October 9th, 2011
We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. It’s time we stopped it.
Ronald Reagan (via abaldwin360)

(via taconado)

downlo:

occupyfortmyers:

35% Myth: Tax Cheater Hall of Shame

downlo:

occupyfortmyers:

35% Myth: Tax Cheater Hall of Shame

(via stfuconservatives)

October 4th, 2011
September 30th, 2011
Oddly, one never hears Republicans praise those countries where people are lucky duckies — those where taxation is a small fraction of what it is here.

I’d Rather Be an Unlucky Ducky
Bruce Bartlett 

Equatorial Guinea: According to the Republican-leaning Heritage Foundation, those who live in this small country in sub-Saharan Africa are lucky duckies indeed. Because of recently discovered oil deposits, the citizens of Equatorial Guinea pay less than 1 percent of the gross domestic product in taxes. The comparable figure for the United States is 26.9 percent of G.D.P., according to Heritage.

However, Equatorial Guinea doesn’t seem to be a very pleasant place to live. The people are poor and have little freedom. Heritage says that “persistent institutional weaknesses impede creation of a more vibrant private sector” and “the rule of law is weak.” This sounds suspiciously as if government is too small to do its job properly. But I’m sure that the citizens of Equatorial Guinea don’t mind having a dysfunctional government; after all, they’re lucky duckies.

Myanmar: The people who live in this small country in Southeast Asia are also lucky duckies, if not quite as lucky as those in Equatorial Guinea. According to Heritage, taxes in Myanmar are 3 percent of G.D.P.

Oddly, this also doesn’t sound like someplace one would want to live. Heritage says “longstanding structural problems include poor public finance management and undeveloped legal and regulatory frameworks.” Apparently, the government doesn’t protect property rights very well, the infrastructure is poor, and there is a lot of corruption. But at least the people get to keep almost all their earnings.

Libya: Why the people revolted in this North African fiscal paradise is a mystery. According to Heritage, government revenues are just 3.4 percent of G.D.P.

ChadHeritage says the people of this African nation pay just 5.3 percent of G.D.P. in taxes. But for some reason, the nation is mired in poverty. Perhaps because, as Heritage says, “the efficiency and quality of government remain poor.” I wonder why.

Republic of Congo: The people of this country in Africa also pay 5.3 percent of G.D.P. to the government. But it is also very poor. Heritage says a key reason is “the government has failed to provide basic public goods and infrastructure.” This doesn’t really make much sense by the logic of Republican candidates, who seem to agree that all government spending is bad unless it goes to the Defense Department and that public works are nothing but worthless pork.

Read More

(via manicchill)

This, to me, is pretty much a direct refutation of the Anarcho-Capitalist school of Libertarianism.  According to the popular wisdom of that school, minimal regulation and taxation should be causing these countries to thrive.  And yet their standard of living compared to 1st-world countries with strong central governments is abysmal.

With that being said: you could very reasonably make the argument that the minimal governments of these countries are nonetheless oppressive and larcenous, so what little wealth is accumulated in the market tends to be appropriated by the elites.  But the question then becomes *how* that wealth is being appropriated; is it through official channels?  Then it would show up as taxation.  Is it through thuggery?  Then how could the problem be solved without reverting to Somalia-style balkanization (which is better only when compared to the more awful government preceding it)?  

The question, then, is one of form: without a strong Constitution to limit government power, and an intellectually vibrant, Independent Judiciary to keep government in check, there is no way for the rights of citizens to be guaranteed as against their unscrupulous peers, and as against the government itself.  

Yet courts in of themselves are Government.  All of these mechanisms cost money.  A minimalist State can be just as dangerous to Liberty and freedom as an oppressive one.  Norway, whose government accounts for 40% of its GDP, nonetheless has a very libertine criminal justice system.  There can be no question that people in Norway are more free than even people in the U.S. (who live under the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and the Military Commissions Act).  Yet the U.S. government accounts for closer to 20% of GDP.

Does that mean government spending as a % of GDP is dispositive with respect to freedom?  Of course not.  Form matters.  But if you aren’t bringing in enough tax revenue to support the “right” form, then Bartlett’s observation is right: you end up with a government too weak to provide a mechanism for enforcing the rights of its own citizens (i.e. an independent and well-funded judiciary paired with an enumerated Constitution).

(via letterstomycountry)

(Source: manicchill, via letterstomycountry)

September 28th, 2011

letterstomycountry:

lemuffinmistress:

Profits have gone up. Jobs have gone … down.

Contrary to what conservatives keep screaming (as if screaming it loudly enough and often enough will make it true), as businesses make more profits, THEY ARE NOT HIRING MORE WORKERS. 

Lowering taxes on big business does not encourage business to use their profits to hire more people and lower employment. It just increases personal profit.

Lowering taxes on big business, or small business for that matter, doesn’t create jobs because that’s not how businesses work.  Employee compensation is tax deductible.  Every person you hire reduces your tax liability.

Don’t take it from me, either.  Ask an incredibly wealthy strip club owner:

[Republicans] keep saying this stuff about how if we tax the rich, then small businesses won’t be able to grow. But I’m a small business owner, and I put all my money right back into my businesses in the form of capital improvements, which I don’t pay taxes on anyway. So their argument isn’t how reality works.

September 27th, 2011

weareevolving:

Wealthy Former Google Employee Tells Obama ‘Please Raise My Taxes!’


During President Obama’s town hall event, “Putting America Back to Work” in Mountain View California, a question from the audience really put into prospective which party has the right ideology about caring for the country. The question came from former Google employee, Doug Edwards.

“My question is would you please raise my taxes? I would like very much for our country to continue to invest in things like Pell grants, infrastructure, job training–programs that made it possible for me to get to where I am. It kills me to see Congress not supporting the expiration of tax cuts that have been benefiting so much of us for so long.”

That one question is the line in the sand between the two parties in the United States. On one side you have the Republican Party, the party who stands by less government, low taxes and giving money to the wealthy while promising they will be the ones who create jobs. On the other side you have the Democrats. The party who stands by the middle and working class. The party that stands with low-income earners and small business, who tries to inject what is right into the economy to get the country going again. The Bush tax cuts, which have destroyed the economy, need to expire on the top income earners before the wealthy gap becomes too wide. While Ronald Reagan started the country down a path of economic collapse and the Bush crime family pushed the ball forward, the Republicans continue to fight for the rich and the religious radicals. A man like Doug Edwards shows us what is really right for the country, common sense, shared sacrifice and the American dream.

Source: Addicting Info

(via weareevolving-deactivated201110)

September 25th, 2011

abaldwin360:

If you agree with the petition to remove tax exemption from churches and allow them to apply like a non-profit organization, please re-blog it.

This is something I am very passionate about and even if it can’t get passed, I’d love it to come to the public eye more so than it…

September 20th, 2011

stfuconservatives:

paxamericana:

 

It’s class warfare!
Yeah right. Three decades of laissez-faire economic polices have allowed the rich to double their share of the national income while paying tax rates a fifth lower than before. The result,notes Kevin Drum, was “wage stagnation for everyone else, a massive financial collapse that ravaged the middle class, an enormous deficits that they’ll be asked to pay off eventually.” If the millionaires tax is the only blowback, the wealthy should count their blessings.

It’s a tax on small business
“Don’t forget that most small businesses file taxes as individuals,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Fox News Sunday. “So when you are raising top tax rates, you are raising taxes on these job creators.” Except when you aren’t. ThinkProgress’s Pat Garofalo points out that fewer than 2 percent of the nation’s small businesses fall into either of the top two tax brackets. Plus, many of the small business filers in the upper brackets are merely investors who have nothing to do with running the business. And if small businesses don’t want to pay taxes as individuals, they can file always as corporations.

It reduces incentives to work and invest
Experience shows otherwise. As Nancy Folbre points out over at Economix, “average annual rates of growth in gross domestic product in the high tax era between 1950 and 1980 exceeded those of the last 30 years. Increases in the top tax rate under President Bill Clinton were followed by robust economic expansion.”

It’s an unstable source of revenue
recent essay in the Wall Street Journal argued that the high volatility of upper-level income makes it impractical to rely on taxing it. But this concern is vastly overblown and can be easily dealt with by establishing rainy day funds.

It’s unfair
In the libertarian view, the rich are entitled to their gains because they worked for them. But this ignores how structural changes in the economy such as globalization, financial deregulation, and the rise of the knowledge-based economy has disproportionately rewarded the wealthy. At the same time, we’ve failed to reinvest in government programs that once leveled the playing field, such as financing for community colleges and public universities.

The rich will leave the country
Good riddance, writes Don Peck in a recent Atlantic essay on how to save the middle class: “America remains a magnet for talent, for reasons that go beyond the tax code; and by international standards, none of the tax changes recommended here would create an excessive tax burden on high earners. If a few financiers choose to decamp for some small island-state in search of the smallest possible tax bill, we should wish them good luck.”

ALL OF THIS

(via stfuconservatives)

wannabechomsky:

Republicans on Sunday decried the notion of a new minimum tax rate for millionaires as “class warfare,” saying the proposal by President Obama may be intended to portray Congressional Republicans who resist it as being callously indifferent to the hardships facing many Americans.

Okay, GOP, let’s clear up what qualifies as “class warfare,” shall we?

These are just a few examples of the class warfare being waged today. President Obama’s tax proposal? That’s more like deploying one infantry unit against a fleet of drones. And of course Republicans aren’t callous, don’t be ridiculous. Both they and Democrats keep themselves soft and smooth - just the way CEOs like their bedmates.

(Source: theflaminglabia, via geekvariety)

September 19th, 2011
“By the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over,” - Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), in an interview on MSNBC, on why as a small business owner he can’t afford a tax increase.

Quote For The Day/Andrew Sullivan (via nickbaumann)

By the time I feed my family, I’m lucky if I have $40 left over. And I’m reasonably comfortable. People need to get a grip.

(via lemdi)

Not to mention the people who can barely afford to feed their family period.

-Joe

(via stfuconservatives)

(via stfuconservatives)