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 -
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 -
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 -
'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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
posted by lovermont
on Oct 8, 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 -
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 -
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
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
, North Carolina
and their tax return form
, and Kansas
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim
on Jan 15, 2007 -
Cost of Government Day
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 -