Showing posts with label taxes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label taxes. Show all posts

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Conservative Politics, 2012...and Ultrarunning

Via David Atkins at Hullabaloo on 7 Feb 2012:

Forget all the other insanity this year and simply focus on this: Republicans are poised to take a stand this year against contraception, Medicare, and middle class tax cuts. If that doesn't seem bizarre to you, step back, and focus your lens out to the past 40 years of American politics. Try to picture those stances being taken openly by a majority of Republicans during, say, the first Bush Administration in 1989. It's hard to fathom. That Republican Party was alive and well only 20 years ago.


Threatening to end Medicare, middle-class tax cuts and contraception? No problem--that's just politics as usual. But threatening even mild forms of protectionism, or even the slightest corrections to the behavior of out-of-control capital markets? That's scary crazy talk.

As long as no one gets in the way of the almighty bond markets, the Very Serious People couldn't care less. It's not like they're middle class, need Medicare, or can't get their contraceptives from overseas. So why worry?

The connection to Ultrarunning is that, as I have stated many times, is that we UR types tend to be more-laid back and open-minded than the populace at large.  However, when it comes to the erosion of rights of the regular folk to the benefit of the already-haves, maybe it's time to break out the torches and pitchforks.

For gutting Medicare is wrong (likewise gutting Social Security).  Contraception?--that's a no-brainer--the absolute right of a woman to control her reproduction should never be under political discussion.  Never.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Raising Taxes and Cutting Social Security/Medicare

Late posting today.

Via Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast, a picture is worth 1000 words.  Too bad the politicians can neither read nor interpret a picture.

Look closely at the numbers.

So why did the deficit deal ignore this data?

Wait, I know.  Our leaders are beholden NOT to you and I, but to the moneyed interests that installed and keep them in office.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The People's Budget

The People's Budget

From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo on 13 April.  This is the kind of real world budget that makes actual sense, not the political posturing that passes for a serious go at a budget. 

Kinda reminds me of the fake fights that various animals stage, just for show.  Because if they really fight, somebody will get hurt. 

Read the whole thing, but here are a couple key points that jumped out at me: 

Representatives from the 77-member House Progressive Caucus gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to roll out their plan to cut the deficit and put the budget back into balance. Their simple solution: pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, install a public option for health care, raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and voila, America is fixed.

The caucus plan, known as The People's Budget, was explained in some detail by Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs last week. Today, progressive members extolled the virtues of the plan as members sat waiting for President Obama to introduce a deficit reduction plan many Democrats worried would sacrifice necessary spending on the altar of a mistaken understanding of fiscal responsibility.

"We want to cut," [Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chair of the caucus] added. What's on the progressive caucus chopping block? "Eliminating unnecessary weapons systems from the Defense Department, eliminating huge tax credits for oil and gas industries, eliminating subsidies for new nuclear power plans," Grijalva said.

The plan would "eliminate the deficit," supporters say, and put the nation budget in surplus by 2021.

I previously blogged about the budget here.  The theme is the same.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Fix for the U.S. Budget

From They Gave Us a Republic, a simple fix for our budget woes.  I could get behind this one, for sure. 

The solution is NOT to tinker aound the edges of only trimming discretionary spending; no, there must be increases to revenue as well. 

Somehow that basic Accounting 101 fact seems to elude our leaders.

I've got a better plan for returning the country to prosperity. Here it is.

Withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Cut all defense spending by 50%.
Restore all tax rates to 1981 levels - across the board.
Double the Estate Tax.
Pass a millionaire's tax.
Eliminate the mortgage interest deduction >$500,000.
Eliminate mortgage interest deduction on vacation homes.
Eliminate corporate tax loopholes.
Eliminate tax breaks for Big Oil.
Eliminate Big Farm subsidies.
Pass a carbon tax.
Pass a bank tax.

Problem solved.

Now when do I get breathlessly praised for my serious, courageous leadership?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Taxpayer Budgeting

Ran across an interesting report of how the American taxpayer--not the President and not the Congress--would go about wrestling with deficits, etc.

From World Public

An innovative study has found that when a representative sample of the American public was presented the federal budget, they proposed changes far different from those the Obama administration or the Republican-led House have proposed.

The biggest difference in spending is that the public favored deep cuts in defense spending, while the administration and the House propose modest increases. However, the public also favored more spending on job training, education, and pollution control than did either the administration or the House. On average the public made a net reduction of $146 billion--far more than either the administration or the House called for.

While there were some partisan differences in the magnitude of spending changes, in two out of three cases average Republicans, Democrats and independents agreed on which items should be cut or increased.

The public also showed readiness to increase taxes by an average of $292 billion--again, far more than either the administration or the House.

Some of the details are revealing about how "we" would prioritize versus what the establishment would.  It's a good mix of cuts and revenue increases:

On average respondents made net spending cuts of $145.7 billion. The largest cuts included those to defense ($109.4 billion), intelligence ($13.1 billion), military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq ($12.8 billion) and the federal highway system ($4.6 billion)--all of which were cut by majorities.

On average respondents increased revenues by $291.6 billion. The largest portion was from income taxes which were raised by an average of $154.8 billion above the levels currently in place. Majorities increased taxes on incomes over $100,000 by 5% or more and increased them by 10% or more for incomes over $500,000.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Taxation...and Ultrarunning

Via Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing, always a good read.   Cory in turn was tapping Think Progress, here.

This, my friends, is an excellent question.

Why are America's largest corporations paying no tax?

Inspired by the UK Uncut movement, Americans are taking to the street, asking why they're being asked to tighten their belts when the largest corporations in the country are paying no tax at all:

- BANK OF AMERICA: In 2009, Bank of America didn't pay a single penny in federal income taxes, exploiting the tax code so as to avoid paying its fair share. "Oh, yeah, this happens all the time," said Robert Willens, a tax accounting expert interviewed by McClatchy. "If you go out and try to make money and you don't do it, why should the government pay you for your losses?" asked Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. The same year, the mega-bank's top executives received pay "ranging from $6 million to nearly $30 million."

- BOEING: Despite receiving billions of dollars from the federal government every single year in taxpayer subsidies from the U.S. government, Boeing didn't "pay a dime of U.S. federal corporate income taxes" between 2008 and 2010.

- CITIGROUP: Citigroup's deferred income taxes for the third quarter of 2010 amounted to a grand total of $0.00. At the same time, Citigroup has continued to pay its staff lavishly. "John Havens, the head of Citigroup's investment bank, is expected to be the bank's highest paid executive for the second year in a row, with a compensation package worth $9.5 million."

This is beyond insane.  Yet with the partisan gridlock paralyzing Congress, can you possibly imagine that we can revise the tax code?  I'll give you a hint: the answer is NO. 

The link to Ultrarunning?  I spend more on my running shoes than several of America's largest corporations together spend in corporate taxes.

(Gary note: I take Cory and the source blog, Think Progress, at their word as careful and respected blogs.  I have not fact-checked this article)