Joe Scarborough's ten "truths" about the debt crisis you won't hear over the next month from the halls of Congress or the West Wing.
Robert Parry's excellent article leads off with the sub-heading: "America’s corporate chieftains are living like kings while the middle class stagnates and shrivels." And then he analyzes why...ignorance and adherence to the GOP line on taxes.
Tax journalist David Cay Johnston explains what's so rotten about our taxation system and the distribution of wealth in this country. One quote: "Its not true that high taxes destroy jobs. Low taxes destroy jobs by encouraging owners of businesses to withdraw money from the business."
Paul Ryan's plan to cut taxes for corporations won't create more investment or more jobs. Firms don't necessarily relocate or expand to an area just because it has lower taxes, and they aren't suffering from a lack of investment funds but rather a lack of profitable investment opportunities.
The earthquake forced the shutdown of several oil refineries and some nuclear power plants in Japan. If they can't reopen soon, the country probably will want to import more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
The Child Tax Credit is an important tax credit that may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child depending upon your income. Here are 10 important facts from the IRS about this credit and how it may benefit your family.
Paul Buchheit of AlterNet focuses on the effects of inequality. Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, if middle- and upper-middle-class families had maintained the same share of American productivity that they held in 1980, they would be making an average of $12,500 more per year. The massive redistribution of income from the middle classes to the rich over the last 30 years is like a malignant tumor that doesn't appear on the surface but eventually destroys the whole body.
Koch Industries is planning a meeting of a secretive network of Republican donors in Palm Springs in January to “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.” The Kochs insist on strict confidentiality surrounding the California meetings, which are entitled “Understanding and Addressing Threats to American Free Enterprise and Prosperity.”
Ronald Reagan is the patron saint of lower taxes and smaller government. He cut taxes, yes. But he also raised them several times, in part to reduce high deficits and in part to pave the way for true tax reform.
Dave Johnson argues that since the start of the Reagan revolution, the social contract with Americans has been broken. Instead of providing good wages and benefits and paying taxes to provide for the general welfare and reinvestment in infrastructure and public structures, the bounty of our democracy is being diverted to a wealthy few. Tax cuts for the rich, anti-government policies, and its deregulation of the big corporations have resulted in the defunding of our democracy... crumbling infrastructure, failing schools, dismantling of factories and supply chain, and workers working longer hours for fewer benefits and falling wages.
Martin Wolfe of the Financial Times discusses how the fiscal theory of supply-side economics did not work under the tax-cutting eras of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Each saw very substantial rises in ratios of federal debt to gross domestic product. Under Reagan and the first Bush, the ratio of public debt to GDP went from 33 per cent to 64 per cent. It fell to 57 per cent under Bill Clinton but then rose again to 69 per cent under the second George Bush.
Noam Chomsky discusses the factors motivating the Tea Party..."the depth of moral indignation that lies behind the furious, often self-destructive bitterness about government and business power...the spirit of disenchantment...the suicidal anti-tax extremism...and Orwell's "doublethink": the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in mind while believing both of them, practically a motto for our times."
The super-rich are still having a ball. Mega-investor Warren Buffett write to his shareholders, “We’ve put a lot of money to work during the chaos of the last two years. When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.” And Forbes Magazine adds, “Many plutocrats did just that. Indeed, last year’s wealth wasteland has become a billionaire bonanza. Most of the richest people on the planet have seen their fortunes soar in the past year.” This article describes how those gains were made in the "Wall Street casino" rather than in investment in factories, equipment and services, and makes a case for increasing taxes on the super-rich...a controversial stand, but with a rational basis.
President Obama’s agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the projected budget deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. On the other hand, Republicans favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, which will send the deficit higher. This stance has led the conservative Cato Institute to conclude “The G.O.P. is not serious about cutting down spending.”
You might be on your last dollar, but it’s not always a reason to sing the blues. In fact, in the strange world of taxation, your last dollar could actually put you in a higher tax bracket. Put on your shades, grab your guitar, and read on.
Some call them a necessary evil. Local governments can't survive without them. We're talking about property taxes. One of the major expenses of owning a house remains a mystery to many homeowners. Let's take a look at how the local government figures your tax and what role you play.