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Questions: Many think Fed should raise interest rate

We asked: Should the Federal Reserve raise interest rates at its August meeting?

Definitely. The weak dollar and foolish federal spending beyond America's means is causing high energy costs.

Lee Wikkerink, St. Petersburg and Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Seems like we tried that in 1930 and it didn't turn out so well. Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat the lesson.

Tom Wood, Ocala

Yes. This can have a salutary effect both for banks and for increasing discretionary income for retirees and investors.

Eric Rhodes, New Port Richey

Yes. The Fed needs to start upping interest rates by at least 2 points by year end.

Bill Murphy, Sun City Center

Yes. Inflation is rising, and the dollar is declining against other currencies. The Fed bailed out the financial corporations, and now it is time to bail out the consumers.

Adrian Nenu, St. Petersburg

The Fed will not raise rates while jobs and the market are in the dumps.

Brad Bryan, Trinity

No. Too many financial instruments are tied to the Fed rate. I like higher rates on our CDs, but a quarter- or half-point increase would not make us rich.

Paul Blatt, Dunedin

Yes. "Full faith and credit" has to be restored. Why would anyone hold currency that depreciates faster than the interest being paid? It is financial suicide.

Frank Macauley, Madeira Beach

The Fed will do nothing at the next session but to give a hint that it is working on a stronger dollar. It's all an illusion.

Sam Lasley, Clearwater

You asked

I'm a Canadian who bought a Florida condo in 1993 for $133,000. Today its value is about $500,000, even with the market as it is. We are there about six months per year now. Would there be a capital gains tax if we sold?

If you are a nonresident alien, you will owe capital gains tax on the profit on your U.S. property when you sell. However, if you are a resident alien (green card), and this home is your primary residence, then you would be eligible to exclude your gain of up to $250,000 (single) or $500,000 (married filing jointly) from tax. However, you would have to pay tax on your worldwide income. Read more about taxes on foreign citizens in IRS Publication 519.

Next week's question: What financial issue do you want to see the presidential candidates tackle?

To ask a question, make a comment or answer the Money Question of the Week, e-mail hhuntley@sptimes.com or write Helen Huntley, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Visit her MoneyTalk blog (blogs.tampabay.com/money) for more money information.

Questions: Many think Fed should raise interest rate 08/02/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 3, 2008 11:31am]
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