise the Debt Ceiling, How Does It Affect Average Americans?</h3> <p>The most significant place that average Americans will see an effect from this crisis is in the value of their investments. The Dow has fallen nearly 500 points during the last week because of the disagreements in Washington on this issue. &ldquo;That is your money,&rdquo; Joshi explains, &ldquo;in retirement funds, college funds, and more.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s expected that interest rates will also rise, which means that mortgage, auto loan, and credit card rates will go up, too. The prices of certain commodities, like oil and gold, are also expected to rise. &ldquo;This could affect your grocery bills and the price at the pump,&rdquo; Joshi says, which hits every American where it counts.</p> <p>Beyond that, Americans who rely on money from the government may be put in very difficult situations. If the country cannot provide that depended-upon income, these individuals and families could face serious financial difficulty.</p> <p>However, it&rsquo;s also important to note that we don&rsquo;t know exactly what will happen. We&rsquo;ve never defaulted on loans before, nor have we had a lowered credit rating. So for the moment, all of this is speculation.</p> <h3>What Can Every American Do in Regards to this Crisis?</h3> <p><strong>1. Don&rsquo;t panic. </strong>Give the government a bit more time to figure things out.</p> <p><strong>2. Get educated.</strong> Before you decide what you think about this issue, learn more about it. The information in this article is a bare-bones explanation. If you want to know more, continue researching until you feel like you understand what&rsquo;s going on. Then, and only then, decide how you think it should be resolved.</p> <p><strong>3. Take action.</strong> When you know how you&rsquo;d like to see the situation handled, contact your federal representatives to let them know. You can call, email, write, or Tweet your opinions. Talk to friends and family members, too. After all, many Americans still don&rsquo;t understand the issue very well.</p> <p><strong>4. Be open to compromise.</strong> Issues as complex as these almost always require conversation and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-agree-without-compromise">concessions on all sides</a> before they&rsquo;re resolved. Instead of insisting that your solution is correct, dialogue with others and try to come to a mutual understanding, just like we all want our representatives to do right now.</p> <p><strong>5. Be open to change.</strong> This country needs to operate on a balanced budget that doesn&rsquo;t involve burgeoning debt, and that means that things cannot continue the way they are. &ldquo;We have major issues to deal with that go beyond the debt ceiling,&rdquo; Joshi says, &ldquo;including a huge spending problem, entitlements that are dysfunctional, and a tax code that could use a house cleaning.&rdquo; Making things better means change, and it will be easier if we all see it coming.</p> <p><em>Shibani Joshi joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in September 2007 as a reporter. To her role, Joshi brings experience in investment banking, strategy and business development. Joshi began her career as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, where she worked on merger, acquisition, and corporate finance deals in the real estate sector. </em></p> <p><em>Joshi holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. She also earned a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in finance and accounting at the University of Oklahoma. Joshi is a native of Oklahoma City and her parents are originally from Pune, India. FOX Business Network will be airing a special report on the debt crisis on Monday, August 1 at 5AM/ET, where you can hear more of her thoughts and explanations on the current issues. &nbsp;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-debt-ceiling-crisis-in-everyday-english">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-government-helps-disaster-victims-recover">6 Ways the Government Helps Disaster Victims Recover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stalemate-on-the-debt-ceiling">Stalemate on the Debt Ceiling?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/low-interest-rates-do-not-make-homes-affordable">Low Interest Rates Do Not Make Homes Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt-ceiling-contingency-plans">Debt Ceiling Contingency Plans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Congress debt ceiling government Fri, 29 Jul 2011 22:46:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 644066 at http://www.wisebread.com How a $700 billion bailout became a $800 billion "rescue plan" http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-700-billion-bailout-became-a-800-billion-rescue-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-700-billion-bailout-became-a-800-billion-rescue-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pig.jpg" alt="Which one went to market?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="130" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know how, when the bailout package was first proposed by Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, Congress and the public were generally outraged that the Fed Chairman and the Secretary of the Treasury would ask for so much money to bailout large corporations and Wall Street? Seriously, Congress was all &quot;OMGWTF, $700 billion!?!?!? That&#39;s, like, nearly a trillion dollars! FAIL.&quot;</p> <p>Joe Public probably thought that Congressional outrage was along the same lines of the outrage felt by most tax-payers. Something like &quot;Shucks, that&#39;s a heckuva lot of money.&quot;</p> <p>Turns out what Congressional leaders meant was: that wasn&#39;t nearly enough. That&#39;s why the Senate and the House both passed a bail-out bill that now includes 100 billion dollars in pork, for a grand total of $800 billion. </p> <p>How on earth did Congress manage to pack so many earmarks into such a bill. Here are some of the tax benefit recipients, as listed by the <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/03/MNR813AHDN.DTL">San Francisco Chronicle</a>:</p> <ul> <li>$2 million tax benefit for makers of <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1067053/Wooden-arrows-fortune-save-US-bailout-plan.html">wooden arrows for children</a></li> <li>$100 million tax break to benefit auto racetrack owners</li> <li>$192 million in rebates on excise taxes for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry</li> <li>$148 million in tax relief for U.S. wool fabric producers</li> <li>$49 million tax benefit for fishermen and other plaintiffs who sued over the 1989 tanker Exxon Valdez spill</li> </ul> <p>How ridiculous are these (with the exception of the rum benefit, of course) tax benefits? </p> <p>But wait, there&#39;s more - for instance, Washington residents (as well as residents of Texas, Nevada, Florida, and Wyoming) can continue deducting their sales tax from the their federal taxes, something I&#39;ve never taken advantage of because I am too lazy to save my receipts.</p> <p>The bill passed the house by a vote of 263-171, meaning that 58 more <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432282,00.html">Representatives voted for the bill today than on Monday</a>, when the bill was defeated by a few dozen votes just before Congress all pretended to be Jewish so they could take Rosh Hashana off and go drink some of that subsidized rum and shoot wooden arrows at each other.</p> <p>I&#39;m not one who thinks that earmarks are all bad, not by a long shot. But I find it interesting the lawmakers who were completely obsessed with government waste and disturbed by government intervention and special interests were happy to pass along over $100 billion in pork. </p> <p>Anyone else bothered? Does this seem hypocritical? Especially considering that there are no actual revisions or reforms to the laws that govern the mortgage industry to begin with?</p> <p>Other fun things to consider:</p> <ul> <li>The money being used to finance the bailout <a href="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/where-will-the-money-come-from/">doesn&#39;t technically exist</a>. Yet.</li> <li>The result of creating the funds necessary to fund the bailout <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0923/p25s10-usec.html">can crush the American dollar</a> in a landslide of inflation.</li> <li>Some former members of Congress would like to further deregulate industry accounting practices by repealing part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. You know, the part <a href="http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2008/10/accounting-refo.html">that dictated that companies</a> &quot;must value the assets on their balance sheets based on the latest market indicators of the price that those assets could be sold for immediately&quot;.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-700-billion-bailout-became-a-800-billion-rescue-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-clunkers-bill-passed-by-congress-what-does-it-mean-for-consumers">&quot;Cash for clunkers&quot; bill passed by Congress - what does it mean for consumers?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law">12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Taxes bailout Bill Congress House of Representatives President Bush Senate taxes Fri, 03 Oct 2008 22:07:02 +0000 Andrea Karim 2490 at http://www.wisebread.com The most important FREE piece of paper you'll ever receive. http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-free-piece-of-paper-youll-ever-receive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-most-important-free-piece-of-paper-youll-ever-receive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2386303249_35df0d959c_b.jpg" alt="The U.S. Constitution" title="The U.S. Constitution" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="213" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It is the foundation for the way the United States Government is organized. It is the supreme law of the U.S. And It was adopted on September 17th, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s the United States Constitution, and you can get your hands on a <a href="https://secure.heritage.org/firstPrinciples/pocketconstitution.aspx">free copy with free shipping</a> .</p> <p>I don’t need to tell you why this document is so important. The Constitution has held up for over two centuries and is the defining document of the U.S. Government. Right now, as both the Democrats and Republicans spar over the Presidency, one thing should never change…and that is the President’s duty to uphold the Constitution. </p> <p>In recent times, many people have become concerned about the violation of the Constitution. Usually, the arguments surround <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act">The Patriot Act.</a>  But you cannot defend the Constitution unless you know what is in it. And it’s up to us to arm ourselves with that knowledge. I’m ashamed to say that I have been living in the United States for almost eight years and have never read the Constitution. Well, I’m changing that right now. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/declaration-of-independence.jpg" alt="Constitution" title="Constitution" width="173" height="300" /></p> <p>I have just ordered a copy of the Constitution of the United States, combined with The Declaration of Independence, <a href="https://secure.heritage.org/firstPrinciples/pocketconstitution.aspx">FREE from The Heritage Foundation</a> . You don’t pay shipping either. So, you really have no excuse not to pick up a copy. The Heritage Foundation will send you multiple copies if you need them, which is especially useful for teachers and scout leaders. If you’re ordering just one, simply put your name in the Organization/Group box.</p> <p>Grab a copy, keep it handy. Whatever happens in the upcoming election, we cannot allow any administration to find ways around the document that makes the United States a bastion of freedom. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-free-piece-of-paper-youll-ever-receive">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-new-credit-card-rules-affect-consumers">How will the new credit card rules affect consumers?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-did-your-ipod-come-from-the-story-of-stuff-0">Where Did Your iPod Come From? The Story of Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-purchase-rang-up-wrong-could-the-law-be-on-my-side">My Purchase Rang Up Wrong! Could the Law Be on My Side?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-be-ashamed-to-be-on-public-assistance">Should You be Ashamed to be on Public Assistance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-these-car-buying-incentives-get-you-to-buy-a-new-car">Will these car buying incentives get you to buy a new car?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Congress Election 2008 government law rights U.S. Constitution Mon, 22 Sep 2008 17:00:29 +0000 Paul Michael 2450 at http://www.wisebread.com Will Internet Radio die on July 15th? http://www.wisebread.com/will-internet-radio-die-on-july-15th <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/415466483_a1c6c82e8c.jpg" alt="mouth shut" title="mouth shut" width="283" height="188" /></p> <p>If you love the freedom and variety of Internet Radio, today is not going to be a good day for you. Today is Internet Radio Day Of Silence. Webcasters everywhere have gone silent, not as a way to annoy loyal listeners, but as a way to encourage us all to act on a bill that could silence web radio forever.</p> <p>July 15th is a day looming on the horizon for Internet Radio. Royalty rates will increase three-fold that day due to the single-minded lobbying of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). What&#39;s more, the fees are retroactive to January 1st, and such fees will cripple many online stations. My favorite, Pandora, posted a letter about this whole incident <a href="http://pandora.com/">here</a> , and thus my Macintosh is sadly silent today.</p> <p>Web radio is a wonderful musical resource. With so many genres to choose from, it gives consumers variety and freedom. It&#39;s also great for up-and-coming bands, who often can&#39;t break through the red tape of traditional commercial radio stations. I, for one, would sorely miss Internet Radio if it were to wither and die. And without your help, it may just do that.</p> <p><strong>What can you do?</strong></p> <p>First, visit <a href="http://www.savenetradio.org/">savenetradio.org</a> and read all about the campaign. Once your blood is good and boiling, find the names and numbers of your <a href="http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/issues/alert/?alertid=9738601">local Senators and Representatives</a> and tell them to become co-sponsors of the <strong>Internet Radio Equality Act. </strong> </p> <p>As I often say, power to the people. Let&#39;s get Internet Radio a fair deal folks, and tell as many people as you can about this. I certainly don&#39;t want to be writing its obituary in a month&#39;s time. Thanks. </p> <p><em>Powerful NEW photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/wiseacre/">Wiseacre</a> . Thank you (I changed the old photo due to a few lovely comments.  I do hope you got the point of the article and did your piece to help though). </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-internet-radio-die-on-july-15th">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/legendary-rock-band-radiohead-charges-whatever-you-want-for-latest-album">Legendary rock band Radiohead charges &quot;whatever you want&quot; for latest album</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-700-billion-bailout-became-a-800-billion-rescue-plan">How a $700 billion bailout became a $800 billion &quot;rescue plan&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-free-piece-of-paper-youll-ever-receive">The most important FREE piece of paper you&#039;ll ever receive.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Congress Internet radio music pandora.com royalty fees. savenetradio.org senators Tue, 26 Jun 2007 16:34:45 +0000 Paul Michael 777 at http://www.wisebread.com