Wisconsin may end up being the only state in the union that fails to adopt the changes in IRA conversion law made by the federal Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA). The law removes the adjusted gross income limitation on people who want to convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (it was previously $100,000). Traditional IRAs allow contributions of untaxed income but disbursements on them are taxed and are required starting at age seventy and a half. Roth IRA contributions have already been taxed but do not tax disbursements and do not ever mandate them (this is significant in terms of estate planning because the money could continue to grow tax free over the lifetime of a beneficiary, unlike with traditional IRAs). It gets much more complicated than this for individual situations but in general, a person would want to convert to a Roth IRA if he or she anticipated being at a higher tax rate in the future than today.
Perhaps it's just my status as a perpetual political junkie, but I can't help but complain about the absence of a noticeable gubernatorial race in this state. As the capital and second largest city in Wisconsin, we should expect more activity in Madison from the major candidates for governor. Recently, I haven't heard anything besides fundraising pleas from Democrat Tom Barrett or Republican Scott Walker.
The Multi-Cultural Student Coalition is an alliance of students deeply committed to social justice and the principles of exclusivity, integrity, responsibility and respect. Naturally, we find that it is our duty to serve as an ""umbrella organization"" to provide a voice for students who relate to our mission. What makes this so beautiful is the variety of individuals who are able to find characteristics within themselves to identify with MCSC's qualities. We are unique in the sense that we do not allow our differences to tear us apart, but instead to unite us. MCSC has decided to indulge in the opportunity to provide our united expressions via this regularly-printed column. We are student representatives of a collective, an organization that embodies the viewpoints of our mission's followers.
If you haven't heard the term ""green"" within the past few years, it's likely you've been living under a rock. The green movement has become a nationwide cause, endorsed by countless celebrities and philanthropists. Even large-scale companies have started making ""green"" products or using renewable energies, all steps toward reducing the effects of global warming in our immediate future. Organics have also become a huge player in the movement. Organic food, clothing and even cleaning products have slowly started to work their way into the American home, despite their higher costs. But is the higher price worth the benefits?
Today is the time to mine the Internet for higher education resources. Just recently, California passed a law requiring that all college textbooks be available in electronic form by 2020. Some institutions have taken steps no less progressive. MIT, for example, has successfully run its OpenCourseWare (OCW) project for eight years, injecting a rare dose of philanthropy into higher education. By offering its course content online for free, MIT initiated the noble cause of open course projects. Many top universities, including Yale and Carnegie Mellon, have since joined the party. However, ideas to take the project further are somewhat more controversial.
Winter break is now over, and it is time for all of us at The Daily Cardinal to shake the dust off our word processors and get back to work. Surely we're in for four months of exciting breaking news, insightful commentary and pulse-pounding investigative reporting.
Fresh Madison Market opened its doors to the public two Saturdays ago, and as the only full service downtown grocery store it is sure to change the face of Madison and the downtown living experience. It is difficult to believe that downtown Madison has, up until now, lacked a full service grocery store. For years residents of downtown Madison, and the surrounding area from the near east side to the Vilas neighborhood, have been forced to drive or take a bus to the Hilldale Metcalfe and Copps, the southside Copps, or fork over for the inflated prices at Cap Center or Open Market Pantry.
I firmly believe the greatest gift you ever received did not come packaged. It did not have a bow or a box. It did not have a note attached. I firmly believe the greatest gift you ever received came from a teacher—perhaps many—who poured love into you in the form of education.
The swift response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti has been impressive and encouraging. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush stumping for the same thing is a good indicator of how Americans are putting aside disagreements to help our neighbors to the south.
In 2007 Governor Jim Doyle created a task force to investigate how Wisconsin can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The task force identified short- and long-term goals and provided policy recommendations to achieve those goals. A variety of stakeholders, including environmental groups, utilities and citizen groups, participated and agreed to endorse the set of recommendations. This spring, Wisconsin lawmakers will debate the legislation that encompasses these policies. This legislation should be passed as a whole.
I was upset to read a recent Cardinal editorial depicting WISPIRG's staffing infrastructure as a misuse of segregated fees. The editorial overlooked several important points, including WISPIRG's history and methods of success and the nature of the segregated fee process in this university.
Let's admit something that has been fairly obvious for the past few months: this semester was pretty slow for news. Compare this to last fall, and there's no presidential election, no new chancellor. There were no big local electoral races or campus decisions like last spring's ASM constitution vote either. Overall, it was an incredibly boring time to be a politically involved Badger.
As the semester comes to an end, many of us start to focus solely on our grades and GPAs. How will we get into grad school, or who will hire us with a low GPA? These concerns are legitimate, but for many this is our only concern. Students often view education as a stepping stone to getting a job when they often have no consideration for the subject matter of their classes. Has school become part of an equation that hopefully ends with a good job and a lot of money? Sadly enough, for many this is a reality and changes need to be made in order to maintain and strengthen the success of our nation.
We would like to address the Daily Cardinal Editorial Board article titled ""Students should staff WISPIRG"" published in the Thursday, December 10, 2009 issue. Many of the statements made in this article are misleading and appear to have been taken out of context.
The debate over climate change has recently been thrust back on to the world stage at the global climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The summit and its 15,000 delegates and 98 world leaders will attempt to cut global carbon emissions in half. Most conservatives do not dispute climate change is in fact happening, they simply disagree on the solutions that need to come about from the climate change debate.
As the generation of Web 2.0, we're all too familiar with its keywords: social networking, podcasting and blogging. Most of us are content with our participation as mere users. At the receiving end, we have been savoring the creations of others for years. An interdisciplinary course at UW, Techshop, is suggesting something novel: link your passion about Web 2.0 to community service. Most students would think that such a worthwhile program could easily get funding from the university. But the truth is Techshop will be discontinued after next semester due to funding shortages. If UW is truly dedicated to its students and the future of Wisconsin, it should reconsider its decision.
Climate change discussion began this week in Copenhagen, and as most expected, our global climate outlook is becoming exponentially worse. Environmental statistics get tossed around regularly when a dialogue begins on climate change, and they have a tendency to approach hyperbolic proportions. I have this sense of foreboding because of the things I'm hearing about cycles of droughts due to substantially less rainfall, which will lead to irreparable agrarian damage, cause untold extinctions and hinder our global food supply in the near future.
As a card-carrying Liberal, I needed to get my hands on a copy of former Alaska governor, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's new book ""Going Rogue"" to decipher how it could sell 700,000 copies within one week. For comparison, actual President Bill Clinton, who legitimately accomplished things, sold 900,000 copies of his biography in its first week.
Last month, Chancellor Biddy Martin approved contract status for the Wisconsin Students Public Interest Research Group, a UW student advocacy organization, allowing the group to receive student segregated fees to pay four non-student, full-time, professional staff members. WISPIRG is now the only UW-Madison student organization to receive contract status, which also allows the group to use segregated fees to pay dues to the national PIRG organization.