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.
This one is really crunchy. Lots of numbers, lots of data, but also some nice graphs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities lays out an assessment of Federal financial data, much of it from the Congressional Budget Office. It was written before the election so its spends more time than necessary showing that nearly all of the current mess result from issues preceding Obama’s first term. Once you get past that it lays out the ongoing components of debt related madness.
Interesting things I learned:
- By 2013 the cost of the recovery measures adds very little to the deficit, by 2014 it will be almost nothing.
- It’s the Bush tax cuts that contribute the largest portion.
- It’s not the services the government provides that are driving the deficit.
The deficit is where it is now because of the Bush tax cuts, the slow economy, and the wars. Cutting government services without addressing the largest contributors to the deficit isn’t going to help us. Of course, making government services more efficient never hurts. The biggest problem the CPPB sees in the future is the cost of healthcare. Not Government spending on healthcare, the cost of healthcare in general. Lets turn the national discourse to making healthcare more efficient, more effective, and less costly. Then we’ll see the deficit go down.
The following assessment is quite sad:
Only 0.5 percent of small business owners, and 3.3 percent of filers with any income from small businesses that employ people, make $1 million or more per year.
One way to read it says if you own a small business your chances of making more than $1 million a year are extraordinarily small. Another way to read it (in terms of the upcoming tax fight in Congress) is that ending cuts for top income earners wont hurt small business owners, they don’t make enough to be in the top brackets.
Allowing the top two marginal tax rates to return to pre-2001 levels as scheduled next year would affect very few small businesses, a recent Treasury Department study found. The study shows that only 2.5 percent of small business owners face the top two rates.
tax rate cuts for high-income people are a poorly targeted way to deliver tax cuts to small businesses.
With the economy still suffering from inadequate demand, policymakers should focus on what small businesses (and large businesses) need most: more customers. Until they see a pickup in sales, businesses with excess capacity are unlikely to use the proceeds from any tax cuts to hire more workers or expand capacity further.
Furthermore, the last time we raised the rates on top earners the economy did extraordinarily well, exposing the lie of trickle down economics.
The arguments against allowing the high-end tax cuts to expire on schedule echo those made against President Clinton’s proposed 1993 tax increases, which set marginal rates at the levels to which they are set to return when the Bush rate cuts expire. Critics claimed at the time that those tax increases would seriously harm economic growth and even send the economy back into recession. As it turned out, job creation and economic growth proved significantly stronger following the 1993 tax increases than following the 2001 Bush tax cuts. Further, small businesses generated jobs at twice the rate during the Clinton years than they did under the Bush tax code
The last points in the article lead to a fascinating connect the dots puzzle showing that tax cuts aren’t going to help small businesses create new jobs. Most new jobs from small businesses come from new small businesses (start-ups). Most start-ups take several years to become profitable. Tax cuts for small businesses won’t help until they are profitable.