Saturday, 12 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

The Fiscal Cliff ?

By now, everyone has heard about the "fiscal cliff" bill signed into law on January 2, 2013, but what you might not understand is how it affects you. With that in mind, let's take a closer look.

What is the "Fiscal Cliff"?

The term "fiscal cliff" refers to the $503 billion in federal tax increases and $200 billion in spending cuts (according to recent Congressional Budget Office projections) that took effect at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013--before Congress passed ATRA. It is the abruptness of these measures and possible negative economic impacts such as an increase in unemployment and a recession that has resulted in the use of the metaphor "fiscal cliff".

What Could Have Happened?

According to the Tax Policy Center the arrival of the fiscal cliff would have meant that nearly 90% of all households would see their taxes rise. The top 20 percent of Americans would see their effective tax rate rise about 5.8 percentage points on average, while the bottom 20 percent of Americans would see their tax rate rise about 3.7 percentage points as a result of the Bush-era tax cuts to income, estate, and capital gains tax.
Further, in addition to a rise in tax rates, middle class and the lower-income working families are affected by the fiscal cliff in other ways--among them child-related credits and deductions for dependent care and education, and the EITC.

What Actually Happened: The "Fiscal Cliff" Deal

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which President Obama signed into law the following day. The "fiscal cliff" bill, as it's referred to, extended a number of tax provisions that expired in 2011 and 2012, as well as increasing taxes on higher income individuals.

How We Got here

Here I want to include a punch list which we used to help us find the best place for us to live and retire, this was in part responsable for our final choice of Ecuador.
I was going to write an article on how we got here but, I have labored with this for some time and find that it became to long and intense, so I am going to share with you the practical mechanism that was used to bring us here to Ecuador. Consider this part one.
There are a few changes that I did not correct, for Columbia you can only own with a Columbian partner, very similar to Mexico.

This Month

January 12, 1879 - In Southern Africa, the Zulu War began between the British and the natives of Zululand, ultimately resulting in the destruction of the Zulu Empire.
January 12, 1932 - Hattie W. Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the term of her deceased husband. Later in the year, she became the first woman elected to the Senate.
January 12, 1990 - Romania outlawed the Communist Party following the overthrow of Dictator Nicolae Ceauescu who had ruled for 24 years.
January 12, 1991 - Congress authorized President George Bush to use military force against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.
January 12, 1996 - The first joint American-Russian military operation since World War II occurred as Russian troops arrived to aid in peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia.
January 12, 1999 - President Bill Clinton sent a check for $850,000 to Paula Jones officially ending the sensational sexual harassment legal case that ultimately endangered his presidency. The president withdrew $375,000 from his and Hillary Rodham Clinton's personal funds and got the remaining $475,000 from an insurance policy. The lawsuit had exposed the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky and resulted in investigations by Independent Counsel Ken Starr that led to Clinton'simpeachment by the House of Representatives and subsequent trial in the Senate.
Birthday - John Winthrop (1588-1649) was born in Suffolk, England. In 1630, he joined a group of Puritans emigrating to America and became the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, establishing a colony on the peninsula of Shawmut, which became Boston.
Birthday - Irish orator, politician and philosopher Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was born in Dublin. Best known for his essays and pamphlets including Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770), On American Taxation (1774), On Conciliation with the Colonies (1775) andReflections on the Revolution in France (1790).
Birthday - American statesman and patriot John Hancock (1737-1793) was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was elected president of the Second Continental Congress in 1775, was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and went on to become the first elected governor of Massachusetts.