Government Intrusion Continues

With the usual euphemistic grandstanding moniker, the latest from your government and ours comes forth in the form of the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”

            That’s right – now they want your business and ours to provide to the government data related to employee compensation, as it may relate to employees’ sex, race and national origin.

            At least that’s what they’re telling you – who’s to say that your business may not be the next one on which the government may lower the boom in the form of an edict that you, mean and nasty capitalist, are making just too darned much, and you will just have to start spreading the wealth around a bit more?

            The (Democrat controlled) House passed this “Fairness” edict in 2009, though the Senate (in exhibiting an almost unfathomable degree of sanity) has not – at least, not yet.  We hear the House and Senate are now wrangling over the legislation which covers a whole bunch of workplace rules, including the establishment of a data base of U.S. workers’ pay in both the public and private sector.

            Nice – seen that in the Constitution anywhere?

            Biden was recently heard to utter the thought that Congress should pass the bill, to include language requiring employers to provide info about employee pay–indeed Section 8 of the measure (“Collection of Pay Information by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission”) calls for amendment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in requiring the Commission to “complete a survey of the data that is currently available to the Federal Government relating to employee pay information for use in the enforcement of Federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination and, in consultation with other relevant Federal agencies, identify additional data collections that will enhance the enforcement of such laws….”

            A laudable goal, indeed (checking up on pay discrimination), but what might be the next shoe to drop once Obama finds out what you are making, and once he and the collectivist minions surrounding him decide it’s just too darned much? 

            And all of you gold investors out there (Isn’t that everybody?) may not want to lose sight of the fact that a sleeper in the recent health care “reform” legislation will require brokers to start reporting (in 2012) your gold (coin and bullion) trades on a 1099 each year.  And this will clearly make the IRS happy–the Joint Committee on Taxation thinks this little sleeper will raise $17 billion (with a “B”) over the next ten years!

            But not so fast, says the National Taxpayer Advocate, whose recent June 30 report suggests that the new rule “may present significant administrative challenges to taxpayers and the IRS.”

            Really.

            And finally, this week, cometh word via a USA Today/Gallup poll that a majority of retirees think their current Social Security benefits will be cut and a record six of ten nonretirees think Social Security won’t even be able to pay them when retirement time comes.  And we wonder how this pessimism might affect Obama’s deficit commission, which plans to report later this year (after the elections, of course).

            Happy 75th birthday, Social Security.

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

            Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He is also a contributor to the recently published 13th edition of Tax Savvy for Small Business, published by Nolo.  He can be reached at 831-7288, and welcomes comments at below.

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