Tag Archives | Taxes

Large US Corporations Have Tax Rates As Low As -58%

Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 30And the media wonders why the 99% are angry? From MarketWatch:

The official federal corporate income tax rate in the U.S. is 35%, but plenty of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies are paying no taxes — even getting money back from the government in some cases — in years when they reap big profits, according to a new report.

Thirty of the 280 Fortune 500 companies studied paid zero in federal income taxes or enjoyed tax rebates in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the study by the left-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington-based nonprofit research and advocacy group, and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group.

And 78 of the 280 companies paid nothing in federal income taxes or enjoyed a tax rebate in at least one of those years. Those 78 companies, including General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) and Pepco Holdings Inc.

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Denmark Becomes First Nation With Tax On Fat In Food

5e75127e132dd772d5690399b691a022Is Denmark’s new fat tax a just response to the societal problems caused by obesity? Or is it sweet, buttery tyranny? Via the BBC:

Denmark has introduced what is believed to be the world’s first fat tax – a surcharge on foods that are high in saturated fat. Butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food are now subject to the tax if they contain more than 2.3% saturated fat.

Some consumers began hoarding to beat the price rise, while some producers call the tax a bureaucratic nightmare.

Danish officials say they hope the new tax will help limit the population’s intake of fatty foods.

However, some scientists think saturated fat may be the wrong target. They say salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates are more detrimental to health and should be tackled instead.

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Warren Buffett: ‘Stop Coddling the Super-Rich’

Photo: Mark Hirschey

Photo: Mark Hirschey (CC)

Billionaire Buffett sounds off in the New York Times:

Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.

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A Tax On Unhealthy Foods?

Source: New York Times

Source: New York Times

The New York Times‘ Mark Bittman proposes a tax on junk food. What do you think – is he right?

What will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.)

Though experts increasingly recommend a diet high in plants and low in animal products and processed foods, ours is quite the opposite, and there’s little disagreement that changing it could improve our health and save tens of millions of lives.

And — not inconsequential during the current struggle over deficits and spending — a sane diet could save tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.

Yet the food industry appears incapable of marketing healthier foods. And whether its leaders are confused or just stalling doesn’t matter, because the fixes are not really their problem.

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Secret CIA Prisons And Counterterrorism Sites In Somalia

CIASomaliaThere has been news recently of CIA operated secret prisons in Somalia, as well as sites with counterterrorism training for Somali intelligence agencies. Have these secret sites been funded by US tax payers? Via AlterNet:

Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the Central Intelligence Agency. Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four corners. Adjacent to the compound are eight large metal hangars, and the CIA has its own aircraft at the airport. The site, which airport officials and Somali intelligence sources say was completed four months ago, is guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access. At the facility, the CIA runs a counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives aimed at building an indigenous strike force capable of snatch operations and targeted “combat” operations against members of Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with close ties to Al Qaeda.

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The Final Nail In The Supply Side Coffin

md_horizTaxes are low and corporate profits are high, but nothing is trickling down to the American worker.

If politicians are going to continue kowtowing to every whim of the rich, can they at least think of a new excuse? Via Salon:

The theory of supply-side economics tells us that if you cut taxes on rich people and corporations, the moguls and businessmen will take their windfall and invest it, creating jobs and accelerating the rate of economic growth. The benefits of a light hand on the upper class, therefore, will “trickle down” to the working man and woman.

Ever since Ronald Reagan first attempted to make supply-side economics a reality and proceeded to inaugurate an era of persistent government deficits and growing income inequality, it has become harder and harder to make the trickle-down argument with a straight face. But we’ve never seen anything quite like the disaster that’s playing out right now.

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Bernie Sanders Reveals The Top Corporate Tax Avoiders

Why is Congress giving tax cuts and refunds to America's wealthiest corporations, whilst welfare families, low-income and middle class communities, teachers, children and the elderly are being asked to sacrifice basic rights and access to resources like education and medicaid? Did you get your tax refund? These companies certainly did. On the Senate floor, Bernie Sanders tears into the ten worst corporate tax avoiders, including Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs. The numbers are simply staggering.
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The Rise of ‘Sovereign Citizens’ (Video)

A slanted, but interesting story from CBS' 60 Minutes:
This is a story about a group of Americans you've likely never heard of: they're called "sovereign citizens." Many don't pay taxes, carry a driver's license or hold a Social Security card. They have little regard for the police or the courts, and some have become violent. The FBI lists them among the nation's top domestic terror threats. By some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 sovereign citizens in the U.S. And with the sluggish economy and mortgage mess, their ranks are growing.
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U.S. Government Considering Taxing Cars By The Mile

Photo: Skippy13 (CC)

Photo: Skippy13 (CC)

Pete Kasperowicz writes for The Hill:

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

The plan is a part of the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.

The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the administration.

“This is not an administration proposal,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. “This is not a bill supported by the administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not taken into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.”

News of the draft follows a March Congressional Budget Office report that supported the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven.

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The Bilderberg Group’s Tax Returns

As a rule of thumb, when Henry Kissinger and Coca Cola are involved with something behind closed doors, it’s probably not good. Parapolitical notes:

Document sharing site Public Intelligence has posted the 2008 and 2009 tax returns of the American Friends of Bilderberg, the U.S. fundraising arm of The Bilderberg Group.

According to the returns, the group received $775,500 in contributions from U.S. sources during 2008 and 2009 to help cover the expenses of the organization’s once-per-year meeting for 150 invitees. Donors included Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, the Washington Post Company, PayPal founder Peter Thiel and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

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