Givers, Takers, and Voters

mitt-style

Steve Hochstadt: So we end up with the same racial profiling that conservatives have been using to win votes since Richard Nixon’s southern strategy. The euphemisms change, but the intent is the same.

Can Democrats Fix California?

jerry brown

Dotty Lemieux: All is not gloom and doom for the Golden State after all. And if we tackle the inequities in Proposition 13, especially the ones favoring the largest corporate abusers, the outlook could become all the more rosy.

President Obama: Aim High on Grand Bargain

obama boehner deal

Robert Reich: I hope the President starts negotiations over a “grand bargain” for deficit reduction by aiming high. After all, he won the election.

How Will Prop 30 and Prop 38 Affect Your Taxes?

vote

Kim Tso: Voters can approve both propositions, but legal, education and policy experts are predicting that only the proposition with the most votes will be enacted.

Mitt’s 13% Tax

mitt romney greed

Robert Reich: omney admits to an income of over $20 million a year for the last several decades. Which makes his 13 percent — or even 20 percent — violate the principle of equal sacrifice that lies at the core of our notion of tax fairness.

California Tax Measure Compromise a Victory for Progressives

jerry brown

Paul Hogarth: When it comes to crafting state budget policy, Sacramento’s leadership never bothers to consult the grass-roots – cutting deals with big business and a small handful of unions, and then expecting the rest of us to take our marching orders.

The Right to Shirk

factory

John T. Cumbler: Indiana ’s proposed “Right to Work” Act is not just anti-union, it is anti-democratic. Under the law if a majority of workers in a plant vote for a union, those who opposed the union would not have to contribute dues to the union.

Who’s the Scrooge?

compassion

Steve Hochstadt: The calls to flatten the income tax, to eliminate welfare payments, and to repeal regulation of industry are about going back to an earlier America, where the rich and powerful could use their advantages without hindrance.

President Obama’s Osawatomie, Kansas Stemwinder

president obama

President Barack Obama: I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules.

Herman Cain No More

herman-cain-hat

Steve Hochstadt: Palin and Cain are not foolish. They recognized that the elemental ideas of the Tea Party supporters could be exploited by slick slogans and political gimmicks.

Flat Tax a Flat-Out Fraud

herman cain

Robert Reich: All flat-tax proposals benefit the rich more than the poor for one simple reason: Today’s tax code is still at least moderately progressive. The rich usually pay a higher percent of their incomes in income taxes than do the poor. A flat tax would eliminate that slight progressivity.

The Flat-Tax Fraud, and the Necessity of a Truly Progressive Tax

flat tax

Robert Reich: Simple fairness requires three things: More tax brackets at the top, higher rates in each bracket, and the treatment of all sources of income (capital gains included) exactly the same.

Drinks Are on the House (and Senate)

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Walter Brasch: “As long as the Republicans control Congress,” said Marshbaum, “the American way of life will be preserved. Want a drink now?”

Will Occupy Wall Street Be Co-opted?

occupy los angeles

Peter Dreier: Too many lefties view “co-optation” as failure. I disagree. The success of every radical movement in American history has occurred when it is co-opted by the forces of reform.

The Wall Street Occupiers and the Democratic Party

bull market

Robert Reich: Will the Wall Street Occupiers morph into a movement that has as much impact on the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has had on the GOP? Maybe. But there are reasons for doubting it.

Don’t-Raise-Taxes-on-the-Rich Crowd Getting Desperate

taxes

Robert Reich: In truth, the most important variable explaining the rise and fall of tax revenues as percent of GDP has been the business cycle, not the effective tax rate.

A Unified Theory of War and Taxes

Vietnam-War-wide

David Swanson: Taxes are a byproduct of wars. Were it not for wars and war propaganda, this country would have never begun paying taxes. If we were to end wars, and only if we were to end wars, we could consider ending taxes too.

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Justice Clarence Thomas’ Income Tax Oversight?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Miles Blue: Recently, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, over a four year period, failed to report his wife’s rather substantial income. A one-time failure may be human error; a four-time failure is a willful, criminal, act. Thomas deserves impeachment. His behavior is not acceptable for a Supreme Court Justice.

Is No New Taxes What Voters Really Want?

tax cuts

Steve Hochstadt: The voters spoke in November: They picked Quinn and a tax increase over Brady and no new taxes. One reason is that Brady could not identify for voters where he would cut much spending. The opponents of taxes did not propose any reasonable alternative to raising taxes to solve Illinois’ debt crisis.

The Big Lie

death panels

Robert Reich: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

Why the Tax Deal Confirms the Republican Worldview

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Robert Reich: As income and wealth have risen to the top, so has political power. Money is being used to bribe politicians and fill the airwaves with misleading ads that block all of this.

Do We Have Common Ground?

hopey changey

Steve Hochstadt: If we tune out the shouting, we might find that we American voters are not at war with each other. Tuesday’s results included several messages about national policy that most Americans agree on.

The Politics of Taxes

republican tax cuts

Tracy Emblem: Bush Tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households – those least in need of additional resources – at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut”

taxes

Robert Reich: Democrats should propose eliminating payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income, and making up the revenue loss by applying payroll taxes to incomes above $250,000.

Could Consume-atives Be Deficient?

taxes

Adam Eran: Consume-atives proclaim we should cut something but seldom propose anything specific. The plan is for bankruptcy court to sort that out, rather than making consume-atives a target for blame. “Take 10% off the top” is another, meaningless Republican proposal in recent budget negotiations. What does that mean, though? Let 10% of the prisoners out? Only treat 90% of the sewage?

Obama Needs To Teach The Public How to Get Out Of The Mess We’re In, But He’s Not

obama-state-of-union

Robert Reich: The economic lesson President Obama ought to be teaching is that targeted tax cuts, mostly for small business, are good to the extent they give businesses a nudge toward creating more jobs. But businesses won’t begin to create lots of jobs until they have lots of customers. And that won’t happen until lots more Americans have work. The only way to get them work when businesses aren’t hiring is for government to prime the pump.

An Example of Hearst “Yellow Journalism:” SF Chronicle, LA Times Spread Phony Tax Hysteria

Newspaper

In a shocking display of yellow journalism that would make William Randolph Hearst blush, the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times both slapped on their front pages last Thursday a complete non-story in California tax law.

California Budget: What Happened Last Fall — The New Budget Immediately Starting Bleeding Red Ink

arnold2

The 2008-09 budget which was passed in September of last year ( two and a half months late) contained several overly optimistic (I would say wildly unsustainable) assumptions concerning revenue: First, it assumed the sale of over $3 billion in revenue bonds, but no one wanted to buy California bonds. Second, it “borrowed” from over [...]

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