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The cost of war

National Priorities Project for what its worth...
posted by hard rain on Sep 20, 2006 - 17 comments

 

Is the U.S. Bankrupt?

Is the U.S. Bankrupt? [332Kb PDF] Laurence Kotlikoff, writing in this month's Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, says "yes" - to the tune of $66 trillion! [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2 on Jul 16, 2006 - 67 comments

A defeat for "death tax" propagandists.

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.
posted by maud on Jun 8, 2006 - 164 comments

The death tax

From estate tax to 'death tax' Public Citizen released a report [PDF link] today that "reveals how 18 families worth a total of $185.5 billion have financed and coordinated a 10-year effort to repeal the [U.S.] estate tax, a move that would collectively net them a windfall of $71.6 billion." The rich get richer...
posted by tippiedog on Apr 25, 2006 - 73 comments

Crescent Fresh

These folks may do a prostitute’s taxes (nytimes), but who does a prostitute’s laundry? (more Sifl and Olly on YouTube)
posted by jrb223 on Apr 6, 2006 - 17 comments

A Fair Tax or not?

Is a Fair Tax possible? HR 25, known as the Fair Tax of 2005, would replace all corporate and individual income taxes with a 23% tax on finished goods and services, with provisions to compensate for necessities. Some think it would work as promised, but I wonder if corporations would play fairly and pass their savings along to consumers, or just enrich the bottom line?
posted by Enron Hubbard on Sep 3, 2005 - 84 comments

Internet Crime

Oregon man gets jailtime for website. There's a lot you can do on the internet, but "cheating" the state out of tax revenue is a crime. "Washington County Circuit Judge Michael McElligott found Eric Ivan Guthrie not guilty of racketeering and computer crime for selling cigarettes through the now-defunct Inexpensivesmokes.com Web site. However, McElligott found Guthrie guilty of doing business as a cigarette distributor without a license, two counts of unlawful distribution of cigarettes for not affixing the packs with Oregon revenue stamps and five counts of failing to comply with tobacco sale requirements for not verifying that buyers were at least 18 years old. Oregon Department of Revenue has the names and sales receipts for 7,500 people who bought cigarettes online without paying the state tax of $1.18 a pack. A small percentage have been sent bills, and officials are determining how many others will be asked to pay the state". This seems wrong.
posted by Mack Twain on Aug 21, 2005 - 37 comments

$11.5 Trillion Lost In Bermuda Triangle

$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.
posted by expriest on May 6, 2005 - 46 comments

Free money. Ask me how.

Need cash to make your own blockbuster? Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture, reveals how they do it: by taking a popular franchise and turning to immediate write-offs in tax shelters such as Germany, so that money starts coming in even before the movie enters production. No wonder we've been seeing so much crap as of late, with poor box office figures not hurting studios the way they really ought to.
posted by Goblindegook on Apr 25, 2005 - 29 comments

Do your damn taxes

Do Your Damn Taxes (flash video) is an amusing little movie about a dude and his 1040 form, getting ready for the big day. From the same guy that did merry christmas from james.
posted by mathowie on Apr 4, 2005 - 8 comments

Watching the spinners paid by US

Ever wonder who gets the spin money from the government to sell us everything from wars to reforms to reconnect the Army with the American people. A rundown on the seven biggest PR firms doing business with the government, and their refusal to come clean about what it is they're doing with our tax money. PRWatch has much, much more, including exposing the funding and associations pushing Social Security "reform"
posted by amberglow on Mar 10, 2005 - 83 comments

The Temple of Hayah

The Temple of Hayah: a religion that renders its followers immune to the any laws other than the Ten Commandments. Followers need not pay taxes. But TOH is mad at Wikipedia because Wikipedia hate-crimed TOH. So TOH suggests that you tip off the FBI.
posted by ba on Jan 21, 2005 - 22 comments

Outplay, outlast and what was that other one?

"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch didn't declare his million bucks to the IRS. He'll be arraigned Jan 24.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jan 18, 2005 - 53 comments

Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes: A Visual Look at Where Your (U.S.) Tax Dollars Go
posted by Space Coyote on Jan 3, 2005 - 37 comments

Walmart

"With 1.4 million employees worldwide, Wal-Mart's workforce is now larger than that of GM, Ford, GE, and IBM combined. At $258 billion in 2003, Wal-Mart's annual revenues are 2 percent of US GDP, and eight times the size of Microsoft's. In fact, when ranked by its revenues, Wal-Mart is the world's largest corporation." The real cost belongs to the taxpayer, as this report (PDF or HTML through Google), by the Democratic Staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, makes clear. A "total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart's 1.2 million US employees."
posted by OmieWise on Dec 20, 2004 - 186 comments

Is this a good idea?

It's the stupid, economy. I'm no economist, but I'm reminded of the underpants gnomes business strategy when I read this. Obviously there is a political component (to the story) but what the $!@(# are the nuts and bolts? Why is pressuring economic engine states (California, New York) a good thing? (registration to the L.A. Times ... sry) Pretty much the same story here.
posted by Smedleyman on Dec 5, 2004 - 15 comments

Boondoggles and Barrels O' Pork -

Federal Business Opportunities

Ever wanted to know where all your tax dollars really go? Mosey on over to FedBizOpps.gov and search the nice little database they've got there for all those federal business opportunities you just can't wait to bid on....How about making a wearable computer for the Navy? Want to perform for the USO? How about getting paid to surf the intarwebs to defeat the terrorists? The Special Operations Command has the job for you! Looking to unload 30 million tons of beef? You've got a buyer! Gather wild horses for the Dept of Ag! Haul carcasses in the search for mad cow disease! Oh, and by the way, the Iraqi Army needs some clarinets...
posted by piedrasyluz on Nov 24, 2004 - 5 comments

Let them eat cake!

Mr. Bush's first big political move. Banning gays? Killing babies to produce oil? No, tax reform! What? Nothing sinister in that, you say! Except he might totally do away with the current system and create a flat tax or national sales tax. Quick, everyone read up on flat taxes, and national sales tax! Blogger's favorite economist Atrios gives his two cents. With everything going on, it is almost nostalgic to see tax reform become an issue.
posted by geoff. on Nov 8, 2004 - 165 comments

Tax Man

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.
posted by Postroad on Jul 28, 2004 - 6 comments

OMG! Not to be like Mr. Bush!

Paul Martin, Canada's current Prime Minister, running for re-election for the Liberal party, suggests that voting for him will prevent us from being like the US in his latest television AD campaign (sorry, they only make a WiMP 9 version available). Will your country be next?
posted by shepd on May 26, 2004 - 45 comments

The Fair Tax

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!!]
posted by hama7 on May 1, 2004 - 139 comments

Like father, like son

Bush lies about taxes
posted by Slagman on Mar 24, 2004 - 49 comments

Can I pay my taxes with cookie dough?

"Let's say 1 cookie equals $10 billion..." Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream) and TrueMajority explain the federal budget with Oreos. [Flash.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 1, 2004 - 21 comments

It's just money

What's a bigger waste of taxpayer money: Throwing a concert in a tunnel for a public works project years late and over budget or putting on a New Year's fireworks display for TV cameras only?
posted by MediaMan on Dec 9, 2003 - 23 comments

Inland Review letter

Apparently genuine reply to a letter sent to the Inland Revenue. "I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand". This is how we, at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents." [via Orbyn, via Cal]
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 28, 2003 - 9 comments

A flood of red ink

A flood of red ink This time the turnaround will be much tougher. There will be no “peace dividend” from the end of the cold war (indeed, the pressure on military spending may continue to increase). America is unlikely to see another stockmarket bubble, with its surge in tax revenues. As baby-boomers retire, the pressure from entitlement spending will be more acute. Set against this background, the path back to a sustainable fiscal policy will be extremely painful, even without any dramatic fiscal crisis. Long after Dubya is back on his ranch, Americans will be trying to recover from the mess he created.
posted by y2karl on Nov 6, 2003 - 35 comments

Quid Pro.

Money Saving Expert is a site for UKians, to play the credit card game and win, save tax, understand consumer rights, and generally be more savvy in all things fiscal.
posted by Blue Stone on Sep 30, 2003 - 2 comments

IRS fraudulent?

Rumors abound about the legality of the IRS, and about people who've managed to avoid paying income taxes based on the lack of legality of the IRS itself. Is any of this real, or simply people trying to make a buck selling a book or two? And if the IRS is fraudulent, what can a citizen without massive fundage do to fight it?
posted by woil on Aug 25, 2003 - 30 comments

Born Again Liberal!

"We've got a conservative, evangelical Christian,Republican governor, trying to get a massive turnout of black voters to pass a tax increase so he can raise taxes on Republican constituents." Alabama Governor has massive and unexpected change of heart.
posted by jonson on Aug 18, 2003 - 35 comments

marble columns

Over 2000 wealthy tax payers paid no tax in 2000. Meanwhile, states are plunging into budget deficits. Perhaps the tax cuts are meant not to spur the economy, but to defund social programs?
posted by the fire you left me on Jun 27, 2003 - 18 comments

The Economy of Policy

No Tax Relief for Married Poor. Because they, presumably, are not American.
posted by the fire you left me on Jun 23, 2003 - 27 comments

Where is the federal reserve leading us?

Monetary Policy in a Zero-Interest-Rate Economy [pdf] This report written by the Dallas Fed is amazing. Amongst other things, it outlines a plan to tax your savings as a way to continue to stimulate consumption should rates fall to zero. While opinions of the 'fed range from worship to outrage, their actions raise some serious questions. Why does this unelected group wield so much power? At what point are their actions (taxing savings) a violation of our property rights? If our economy is built on capitalism, why can we not be capitalists and embrace the opportunity presented by both boom and bust? At what point are we a command economy?
posted by H. Roark on Jun 19, 2003 - 17 comments

The view is nice from the yacht

The bait and switch. A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure.
posted by four panels on May 29, 2003 - 21 comments

Tax Cut? You're Soaking In It!

Quick, Hide The Body! "...But the Bush administration chose to keep the findings out of the annual budget report for fiscal year 2004, published in February, as the White House campaigned for a tax-cut package that critics claim will expand future deficits. The study asserts that sharp tax increases, massive spending cuts or a painful mix of both are unavoidable if the US is to meet benefit promises to future generations. It estimates that closing the gap would require the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 per cent across-the-board income tax increase."
posted by owillis on May 28, 2003 - 18 comments

Who do Voodoo?

Warren Buffett the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway seems to disagree with the Bush clan on tax cuts.

"As owner of 31 percent of Berkshire, Buffett would receive $310 million in extra income if the company decided to pay $1 billion in dividends next year; his tax rate would plunge to 3 percent, while the rate of Berkshire's receptionist would remain at 30 percent."
posted by CrazyJub on May 20, 2003 - 51 comments

The Colorful Past of US Tax

The Colorful Past of US Tax Finished your return? Then spend a few minutes contemplating historical revenue stamps for a wide variety of consumer goods (my favorite stamp scans are for beer, matches, medicine bottles, and motor vehicles). A separate page offers the history of the subset of proprietary die or "match and medicine" stamps, and provides scans of stamps for canned fruit, playing cards, and perfume. Finish up with a look at "taxpaids" like cotton, oleomargarine, and ale.
posted by clever sheep on Apr 15, 2003 - 5 comments

al gore did a little fundraising at a buddhist temple, this guy on the other hand ...

many of haliburtons subsidiaries pay no taxes as they are ensconsed in offshore tax havens. the vice president is collecting substantial sums in deferred payments, and sizable government contracts are being awared to this company without competition. should we ask our vice-president to encourage his former employer to pay corporate taxes like the most of the rest of americans and american businesses, considering the hefty sums of money being handed them by the american tax payer?
posted by specialk420 on Apr 14, 2003 - 25 comments

Turncoats in Bermuda shorts.

Turncoats in Bermuda shorts. Arianna Huffington continues to skewer offshore tax shelters in her latest Salon opinion piece. Despite her patriot-speak denouncing these corporations for avoiding taxes while our young men are getting ready to die for their country, she does shine the light on a growing problem – “basic fairness and economic justice” – or, the lack of it. How can the average American not be outraged at this, when so many of us are expected to be able to account for even the smallest charitable donation we would dare to use as a tax write-off?
posted by archimago on Mar 13, 2003 - 11 comments

Tax Reform H. Christ

Jesus, fix our taxes! A professor is criticizing Alabama's tax system with Bible verses in tow. Some are saying it just might work, and others are calling it baptised Marxism. Fat Tuesday indeed!
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo on Mar 4, 2003 - 6 comments

Bush Cited Non-Existent eport

Bush Cited Non-Existent eport There was only one problem with President George W. Bush's claim Thursday that the nation's top economists forecast substantial economic growth if Congress passed the president's tax cut: The forecast with that conclusion doesn't exist.
posted by orange swan on Feb 24, 2003 - 82 comments

Enron Tax Evasion

Three-Volume report on Enron released today Among the findings: "Enron paid zero federal income taxes from 1996 to 1999, despite reporting $2.3 billion in net income during the period" (from the linked article); executives took "1.4 billion" in compensation packages (SFGate has a piece on that.); and myriad details about the complicated machinations involved to pull this off (Mercury News). I am among the outraged though, frankly, I feel like they were just taking advantage of the system as it is was in place. If the economy hadn't tanked, this stuff might never have come out.
posted by amanda on Feb 14, 2003 - 5 comments

Who Pays? Distributional Analysis of State Tax Systems

Most state tax systems are regressive. That's the thesis of "Who Pays: A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems In All 50 States" published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The writers argue that states actually augment the effects of the Bush tax plan by replacing income taxes with sales and property taxes, a move that disproportionately hurts the poor and middle classes. Scroll down to the charts to see how your state matches up. (Link is PDF 653 KB, and is summarized at TomPaine.com. Via Talking Points Memo.)
posted by PrinceValium on Feb 13, 2003 - 19 comments

corporate chickens

some strong words about "corporate chickens" thoughts about giving government contracts to companies that have bolted offshore to tax havens - and who might have slipped this defeat of the wellstone amendment into the "homeland security bill"?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 3, 2002 - 34 comments

Tax Havens, Millionaires' Hell-holes and Escaping

Millionaires' Havens, Heavens And Hell Holes: Ghastly, depressing Monaco comes in for a deserved drubbing from Philip Delves Broughton in this week's Spectator. The idea of billionaires surfing the Web looking for a hide-out makes me giggle and gag, but it appears poor people can play too. Have a look at (free!) e-zine Escape From America; run your index finger down a list of tax havens and choose the paradise place you'd scarper off to, if your money problems, whether from excess or lack of money, ever become too [sorry...] taxing.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 29, 2002 - 9 comments

Karl Frank Kleinpaste

Karl Frank Kleinpaste is on trial defending himself for tax evasion claiming that he lives in the 'Democratic Republic of Pennsylvania' and is therefore not duty bound to pay federal income tax. Some think that this will not go very well for him while others encourage the masses to do the same.
posted by Raichle on Nov 21, 2002 - 28 comments

Recent news reports

Recent news reports have started me wondering about Swiss bank accounts and other offshore banking options. Whether you want to protect your assets, live tax free, incorporate with few regulations, launder money, or just escape from the US, an offshore account seems to be the way to go. Just make sure you don't get scammed.
posted by MeetMegan on Oct 24, 2002 - 13 comments

Want to cut taxes? Eliminate libraries.

Want to cut taxes? Eliminate libraries. NY Times story (yeah, yeah, reg required, sorry) talks about a ballot initiative in Stevens County, Washington that may totally eliminate its libraries. (more inside...)
posted by PeteyStock on Aug 20, 2002 - 67 comments

State income tax or not?

State income tax or not? Massachusetts voters get to decide on Nov. 5th. Is this a real possibility or just a publicity stunt for Carla Howell and the Libertarian party?
posted by Hall on Aug 16, 2002 - 48 comments

A Seattle group is pressing for a tax on espresso.

A Seattle group is pressing for a tax on espresso. And recently they've collected the 17,000 signatures necessary to put the issue on the ballot. I'll be the first to mark myself out as a raving anti-taxation loony, but I generally accept things such as the income tax as a necessary evil given our current governmental structure. What annoys me about initiatives like this, however, is the selectiveness of it -- with an income tax, everyone pays proportionately. When you go taxing espresso, you're making some random group that you arbitrarily select pay for something they may not have any concern for. This is a step beyond sin-taxing, in that there is usually a link, however tenuous, between the tax and what it is meant to pay for. Is there any logical connection here?
posted by jammer on Aug 5, 2002 - 32 comments

UnificationChurch Under Siege in Brazil

UnificationChurch Under Siege in Brazil Rev. Moon's massive land purchases lead to major search-and-seizure operation. Money laundering and other no-no activities. This cult, the Avis to Scientology's Hertz, has paid President Bush I handsome money to speak in their behalf when they began operations in Brazil. They also own the Washington Times, Insight Magazine and many many other businesses, including a university, jewelry stores nationwide, and a ballet company. Their found, Rev. Moon, a convicted felon (taxes). Rumored to get money from Japanese mob to do their conservative activities, and now want to open car plant in China. Gone the days of merely selling roses.
posted by Postroad on May 14, 2002 - 2 comments

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