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Category Archive: Budget and Taxes

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

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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

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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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Nov 30 2013

American Atheists Challenges IRS Religious Preferences

The Freedom From Religion Foundation won a very important lawsuit this week against the parsonage tax exemption for churches, with their argument being that because it applies only to Christian churches, it is a special benefit for churches and thus unconstitutional. American Atheists has a similar suit going on another case of disparate treatment, the …

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Nov 26 2013

Why Private Charity Can’t Replace Government Programs

One of the arguments from conservatives and libertarians that leaves me shaking my head is the claim that if the government would just stop helping poor people, private charity would make up the difference. Christopher Flavelle crunches the numbers and shows why this is nonsense.

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Nov 04 2013

Soros, Communists and the Robin Hood Tax

Aaron Klein, one of the truly unhinged voices that the Worldnetdaily is constantly promoting, has a hysterically overblown article about the Robin Hood Tax. Of course, it’s all about George Soros and COMMUNISTS! The commies are coming, the commies are coming! This is not a repeat from 1981. Or 1951.

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Oct 29 2013

More Big Companies Paying No Taxes

USA Today has a report on the companies on the S&P 500, more than 10% of which paid no federal taxes. A surprising number of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500, 57, have found ways to pay effective tax rates of zero, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ… …

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Oct 24 2013

Another Poll Full of Bad News for the GOP

Now that the shutdown is over, at least for a few months, the polling data coming in is showing just how bad the whole fiasco was for the Republican party in the minds of voters. And the numbers are so one-sided in a new ABC/Washington Post poll that they are kind of astonishing.

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Oct 21 2013

Awaiting Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is set for Feb. 2, 2014, a mere five days before the temporary raising of the debt ceiling will expire and a little over two weeks after the continuing budget resolution will expire. This may not be mere coincidence, as it is pretty likely that we will be in the same situation then …

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