The Republican National Committee really wanted to stick it to Democratic legislators for that time they totally punted on holding a vote on the future of the Bush-era tax cuts. And so, they armed themselves with a shiny new study from the Tax Foundation that they thought really aided their criticism. “What excuse will the Democrats use now?”
As it happens, the study compared the actual Dem plan with the GOP one. And it found that for a family of four with an income of $40,000, the Dem plan — continuing the low end tax cuts, plus the stimulus measures — would cause a 7.8 percent jump in after-tax income. That jump would only be 6.8 percent under the GOP plan to continue all the Bush tax cuts.
The picture above shows what the current crop of Republicans in Congress have to run on in elections this fall. How successful do you think this strategy will prove to be? Although the Party of No didn’t participate beyond saying, “Hell No!,” here’s some facts about how the Stimulus bill passed by the Democratic majorities under the leadership of President Obama has saved America’s economy —
Check out the web site where the Obama administration is tracking the money. It’s an enormous task — publishing a real-time, reliable accounting of what the government is doing — and it wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. Call it Government 2.0, or Democracy 2.0 — Deputy OMB Director Rob Nabors says it’s time for a new era. “We’ve never really been in a position before where the government took on the responsibility of showing at a state level, at a local level, how federal dollars are being spent. We’re allowing the public to connect the decisions that government makes in a way that’s relevant to their civic lives,” he says. “And that feedback look gives a sense of empowerment that they never had before.”
Recovery is slow going, but this wasn’t any run-of-the-mill recession, it was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Our economy continues to sputter and joblessness persists — there is still work to be done, but great progress has been made. Obama’s economic policies helped America avoid a depression. America is going forward! We’ll get there even without Republican help.
While some say the Tea Party stands for “Taxed Enough Already,” most Tea Party supporters – 52 percent – say their taxes are fair, the poll shows. Just under one in five Americans say they support the Tea Party movement.
However, those most active in the Tea Party are less satisfied with the amount of income taxes they will pay. Fifty-five percent of Tea Party activists – those who have attended a rally or donated money – (about 4 percent of Americans overall) say their income taxes are unfair.
Americans overall are more likely than Tea Partiers to describe the income taxes they’ll pay this year as fair – 62 percent do, according to the poll, conducted April 5 – 12.
Majorities across all income levels say their income taxes are fair, as do most Republicans and Democrats.
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,580 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone April 5-12, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus two percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.
An oversample of people who describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement were interviewed, for a total of 881 interviews. The results were then weighted in proportion to the adult population. The margin of error for the sample of Tea Party supporters is three points.
According to a new CBS News/ New York Times poll.
Is Oregon on to something or will they see a backlash?
It’s hard to find a less popular foil for the White House than bailed-out banks, and the administration is doing its best to show off its new plan to make financial firms pay for the unpopular bailout. President Obama talked up the proposal in his radio address Saturday, but also defended the initial bailout. He said that banks faced a “crisis of their own creation,” but that the “distasteful but necessary” bailout prevented an “even greater calamity for the country.” Nonetheless, he said recent news that some banks, such as Goldman Sachs, had paid back their funds was “good news” but still not enough. “We want the taxpayers’ money back, and we’re going to collect every dime,” he said. The proposed 0.15% tax on banks would collect about $90 billion over 10 years and apply to approximately 50 of the country’s largest banks.
Read it here.
It seems like there are two camps on the question posed by the title of this thread. Paul Krugman holding the first position that the stimulus was too small (we will not go there, for those of you thinking innuendo), and the second camp, mainly composed of conservatives, who complain that the results of the stimulus has not helped that much and is producing crushing debt. It would seem to me that evidence for both positions could be found.
I have never taken an economics class, but I am impressed by the fuzziness of the discipline. I am interested in psychology, so I am reasonably tolerant of methodological uncertainty. Is there such a thing as experimental economics?
If we look at history, one interpretation is that the stimulus programs of FDR in the 1930’s were successful, in at least making a bad situation less worse. Does that sound familiar, or not?
Amity Shlaes suggests that the FDR administration’s hostility toward wealthy people and the ineffectiveness of government interventions actually prolonged the great depression. In fairness RE: this source, Shlaes is a conservative Wall Street Journal editorial commentator.
So, who is correct in their assessment? The right, the left, both, or neither – please offer your opinion; it can’t be any worse or better than those out there already. Thanks!
Todd Tiahrt outdid himself on the floor of Congress yesterday. He implied that Obama and Clarence Thomas’ mothers may have taken advantage of “free” government funded abortions. Tiahrt’s comments were met with boos on the House floor.
Too bad we can’t throw shoes like they do in Iraq.
Use this link to demand an apology from Tiahrt.
Just in case you don’t believe that we have elected an idiot who would say things like this, check it out on Youtube:
I have to hand it to the cons on this one. My all time favorite con analogy is that if we have socialized medicine, a trip to the Doctor’s office will be like going to the Automobile tag office.
Is there a more demoralizing and agravating experience than going to the tag office? I have been there all morning and I am not done yet! When there, I kind of feel like what a super-aware cow would feel like when being shipped off for slaughter. There can’t be any place as ill prepared to respond to the demands that they have.
The County tag office – if there is a hell, that is what it will be like!
This 2008 book (now out in trade paperback) by Amity Shlaes has been flying off of the shelves of D.C. book sellers. Allegedly, both sides of aisle are deeply interested in this book. Conservatives are giving the book high praise, e.g. “The finest history of the Great Depression ever written” – National Review.
I am guessing the contemporary interest in this book stems from the similarity in presidental events – FDR’s inheritance of a economic diaster following the stewardship of three Republican presidencies v. Obama’s inheritance of the economy from the two terms of G. W. Bush oversight [sic].
Shlaes certainly has the conservative bona fides – she served on the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal, for example. Her book takes an unmistakeable conservative re-interpretation of the New Deal.
To put it most simply, Shlaes believes that FDR declared war on business and set up New Deal entitlements, not to help the “forgotten man”, but to achieve political advantage. Shlaes even provides what she claims is the origninal definition of the “forgotten man”. According to Amity, the forgotten man is the one who pays the taxes conceived by special interest groups, and does so year after year, without complaint.
Suffice it to say that Shlaes has the conservative mantra down: “All taxes and regulations are bad, all business and free-markets are good!” In fairness, though, Shlaes points out some very curious regulatory excesses practiced by the New Deal agencies. FDR considered himself an experimenter and I think he would have admitted some of his experiments failed miserably.
I came away from the book, asking the question, “can there not be a balance of encouraging business, but also demanding business responsibility via regulation?” I believe there can be, and I think President Obama is tryng to achieve this precarious balance.
Apparently UBS, the same outfit with the major commercial package going for it, has been sending recruiters to this country, trying to get investors to deposit money in their Swiss bank, in direct violation of United States law. They are doing so for no other reason than to avoid taxes here in the states. U.S. Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, estimates the cost in unpaid taxes to the U.S. Treasury is $100 billion a year.
So far two individuals, Igor Olenicoff and Bradley Birkenfeld, have been convicted of tax fraud, but there are still as many as 52,000 other American investors who may be guilty of the same thing. This could blossom into the biggest tax fraud case in history. But it depends on the Federal government obtaining release of the investors names. UBS is fighting it, saying it conflicts with the Swiss secrecy laws, but the federal government is threatening prosecution of banking officials if it doesn’t get its way. So far, it appears to be a game of chicken, but the odds are on our side. The main problem seems to be will the government want to take a chance on bringing down a bank of UBS’s size? This whole thing has some serious implications. There’s no telling who it could bring down, but my feeling is it’s something that must be done. We, the people, are being cheated out of billions yearly because of nothing more than greed.
Okay, I sorta promised the Friggin Loon some kinda’ post about pot saving America. I’m sure everybody expects some snark and humor, and we’ll get to that. First though, let’s go to POT CLASS 101. In a quick search for some jokes to steal, I came upon much more serious journalism on the subject than anything else. Seems that Cheech and Chong classic bits have been eclipsed by world economists and scientists. Kinda takes the fun out of it. Also for any ‘active’ users out there, let me remind you, today is NATIONAL DONUT DAY. Support your local Donut dealer.
FORBES MAGAZINE, POT & THE ECONOMY: Milton Friedman leads a list of more than 500 economists from around the U.S. who today will publicly endorse a Harvard University economist’s report on the costs of marijuana prohibition and the potential revenue gains from the U.S. government instead legalizing it and taxing its sale. Ending prohibition enforcement would save $7.7 billion in combined state and federal spending, the report says, while taxation would yield up to $6.2 billion a year.
The report, “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition,” (available at www.prohibitioncosts.org) was written by Jeffrey A. Miron, a professor at Harvard , and largely paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a Washington, D.C., group advocating the review and liberalization of marijuana laws.
At 92, Friedman is revered as one of the great champions of free-market capitalism during the years of U.S. rivalry with Communism. He is also passionate about the need to legalize marijuana, among other drugs, for both financial and moral reasons.
If the laws change, large beneficiaries might include large agricultural groups like Archer Daniels Midland (nyse: ADM – news – people ) and ConAgra Foods (nyse: CAG – news – people ) as potential growers or distributors and liquor businesses like Constellation Brands (nyse: STZ – news – people ) and Allied Domecq (nyse: AED – news – people ), which understand the distribution of intoxicants. Full article here – http://www.forbes.com/2005/06/02/cz_qh_0602pot.html
THE ENVIRONMENT; Industrial Hemp for Paper: One acre of hemp in annual rotation will produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees during the same twenty year period. Hemp can be grown and harvested every year, unlike trees that take fifty to one hundred years to grow back. Hemp can be grown in more areas of the world than trees. Making paper from trees creates over five times more pollution than making paper from hemp. Since 1937, 70% of our national forests have been destroyed.
Industrial Hemp for Clothing: Hemp produces three times as much fiber per acre as cotton. While cotton is grown on only 3% of the world’s farmland, it uses a devastating 26% of the world’s pesticides per year. Hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides to grow.
Industrial Hemp for Energy. Since pre-industrial times, carbon dioxide levels have risen by almost 30% due to deforestation and fossil fuel combustion. The United States currently burns fossil fuels for 93% of its energy needs and consumes 25% of the world’s supply. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, including fuel pellets, liquid fuels and gas. Development of biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Eco-friendly hemp can relace almost all toxic petro-chemical products. Research is being done to use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic products. more here http://www.hamline.edu/personal/dhudson/eng3370/3370s01/lutterman/hemp5.html
Medical Marijuana is frequently beneficial in the treatment of serious medical conditions. Medical marijuana has been deemed legitimate (by at least one court, legislature, and/or government agency in the United States) for treatment of the following medical conditions: AIDS, Glaucoma, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Chronic Pain. more here http://www.compassionatecoalition.org/mmjinfo/uses
The British Virgin Islands – the very name conjures up a Caribbean paradise of soft sand beaches, tropical breezes, and the leisurely island lifestyle. Surprisingly, though, this tiny spot is home to more than 400,000 major corporations!
Not that you’d find any factories, corporate headquarters, or even employees on the islands. Indeed, all 400,000 companies are located in one gray, two-story building in the town of Tortola. This is where the global giants register incorporation papers for their very special subsidiaries. You see, the place is a tax haven. By registering there, corporations can claim they are based on the islands – even though they do no business there – letting them dodge paying taxes back home.
This is the kind of scam that President Barack Obama intends to stop. He has recently proposed to close loopholes that allow such giants a Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Citigroup, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble to hide income in order to shirk their tax responsibilities to America.
Corporate America, whose lobbyists and political lapdogs plugged these loopholes into our tax code, has been frequent fliers to tax havens all over the world. Of the 100 largest U.S. corporations, 83 have created subsidiaries to stash profits abroad, located in such places as the Caribbean, Liechtenstein, the Philippines, Uruguay, and Labuan – wherever that is.
Citigroup, for example, has created 427 of these tax-avoidance subsidiaries! In the past six years, it has more than quadrupled the amount of profits it tucks into the havens, presently stashing nearly $23 billion there. Of course, this same Citigroup has taken a $45 billion bailout from us taxpayers.
To support the crackdown on this shameful corporate shell game, contact the Public Interest Research Group at www.uspirg.org.
This is damned unAmerican. Dodging taxes while taking bailouts. And what about supporting our troops? I’m sure these companies have PR ready showing how they support the war effort, give to charity, etc. WHY NOT JUST PAY THE TAXES? ~sekanblogger