Tag Archives: taxes

One Big Ass Shell Game

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

Governor Doug Ducey has pledged to reduce taxes every year he is in office and likes to tout he is doing just that. The GOP-led Legislature also seems to be totally on-board with doing less with less unless that is, they are handing out corporate welfare. At least that is, while they still need corporate donations to help fund their reelection campaigns.

Evidently though, once out of office, GOP “leaders” can see the error of their ways as with former Governor Jan Brewer who just told Capitol Media Services that, in hindsight, the tax cuts she approved were “a little bit too aggressive.” She went on to say that the result has been a reduction in revenues for necessary state services and that “sooner or later, you have to pay the fiddler.” Just like GOP leadership today though (who claim school boards, not they, are responsible for teacher salaries), she passes the buck by saying her approval of the cuts was a political compromise because “the boys at the Legislature…wanted more.” Continue reading

The bad smelling infiltration of Netroots Nation that few noticed.

San Diego

My Blog for AZ colleagues who attended Netroots Nation have done a great job describing Netroots Nation Phoenix and critiquing the shitstorm that followed a group of #BlackLivesMatter activists disrupting the town hall of Democratic Presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders. I feel no need to elaborate upon what Pamela Powers Hannley, Bob Lord, Craig McDermott, and Steve Muratore have done.

And I will get to the thing I want to say, but first I need to outline my favorite things in life in order of importance:

1. Mark

2. Corgis

3. Panel discussions

4. Walking around, gathering swag (t-shirts! coffee cups! bottle openers!), at the booths at the conventions where the panel discussions happen. Continue reading

Paul, honey, we pro-choicers could have told you this 30 years ago

krugman

Paul Krugman’s Monday NYT column is a sharp observation of how the American Right is untethered from evidence on a wide variety of policy issues.

Of course not. Evidence doesn’t matter for the “debate” over climate policy, where I put scare quotes around “debate” because, given the obvious irrelevance of logic and evidence, it’s not really a debate in any normal sense. And this situation is by no means unique. Indeed, at this point it’s hard to think of a major policy dispute where facts actually do matter; it’s unshakable dogma, across the board. And the real question is why. Continue reading

Culture war issues FINALLY surface in Arizona Governor’s race

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

duval duceyPhoto: AZ Republic

I have to say there have been some encouraging developments in the AZ midterms the past few days. First Howie Fischer weighed in, and then the Arizona Republic (finally) ran a piece highlighting the significant differences on so-called “social issues”, that is, a host of things that affect a lot of people’s lives, rights, financial situation, ability to participate fully in society, etc., but do not necessarily fall within the confines of what rich white people consider important.

While Arizona’s most controversial social policies have generally originated in the state Legislature and the courts have had the final say, the governor is the gatekeeper. As the state’s chief executive, the governor holds the veto stamp and has historically used it to push back on legislation deemed too far outside the public interest.

Continue reading

Budget Battle: Can the Rich Afford to Pay Higher Taxes?

Toprates_prog2by Pamela Powers Hannley

Since the Tea Party took over the House of Representatives after the disastrous 2010 election, you'd think the most pressing job facing the Congress was to lower taxes on the richest Americans. (Feather-bedding the 1% is right up there with squashing our civil liberties, suppressing voter turnout, grandstanding about cutting "entitlements" (AKA earned benefits), supporting Wall Street banksters, and protecting Citizens United and the obscene campaign finance system we have.

Just look how many marches, blog posts, letters to the editor, calls to representatives, and Occupations it took to overturn the Bush Era Tax Cuts on people who make more than $400,000 a few months ago. (And it still probably wouldn't have happened if it weren't for three percentages that changed public opinion– 99%, 1%, and 47%.) More on taxes and budgets after the jump.

In the latest budget fiasco playing out this week in Congress, there are three budget plans in play: the conservative Republican Paul Ryan budget, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget (which is an amendment to the Ryan plan), and the Senate Democrats plan, put forth by Patty Murray.

One piece of the Ryan plan and the CPC plan focuses on how much income tax the wealthiest Americans should pay. Ryan wants to lower the top tax rate to 25%– going back to the Coolidge years (yeah, that worked out well)– while the progressives want to raise the top bracket to 49% (on income over $1 billion). Bumping up the income tax rate on billionaires to 49% sounds like a big jump, but when you look at the historic data (provided above in a graphic from the Washington Post), you can see that that rate has jumped up and down wildly– depending upon who is President.

So, can billionaires afford to pay higher income taxes? Of course. They can afford to pay 49% on anything over $1 billion much more than the elderly and the disabled can afford chained CPI. For that matter, people making $250,000+ can afford to have their Bush Era Tax cuts rescinded.

The rich also can afford to pay more into Social Security; currently Americans don't pay FICA on any income over $113,700. (So, if you believe the right-wingers when they say that Social Security is in financial trouble, how come they never propose raising or eliminating the cap?)

And, finally, the rich Wall Street banksters can afford to pay a tiny Financial Transaction Tax (AKA Robin Hood Tax) on each stock market trade. 

So, what's the big deal with the debt and deficit? I've just offered a few trillion dollars worth of ideas– some of which are in the CPC budget plan. The vote is this week. Call your Congressional representative and tell him or her to vote for the Back to Work Budget. Here's a petition you can sign. Here's a link to send a letter.

65-Year Congressional study shows tax cuts do not lead to economic growth

NYT graphic

by Pamela Powers Hannley

A new financial study released last week– Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945– looks at 65(!) years worth of US ecomonic data and confirms what we 99%ers have been saying for a long time: Trickle Down Economics doesn't work, so get over it already.

From The Atlantic

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush raised taxes, and GDP growth increased over the next five years. In 1993, President Bill Clinton raised the top marginal tax rate, and GDP growth increased over the next five years. In 2001 and 2003, President Bush cut taxes, and we faced a disappointing expansion followed by a Great Recession.

Does this story prove that raising taxeshelps GDP? No. Does it prove that cutting taxes hurts GDP? No.

But it does suggest that there is a lot more to an economy than taxes, and that slashing taxes is not a guaranteed way to accelerate economic growth…

Analysis of six decades of data found that top tax rates "have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth." However, the study found that reductions of capital gains taxes and top marginal rate taxes have led to greater income inequality. Past studies cited in the report have suggested that a broad-based tax rate reduction can have "a small to modest, positive effect on economic growth" or "no effect on economic growth."

To read more… check out these links.

Tax Cuts Don't Lead to Economic Growth, a New 65-Year Study Finds 
The Atlantic

Do Tax Cuts Lead to Economic Growth?

The New York Times

Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945
The federal study that started it all.