During the recent holiday season, I was blessed to enjoy the company of friends and family. This year, more than any other, I remember the conversations led us to the topic of our collective future as a country. Having just completed an election cycle, the talking points were fresh and full of emotionality.
We suspect each of you have heard about the ongoing government shutdown and subsequent debt ceiling authorization being debated in Washington. This latest government episode has not generated confidence, but rather illustrates the worst in political theatre. And that is the point, it is theatre.
The lights have gone out in Detroit, literally. Forty percent of the streetlights don't work, since there isn't enough money to keep them on, or up, in a city that some 60 years ago was the richest in the country and perhaps the world. Now, Detroit has acquired bragging rights that make it the largest-ever municipal failure in US history.
The lower income, capital gains, dividends, estate, and gift tax rates enacted during President George W. Bush’s presidency had been scheduled to increase on January 1, 2013 for all taxpayers. These tax increases, plus the imposition of automatic spending cuts also set to begin on the same date, became known as the “fiscal cliff.” The Congressional Budget Office and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke had predicted a recession if legislation was not enacted to prevent the fiscal cliff from occurring. Despite some anxious moments for investors at the end of 2012, Congress and the President agreed on legislation that permitted tax increases only for higher income-earners. The result was the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”) signed by the President on January 2, 2013.
By Vinton Fountain
January 2, 2013
First, we would like to wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year! We would also like to share a couple of thoughts about our results in 2012 and what we might expect in 2013.
By Vinton Fountain
November 7, 2012
I thought I would share my perspective with you regarding the election, the expected impact and our plans for supporting you and your family.