Feb 212015
 

I keep reading reports about how states, especially red states, keep cutting basic services because of budget shortfalls.  That would not be necessary if states would just tax its citizens fairly, instead of giving preferential treatment to the super rich.

0221tax_the_richRoads are crumbling, bridges require repairs, schools need upgrades and public pension systems remain underfunded. How can states and cities find the money to address any of these problems? One way could be through their tax codes.

According to a new report, if the rich paid the same state and local tax rate as the middle class, states and cities would have hundreds of billions of dollars more a year in public revenue.

Last month, the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the poorest 20 percent of households pay on average more than twice the effective state and local tax rate (10.9 percent) as the richest 1 percent of taxpayers (5.4 percent).

That preceded the new report from the left-leaning groups Good Jobs First and the Keystone Research Center which finds that if tax laws were changed to compel the highest income earners to pay the same rate as everyone else, states and localities would rake in up to $128 billion a year in new revenue. If just the top 1 percent of earners were compelled to pay the typical middle-class tax rate, the report says the change would raise more than $68 billion in new annual revenues… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alternet>

Think of the good those $billions could do.

Oregon is better than most states in that regard, but we don’t go far enough.  Even though I’m just above the poverty line, I still fall in the top tax bracket of over 10%.  It’s only fair that the rich should pay a higher percentage than the rest of us, because states spend more to satisfy their wants than to meet our needs.

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Jan 192015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 75.  I’m still pretty pooped after yesterday’s cleaning jag, but I can rest while meditating on the Ellipsoid Orb, during this High Holy Day.  I think I’ll cheer for the Packers to get back at the damn Seachickens for all the Broncos games that weren’t televised here because of them.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama will use his State of the Union address to call on Congress to raise taxes and fees on the wealthiest taxpayers and the largest financial firms to finance an array of tax cuts for the middle class, pressing to reshape the tax code to help working families, administration officials said on Saturday.

This has about as much chance to pass, as there is that Agent Orange will give up his Jameson. What Obama is doing here is providing an example of how to act like Democrats for Democrats.

From Kansas City Star: …Instead [of telling the hard truth], in the governor’s [Brownback] “it’s always sunny in Kansas” scenario:

▪ Tax cuts are not leading to massive revenue shortfalls (but they are).

▪ The state should continue its march to a zero income tax (never mind those pesky revenue woes).

▪ The tax cuts are leading to tremendous private-sector job growth (but most states are actually growing at faster rates than Kansas).

▪ Funding for K-12 schools is a major cause of Kansas’ budget problems (but it’s really not).

▪ The school funding formula must be radically changed (but the governor can’t tell you how).

▪ Giving him near-control of the State Supreme Court appointments would be a great idea (yikes).

▪ God is helping guide him and other elected leaders as he helps Kansas through this mess (how delusional).

The "god", who is guiding Brownback in this is Supply-side Jesus, the polar opposite of the real Jesus. Supply-side Jesus is an invention of the Republican base to justify their hatred, greed, lies, and lust for power. If Supply-side Jesus were real, he would have cloven hooves and carry a pitchfork. The people who deserve this most of all are the Democrats, who stayed home on election day.

From Washington Post: Sen. Elizabeth Warren has an explanation for the singular nature of her power.

I’ll always be an outsider. That’s how I understand the world,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview. “There’s a real benefit to being clear about this. I know why I’m here. I think about this every morning before I open my eyes, and I’m still thinking about it every night when I go to sleep.”

Being the target of that kind of focus can be an excruciating experience — the freshest case in point being investment banker Antonio Weiss, whom President Obama put forward last year as his nominee for Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance.

Initially seen as a highly credentialed and noncontroversial pick for a low-profile post, Weiss found himself up against a storm of opposition, led by Warren, who said he was yet another example of Wall Street cronyism within the Obama administration.

On Monday, Weiss wrote a letter to the president asking that his name be taken out of consideration.

The tussle sent yet another signal, maybe the clearest yet, of how Warren intends to wield her growing clout. It showed that she and her brand of populism are forces to be reckoned with — not only by Obama and his team, but also by the Democrats’ likely 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. [emphasis added]

What can I say? I Red heart Liz!!

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0119Cartoon

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Aug 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 108.  It’s been a busy day with heavy house cleaning and a grocery delivery.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  The Holy Orb is rising on a new preseason of meditation.  I’m meditating in faith that my Broncos shall break the long fast with a communion meal of Pulverized Seachicken. :-)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:16 (average 5:06).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rep. Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama:

“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else,” he said during an interview Monday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. "It’s part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things. Well that’s not true.”

Man, if it’s been waging a war on whites all this time, the Democratic Party is even less effective than I’d realized. Because whites are doing relatively well in this country. Sure, class warfare from above has been hard on the middle class, which was historically overwhelmingly white, so if you compare how middle-class white people are doing now to how they were doing 20 or 50 years ago, the picture is bad. But compared to non-white people? Whites are doing just fine, despite this alleged war on them.

Mo "Bubba Bagger" Brooks is projecting to blame Democrats for his own Republican racism.

From NY Times: The Obama administration is weighing plans to circumvent Congress and act on its own to curtail tax benefits for United States companies that relocate overseas to lower their tax bills, seeking to stanch a recent wave of so-called corporate inversions, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said on Tuesday.

Treasury Department officials are rushing to assemble an array of options that would essentially wipe out the economic incentive for the deals, Mr. Lew said. No final decision has been made.

“The question is, Can we do enough that it will materially change the economics of inversions so that companies will make different decisions?” Mr. Lew said in an interview. “The things we are looking at look to me like they could very materially change the economics of inversions.”

See How RepubliCorp Is Ducking Taxes. At the very least, Obama could disqualify such companies from government contracts and subcontracts.

From TPM: A third grade teacher in South Carolina called into Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Tuesday to thank him for his children’s book, "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims," which she used to teach her students about slavery and the Civil War.

ARGH! Limbarf as a teaching aid?!!?  Disappointed smile I was unable to find out which school has such misinformed students. That teacher needs to be stopped, then fired, and then committed.

Cartoon:

0807Cartoon

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Jul 272014
 

Corporations are taking advantage of a tax loophole that Republicans created to kelp them avoid paying their fair share of taxes.  Democrats have made several attempts to close that loophole, and of course Republicans blocked them.  Barack Obama and one of America’s national treasures are calling them out on it.

0727CorporateInversionU.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions" and called on Congress to pass a bill to end the practice.

During remarks to a rowdy crowd at the Los Angeles Technical College, Obama promoted what he called "economic patriotism" and made clear he believed the companies that were engaging in such practices were not being patriotic. The president is in California on a three-day fund-raising swing for Democrats.

So-called inversion deals occur when a U.S. company acquires or sets up a foreign company, then moves its U.S. tax domicile to the foreign company and its lower-tax home country.

Nine inversion deals have been reached this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc, and more are under consideration. The transactions are setting a record pace since the first inversion was carried out 32 years ago…

Inserted from <Chicago Tribune>

Photo credit: Nation of Change

I do disagree with Obama on one point.  There is only on corporate emotion.  It is not patriotism.  It is greed.

Ed Schultz interviewed our national treasure on this issue and on the Republican attempt to stall VA funding.

According to the article, Republicans say they support closing the Inversion Loophole, but only as part of restructuring the tax code.  That’s RepubliSpeak for raising your taxes and giving massive tax cuts to billionaires and giant corporations.

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Jul 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 93.  I have not left for prison yet.  The plan is to crawl into bed, when I return home, and do the puzzle and upload the articles when I wake up.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Late (early) Update:

The meeting was great and I now have my ID.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:18).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Guess who Sen. John McCain blames for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17? Yup, President Obama:

 

McConJob, in typical Republican fashion, has a special tool with which to hit every nail: a bomb.

From TPM: A federal appeals court dealt a huge blow to Obamacare on Tuesday, banning

the federal exchange from providing subsidies to residents of the 36 states it serves.

A divided three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the text of the Affordable Care Act restricts the provision of premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The two Republican appointees on the panel ruled against Obamacare while the one Democratic appointee ruled for the law.

"We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the court in Halbig v. Burwell.

His ruling was joined in a concurring opinion by George H. W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who said it would be a "distortion" to let the federal exchange provide subsidies. "Only further legislation could accomplish the expansion the government seeks," he wrote.

Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards voted to uphold the subsidies.

This may well be huge. Without doubt this decision will be appealed to the full DC Circuit court, and from there to the Supreme Court where the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) await. This may well mean that Republicans in red states mazy be able to prevent their citizens from receiving their federal subsidy. This should be overturned, but we need to watch this one closely.

From Think Progress: Conventional political wisdom holds that a carbon tax could never pass Congress, largely thanks to the “tax” part.

But over the last few years, a remarkable number of economists, politicians, and business leaders have stepped up to support a carbon tax as the most job-friendly way to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Now thanks to a new poll, we can confidently add “majorities of American voters” to that list of supporters as well. A July survey run out of the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College found that when certain uses are specified for the revenue — specifically investment in renewable energy or rebate checks back to taxpayers — 56 to 60 percent of voters support a carbon tax.

I’ve favored a carbon tax for years.  This would be great news if what the American peopled want had even the slightest effect on Republican legislators. It doesn't.

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0724Cartoon

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May 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, late on what has been largely a lazy day.  I figured I’d better rest now, since I have a busy week coming up, so I shall be brief.  Day 27.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s tool me 3:35 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Writer Kendra Eash wrote an amazing bit of satire mocking how the ad industry likes to use vague, inspirational nonsense to capture people’s attention. So Dissolve, a stock video distributor, took her words and visualized them in an amazingly vague, faux-inspirational video that tells you absolutely nothing at all. It’s kind of hilarious. 2:19 is my favorite moment.

If you run an ad agency, please use this as a clarion call to say actual things in your clients’ commercials. Things that actually add something to the discourse. PLEASE?!

 

Dang!! You mean I don’t need Jenny Craig for what sticks out and Viagra for what doesn’t?

From Daily Kos: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) will be giving Duck Dynasty actor Phil Robertson a fist time ever "Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.” However as reported by Reason.com the show has been getting far more that awards from the state of Louisiana.

"The state subsidizes up to 30 percent of local production spending, offering tax credits redeemable for cash."

A industrial insider estimates that the show gets as much as $70,000 dollars from Louisiana taxpayers per show the ‘ Dynasty ‘ family makes $200,000 per show.

So we can assume that being the ‘Tea Party Dynasty Poster child pays handsomely on the taxpayers  Dime

Republicans always want tax payers to pay for TEAbuggery, while millionaires reap reap the gain.

From Politico: Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby was accused by her ex-boyfriend last year of “stalking” him, entering his home without his permission and “harassing” his employees, according to a Portland, Oregon police report.

Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, is the leading Republican candidate to challenge Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

Wehby was questioned by a police officer on April 3, 2013, after being seen leaving the area near the home of Andrew Miller. Miller, the wealthy owner of a timber company, had been romantically involved with Wehby but their relationship was ending at that time, they both say now.

Wehby, who is vying for the Oregon GOP Senate nomination, was not arrested in the incident.

But the Portland police report detailing the incident said Miller, owner of Stimson Lumber in Portland, was worried that Wehby had come to his home uninvited, and had even entered the residence without his permission. Miller said he was considering getting a protective order against Wehby, the report states.

A pediatric neurosurgeon running to deny health care to children.  Scheeesch!! If she were anything better than devious and deranged, she would not be the Republican frontrunner.

Cartoon:

0518Cartoon

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May 032014
 

Here are the results of our Do the Super-rich Pay Enough Poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our polls are often both accurate and indicative of the nation’s view.

0503Poll

And here are your comments:

Showing comments 113 of 13.

Posted by Madeline Loder  April 27, 2014 at 9:22 am.  

 

why ask such an obvious question? Is this some sort of trick?

 

Posted by Mitch D.  April 23, 2014 at 2:32 am.  

 

Asking that question in the context of this site, is like asking a starving person whether or not he/she would like a sandwich!

But, yet, clearly too little!

 

Posted by Rixar13  April 17, 2014 at 9:34 am.  

 

They pay too little…

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Posted by misstexaskitty  April 17, 2014 at 3:24 am.  

 

If they pay any taxes they pay too little. When one has grown wealthy and reaped the so called benefits of this country; they owe a return to the country.

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GW Bush cut their taxes and we all learned the hard lesson that cutting taxes can destroy and not build an economy.

 

Posted by CaityJ in reply to misstexaskitty  April 24, 2014 at 1:41 am.  

 

MissTexasKitty says it well. Reagan’s ‘trickle-down economics’ has only trickled up, apparently. The ‘job makers’ only look out for themselves. It’s a shame that this country’s leaders have become so greedy.

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Posted by Edie  April 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm.  

 

My 85 year old mother pays a higher tax rate )than Mitt Romney. Of course they don’t pay enough!

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Posted by Joanne D  April 16, 2014 at 6:09 am.  

 

I’ll bet you get one troll vote for the last one, though!

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Posted by Patty  April 16, 2014 at 5:02 am.  

 

Of course they don’t pay enough. But, you were joking with this poll. Weren’t you?

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Posted by Arielle   April 16, 2014 at 2:26 am.  

 

Yeah, like duh! You just wanted to give us one where we didn’t have to think at all, right?

 

Posted by Lona Goudswaard  April 15, 2014 at 11:11 pm.  

 

Is this is what Americans call "a no-brainer"?

If a CEO can manage to pay less taxes than his secretary, only the first choice comes close. IThe poll should have had "Only the rich should pay taxes" to counterbalance the last one.

 

Posted by Fred Lemon  April 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm.  

 

Doh!

 

Posted by CaityJ in reply to Fred Lemon  April 24, 2014 at 1:46 am.  

 

Yes, I agree with Fred and others… this poll has pretty obvious results considering the POV of PP. I must say I was surprised anyone voted outside the expected.

 

Posted by Lynn Squance  April 15, 2014 at 9:27 am.  

 

For me it is self evident: they don’t pay enough. It is all out of proportio bibically! Just think of Jesus challenging the rich man who put 2 silver coins in the box, when he derided the widow who only put in 2 pennies. As Jesus said, she put all that she had so she gave much more.

 

These rich evangelical right wing pseudo Christians know nothing of Jesus’ teachings. From what I can see, much of the 1% are like the rich man.

I voted with the majority, of course, and not one of the three Republican choices.

Several of you have asked why I put up this poll.  Almost all of my polls have a purpose.  Many are intended to inspire thought, but not this time.  Many are intended to to entertain, but not this time.  My intent here was to make the point of how completely obvious it is that there is only one correct answer to this question.  Hopefully that should inspire outrage at all the TEAbuggery that we get from Republicans, when they make excuses to continue a welfare state for billionaires, and commitment to remove them from office.

The new poll is up.  Don’t forget to vote, but if you do, don’t forget to vote in November.

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