John Green: "Why Are Americans Health Care Costs So High?" A quick, handy little overview of common misconceptions on the US healthcare system. (SLYT)
As the tax deadline approaches in the United States, ProPublica investigates why the promise of free and simple tax filing has yet to be fulfilled.
There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration."Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
Buying useful things, like roads and universities and health care and solar energy and spaceships, should be better stimulus than fighting wars.
"Liberals have not always been very good at communicating why liberalism works. There’s many reasons for this, but part of it is that it can be hard to defend the obvious from an absurd and deceptive attack. For half a century you had to be a crank to oppose what Roosevelt accomplished; liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs. I hope this page will help. Liberals don’t need to apologize for their vision of how American society should work. Liberalism saved American capitalism and democracy, defeated Naziism, created a prosperous middle class, and benefited every sector of society, from the back streets to Wall Street. " Mefi's own Zompist (previously) on Why Liberalism Works.
Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. [more inside]
Where Federal taxes are raised and spent. "Some American states receive more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes; others receive less. Over twenty years these fiscal transfers can add up to a sizeable sum." A graph of the United States, color-coded to indicate surplus or deficit.
60 percent of Americans using a prominent tax deduction believe they get nothing from "government social programs." Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler describes what she calls the "submerged state," in which tens of millions of Americans benefit from $1 trillion of federal subsidies to private activities while believing they receive no benefits from the government. [more inside]
"Customers wanting a RAL paid Jackson Hewitt a $24 application fee, a $25 processing fee, and a $2 electronic-filing fee, plus 4 percent of the loan amount. On a $2,000 refund, that meant $131 in charges—equivalent to an annual interest rate of about 170 percent—not to mention the few hundred bucks you might spend for tax preparation."
Since 10:24 AM ET, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has held "a filibuster [or] a very long speech" on the tax cut deal brokered between the president and congressional Republicans. Watch it live on C-SPAN 2. Vermont's Peter Welch leads the charge against the deal in the House. The President has called his opponents "sanctimonious" and "unrealistic."
Where does my tax money go? From USA Today, a calculator and graph that lets you enter your salary and shows you how your tax dollars are spent. You can also change the year shown, so that you can compare now and then.
Cost of Government Day - "n. the date of the calendar year, counting from January 1, on which the average American has earned enough in cumulative gross income to pay for his or her share of government spending (total federal, state, and local) plus the cost of regulation."
GOP Senators have lost their bid to kill the currently-defunct estate tax. This defeat of the permanent repeal effort is a major triumph for the 98% of Americans who've never been in danger of having to pay the tax.
$11.5 Trillion Lost In Bermuda Triangle In case you've ever wondered just how much money the mega rich keep nice and tax free in off shore shelters, it's $11.5 trillion.
Tax Man Bush says tax cuts stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, he's fallen more than 2.2 million jobs short of the projection made by his own economists.
The FairTax is a consumption tax designed to replace the entire federal income tax system, including personal, payroll, corporate, self-employment, capital gains, gift, and inheritance taxes. [more!!]
I'm curious, isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
Did you know about the "African-American Slavery Reparations" tax credit? (Neither did I.)
"The sky won't fall, it will probably just trickle down." On whom? (Guess who.) Out here in Washington State voters just approved another in a series of initiatives that, collectively, choke off the state government's primary funding sources. What else are the results of the initiative process around the country? And are The People responsible enough to be trusted with it?
Congress on Thursday chose not to extend a 1998 ban on taxes that target the Internet, meaning that, theoretically, state and local governments could begin imposing Internet taxes on Monday.
Congress on Thursday chose not to extend a 1998 ban on taxes that target the Internet, meaning that, theoretically, state and local governments could begin imposing Internet taxes on Monday. Wow, we've been watching over our shoulders for terrorist and congress slips us a fast one!
The tax bill was based on conservative ideology: not only did it offer the largest rate breaks to the richest people, but it had the explicit purpose of reducing the activities of the federal government.
The We-Did-It-Our-Way Tax Relief Anti-Massacre Page one guy describes how he spent the tax rebate check, and invites you to tell him how you did. (the title's a bit of a nod to Alice's Restaurant, fyi)
"Tax Clarity was created to help you decipher what the tax plans by both presidential candidates mean to you personally." Enter some information from your paycheck and find out how much you'd save using either Bush's or Gore's tax plans. via dandot.