Tag Archives | Taxation

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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Watch What a Legal Pot Economy Looks Like (Video)

CaliforniaMarijuanaHaik Hoisington writes on Alternet:
This fall Californians will go the polls with a chance to make history. They will be able to cast a vote to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol or cigarettes. California's Proposition 19 is one of many similar initiatives cropping up on state ballots across the country. Whether it's calls for decriminalization or medical marijuana the end of cannabis prohibition has never seemed closer. In this short animated parable, "The Flower," award winning artist Haik Hoisington contrasts a legal marijuana economy with an illegal one, to show how everyone stands to benefit from ending the war on weed.
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The U.S. Government Stops Paying Dead People

I See Dead PeopleThe U.S. government sees dead people. Explains a lot. Mark S. Smith writes on the AP via Yahoo News:

Here’s an idea, Uncle Sam: Stop writing checks to dead people.

The government sent benefit checks to 20,000 departed Americans over three years, totaling more than $180 million — a remarkable number that provoked the Obama administration to create a government-wide “do not pay” list as part of its brainstorming for ways to save taxpayer money.

Once the database is up and running, agencies will have to search it before sending out payments. A pre-check check, so to speak.

“We’re making sure that payments no longer go to the deceased — it sounds ridiculous even to say it,” acknowledged Vice President Joe Biden in describing the database.

Also planned for inclusion: contractors who’ve fallen behind in their payments or, even worse, landed in jail, and companies that have been suspended or otherwise deemed ineligible for government work.

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Soaring Costs Force Canada to Reassess Healthcare Model

CanadaClaire Sibonney writes in Reuters via Yahoo News:

Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.

British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery. It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation.

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