Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

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By @anarchyroll

No thing quite says the Republican party of the United States of America like a tax cut.

Did you notice how quickly and easily Congress was able to push through a tax cut for the wealthy? Almost every other piece of legislation (except for military spending increases) that has been attempted to be passed over the past decade has been a textbook example of two-party democratic government not working. If 1980s Dominos Pizza was delivering this tax cut, the oligarchs would get it piping hot and received no discount..

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Every aspect of this Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is a big, bright, and bold example of how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer in America. Follow the money is an age old expression. Congressional gridlock shows just how true that is. Because the only bills that have moved quickly through Congress have been military spending increases and this tax cut. The military industrial complex (who own he Democratic Party like violent pimps) and the oligarchs. King Kong ain’t got shit on them.

This bill is less about the Republican Party and more about who they represent and who they work for. Is it half of the American population? Is it a loud minority? A silent majority? Follow the money, who does this tax cut benefit?

Passing legislation has come to a halt in America since the last two years of the George W Bush administration. There was that one big exception, but almost every other bill has been stuck in legislative gridlock hell that is the United States Congress. Healthcare reform, immigration reform, financial regulation, digital privacy protection, et al have moved at painfully slow speeds if at all. Even common sense, bipartisan bills have had a hard time even seeing the light of day on the floor of either house of Congress.

But a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans? A 500 page bill involving one of the largest transfers of wealth in the history of the country? Less than a month is more than enough time. How does that happen? Why does that happen? Is that not why we fled England in the first place? I guess no taxation without representation only applies to taxes going up and not taxes going down, on less than two percent of the population.

Is this a tax cut to benefit people making less than one hundred thousand dollars per year? Less than fifty? Less than thirty?  Many might snicker and say those making so little don’t pay taxes anyway. That is the problem isn’t it? There are vastly more people in the current society who will benefit more in the day to day lives from taxes collected on the wealthy (social safety nets, community services) than by a one time, minor at best, windfall from a tax cut/credit.

The tax bill moved so fast through both houses that they have needed double, if not triple the amount of time to take the bills into conference committees to negotiate and fix the numerous, egregious math and budgeting errors. Drafting and finalizing a compromise bill behind closed doors has taken the place of proper on the floor debate as a result of this Congress moving at lightning speed to pass a bill that no one had time to read, let alone make logical decisions based upon critical thinking.

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Congress rushed through this bill like a college kid rushing to finish a final paper or cramming at the last-minute for a midterm. There are two key differences there and that is that when a college kid waits until the last-minute to do their deep work it only affects them and their roommates. The legislative branch of the United States of America however, effects just slightly more people than a dormitorium.

Greed and corruption like this used to have the cover of a lack of transparency. In the era of telephones and television and newspapers and radios and telegraphs it was much easier for politicians to say X, do Y, and say the result is Z. The age of the smartphone makes it easier to be shady, but much harder to keep it a secret. The wave of careers being ended by sexual misconduct allegations from Hollywood to Washington is evidence of this.

What is also apparent when held up to the light of day is the fact that this bill is amoral. Ethics, budgets, math do not apply to this trillion dollar wealth transfer. Negotiated in secret, passed before it could be read, full of so many errors that both the House and Senate versions needed to be negotiated so much they were both essentially rewritten. How does the urgency of this compare to the passing of hurricane relief to Puerto Rico?

The tax cut of 2017 that has been instituted by the Republican party has been called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by some and the #TaxScamBill by others. Terms of endearment or damnation depending on which side of the political aisle and socioeconomic spectrum one falls on. What are facts and not opinions however are that this bill was so rushed it wasn’t read or proofread by the people who wrote it. That there were so many earmarks in there in such short order that many proved to be illegible when held up to the light of day or a camera

This tax cut is like putting your coat down at a bar, turning your back for a minute, then turning back to find someone going through the pockets and them playing dumb about it. They know what they’re doing, but are hoping to use ignorance as a guise for willful immorality.

 

 

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by @anarchyroll
10/15/2014

It turns out Apple is worth more than a lot of things. A lot of things and a lot of other companies.

The company is valued at over half a trillion dollars and at any one time, has around $160 billion of liquid assets on hand.

The US government for instance, has less than 1/3 of that on hand. Although, as the Forbes article linked above makes sure to note, the US Treasury can at any time print more money and invest it into treasury notes.

What does it mean when a company has more than three times the amount of money as the government  of the country it operates in? Does that tremendous gift on incredible wealth come with added responsibility? A responsibility not just to employees and shareholders, but to cities, cultures, and societies?

Apple hoards so much cash, that Carl Ichan, the man who the lead character in the movie Wall Street is based on, thinks Apple is being too greedy with their profits. That takes a whole lotta greed. Ichan is as ruthless of a capitalist as it gets. If someone who makes his living using money to make money thinks Apple owes something to other people, that puts Apple in a different light than the idolatry bestowed upon their founder and products.

Apple already deserves some scorn for their notorious tax dodging/avoidance practices. They dodge taxes and hoard cash from even their own stockholders. What about the societies that have enabled the company to become richer than governments? What about the roads, schools, bridges, farms, poverty, intelligence, and morale of the places and people Apple has made their billions in? Do they owe something? Should they bear more responsibility to the public than slightly newer, slightly modified consumer electronic gadgets a few times per year?

With great power comes great responsibility. Money equals power in the world we live in. No one person, government, or corporation in the world has more money than Apple. Where does responsibility come in?

 

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by @anarchyroll
6/10/2014

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2/27/2014

There are very few things that can actually change the American and/or global economy. The reason there are few things is because each one is not just big but gigantic in scope, nature, and application apparatus. A overhaul of the US tax code has been proposed by Michigan Republican David Camp of Michigan.

The banks hate it, retailers love it, Democrats say it’s dead on arrival, and Republicans aren’t really saying anything since it involves raising taxes on top earners. But it is a start, it is a physical, tangible bill, put on the table. The White House has acknowledged at least that much.

Many tax exemptions and tax breaks would be eliminated. Taxes would go down for individuals but go up for companies and corporations that earn X number of dollars. Income earned from investments would be taxed more which is very important. But there are multiple aspects that will prevent it from going anywhere, but it’s a start.

979 pages, which is the length of the bill, doesn’t exactly scream…simplified. But there must be a starting point on this issue, there must. The tax code in the United States is ridiculous and causes more problems than it solves. It favors the rich and hurts the poor. Too much money is hidden, sheltered, and shipped offshore, all of which must end.

Warren Buffet has famously said he should not pay a lower marginal tax rate than his secretary. The fact that is currently the norm, tells you all you need to know about the current tax code and tax policy in the United States. David Camps starting point is truly nothing more than a starting point but you can’t walk before you crawl. Camp’s bill begins the crawl forward, and forward is always the way to go.

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by @anarchyroll
2/4/2014

Did you know the NFL makes $9 billion in net profits each year and pays ZERO dollars in taxes?  How? They are classified as a 501(c)(6) trade organization, which enables tax exempt status.  When did they get this sweet hart deal? Back in the 60s. Were the politicians who enabled this high on dope like the hippies? No, just corrupt as hell.  The NFL spends $1.5 billion each year lobbying to maintain their tax exempt status.

Why was this allowed? The NFL was allowed to act as a monopoly in terms of their trade organization status, television contract negotiations, and stadium funding negotiations in exchange for not running games against high school and college games.

What is being done about this? The Properly Reducing Overexemptions For Sports Act has been introduced to the United States Congress. Who? Republican Senator Thomas Coburn of Oklahoma and Independent Senator Angus King are cosponsoring the bill. The bill is presently sitting in the Senate Finance Committee, where it has been since September of last year (2013).

The concept of the NFL not paying any taxes is of course, bullshit. The bill that gave them this status was given no name in order to keep it secret. Individual teams already get tax breaks to build their stadiums and get sweetheart deals to avoid property taxes on them as well as their practice facilities.  The only exemption that may allowed to remain would be the Green Bay Packers, who are publically owned by the town/city.

$9 billion a year annually means they can afford to pay a nominal tax rate. No need to go crazy socialist on the league.  1-5% per individual team in addition to off the top of the league as a whole will be more than sufficient to start. Now, should a back taxes penalty be paid? Considering all the charitable contributions of the league makes each year, that might not be necessary.

But when a Republican United States Senator is proposing a bill that raises taxes, I think we can all agree that the time has come for the NFL to pay their fair share of revenue and help state and federal governments build roads, schools, firehouses, police stations, and libraries.

Click here to sign online petition to revoke the NFL’s tax exempt status.

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December 26, 2013

Why no online sales tax? A 1992 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Quill Corp v. North Dakota where it was ruled a business needed a physical presence (ie office, store, etc) to collect sales tax as opposed to just a paying customer. How was this ruling maintained for two decades? The Direct Marketing Association‘s lobbying on behalf of online behemoths like Amazon and eBay. What could force sales taxes onto online purchases? The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. Who? The bill was sponsored by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. When do you have to start paying taxes on your online purchases? You already do in 24 states. However, surprise surprise there is a loophole and congressional gridlock holding up progress.

States must simplify their sales tax laws in order to make the collection of taxes easy. Apparatus is being provided to states free of cost to help in the transitory process/period. However, a certain political party is objecting to a new tax of any kind being put on the books. I’ll give you one guess which one, hint hint, it’s not the Whigs. In October it appeared as though the machine and momentum were both rolling in the direction of sales tax collection on all internet purchases made in the United States. But never underestimate what congressional obstructionism has the power to not do.

Even if the bill were to pass tomorrow it is already too late for the thousands of brick and mortar stores that shut down and the millions of people who lost their jobs due to being unable to compete in a game rigged against them by a law that protects e retailers created before they existed. There is hope for the future. Small businesses that are better able to adapt to and engage with technology will find that a new era where the internet is a friend and a tool as opposed to a competitor will equal opportunity and prosperity. Now if only they could get small business loans…

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11/7/2013

At some point during the 1970s the tax code in the United States of America was deliberately turned in a complex labyrinth of small typed font, subsections, exemptions, and  industry speak double talk.  It is not a coincidence that from 1970 until now, the infrastructure of the United States has been in consistent decline.  Parallel to this urban decay that all of us have seen that driving through any major metropolitan city has been a rise of gated communities and McMansions, again not a coincidence.

“Between 1946 and 1970, very prosperous years, the highest tax rate for the top earners was never below 70%—even under Dwight Eisenhower, whom no one called a socialist. We have so much deferred maintenance on roads and bridges and tunnels and ports. Money does not have to be raised, and the rich have never been as rich.” Robert Reich in the 10/7/13 issue of TIME magazine.

This is part of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is referring to with their 99% slogan.  The income/wealth of the top 1% is more than the rest of the 99% possess in combined.  There is no one reason why this is the case, however the fact that marginal tax rate for top earners is 39.6% leads one down a rabbit hole of simple math. If the top wage earners in America are playing 30% less in taxes, then what things can’t local, state, and federal government(s) able to do with that missing tax revenue?

Build bridges, pave roads, renovate schools, not have to privatize stuff because of massive budget short falls. Do you know any old people who talk about the good ole days? They’re referring to the years between WWII ending and Vietnam taking a turn for the worse. During that time part of what made things so good was everything felt new, fresh, safe, etc…a direct contributor to that was that local, state, and federal government(s) had money to pay for anything and everything. Police, post offices, highways, homeless shelters, etc, etc, etc, et f’n c…

Ask yourself, why can’t the rich pay more in taxes? Why haven’t they? Why would the rich rather pay lobbyists and politicians money to keep taxes low, rather than just use that money to pay more in taxes?

Innocent bystanders in public places will keep dying due to collapsing infrastructure until they do.  What do you think the breaking point body count is? I have my guesses, but this isn’t a long form piece.