Tag Archives | Taxation

Still Think Financial Markets = Financial Investment?

For those STILL too gullible to believe that we will never recover until we stop the irresponsible hoarding and gambling behaviours of Wall Street through a property tax on large securities holdings, I present the following:

Dow vs. Employment Chart Our economy doesn’t need to print more money.  The economy must have had about $1.5 TRILLION more money at the end of 2010 than it started with.  What we need to do is make the banksters and uber-rich pay their fair share and stop glomming off old age pensioners.

Details available upon request.  Or check it out for yourself here.

If you liked this, or better yet, if you hated this, check out my ‘Policy Directions‘ page at Dystopia Diaries.

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My Holiday Gifts for President Obama

Ho Ho HopeWhat follows is an open letter to the President of the United States, extending my holiday greetings and providing a brief explanation of some perhaps ‘idiosyncratic’ gifts sent to Pennsylvania Avenue via U.P.S. this past week.

Okay, okay, I realize this may seem rather belated, but let’s be realistic: there was no way you were going to get around to opening my Xmas gifts to you until now. Indeed, they probably still remain unopened in some storage room, if they haven’t already been nicked by the staff you’ve assigned to opening packages. Or the security detail hasn’t mistakenly drawn a sinister interpretation of their contents and ruined them by soaking them in some watery defusion contrivance.

Which would be a great shame. Not because my personal feelings would be injured by the gifts’ destruction, but because recent events have shown me that you sorely in need these items. So much so that I regard it as equally necessary to append this open letter describing the thought process behind each of the gifts.… Read the rest

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Wealth: When Will The 98% Tell The 2%, Enough Is Enough?

LeprechaunGilbert Mercier writes on News Junkie Post:

Congress has passed, a two year renewal of the Bush tax cuts. The bill is a nice extra Christmas bonus for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, and it will only amplify the monumental US budget deficit.

The logic behind the bill goes against, not only common sense but also against the global trend, notably in Europe, to cut spending and increase taxation in order to address a spreading budget crisis.

The governments of countries such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are pushing for unpopular austerity measures, and richer countries such as the UK and France are trying to implement the same type of economic policies often by cutting social benefits and programs.

If austerity is the trend in Europe, it is certainly not the case in the United States. The US political and financial ruling class, which can be credited for starting the global financial meltdown of 2008, is still betting on the “virtues” of shock capitalism by cutting taxes and not cutting spending.

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Danny Schechter on The Secret Wall Street Bailout

Wall Street GreedThe U.S. doled out $12.3 trillion dollars to finance bailouts, a figure far higher than what was previously stated. Danny Schechter writes in Al Jazeera:

Go, Wall Street, Go!

Never mind the rise in unemployment and foreclosures. Never mind the folks waiting to know if they will get the benefits they need before they are cut off. Never mind the growing gap between rich and poor, and the rapid spread of poverty. (Did you know that inequality in the US is at the highest level of any industrialised country?)

Does any of this matter?

The idea of equality as a social goal is apparently passé. Christmas has a special meaning on Wall Street: It’s bonus time.

Just five too big to fail bankster companies have stashed $90 billion for payouts to prized employees. They know that the beat on The Street is fading, so it seems to be take the money and run time.

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Senator Bernie Sanders Defends Regular Americans

Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The Estate Tax (which was given an Orwellian rename by the Republicans as the “Death Tax”) does and will not hurt you — unless it is abolished.

The Estate Tax affects only 3/10 of 1% of the richest Americans. We’re not even talking about the wealthy here, we’re talking about the OBSCENELY wealthy here.

To put this in context, if the Republicans get what they want, it would mean $30 BILLION in tax cuts for the Walton family (who own Walmart) alone.

So they barely pay their workers a living wage and abuse them in a hundred other ways, drive multiple small businesses out of the marketplace which are major drivers of economic growth in the country, and the Republicans in the Senate and an all-too compliant President Obama, want to rewards them for all that by giving them a tax cut that is more than the gross national product of some of the nations of the world.… Read the rest

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The Return of Doctor Weird and the “Laugher Curve”

Laffer Curve

Laffer Curve drawn by Vanessaezekowitz (CC).

With millionaire dilettante Ron Johnson confirmed as Wisconsin’s senator elect to the government his own Tea Party professes to disdain, it’s a sure bet we’re gonna be bombarded with a lot of blather about how tax cuts for corporations and the uber-rich are supposed to magically improve employment and erase deficits.  Which is utter batshit lunacy.  But don’t take my word for it — run the numbers yourself.  All within the linked workbook “Laffer Curve Analysis v1″.

Midterms are over; here begineth the real shitstorm: the struggle against Right Wing corporatists and faux populists trying to complete their destruction of the United States.

No, that’s not just the Wild Turkey talking. Haven’t touched the stuff for the better part of a week now.  And though the night terror visions of President Palin’s Interior Secretary Don Blankenship leasing the floor of the House to BP for fracking natural gas and Treasury Secretary Richard Rahn outsourcing the federal minting operations to China have subsided, the daytime terror visions have only grown in intensity.… Read the rest

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A Modest Proposal to Republicans on How to Trim the Budget

Fire PelosiOriginally posted by D. J. Pangburn on death + taxes:

Dear Republicans,

Without a doubt, you will hold up Reagan as a symbol of fiscal responsibility. Bush 41 lost on the economy and tax increases, Clinton balanced the budget by working with Republicans, and it’s common knowledge that Bush 43 grew the national budget to epic proportions in his time in office — most of it on Defense spending. And he did nothing to balance the budget — which, of course, you already know, as evidenced by your new House Budget Committee Chairmen’s comment on how the 2006 elections were a “repudiation of Republicans who strayed from their principles and got soft on spending and government.”

A closer look at Reagan’s economic maneuvers reveals the budget deficit in 1980 (his first year in office) was $1 trillion and in 1988 it was $3 trillion. Why? Tax cuts and increased spending.… Read the rest

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1 in 34 Americans Made Absolutely No Money in 2009

Monopoly ManDavid Cay Johnston writes on Tax.com:

Now for some really scary breaking news, from the latest payroll tax data. Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009 without earning a single dollar, new data from the Social Security Administration show. Total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined, but at the very top, salaries grew more than fivefold.

Not a single news organization reported this data when it was released October 15, searches of Google and the Nexis databases show. Nor did any blog, so the citizen journalists and professional economists did no better than the newsroom pros in reporting this basic information about our economy.

The new data hold important lessons for economic growth and tax policy and take on added meaning when examined in light of tax return data back to 1950. The story the numbers tell is one of a strengthening economic base with income growing fastest at the bottom until, in 1981, we made an abrupt change in tax and economic policy.

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Tea Party Candidate: Abolish All Public Schools

Thought Americans were dumb enough as is? Apparently you’re just not ambitious enough; this from David Knowles at AOL’s Newsdesk:
Empty Classrooms?School’s out … forever?

Tea Party candidate David Harmer, who is running as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 11th District, thinks the nation’s public education system should more closely resemble the way it looked in 1825. In other words, Harmer would abolish public schools altogether.

In an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000, Harmer wrote the following:

To attain quantum leaps in educational quality and opportunity, however, we need to separate school and state entirely. Government should exit the business of running and funding schools.

This is no utopian ideal; it’s the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood, when literacy levels among all classes, at least outside the South, matched or exceeded those prevailing now, and when public discourse and even tabloid content was pitched at what today would be considered a college-level audience.
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No Pay, No Spray: Firefighters Let Tennessee Home Burn Because Homeowner ‘Forgot’ to Pay $75 Fee

Photo Courtesty of punkpatriot on Etsy

Photo courtesy of punkpatriot on Etsy

I saw the man in question, Gene Cranick, interviewed on Countdown with Keith Olbermann earlier in the week. Seems a bit insane to not just collect the fee (plus some penalty) after putting out the fire. Via MSNBC:

Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn’t paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

“They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn’t do it,” Cranick told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks’ grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

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