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Don't ask me what I want it for, if you don't want to pay some more

The Yes Men pull one over on the AP, by convincing them that GE was going to donate their 3.2 billion dollar tax credit in response to public anger over the fact that they pay no taxes.
posted by Jon_Evil on Apr 13, 2011 - 66 comments

Bringing Good Tax Schemes To Life

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether. 'General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 25, 2011 - 119 comments

Budget Balancer of the Year: You

The Program for Public Consultation carried out a different kind of budget poll -- they asked each of their respondents to generate a package of tax increases and spending cuts sufficient for substantial deficit reduction, then averaged the results. The outcome was not what you might expect. The mean package included twice as much tax increase as spending cut: big deficit-reducing moves included substantial income tax increases for the highest brackets and deep cuts in defense spending. Republicans cut less spending than Democrats, as did people who identified as "very sympathetic to the Tea Party." Hardly anybody likes the reduction of the estate tax. Why is the public consensus so different from the Washington consensus? Read the full report (.pdf) Or try the interactive budget exercise.
posted by escabeche on Mar 6, 2011 - 52 comments

Now in Brooklyn, Homegrown Tobacco

Fed up with anti-smoker sentiments and taxation of cigarettes, Audrey Silk decided to plant her own tobacco at her home in Brooklyn.
posted by reenum on Feb 25, 2011 - 149 comments

Don't Mess with Taxes.

Amazon.com's state sales tax fight took a dramatic turn as plans were announced to close the online retailer's Irving, Texas distribution center by April 12. Amazon would not confirm the total number of employees who worked at the fulfillment center, but did announce plans to offer positions in other states to employees willing to relocate. Amazon blames the closure on Texas' "unfavorable regulatory climate." [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Feb 11, 2011 - 218 comments

How to Tax the Rich

Scott Adams suggests that if we assume that the solution to our fiscal problems is increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, perhaps we should figure out how to make the taxation amenable to them... [more inside]
posted by bpm140 on Jan 30, 2011 - 223 comments

Debtris

Debtris. From Information is Beautiful.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jan 27, 2011 - 21 comments

entrepreneurial paradise

In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism - We venture to the very heart of the hell that is Scandinavian socialism—and find out that it's not so bad. Pricey, yes, but a good place to start and run a company. What exactly does that suggest about the link between taxes and entrepreneurship?
posted by kliuless on Jan 20, 2011 - 52 comments

We regret to inform you...

'Illinois wants Amazon to collect 6.25 percent sales tax and send it back to the state.' Amazon fights back. Under current law, only companies with a physical presence in the state have to do this, but the new bill declares that even having affiliates in Illinois counts as "presence." 'An e-mail sent from the company to all of its Illinois affiliates this morning warns that, should Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sign a just-passed tax bill, Amazon is cutting off every affiliate in Illinois. "We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates," said the e-mail.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jan 7, 2011 - 149 comments

These astroturf libertarians are the real threat to internet democracy

Right Wing astroturfing A non-scientific analysis of the patterns in forum board discussions on a variety of topics. The gist: discussions of issues in which there's money at stake (like climate change, public health and corporate tax avoidance) are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption by rightwing libertarians who are pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Discussions of issues in which there's little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions.
posted by novenator on Dec 20, 2010 - 79 comments

Communists and Religion and Corporations and Capitalism and Taxes and the 9th Circuit, oh my!

How do you tax religious communists engaged in capitalism through an exempt religious corporation? The Stahl Hutterian Brethren is a 65-member community of Hutterites that runs a 30,000 acre farm in Washington. The community is incorporated as a religious corporation. Its members give all their "time, labor, services, earnings, and energies" to the community. They disavow individual property ownership, draw no salary, and do not contribute to or collect Social Security benefits. Instead, the community provides for its members' personal needs. And now it is the subject of the most fascinating 9th Circuit tax case [PDF] you'll read this year!

But before you dig into the 9th Circuit opinion, here's a great summary and commentary by law professor Shaun Martin. The case addresses the very tricky question of whether, as employees of a non-profit religious corporation, the community members should be allowed to deduct their living expenses, which are paid for by the corporation (they're communists, after all). Tricky additional fact: The 65-member community is all one big family.
posted by The World Famous on Dec 13, 2010 - 36 comments

I am simply here today to take as long as I can

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."
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 10, 2010 - 364 comments

Who is J.C. Owsley? and why did he pay a 69% tax rate back in 1941?

Think your taxes are high now? A list of the top ten salaries in the US in 1941, and the taxes they paid (spoiler: 65-73% tax rate! but, still doesn't include total compensation, though, which makes it a little sketchy). Interestingly, the NYTimes couldn't figure out two of the names, C.S. Woolman (who is probably C.E. Woolman, one of the founders of delta airlines) and another mysterious name, J.C. Owsley, that seems to be unidentifiable...
posted by yeoz on Dec 1, 2010 - 91 comments

Goodbye Gordo

The Honourable Gordon Campbell has resigned as Premier of British Columbia. Citing his spectacular unpopularity, his resignation comes after almost a decade in power. His tenure has been dogged by scandal, and most recently, a barrage of protest over the newly implemented HST. His most lasting legacy may prove to be the implementation of North America's first carbon tax.
posted by [expletive deleted] on Nov 3, 2010 - 89 comments

The Gentle Art of Poverty

A former magazine writer in his late fifties moves to San Diego and lives on very little money indeed. In the October 1977 issue of The Atlantic, he describes the stratagems behind his thriftiness. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 7, 2010 - 23 comments

'These "positive externalities" need to be highlighted to gain public support for free transit,'

Should All Public Transit Be Free? [more inside]
posted by quin on Oct 1, 2010 - 138 comments

Property Taxes on Median Home by State

Property Value on Median Home by State Nothing but data here, depicted visually: Property Taxes by State, Median Home Value, Taxes as a Percent of Home Value, Median Income for Homeowners, and Taxes as a Percent of Income.
posted by jefficator on Sep 24, 2010 - 41 comments

Do good, buy cheap.

If only IKEA furniture could be assembled this quickly. The Swedish furniture chain's catalog has surpassed the Bible as the most published print in the world (previously), but did you know that all of your furniture purchases are actually charitable? [more inside]
posted by eenagy on Aug 27, 2010 - 32 comments

The Opening of a Conservative Mind

Bruce Bartlett, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, speaks out against Republicans - The monumental hypocrisy of the Republican Party is something amazing to behold. And their dimwitted accomplices in the tea-party movement are not much better. They know that Republicans, far more than Democrats, are responsible for our fiscal mess, but they won't say so. And they adamantly refuse to put on the table any meaningful programme that would actually reduce spending. Judging by polls, most of them seem to think that all we have to do is cut foreign aid, which represents well less than 1% of the budget. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 26, 2010 - 156 comments

America: Have vs Have-not

The Obama Coalition "These general findings suggest the possibility that the political strength of voters whose convictions are perhaps best described as Social Democratic in the European sense is reaching a significant level in the United States. With effective organization and mobilization, such voters are positioned to set the agenda in the Democratic Party in the near future."
posted by Glibpaxman on Apr 4, 2010 - 37 comments

Do less, tax more

A NYTimes columnist just comes out and says it: America's taxes should be higher. The Perils of Pay Less, Get More. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla on Mar 16, 2010 - 218 comments

Single-engine plane crash in Austin, Texas

This morning, in Austin, Texas, a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane [was] crashed into an office building partially occupied by the IRS. It appears to be the work of an individual, but the story keeps getting weirder. The suspected person may have also burned his house down this morning.
posted by fiercecupcake on Feb 18, 2010 - 236 comments

Where do my taxes go?

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.
posted by OmieWise on Feb 3, 2010 - 39 comments

Anti-Tax Voters Darken Colorado Springs

After a ballot measure to raise property taxes in Colorado Springs was overwhelmingly defeated, tax opponents called for the city to shrink the government. The City of Colorado Springs now plans to make deep cuts to basic services, including parks, police, and even the street lights.
posted by chrchr on Feb 1, 2010 - 332 comments

Well since you don't want it any more, here you go.

"You have to put two and two together, and hopefully you come up with a high-speed rail project."
The St. Petersburg Times announced today that the state of Florida will receive funding for a high speed rail project, to be announced today by President Barack Obama in his Tampa visit. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Jan 27, 2010 - 86 comments

Class Warfare?

Today, Oregon voters will decide whether or not to increase taxes on businesses and the rich. Ballots for Measures 66 and 67 are due today at 8pm, polling is extremely tight, and at this point the election will be decided by turnout. With the opposing sides having collected a combined $10.1 million in donations, Oregonians have spent the last month deluged by political ads, canvassers, and phone calls. Whatever the outcome, this election has at least had the effect of making "spadea" into a household word. [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis on Jan 26, 2010 - 169 comments

No Country For Old Men

On January 1st, the U.S. estate tax will disappear. For exactly one year. Then it will come back higher on Jan. 1, 2011. Will lots of old rich people die? [more inside]
posted by msalt on Dec 17, 2009 - 129 comments

How will the jobless afford such a thing?

Lawmakers attempt to target elective cosmetic surgery to pay for health reform in the United States. Simply an inviting target? The idea isn't that new, it was shelved once before. Now it's back. There is opposition as botox sales have already been dropping off.
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 20, 2009 - 31 comments

Get a dog, save on your taxes?

On July 31 of this year, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) introduced H.R. 3501, a bill aimed at granting tax deductions to owners of companion animals. Known as the HAPPY Act — Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years — it would create a deduction of up to $3,500 on federal tax returns for the care of "qualified" pets, defined as "legally owned, domesticated, and live animals." As of yet, there are no co-sponsors. So did McCotter introduce the bill due to being a genuine supporter of animal protections, or is this one Republican's way of trying to ensure taxpayers get to keep more of their money? Either way, the ASPCA approves, as do actors Leo Grillo and Robert Davi. via
posted by lovermont on Oct 8, 2009 - 37 comments

You must be THIS TALL to file a W-2

Economists Matthew Weinzierl (HBS) and Gregory Mankiw (Harvard) make a utilitarian case for a height tax. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jun 24, 2009 - 123 comments

Ayn Rand Made Her Do It

Whoopi Doesn't Want To Be Overtaxed. Is she Going Galt?
posted by Xurando on Mar 6, 2009 - 112 comments

Tax Trouble at Treasury

Timothy Geithner is an experienced financial leader (previously). He is President Obama's pick to run the Treasury Department, which includes the Internal Revenue Service. The problem is that Mr. Geithner did not pay more than $30,000 in taxes, even his employer reminded him to do so. Now his nomination may be in jeopardy. Is Mr. Geithner the new Zoe Baird?
posted by Slap Factory on Jan 14, 2009 - 63 comments

Death and Taxes: 2009

"Death and Taxes: 2009" is a representational poster of the federal discretionary budget; the amount of money that is spent at the discretion of your elected representatives in Congress. Basically, your federal income taxes. (previously)
posted by Knappster on Oct 26, 2008 - 14 comments

Ron Paul '08: So sayeth the Lord.

The Alliance Defense Fund is organizing Pulpit Freedom Sunday, urging Pastors to explicitly endorse Presidential candidates in violation of IRS rules governing the non-profit status of religious organizations.
posted by god hates math on Sep 9, 2008 - 37 comments

Stories of where US stimulus checks are going

HowISpentMyStimulus.com In January, Congress approved $152 billion in economic stimulus checks for millions of American households, intended to boost the economy and avert a recession. Just how this money will be spent remains to be seen. We hope this website helps shed some light on where the stimulus money is going.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on May 31, 2008 - 77 comments

Government spending and tax levels

Want to know how government spending and taxation levels have gone up or down over the last 20 years, and how they compare with other countries? The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has a handy set of tables (Excel, HTML-ized by Google): total spending, total revenues, fiscal surplus or deficit (Norway's surplus is 17% of GDP). Part of the statistical tables for the semi-annual OECD Outlook.
posted by russilwvong on May 30, 2008 - 6 comments

Death and Taxes 2008

The Entire Federal Government in Six Square Feet
posted by konolia on Jan 15, 2008 - 41 comments

Now my advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes.

Tax Info for Musicians. Musicians and taxes don’t seem to mix very well. Taxes and administrating the business of music are often last on the list of concerns for the working musician. The above link gives some helpful tips on what to look for and some simple dos and don'ts. Also, here's some information on the often confusing Section 179 Deduction and a list of common deductible business expenses
posted by psmealey on Dec 28, 2007 - 19 comments

Too tall!

Moreover, based on the empirical distribution of height and wages, the optimal height tax is substantial: a tall person earning $50,000 should pay about $4,500 more in taxes (pdf) than a short person earning the same income. Draw what inferences you will.
posted by Pants! on Dec 15, 2007 - 41 comments

Economic Consequences

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush. "The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy. A Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz, sees a generation-long struggle to recoup." [Via Firedoglake.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 18, 2007 - 70 comments

Treasury: Income Mobility Substantial. Pew: But Not Enough.

A new U.S. Treasury Report (press release) reports that tax returns from 1996 to 2005 show that income mobility in the U.S. is "considerable," with rising earnings, and top earners who often stumble. The WSJ crows. Pew releases its own research (reports, press release) on income inequality today with a multi-decade outlook, but summarizes the findings as that American families' income mobility is still highly dependent on their parents' position. Forbes and a The New Republic blog try to reconcile the reports. Meanwhile, blacks appear to be downwardly mobile.
posted by shivohum on Nov 13, 2007 - 45 comments

Infrastructure Report Card

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published their latest Infrastructure Report Card in 2005. America's infrastructure got a D. The ASCE estimate that it will cost $1.6 trillion over a five-year period to bring the nation's infrastructure to good condition. They also have a Critical Infrastructure blog. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2007 - 49 comments

Zombie Joseph Beuys Recommends: The Tax Code

For each occupation, an illustration. For some months, Dorothy of Cat and Girl has been riffing on the Schedule C Principal Business or Professional Activity Codes Table. The list is full of odd associations. Why, for instance is "Offices of Podiatrists" illustrated with a Starfleet officer? There's gotta be a story there.
posted by ourobouros on Aug 3, 2007 - 13 comments

public assets and infrastructure go private--and we pay

Roads To Riches (or We've Got a Bridge in Brooklyn to Sell You--Seriously) -- Why investors are clamoring to take over America's highways, bridges, and airports—and why the public should be nervous.--...a slew of Wall Street firms—Goldman, Morgan Stanley, the Carlyle Group, Citigroup, and many others—is piling into infrastructure ... Assets sold now could change hands many times over the next 50 years, with each new buyer feeling increasing pressure to make the deal work financially. It's hardly a stretch to imagine service suffering in such a scenario; already, the record in the U.S. has been spotty. ...
posted by amberglow on Apr 29, 2007 - 107 comments

Who's your (tax) daddy

Single largest taxpayer in... This comment highlighted that: The club is the largest single taxpayer in Hong Kong. It paid HK$12.4bn in 2005-06 - about 8.6% of all taxes collected by the government - on turnover of HK$98.9bn. In Virginia and lots of other places its a power company. In the Chinese province of Yiwu its a market specializing in counterfeit goods. Citigroup in South Dakota. Pemex in Mexico. A cell phone company in Afghanistan. A gold mining company in Indonesia... and Guatemala. MIT in Cambridge. And the US? Some say its the government itself. This 1999 posting inconclusively points the smoking gun at... ... and in your piece of the world?
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy on Mar 28, 2007 - 7 comments

The Economics of Fat

Cheap Donuts and Expensive Broccoli: the Effect of Relative Prices on Obesity. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the period 1982-1996, we find that individual BMI measures, as well as the likelihood of being overweight or obese, exhibit a statistically significant positive correlation with the prices of healthful relative to unhealthful foods.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Mar 27, 2007 - 61 comments

We already have a flat tax?

US TaxFilter: Your real tax rate: 40%.
"In a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Boston University economists Laurence J. Kotlikoff and David Rapson have found that our all-in marginal tax rate is 40%, give or take a bit. Yes, you read that right: 40%." The table at the end is telling.
posted by knave on Feb 26, 2007 - 88 comments

Renewable Energy Incentives

Want to increase your energy efficiency and use more renewable energy? Want to install solar panels on your roof, buy a hybrid car, put in new storm windows, or make any number of other green improvements to your home or business? Want to save money doing it? DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Just click on your state and take it from there.
posted by alms on Feb 23, 2007 - 13 comments

Drug Tax Stamps

Many people want to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana and other drugs, however, few know that many U.S. states are content simply to tax. In fact, even the federal government wants a share (middle of p. 89 of the PDF), and used tax stamps in early prohibition, but only the states have recently issued issued cool stamps (be sure to click "exhibit"). The point, of course, is not to actually tax the drugs, but to penalize the drug dealers for tax evasion as well as drug sales. They have brought in some money, though. A few interesting state government pages: Conecticut, Nebraska, North Carolina and their tax return form, and Kansas.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Jan 15, 2007 - 30 comments

July 4 might be Independence Day in another way, too

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."
posted by Gyan on Dec 3, 2006 - 16 comments

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