Posts tagged ‘Millionaires And Billionaires’

Madison never meant Second Amendment to allow guns of Sandy Hook shooting



Madison never meant Second Amendment to allow guns of Sandy Hook shooting (via The Christian Science Monitor)

Following the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. by Adam Lanza , many Americans are wondering what exactly our Founding Fathers intended when they set the Second Amendment to paper more than 200 years ago. Surely not the killing of 20 young children and six women.…

Read more…

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Pennsylvania’s Bad Election Law – NYTimes.com


Pennsylvania’s Bad Election Law – NYTimes.com.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the state’s strict new photo ID law, which is allegedly intended to prevent voter fraud. A voter must present a government-issued or other approved photo ID at a polling place to vote or can file a provisional ballot, which must be validated later by a submission of a photo ID or proof that the voter is indigent.
Related

A Tight Election May Be Tangled in Legal Battles (September 10, 2012)
Pennsylvania Judge Keeps Voter ID Law Intact on Its Way to Higher Court (August 16, 2012)

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The state has offered no evidence of voter identity fraud to justify this law. There is no legitimate government interest that justifies the burden the law imposes on voters. If the court does not block the law, it will cause irreparable harm. In Philadelphia, for instance, almost one-fifth of the registered voters may not have an acceptable form of identification to vote on Election Day. Statewide, almost one-tenth may not.

When he signed the law in March, Gov. Tom Corbett claimed that it “sets a simple and clear standard to protect the integrity of our elections.” But, at a meeting of the Republican State Committee in June, the House majority leader, Mike Turzai, boasted that it would “allow Governor Romney to win the State of Pennsylvania.”

A state trial judge, Robert Simpson, last month rejected a motion by voters and civic groups to prevent the law from going into effect. They argued that the ID requirement would strip away the fundamental right to vote, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Judge Simpson, however, said he was obliged to follow a 2008 United States Supreme Court case, which upheld an Indiana voter ID law. But, in that case, the court was applying the United States Constitution to a less stringent Indiana law. In this case, the Pennsylvania law is far more burdensome on voters and the State Constitution is arguably even more protective of voting rights. In fact, this case is more similar to ones in Missouri and Wisconsin where state courts, applying state constitutions, struck down photo ID laws.

The law will result in disproportionate harm to minorities, people with low incomes and senior citizens. The court should enter an injunction against it before the November elections.

More on the spurious victory claims of MMT


 

 

Led by Randy Wray (see this and this), supporters of so-called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) are declaring that they were the first to identify the problems of the euro and that MMT has now proved itself to be the correct approach to monetary theory.

As regards these two claims, permit me to quote the following:

“5.3 Will capital still be able to veto policy?
…First, financial capital may still be able to discipline governments through the bond market. Thus, if financial capital dislikes the stance of national fiscal policy, there could be a sell-off of government bonds and a shift into bonds of other countries. This would drive up the cost of government borrowing, thereby putting a break on fiscal policy (Palley, 1997, p.155-156).” Read the rest of this entry »

From Financial Crisis to Stagnation: The Destruction of Shared Prosperity and the Role of Economics

May 9th, 2012

Many countries are now debating the causes of the global economic crisis and what should be done. That debate is critical for how we explain the crisis will influence what we do.

Broadly speaking, there exist three different perspectives. Perspective # 1 is the hardcore neoliberal position, which can be labeled the “government failure hypothesis”. In the U.S. it is identified with the Republican Party and the Chicago school of economics. Perspective # 2 is the softcore neoliberal position, which can be labeled the “market failure hypothesis”. It is identified with the Obama administration, half of the Democratic Party, and the MIT economics departments. In Europe it is identified with Third Way politics. Perspective # 3 is the progressive position which can be labeled the “destruction of shared prosperity hypothesis”. It is identified with the other half of the Democratic Party and the labor movement, but it has no standing within major economics departments owing to their suppression of alternatives to orthodox theory. Read the rest of this entry »

From Financial Crisis to Stagnation: An Interview with Thomas Palley

April 18th, 2012

Conducted by Philip Pilkington and posted on Naked Capitalism on April 18, 2012.


His latest book, From Financial Crisis to Stagnation, was recently published by Cambridge University Press, 2012.

A 20% discount is available when you purchase using this discount code.

[Select country location & enter code “palley2012” at checkout to get the discount]

Philip Pilkington: At the beginning of your book From Financial Crisis to Stagnation you refer to the 2008 crisis as a ‘crisis of bad ideas’. Could you please briefly explain why you refer to the crisis in this way?

Thomas Palley: A central and critical element of my book is its emphasis on the role of economic ideas in generating the crisis. This feature fundamentally distinguishes it from mainstream explanations that tend to represent the crisis in terms of surprise events and economic shocks (e.g. black swans).

My book starts with the fundamental idea that economies are made, not found. The way economies are organized and function is significantly the product of social choices, not the product of nature. Over the past thirty years we (society) have embraced a set of economic ideas that shaped economic arrangements – including the pattern of income distribution, the power of corporations and finance relative to labor, and the way in which the economy generates demand.
Read the rest of this entry »

The euro lacks a government banker, not a lender of last resort

December 19th, 2011

In his novel, The Jungle, the American muckraking author Upton Sinclair wrote about the horrendous work and sanitary conditions in the Chicago meat packing industry of the early 20th century. It is sometimes said Sinclair aimed for the heart but hit the stomach. That is because he aimed for progressive social and economic change but instead prompted the founding of the Food and Drug Administration. Read the rest of this entry »

Euro Bonds Are Not Enough: Eurozone Countries Need a Government Banker

September 6th, 2011

The eurozone’s public finance crisis continues to fester, reflecting both political and intellectual failure. The intellectual failure is the crisis has been interpreted exclusively as a debt crisis when it is also a central bank design crisis resulting from the euro’s flawed architecture. The flaw is the inability of eurozone governments to harness the central bank’s power to assist government finances. This systemic weakness explains why U.S. and U.K. government bonds are weathering the storm, whereas Spain confronts default rumors despite having roughly similar debt and deficit profiles. Read the rest of this entry »

A Global Minimum Wage System [1]

July 18th, 2011

Published in the FT Economists’ Forum, July 18, 2011

The global economy is suffering from severe shortage of demand. In developed economies that shortfall is explicit in high unemployment rates and large output gaps. In emerging market economies it is implicit in their reliance on export-led growth. In part this shortfall reflects the lingering disruptive effects of the financial crisis and Great Recession, but it also reflects globalization’s undermining of the income generation process. One mechanism that can help rebuild this process is a global minimum wage system. That does not mean imposing U.S. or European minimum wages in developing countries. It does mean establishing a global set of rules for setting country minimum wages. Read the rest of this entry »

Deaf to History’s Rhyme: Why President Obama is Failing

December 2nd, 2010

The great American novelist Mark Twain observed “history does not repeat itself but it rhymes.” Today the rhyme is with the 1930s, and if you don’t hear it read FDR’s great Madison Square Garden speech of October 1936:

“For twelve years this nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing government. The nation looked to government but the government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years with the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that government is best which is most indifferent.”

Despite this clarity, the Obama administration insists on hearing a rhyme with the 1990s. That tone deafness has its roots in political choices made at the administration’s outset and explains why the administration has stumbled so badly in its first years. If continued, the economic and social consequences will be grave. Read the rest of this entry »

Plan B for Obama on the economy

September 8th, 2010

TO: President Obama
FROM: Thomas I. Palley
RE: How to avoid stagnation and restore shared prosperity
DATE: Labor Day, 2010

Mr. President,

With hopes of a V- or U-shaped recovery fading, there is the increasing prospect of an L-shaped future of long stagnation, or even a W-shaped future in which W stands for something worse.

The reason for this dismal outlook is economic policy is trapped by failed conventional thinking that can only deliver wage stagnation and prolonged mass unemployment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Federal Reserve Should Raise Rates and Lower Them Too

August 30th, 2010

There is much debate over whether the Federal Reserve should tighten or further ease monetary policy. This dichotomous framing overlooks another possibility, which is whether the Fed should change the mix of its stance, tightening in some areas and further easing in others. Read the rest of this entry »

Europe’s debt crisis and Keynes’ green cheese solution

May 26th, 2010

The great German physicist Max Planck remarked that “Science advances one funeral at a time.” The situation is worse in economics which is subject to regress, as happened when the valuable but imperfect insights of Keynesianism were supplanted by the ideological blinkers of neoliberalism. Read the rest of this entry »

More on the spurious victory claims of MMT.

GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation


 

Before the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election had even been called Tuesday night by the news networks, conservatives and Republicans were gleefully celebrating Governor Scott Walker’s impending victory. If you were watching Fox News, you were informed that the hastily organized June race in one state is a near-certain predictor of the presidential election results November. Moreover, unions that opposed Walker had not only been defeated in this one specific race; they had been exposed as out of touch with their own members and decisively crushed throughout the nation from today to the End of Times.

Here’s a sampling of what conservative pundits and Republican politicians had to say:

“If I’m Barack Obama I think, ‘Do I need to defend Wisconsin now?’”
—Sean Hannity, Fox News host

“With tonight’s victory, I think this is a state, not only can we win in Wisconsin, but Mitt Romney can also be very competitive, can win Michigan, Pennsylvania.”
—Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

“As Reagan followed Thatcher, Mitt Romney will follow Scott Walker.”
—Hugh Hewitt, radio host

“This shows the irrelevance of the unions.”
—Denny Strigl, former Verizon CEO

“Pack it in, Unions. It’s over.”
Tweet from Brett Doster, Florida senior adviser to Romney for President.

“Perhaps it’s those union leaders, those thugs… who need to be recalled…. Obviously [Obama’s] message has been defeated here in Wisconsin.”
—Sarah Palin, Fox News contributor

“TONIGHT’S RESULTS WILL ECHO BEYOND THE BORDERS OF WISCONSIN”
—Press release headline from Mitt Romney

The National Republican Campaign Committee asserted that the recall election results mean trouble for Democrats in unrelated Wisconsin congressional elections. “By rejecting [Democratic nominee] Tom Barrett [Wisconsin voters] also sent a message that they are ready to stay on a fiscally responsible, pro-jobs track and that means trouble ahead for Madison liberal Tammy Baldwin,” they declared.

There are a few inconvenient facts being ignored by all these chest-beating proclamations. Democrats were at a distinct disadvantage in this particular race. They had only a few weeks between the primary, when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was selected, and the election, while Walker had months to organize. They were wildly outspent by Republicans, who brought in massive infusions of cash from corporations and wealthy donors. In total, the GOP side spent $45.6 million to $17.9 million on the left. And the exit polls showed that this very same electorate that favored Walker 54-45, favors President Obama over Mitt Romney, 52 to 43. Voters from families with a union member chose Barrett 62–37. (There was no breakout available for just union members themselves, but they tend to be even more Democratic than all voters from union households.)

Before the votes were even cast, sharper minds cautioned against overestimating their national significance. Here’s Slate’s Will Oremus listing the reasons this race is not a test-run for the presidential election:

1) It’s a recall. 2) It’s happening in June. 3) The incumbent is a Republican. 4) Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is running. 5) A significant number of states (49 by my count) will not be participating. 6) Need I go on?

Drawing inferences about a national election on the basis of a state election is almost always tenuous, but it’s particularly so in the case of a gubernatorial recall, where the main issue is not the U.S. economy, health care, or national security, but the character and specific track record of the individual in office.

And, as The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis notes, an uptick in the economy will help all incumbents regardless of party. That means both endangered Republican governors such as Ohio John Kasich and President Obama.

Make no mistake, this is bad news for progressives and Democrats. But it does not prove what conservatives say it does. Rather, it merely shows that the unlimited spending unleashed by the Republican appointees on the Supreme Court has given Republicans a tremendous spending advantage and that does make a difference. Whether or not President Obama and other Democrats can overcome that is an open question.

Related Topics: Barack Obama | Election 2012 | US Politics | Gubernatorial Campaigns and Elections | Campaign Finance | Citizens United v. FEC | Campaigns and Elections | Sarah Palin | States | Conservatives and the American Right | Electoral Politics | Political Action Committees | Presidential Campaigns and Elections

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Showing 20 of 106 comments

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  • ronj1955 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Corporate money has run the electoral process for decades.

    show more show less

  • cashhuge.com 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    like Dennis replied I am amazed that some one able to earn $5841 in one month on the internet. have you read that web page

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  • RDDavis 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    And NOW, demos want people to reject Romney cause they say he had low job creation numbers, BUT what they dont tell you is, Romney averaged just slightly over 5% unemployment during his time as gubner of Mass.

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to create new jobs, when there is no one to take them, EVERYONE who wanted a job, had one already!!

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  • RDDavis 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    THIS is what we had in
    ’06 when Republicans held both houses of congress and the WH, and dem0s were
    running for control of congress promising “CHANGE.” How’re yall
    liking the “CHANGE?”

    2006 unemployment #s
    4.7…jan.
    4.8…feb.
    4.7…march
    4.7…april
    4.7…may
    4.6…june
    4.7…july
    4.7…aug.
    4.5…sep.
    4.4…oct.
    4.5…nov.
    4.4…dec.

    http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servle…

    When Republicans had
    both houses and the WH…………………….http://www.icmarc.org/xp/rc/marketvie… … oduct.html

    The 1st quarter of ’06 saw 4.8% growth in GDP. Then came demos running for
    control of congress promising “CHANGE.” They won, and after 2 years
    in power, things HAVE “CHANGED” GDP growth dropped to negative 6%.
    Happy with your “CHANGE?”

    12,600

    12,621.77

    January 24, 2007

    DOW open and close

    Deficit in january
    ‘07, 1.2%

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  • Stephen_Carver1 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    I don’t know if you remember this, cause your stats from 2006 are really beautiful, but in 2008, the bottom fell out of the economy and the financial sector almost collapsed, the auto industry almost collapsed and we went into the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The collapse was a direct cause of 30 years of continued government deregulation in all sorts of financial sectors, brought about by a misplaced understanding of what the long term effects of supply-side economics would be.

    In simpler words:  Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economy (aka “voodoo economics” as stated by George HW Bush) FAILED ON A MASSIVE SCALE.

    So, your statistics, while beautiful, are…well…pointless.

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  • RDDavis 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    ·

    Just like in EVERY CASE , when

    Republicans pick up power, the economy does better. When
    dim-0s pick up power,

    the economy falters.

    It happened when carter gained the WH, the economy got
    WORSE.

    It happened when Reagan gained the WH, the economy got
    BETTER.

    It happened when clinton gained the WH, economic growth
    dropped from over 4%,

    to about 2% 2 years later.

    It happened in jan ’95, when Republicans took over congress,
    the economy caught

    fire and sported some of the best times in our history,
    including balanced

    budgets and even a PROJECTED surplus.

    It happened in jan ’00 when W. gained the WH. He inherited a
    recession, a crashing market and 9-11 with terrorists in our country planning
    and training. He turned that into the longest running jobs expansion in our
    history with an average 5.2% unemployment number.

    It happened AGAIN in jan ’07, when dim-0 gained control of
    congress promising

    “CHANGE” from the 4.4% unemployment, mid 4%
    economic growth, and the

    longest running jobs expansion in the history of the nation.

    “CHANGED” to depression.

    Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.c…

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  • Stephen_Carver1 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    You are truly clueless, aren’t you?

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  • LaFayette75 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    DEMOCRACY – USE IT OR LOSE IT

    From WikiP here:

    The right to collectively bargain is recognized through international human rights conventions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right

    What a bunch sub-human life forms are those quoted in BA’s article above. How low have we descended?

    The right of collective bargaining is included in the UN Charter of Human Rights – see article 23 here. The charter was formulated at the UN in 1947 and sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt.

    The US is signatory to that charter but never, never, never adopted Article 23 into national legislation – because we are seriously behind the advance of human-rights. Like some old-fashioned country existing on a planet at the opposite end of our galaxy.

    If ignorance is bliss, than we are a very, very Happy People. And if we are not a Happy People, then no one else is to blame other than We, the Sheeple who continue to vote for politicians under the influence of plutocrats. The choice is ours – always has been, always will be.

    Democracy – Use It or Lose It. (Look for and vote into office a Progressive Candidate. Show the bastards that “I am mad as hell and I aint gonna take it anymore!!!”)

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  • LaFayette75 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    BIG-DADDY

    I’m not kidding. Where are the courageous politicians who are willing to bring Uncle Sam, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century by instituting in law certain basic human-rights as regards unionizing?

    Or do you want to be led by the nose as is the case today – by plutocrats and their crony Supreme Court.

    We have a Bill of Rights – and the freedom to gather together into a union to bargain collectively is a basic human-right which we, as a civilized nation, deserve to have stated there.

    Your fate is at stake and that, perhaps, of your family – and almost certainly your children. So decide. You think we don’t need unions to represent us against the forces of capitalism amassed against us?

    Then you have not lost your job often enough.

    In the Supply and Demand equation of the Labor Market, both sides must be of equal strength and significance. Any damn fool should be able to understand that basic premise.

    From WikiP:

    In the mid-1950s, 36% of the United States labor force was unionized. At America’s union peak in the 1950s, union membership was lower in the United States than in most comparable countries. By 1989, that figure had dropped to about 16%, the lowest percentage of any developed democracy, except France.

    Other union membership for other developed democracies, in 1990, were:
    – 95% in Sweden and Denmark;
    – 85% in Finland;
    – over 60% in Norway and Austria;
    – over 60% in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom;
    – over 30% in West Germany and Italy.

    You’re being screwed if you think BigDaddy is going to look out for you.

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  • gorak 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    The issue was the presumed universal impossibility of abolishing teachers union rights. The idea wasn’t that you would occasionally get thrown out of office for this, but that you would always be defeated over it. This presumption only took one contrary example to blow it apart all over the country. The impossible has become merely difficult and the change is irreversible.

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  • DaveOlson 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Don’t believe your own PR.  This was a serious loss and will affect the fall.

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  • TomGenin 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Fact: The Exit Poll in Wisconsin was worthless.
    Fact: The “Exit Poll” said the Walker/Barrett race was Tie.
    Fact: Walker won by 8%.
    Fact: Exit Poll said voters still favored Obama over Romney by 7%
    Fact: Only an idiot would rely on an Exit Poll that was off by 8% for the opposing party when your guy is up 7%.
    The exit polling was worthless, whereas the victory was priceless.

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  • michiganruth 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    “If you were watching Fox News, you were informed that the hastily
    organized June race in one state is a near-certain predictor of the
    presidential election results November….”

    actually, Ben, I WAS watching Fox News, and what you wrote is simply not true, even tho it was a really cool-sounding sentence. (you’ll get over loving the sound of your own copy when you’re older.)

    now that I think about this tho:

    I am absolutely in favor of liberals continuing to think there’s nothing wrong with their policies.  you’re right Ben: the Wisconsin election means bupkes, and Democrats have nothing to learn from the results. the 7-point differential was a “razor-thin” margin, and the whole thing was a Koch Brothers-funded setup anyway.

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  • J_Stuart_Mill 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    Testy, testy…!   Are a MAJORITY of Right-Wing Mouth-Foaming Animal-Devils gloating up and down the Promenade…?  No.

    So take it easy.  If Walker had lost, a portion of Left-Wing folks would have popped off themselves.  True or False…?

    BTW on a tactical front, this is thin gruel.  Frankly, the End Zone Dance (and the Anniversary End Zone Dance) on bin Laden was somewhat … unbecoming a President.  Kinda “Mission Accomplished” thing there … I mean, in both cases the CIC should have seen the sign/plans and maybe said, “No, this is more serious than that, this is an apolitical role of a President.”

    If only….

    Anyway, back to Reality.  The Whisky results really matter ONLY in the context of a close election this Fall.  If Romney takes Pennsylvania, the context of conditions (economy, etc) that would make that happen mean it would be OVER.

    If Obama takes Florida, in context that would mean it’s OVER.

    If, however, it’s close, then Romney needs / Obama must hold:  Florida, Ohio, Virginia … and ONE MORE.  That could be Whisky.

    That’s it!  Can we do analysis, even if we have a position? Sure! Even if we have a collection of dog whistles, in my case … I’m from Ohio … I’ll be working down South looking for the demographic that voted 42% against Obama in WV and KY Dem Primaries … and turn out that vote.  Ground Game.  Part of life. Can’t say I’m happy it’s come to this….

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  • TomGenin 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    I think you mean “pooped” themselves. If they would have “popped” themselves, well… a Walker loss would have had a plus side.

    show more show less

  • Democracy_of_One 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Ben – You are an original.   “Rather, it merely shows that the unlimited spending unleashed by the
    Republican appointees on the Supreme Court has given Republicans a
    tremendous spending advantage and that does make a difference.”

    Supreme Court – ” Selected not Elected.”  -Do I read an entendre in there.

    When the SC declares Obamacare illegal, what are you going to say?

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  • porchhound 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    The leftist wackos like this “journalist” are having grand mal seizures at their keyboards attempting to twist the Wisconsin union recall debacle into something other than what it is…ABJECT FAILURE and a sign of things to come in November.  What do you people GAIN by lying to one another?  Can you WISH a different outcome?  Grow UP and smell the sound of public union contracts going through the shredder!

    show more show less

  • bflat879 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Ben, Are you serious here?  IN 2010, the Democrats were given a wake-up call, they hit the snooze button.  They’ve been in denial ever since.  This election is the alarm going off again.  I’m betting they hit the snooze button again and I’m basing it on reading your comments.

    If you don’t know there’s something happening out here you’re just not too observant.

    show more show less

  • SteveThomas39 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    It’s so funny to read this site. It’s like traveling to an alternate universe where common sense is against the law. Oh wait, I forgot, that’s the idea of progressivism. But it sure was a vitally important election to “progressives” before they lost.

    show more show less

  • Ranting Loons 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Democrats were all about this being a national election a month ago. How they were going to dump walker and how “the people” of Wisconsin were behind them – it seems they were off a bit.

    As for your exit poll comparisons – they were “off” – remember how they were predicting a neck and neck race, so they should be taken with a grain of salt.

    show more show less

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GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation

Shocker: Paul Ryan’s budget means more big tax cuts for the rich. – CSMonitor.com


The tax cuts in Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan would result in huge benefits for high-income people and very modest—or no— benefits for low income working households. No surprise here.

By Guest blogger / March 24, 2012

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., center, and others, leave a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, where he discussed his budget blueprint.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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No surprise here, but the tax cuts in Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan would result in huge benefits for high-income people and very modest—or no— benefits for low income working households, according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center.

Howard Gleckman is a resident fellow at The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the author of Caring for Our Parents, and former senior correspondent in the Washington bureau of Business Week. (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org)

Recent posts

TPC looked only at the tax reductions in Ryan’s plan, which also included offsetting–but unidentified–cuts in tax credits, exclusions, and deductions. TPC found that in 2015, relative to today’s tax system, those making $1 million or more would enjoy an average tax cut of $265,000 and see their after-tax income increase by 12.5 percent. By contrast, half of those making between $20,000 and $30,000 would get no tax cut at all. On average, people in that income group would get a tax reduction of $129. Ryan would raise their after-tax income by 0.5 percent.

Nearly all middle-income households (those making between $50,000 and $75,000) would see their taxes fall, by an average of roughly $1,000. Ryan would increase their after-tax income by about 2 percent.

Ryan would extend all of the 2001/2003 tax cuts, and then consolidate individual rates to just two—10 and 25 percent. In addition, he’d repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, reduce the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, and kill the tax provisions of the 2010 health reform law.

Earlier this week, TPC projected the tax cuts in Ryan’s budget would add $4.6 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade, even after extending the 2001/2003 tax cuts, which would add another $5.4 trillion to the deficit.

Ryan argues that eliminating or scaling back deductions, credits, and exclusions ought to be part of the GOP fiscal plan. But he won’t say how.

Cuts in those tax preferences could make a big difference in determining who wins and who loses from the tax portion of his budget. But until House Republicans describe which they’d cut, there is no way to estimate what those base-broadeners would mean.

In truth, unless Republicans raise taxes on capital gains and dividends, it is hard to imagine the highest income households getting anything other than a windfall from this budget. Other tax preferences, such as the mortgage interest deduction, are just not that valuable to them.

And since no high-profile Republicans want to raise taxes on gains and dividends (and many would cut investment taxes even further) this budget would likely result in a huge tax cut for those who need it least.  That’s not a great way to start an exercise whose stated goal is to eliminate the budget deficit.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers’ own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger’s own site by clicking on taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org.

 

 

Shocker: Paul Ryan’s budget means more big tax cuts for the rich. – CSMonitor.com.

Revised Obama Tax Plan: Higher Dividend Tax On The Wealthy | True Tax Facts | Digg Mynews


It seems out of nowhere, President Obama has made a significant change in his tax plan proposal. Obama’s 2013 budget year now calls for more taxes on the wealthy, specifically a higher tax on dividends.

His new tax plan calls for an increase of the dividend tax to a maximum of 40% for households earning $250,000 a year. Coincidentally, that is equal to the higher maximum income tax rate set to go into effect in 2013.

According to the Obama administration, the increase in the dividend tax rate is needed to pay down the federal deficit and to make the tax code more progressive.

“Choices had to be made,” a senior Obama administration told reporters, explaining the bid to raise more than $200 billion over a decade with the steeper dividend taxes on the wealthy.

In addition to an increase in the dividend tax rate, the Obama administration is proposing to raise the current 15% long-term capital gains tax to 20% for the wealthiest Americans.

If you look closely, the Obama tax plan to tax the rich seems like an election year campaign ploy to win the lower and middle class vote. Fortunately for the wealthy and big corporations, it is extremely unlikely that Obama’s tax provisions will be become law, including his dividend tax increase.

“This is a reversal of what was a very specific policy feature of the first three budgets to keep dividends and capital gains taxed at the same rate,” said Michael Mundaca, a former top Treasury tax official under Obama, now at the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

“Companies may be more likely to retain earnings or seek alternatives ways to distribute their earnings such as by buying back stock,” Mundaca said.

Tax experts believe that big corporations may accelerate 2013 dividend payments into 2012 to dodge tax hikes.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see moving all their 2013 dividends into 2012,” Kies said. “A lot of U.S. companies are sitting on cash.”

source: reuters.com

Tags: budget deficit, dividend tax, dividend tax increase, Income Tax, obama administration, obama tax, obama tax plan, Tax Experts, tax increase, tax plan

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February 13, 2012
Obama Tax Plan Calls For Buffet Rule

After four consecutive years of one trillion dollar-plus deficits, the U.S. administration predicts a budget deficit drop below 1 trillion. That’s what President Obama’s budget plan calls for based on his proposed tax and spending policies.

One of the biggest contributors to reducing the deficit calls for a raise in the income tax rate on the wealthy. The so-called “Buffett Rule” would guarantee that households making more than $1 million a year pay at least 30% of their income in taxes.

This proposal was actually presented by America’s wealthiest businessman, Warren Buffett. To support this tax proposal, he used the real life example that it’s unfair that he (being a billionaire) pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The implementation of the Buffet Tax would raise approximately $1.5 trillion dollars. Additional sources of revenue to reduce the deficit would come from a tax reform plan that includes the expiration of the Bush Tax and the elimination of various tax preferences.

Will Obama’s tax plan work, or will it backfire?

Maybe the focus of cutting the deficit should be on creating jobs. New jobs mean more tax revenue and less expenditures to pay the unemployed.

Tags: budget deficit, buffet rule, buffet tax, obama tax, obama tax plan, tax plan, tax proposal, Tax Rate, tax revenue

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February 10, 2012
Free Tax Help For Preparing Your Return

The IRS has a new online tax tool to help low and middle income taxpayers find local sites to get free tax help. The free tax help is made available by individuals in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

The tool, available 24 hours a day, makes it easier for qualified individuals to find free tax help directly from the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers with incomes of $50,000 or less can get their taxes done for free by IRS volunteers. Senior citizens aged 60 and older can get free tax help from volunteers in the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.

Taxpayers can access the application by clicking on this free tax help tool link or by going to irs.gov and entering the letters “VITA” in the search box. Next, click on the “Free Tax Return Preparation For You by Volunteers” option, then select the “Find a VITA site near you” option.

Once there, an easy-to-use locator prompts users to enter a zip code to search thousands of free tax preparation sites, narrowing the results to a selected radius. VITA sites are listed by location name, address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the language-assistance options offered. Finally, taxpayers select a specific tax preparation site to get a map to provide step-by-step directions.

More than three million tax returns were prepared by VITA and TCE volunteers in during the 2011 tax season.

The IRS is continually improving its website to provide the latest tax information to taxpayers.

source:irs.gov

Tags: free tax help, irs tax help, irs volunteers, Tax Help, Tax Preparation, VITA

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Revised Obama Tax Plan: Higher Dividend Tax On The Wealthy | True Tax Facts | Digg Mynews.

Debunking The Notion That Inequality Wouldn’t Impact The Economy | Addicting Info


It’s been claimed — incorrectly — that overall activity would neither be increased nor diminished by how evenly or unevenly money is distributed within our national economy. According to that line, we’d get the same amount of commerce regardless of whether we have a larger share of the pie held by the wealthy or by the lower and middle classes. “Money is money,” or so they say.

Except that in reality, lower average propensity to consume (APC) results from significantly increased real income.1 Who has how much matters because people tend to spend different portions of their income at different levels of wealth. Wealth and income distributions make a significant difference to effective demand. We’re not concerned with what people would like to have if they had enough money; we’re concerned with what people will spend with the money they’re getting. If Warren is a wealthy person and John is a poor person and over time Warren attains a higher share of the available money, total spending — effective demand — generated by those two consumers will drop.

If there’s $1,000,000 of total income between the two at time T1 and Warren gets $950,000 while John gets $50,000 and Warren spends 33.33%2 of income to John’s 100% of income, then total spending by these two individuals at time T1 will be:

T1: $316,635 + $50,000 = $366,635.00

When income ratios shift and there’s an inflation-adjusted $1,000,000 of total income at time T2 and Warren gets $975,000 while John gets $25,000, Warren’s spending ratio (APC) will likely have fallen slightly from the previous propensity, but we’ll stick with 33.33% for simplicity and understatement. Meanwhile, John can’t spend as much as before because John’s available funds have dropped. Even if Warren still spends at the same rate — which is unlikely — then total spending would be:

T2: $325,967.50 + $25,000 = $349,967.50

That would be a drop from time T1 to time T2 of $16,667.50 in inflation-adjusted spending. I’ve picked an arbitrary APC for Warren, but herein we’re just showing the rough effect. The dollar values are merely for illustration of the concept. Even if the exact average amount might vary slightly from the $16,667.50 of our illustration, the point remains that there would be a shortfall. With more of the money shifted to those with a lower APC, you get lower consumption which is to say lower effective demand.

Debunking The Notion That Inequality Wouldn’t Impact The Economy | Addicting Info.