Thursday, November 10, 2011

Headlines - Thursday November 10

The "non-payer" tax myth
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report detailing the distribution of income and taxation between 1979 and 2007 that, once again, dispels the conservative myth that half of the country pays no taxes.

Chuck Marr of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provides the following analysis.

People in the bottom four-fifths of the income scale pay more in payroll taxes than federal income taxes, on average. The Tax Policy Center estimates that payroll taxes (including both the employee and employer shares) outweigh federal income taxes for 82 percent of households. (Most economists agree that workers pay not only the employee share of payroll taxes but the employer share as well in the form of lower wages.)

Working-poor and middle-class Americans pay a much larger share of their incomes in payroll taxes than high-income people do (see graph). That gap has increased over the past 30 years, the CBO report shows. In addition, the share of federal revenues coming from payroll taxes has gone up while the share coming from income taxes has gone down.

When you count all federal taxes (income, payroll, and excise), even people in the bottom fifth of the income scale are net federal taxpayers, on average. This group, whose after-tax incomes averaged just $17,700 in 2007, paid 4.7 percent of their incomes in federal taxes that year.

As a percentage of their income, everyone, including people who make so little money that they do not have to file income taxes, are paying more in other taxes than those in the top income bracket.

Armed with this knowledge, it's easier to understand why extending payroll tax-cuts for the middle-class and working poor is an important element of President Obama's economic agenda. It's also why the Republicans in congress are blocking something which they would usually, under any other circumstances, chose not to block.
Now they're rioting at Penn State in favor of Paterno and child rape complicity
Jesus wept.
Herman Cain's campaign promises with Mike Tyson.
'Tea parties love crazy more than they hate blacks.'
He's a 1%-er. He was born a 1%-er, he married a .1%-er and he'll die a 1%-er, so stop acting surprised. "A slew of multinational corporations, joined by their allies in Congress, have been pushing for the enactment of a tax repatriation holiday, which would allow companies that have stashed money overseas to bring it back to the U.S. at a tax rate far below the usual 35 percent corporate income tax rate. Sen. Johm McCain (R-AZ) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) have proposed a plan under which corporations could repatriate money at an 8.25 percent tax rate, which would be lowered to 5.25 percent if they use the money to create jobs. ... The problem with this plan is that it's already been tried, and it didn't work. In 2004, corporations used the money they brought back to enrich executives and buy back stock, not for job creation. In fact, the corporations that benefited the most from the tax break cut tens of thousands of jobs in the subsequent years, and companies pushed huge amounts of money offshore in anticipation of a future holiday. ... McCain is evidently well aware of the shoddy history of these holidays, because why else would he include a special, even lower rate for companies that use the money to create jobs? In fact, McCain said at a Reuters summit yesterday that he is fine with giving corporations this big tax break so that they can use it to buy yachts and jets."
Estimating that 90 percent of the Gulf Coast has been cleaned after last year's oil spill disaster, government officials have decided to let BP end its cleanup efforts, yet residents are still concerned about lasting damage. "It's not clean. There are still tar mats and tar balls appearing," said John Young, the president of Jefferson Parish in Louisiana.
Pat Buchanan has made a career out of bigotry. His thoughtful contributions include calling gays satanists, praising the Nazis and the KKK, decrying Dr. Martin Luther King as a fraud, and telling African Americans that they should be grateful for slavery. While touring the networks to promote his latest book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, he stopped by a white nationalist radio program The Political Cesspool which was only too happy to advertise his theories. In response, African-American civil rights organization and CREDO Action gathered 275,000 people who are demanding that MSNBC President Phil Griffin fire Buchanan immediately. The petition reads, "Buchanan has a long and consistent history of peddling white supremacist ideology as legitimate political commentary, on your network and elsewhere." Noting that Buchanan has the right to express his views, the petition says "he's not entitled to a platform that lets him broadcast bigotry and hate to millions. If MSNBC and NBC want to be seen as trusted, mainstream sources of news and commentary, you need to fire Buchanan now." Buchanan has not appeared on MSNBC since he began promoting his book on Oct. 22.
Wonkette: Evil Barack Obama Now Waging Jihad On Christmas Trees
Maine GOP warns voter registration is evil homosexual plot
This campaign ad was obviously not designed by a gay man.
The loony hillbillies of the Maine GOP have had a hard time convincing residents to back them in their opposition to a statewide referendum measure that would permit Election Day voter registration, so their latest strategy has them running ads ominously informing the citizenry IN SCREAMING ALL CAPS that anyone who supports the measure, known as "Question 1," is in fact a flaming member of Team Homo, because voting rights are super gay. Real heterosexuals hate democracy.

More on this homophobic weirdness from the Sun Journal:

The chairman of the Maine Republican Party is defending a print advertisement that singles out a gay rights' group's involvement in the effort to retain Election Day registration.

GOP Chairman Charlie Webster said the ad, which was circulated by more than 25 community newspapers, was designed to "educate" the public about EqualityMaine, one of the advocacy groups involved in the coalition that wants to retain the state's 38-year-old EDR law. However, members of the coalition say the ad is designed to mobilize opponents of same-sex marriage and marks yet another example of Webster and EDR opponents' attempts to distract voters from the real issue of Question 1.

Oh those crafty homosexuals, "first they came to redecorate," etc. [Sun Journal via TPM]


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