Small Business Reading Room

Friday, September 23, 2005

FINCen Under Attack?

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCen) has suffered some sort of break in. This morning we received an email that purported to come from FINCen. The terrorists either took control of the list serve, spoofed their way past the moderator or stole the mailing list from the server. We are on the FINCen mailing list. The email follows:

The message headers are available if anyone knows how to decode them. We did not download the images.

FINCen is one of the many organizations of our government that are supposed to protect us from this kind of thing. They have sent a follow up email to let us know they are aware of the problem.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The 21st Century Tax Debate for Dummies

Income or consumption?
Flat rate or progressive?
AMT or not to AMT?

So you're not an expert. You're not alone.
But you still know enough to recognize that our tax policy helps to shape our society and the economy.

Exactly what are the issues are and how do they affect you?

The U.S. General Accountability Office has published a special report on this very subject that is aimed at everyday people.

What can you expect? Here's a section from the report's abstract:

Taxes are necessary because they fund the services provided by government. In 2005, Americans will pay about $2.1 trillion in combined federal taxes, including income, payroll, and excise taxes, or about 16.8 percent of gross domestic product. Beyond funding government, the federal tax system has profound effects on the economy as a whole and on individual taxpayers, both for today and tomorrow. Taxes change people's behavior and influence the economy by altering incentives to work, consume, save, and invest. This, in turn, affects economic growth and future income--and thus future government revenues. At the same time, the current tax system generates fierce controversy over fairness--who should pay and how much they should pay. In addition, the current tax system is widely viewed as overly complex, thereby reducing the ability of individuals to understand and comply with the tax laws. Furthermore, the tax system is costly to administer with most of the costs of administration, such as record keeping, understanding the laws, and preparing returns, borne by taxpayers. Concerns about the economic effectiveness, fairness, and growing complexity of the current tax system raise questions about its credibility. These concerns have led to a growing debate about the fundamental design of the federal tax system

Read the report:

No matter what side of this debate you are on, know the issues, and stand up for what you believe.
No one else will do it for you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

September Delaware Register of Regulations

The September Delaware Register of Regulations is available online through the Delaware Regulations website. The Register contains all the proposed regulation changes for the State of Delaware.

Blogosphere mobilizing

Bloggers are posting furiously on the need to reduce spending in the Federal Government to help offset the expense of the Katrina cleanup.

The Truth Laid Bear appears to be the unofficial hub of the blogging campaign.

This effort may show us how strong the blogging community really is. If the bloggers can get Congress to slow spending they will prove to be the most powerfull political group of all time!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A "Treasury Hunt" for Lost Bonds

As reported in today's Wall Street Journal there are more than 33 million unclaimed matured savings bonds that are valued at more than $13.5 billion. Are you or one of your relatives one of the many who have yet to claim a bond?

The Treasury Department has just expanded their online database to assist people with finding a lost bond. All you need is a social security number. It's possible that you or a family member, possibly even a deceased family member, have money waiting for them.

Typo Squating Online

Now that is a strange thing to read. Turns out a serial domain name registrant is securing domains that are the names of security companies but with typos in the name. Norton is the number one victim so far with domain names like (note the misspelling). is reporting that the typo squatter is a Panamanian company called Unasi Inc.

I wonder if ICANN can help companies protect their names? There are so many ways you might misspell a name you could go broke registering all of them to keep them from thieves.

Monday, September 19, 2005

President Suspends Davis-Bacon Act

I read this headline in the Wall Street Journal and they provided an OK explanation of what the Davis-Bacon Act was and what it did.

For more information about why it was enacted and who benefits and who is harmed by the Act I turned to the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council.

If what they say is true, why don't we suspend or eliminate the Act entirely? Is it doing ANY good?

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