Category Archive: Budget and Taxes

Jan 24 2014

Joe Miller: Welfare King

Joe Miller, the Tea Party extremist who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from Alaska and is now doing it again, told the Tea Party Express in an interview that welfare programs are a “scam” that do nothing but create dependency and destroy economic opportunities:

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Jan 22 2014

If Martin Luther King Were Alive Today

Monday was the national holiday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (and it should be noted that a great many conservatives tried like hell to stop that holiday from being created, including “moderates” like John McCain). ThinkProgress notes some of MLK’s more radical views and they suggest what he would be saying …

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Jan 19 2014

Republicans Still Defunding Non-Existent Organization

In an apparent attempt to break its own record for meaningless votes (currently over 40 for bills to repeal Obamacare that they know can’t possibly pass), House Republicans have voted yet again to defund ACORN, an organization that has not existed in nearly four years.

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Jan 16 2014

Religion-related Provisions in Budget Bill

As Howard Friedman details, the huge budget appropriations bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, has emerged from the joint House-Senate conference committee and there are several provisions in it related to religious questions. Some of them are really kind of weird.

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Jan 14 2014

The Health Impact of Food Stamp Cuts

With Congress likely to pass a farm bill with an additional $9 billion in cuts to food stamps on top of the cuts that have already taken place, a group of doctors is speaking out against those cuts and pointing out that they could backfire by increasing health care and Medicaid costs.

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Jan 14 2014

No, Single Mothers Are Not Breaking the Budget

Amanda Marcotte answers an increasingly common argument from the right about single mothers and how if they’d all just find a man and get married, they’d stop costing us so much in public assistance payments. Some examples of this argument being made:

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Jan 10 2014

Welfare Fraud as Rare as Voter Fraud

We’ve seen several states run by Republicans launch major investigations to find voter fraud that they claim is rampant only to come up almost entirely empty. Maine Gov. Scott LePage decided to give it a try with welfare fraud and — surprise, surprise — finds only a tiny problem. But like always, they announce it …

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Jan 09 2014

Teachers Offered Loans to Do Their Job


Sometimes a single image just sums up perfectly what is wrong with an issue or a society. This one certainly seems to capture the problems in our educational system. It’s an email sent to teachers by a credit union offering to loan them money to buy school supplies they should already have.

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Dec 18 2013

‘Defense’ Budget Remains Untouchable

The new budget deal struck by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray leaves one part of the budget untouched by the knife, what we absurdly call the “defense” budget. While social spending is slashed, the military will still be getting far more money than they should have.

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Dec 17 2013

Ryan’s Appeal to Right Wing on Budget Deal

Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray have reached a compromise budget deal that they hope will avoid another government shutdown and more bloodletting in Congress. Conservatives have reacted mostly with skepticism, but Ryan went on Meet the Press and offered this argument for why conservatives should support it:

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Dec 13 2013

Rand Paul Tells Lies in Detroit

Jeff Wattrick, one of Michigan’s best muckraking journalists, went to hear Rand Paul’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club last week and asked him a simple question: Why did you vote to continue subsidizing crop insurance for tobacco farmers? His response was a rather blatant lie.

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Dec 12 2013

Feds Sell Off Last Stake in General Motors

The Treasury Department has sold off the last of its stock in General Motors, closing the books on the nearly $50 billion in taxpayer money loaned to keep the automaker open. In the end, they got back all but $10 billion, which is one of the best bargains I’ve ever heard of.

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Dec 06 2013

Study: Higher Corporate Taxes = Jobs

One of the most enduring myths of conservatism is that lower taxes on the wealthy and on businesses means more jobs. And it’s certainly true at some point when taxes are extraordinarily high, but that situation does not exist. A new study finds that corporations who paid higher taxes created far more jobs over the …

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Dec 04 2013

Undocumented Workers Pay More Taxes Than Many Companies

A new study estimates that undocumented workers pay more than $11 billion a year in taxes (and would, of course, pay far more if they were given legal status and could come out of the shadow economy). ThinkProgress compares that to General Electric, which paid no taxes in 2010.

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Dec 04 2013

The Other Side of the Parsonage Tax Exemption


Peter Reilly, a CPA and tax policy expert, makes a very good point in discussing the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s so-far successful lawsuit against the parsonage tax exemption. It turns out that while this benefit helps ministers a lot, there are other provisions in the tax code that hurt them enormously and without justification.

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