Thursday, June 21, 2007

I have read the Impact Assessment and I am satisfied that, given the available evidence, it represents a reasonable view of the likely costs, benefits and impact of the leading options …

We are living longer, with higher incomes, better standards of housing, marrying less, Hinduism is growing. The average age in Australia is 37 years old, compared to 34 in 1996.
The most common family type is a couple with children. The average number of children living in a couple family with children under 15 is 2.16. Nine out of ten couple families with young children live in a separate house with an average of four bedrooms. Almost two-thirds of these families are paying off a mortgage. China (~96,000), and India (~70,000) We're richer, more diverse but deeper in debt: Census

Can we change the heart of politics? Targeting a Tax Dodge
Private-equity funds are the new moneybags of the capitalist system. When companies want a cash infusion or a new ownership structure, the first place they look these days is not the marketplace but rather these huge pools of cash.

That status has also made them suspect. Whenever anything gets too big or too rich in America, it usually has a target painted on its back. Bringing the wealthy and the powerful down a notch is an age-old tradition in a country enamored with the underdog.
Therein lies one reason that the congressional tax-writing committees are considering a proposal to end a little-known tax break, called carried interest, that has allowed financiers who run private-equity firms and hedge funds to cut their income tax bills by billions of dollars a year. The tax rule involved (it is actually not a law) has allowed fund managers to pay the capital gains tax rate of 15 percent instead of the ordinary top income tax rate of 35 percent. Taking away that benefit would raise tens of billions of dollars that Congress could then use to fund other, humbler services. It will not be easy for the private-equity funds to cry poverty as a defense.

Magicians with No Clothes; Private equity dispatches lobbyist army [Tom Herman gives a nice plug to TaxProf Blog in today's Wall Street Journal: Tax geeks HMRC is one of the first Government departments to launch podcasts, designed to make information on some of the most wide-ranging issues simple and accessible. The podcasts are between three and four minutes' duration, offering advice, support and helpful hints in a conversational style. Another podcast also launches today, discussing topical issues relating to the tax profession Employers turn to their iPods as tax deadline looms ]
• · It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free ... When You Allegedly Cheat on Taxes, the Terrorists Win Eternal vigilance the price of freedom; September 11, 2001 has been linked to a number of criminal activities and now we can add tax fraud to the list. Tax Girl Power
• · MAKE no mistake: the gloves are off in Canberra and the election campaign is on. All that remains is for John Howard to name the day of the prize fight. Unlike the US, Britain, Canada and other democracies, Australia has no full-time watchdog organisation that fights against government secrecy. Heat's on Howard to jemmy open the vaults ; Australians are reported to be the most technology savvy nationality in the world. We have an insatiable desire for anything new be it the DVD, mobile phones, plasma and LCD TVs, iPods, PDAs, broadband and wireless technology Gov site ; Those towns are rich sources of stories. Everyone knows everything, and everyone wants to know everything. Real life is messy. Fiction refines it to a form that we can get some meaning out of. Sometimes I think we are just a bag of stories with flesh wrapped around Soul Drain
• · · All Things Considered· The man British authorities charged with poisoning former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko has responded with his own accusations I was framed by MI6, says ex-KGB spy ; Expectations were not high when Tony Fitzgerald, QC, was appointed 20 years ago to inquire into allegations of illegal activities within the police force and in high places. Queensland had lived through inquiries before with minimum effect on the way of life.
Fitzgerald put light on dark system
; This chamber resonates with the power of its accumulated memory. The plaques and the furnishings and the carpets, the smell of leather, the geographic expression of power and vying for power. How fortunate a Premier would be who could choose from the array of talent assembled the length, incongruously, of the Opposition frontbench. It’s lovely to see three generations of the Knowles. As, surely, it is right buried out of sight at the back is Ted Mack, the only independent who chose to come this day. He would not have sat anywhere else. The electorate builds so much of its impression of the functioning of democracy
• · · · THE Government of the ACT has now entered the complacency phase. It is a political danger faced by any government going beyond its first term A wake up call came at the recent Annual Report Awards by the Institute of Public Administration (IPAA). The outcomes of these awards ought to have embarrassed the ACT Government in the extreme. Hold the smugness, there’s no time for complacency; Fairfax Digital has strengthened its ties with Google, announcing an expanded relationship that will include a rollout of Google's AdWords text advertisements across the media company's network of websites. Photos and Books before bullets
• · · · · Good Web connection, bad connection, no connection? No problem. Google Gears software will allow users to run Web applications from any location A sea change for the Internet ; A man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested, and US authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk email Uber-spammer's arrest hardly making dent on spam volume
• · · · · · A study of Google’s most recently filed quarterly balance sheet provides some interesting insights. Of its gross assets of about $20 billion, almost $12 billion represent cash, cash equivalents and investments. Other assets on the balance sheet comprise property and equipment at $2.8 billion, non-marketable equity securities at $1.5 billion, and other assets at $3.7 billion. Yet the marketplace tells us that Google is richly endowed with assets that are not on its balance sheet e.g. intellectual, informational and other intangible assets! If the $20 billion book value shown by the balance sheet was replaced by the approximate $150 billion market value that analysts have reckoned, the $130 billion gap is presumed to reflect the intellectual, informational and other intangible properties embedded in the company – but not reflected by the bookkeepers. Google’s quarterly balance sheet ; Long Tail of Google