How is it that our Democracy can be so easily hijacked by corporations?
The soda industry forced CA legislators to enact a law preventing any new taxes on sugary drinks for 12 years. They did so by pursuing a ballot initiative which would severely limit CA’s ability to change all sales taxes.
I won’t say our staff understands all the details, but it seems this threat could be used by any group at any time for any reason. How can this be?
Want to force the state legislature to write a favorable law? Just threaten a ballot initiative that would raise the threshold to pass a tax law from simple majority to 2/3 or higher. It seems legislators capitulated pretty quickly in this instance. How fast will they give in when the next corporate interest group makes a threat?
California, of All Places, Has Banned Soda Taxes. How a New Industry Strategy Is Succeeding. https://nyti.ms/2IyTudN
Not the guy we usually go to for economic advice, but…
I’d love to see a tax code that rewarded investment and discouraged consumption. That would mean cutting taxes on earnings but raising revenue through a progressive consumption tax. I’d love to see a tax code that punished pollution but encouraged social cohesion. That would mean taxing carbon but increasing tax credits for working people and families with children.
The Clash of Social Visions https://nyti.ms/2hMQEr9
Former Senator and NBA star Bill Bradley on the value of bipartisan cooperation, fair taxes, and putting general interest before special interest.
The staff was mostly too young to remember the details of the 1986 tax reform, but Bill’s retelling certainly aligns with our worldview. That is that politicians can sometimes get it right, cooperation beats polarization any day, and that taxes which advantage one group over another ultimately harm us all.
When Congress Made Taxes Fairer https://nyti.ms/2qjfsK8
Philanthropy is not the right funding solution for our vital public institutions. Sure it’s great that wealthy individuals want to do good, but individual whims are not a reliable source of funding.
Entities profiting from the foundations of our society, it’s institutions, it’s infrastructure, its people, and it’s government have to carry the bulk of the costs of supporting and maintaining them.
Right now that needs to be done through taxes not charity.
In recent years, many of the industry’s elite have pledged financial support to schools, hospitals, police stations and homeless shelters, all while many of the industry’s companies have avoided paying taxes that would fund those same vital public institutions.
If we’re lucky, there may be, but Mr. Thiel isn’t going to like it. Wealth gleaned by way of tax dodges and monopolistic business practices is wealth stolen from the public, even when it is returned in the form of supposed gifts. Philanthropy has the power to do a great deal of good, but so do tax dollars allocated in an equitable democratic system. Perhaps it’s time to adopt a Gospel of Government.
What Can’t Tech Money Buy? http://nyti.ms/1WrhUuw
Progressive consumption tax. Yes please. Details to he agreed upon later.
Momentum Builds to Tax Consumption More, Income Less http://nyti.ms/1Yka8AX
Changing ideas on estate taxes. On the surface they seem to be about redistributing wealth by taking from the rich and giving back to the poor. This look at the history of estate taxes suggests otherwise.
Income and wealth inequality is a consequence when NobodyisFlyingthePlane. Redistributing wealth isn’t the answer. Eliminating rules, policies, practices and procedures which keep the wealthy wealthy and the poor poor is.
Our current economic environment is beset by policies which make it easier for the wealthy to become more so and prevent the hard working from getting ahead and moving up. This country has been stuck having the same conversation over and over about handouts and entitlements. The problem is that reality is obscured by the belief that all or even most government handouts go to the poor. More handouts with far greater economic impact benefit the wealthy. The deck is stacked so that the wealthy will stay wealthy and the poor and middle class will stay poor.
Still, redistributing wealth isn’t the answer. Eliminating rules, policies, practices, and procedures which keep the wealthy wealthy and the poor poor is.
However I don’t believe that massive estate taxes are the answer. A 10% tax on large estates is probably reasonable. But beyond that I don’t see what business the government has grabbing half of something that was already taxed when it was income. As this article points out estate taxes didn’t arise to redistribute wealth. They arose because historically they were much easier to calculate and collect than income taxes.
Reducing inequality isn’t about punitively taxing the wealthy. It should start with equality of advantage. Eliminate all the tax breaks that wealthy individuals and and large businesses use to their advantage to avoid taxes and then there won’t be any need to tax the wealthy at exorbitant rates.
Level the playing field. Not all income is equal. The working stiff who worked hard in school, earned a masters, contributes to the profitability of a respected corporation, but doesn’t bring home enough to afford a nice house and a good education for his children does not have the same advantage as someone whose primary source of income is from stocks of companies such as GE which does everything it can to avoid paying taxes to the government.
This is the inequality which needs to he addressed.
NYTimes: Is the Estate Tax Doomed? http://nyti.ms/X6n2Xz
Fix two problems at once, federal debt and carbon emissions. Its time we realize the true costs of the lifestyles we lead in the US. We need to pay the true long term cost for energy. Carbon taxes are a great way to that and generate revenue to bring down the deficit.