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Category Archive: Budget and Taxes

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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Oct 17 2013

Republicans Cave Completely

Wednesday began with President Obama praising Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Mitch McConnell for reaching a “compromise” on the budget and the debt ceiling that really isn’t a compromise at all. In fact, it does nothing but kick the can down the road. Here’s what it does:

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Oct 17 2013

The Convenient Fiscal Restraint of Conservatism

Steger - balanced budget

A study from Depaul University political science professor Wayne Steger shows what has been obvious to anyone paying attention all along, that conservative Republicans only seem interested in fiscal responsibility when a Democrat is in office.

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Oct 13 2013

Ornstein’s Futile Suggestion for Ending the Standoff

Norm Ornstein is a very, very smart man, one of the smartest policy wonks in Washington. But I’m afraid his suggestion for a way out of the budget and debt ceiling impasse, as reasonable as it may seem to reasonable people, is destined for failure even if President Obama were to offer it.

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Oct 11 2013

Can Obama Unilaterally Lift the Debt Ceiling?

With the government still shut down and the debt ceiling limit about to be reached, some have argued that President Obama could invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment and order the Treasury Department to continue borrowing despite the statutory debt limit having been reached. Section 4 says:

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Oct 07 2013

Obamacare, Gold Plans and Demagoguery

If you want an absolutely perfect example of demagoguery, look no further than the wingnut outrage over Congress and their staff getting subsidized access to the Affordable Care Act’s Gold Metal plan. The Worldnetdaily put up half an article linking to the full article at The Hill about this on the regulations issued on this …

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Oct 01 2013

Frum on the Republican Kamikaze Plan

With a government shutdown here and the internecine battles in the Republican party reaching a fever pitch, David Frum tries, as so many others have, to be a voice of reason in the GOP. But as he correctly notes, this has little hope of succeeding because the extreme right tail is now wagging the Republican …

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Sep 29 2013

House Debt Ceiling Bill: Surrender or the Government Gets It

The House Republicans gave a copy of their proposed legislation for raising the debt ceiling and to call it laughable would be a rather significant understatement. They essentially demand that President Obama give them everything they want on every other issue and throw in a pony too. Ezra Klein’s got it nailed:

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Sep 27 2013

Financial Executives Victims of Lynch Mob

There aren’t enough faces, palms, heads or desks to handle this statement from AIG CEO Bob Benmosche. After taxpayers had to spend $85 billion to keep his company from bankruptcy, people were understandably upset when they then paid out $165 million in executive bonuses before paying back that money. Benmosche says that was a lynch …

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Sep 26 2013

Food Stamps vs Crop Insurance

Here’s a surprisingly rational column by Henry Olsen in the conservative magazine National Review about the House Republicans and their obsession with cutting food stamps. He points out that those same Republicans ignore more expensive programs in the same bill (food stamps are part of the annual farm bill) that primarily benefit those who don’t …

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