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Q&A: Nixon Shock boosted market briefly

President Nixon’s economic stimulus phases boosted the market for a short time. 

Associated Press (1974)

President Nixon’s economic stimulus phases boosted the market for a short time. 

Nixon Shock didn't help much

President Nixon established an economic plan that was in phases. It included freezing various costs of goods and services and a price rollback. Was it effective?

On Aug. 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon imposed wage and price controls and a 10 percent import surcharge, cut various taxes and expenditures, and made the dollar inconvertible to gold except on the open market.

Dubbed the Nixon Shock, the 90-day freeze turned into nearly 1,000 days of measures known as Phases One, Two, Three and Four. Despite triggering a brief surge on the stock markets, Nixon's initiatives did little to cure the economy's ills. By the time they ended, the national debt, inflation and unemployment were on the rise.

Donating toward the debt

How would a person go about making a direct payment on the national debt not letting Congress get their hands on any of it?

Make your check out to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, write that it is a "Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public." Mail it to: Attn. Dept. G, Bureau of the Public Debt, P. O. Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

In the past 12 months, about $2.2-million has been donated toward our $10.7-trillion debt.

Obama tax cuts for seniors

Recent news stories discuss the effect of Barack Obama's tax policies on "working families" at certain income levels. What is the Obama tax plan for retired couples or retired single people with various incomes?

Obama said he plans to eliminate income taxes for seniors who make $50,000 or less. The idea behind the plan is that most seniors are living on fixed incomes while costs for food, energy and health care go up and up.

Most low- and moderate-income seniors already owe no income tax, so they wouldn't benefit from the proposal. The Obama plan would award tax cuts averaging $1,400 to 7-million seniors who tend to be comparatively well off.

Some policymakers say such special tax treatment for seniors is a bad idea. They say seniors already get to claim an additional standard deduction, and only a portion of their Social Security benefits are taxed. Many don't pay payroll taxes, because their income is from investments rather than wages. Also, as a group, seniors tend to be better off than the rest of the population. Many have paid off their mortgages, and their kids are usually grown, so they're not saddled with day care or college costs.

Two and down for 'The Riches'

Has The Riches been canceled? I thought Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard were both brilliant. Will it be released on DVD?

After two seasons, the FX series was not renewed for a third. The first season has been released on DVD.

Q&A: Nixon Shock boosted market briefly 12/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 2:25pm]
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