The obvious question to close off this series is “How can Sweden afford those benefits?” Of course a part of that answer it through relatively high taxes. But how high is that? Sweden does have the highest top marginal rate among OECD countries at about 56%. In The US The highest marginal tax rate in the US is about 35% but there are many tax … Continue reading InDepth – US vs Sweden Post #6 – Taxes & Closing Thoughts
Forty years ago, Ronald Reagan made the comment “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” I didn’t agree with that then but by adding two words I agree with it now. My slightly revised quote is The lack of government is the problem When government loses its role of doing the “people’s business” it becomes a major problem. When that … Continue reading Government Wasn’t The Problem
Now that we are closing this current period of political idiocy, it’s time to start talking about things that have been put on the back burner. I know government dysfunction will not immediately end when he is finally out of office. There is still an enormous amount of work that needs to be done to make government and politics even a small iota of trustworthy … Continue reading Guaranteed Income
I know there are very basic differences in how people look at the world. I personally get much of my worldview from the words of Jesus and that certainly includes his very obvious stands on empathy and wealth. One of the things I love about Jesus is that he led by example. How many changes of clothes did Jesus have? How many castles? How many … Continue reading Looking At The World…
As the new header says the GOP just loves to cut taxes but that is the easy part. They just don’t seem to be up to the more difficult part of cutting spending, or at least cutting it where a majority in Congress will agree. They most often propose to cut entitlements as they call them. Those are things that help the average citizen along … Continue reading Cutting Taxes Is The Easy Part…
I want to start this post off by saying I think there are some good parts to the current tax bill that is now the law of the land. I have always thought that we should quit taxing corporations and instead put the full tax on the shareholders/owners of the corporation. At least they got the first part right, putting the bill on the shareholders … Continue reading Tax Reform??
But since Piotrowski describes property taxes as “unethical, unchristian-like” and a form of “financial slavery,” he decided to make a statement. “Since I’m being forced to pay for something against my own will, I’m paying in pennies,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. SOURCE: This man collected 50,000 pennies to make a statement about paying his property taxes – Yahoo Finance. I don’t know about you but these … Continue reading Something For Nothing…
I see where the Greeks elected a new government this week to help them reduce austerity that was forced upon them by the European Union bailout. This reminded me of a book I read a few years ago entitled “Boomerang” by Michael Lewis. One chapter in the book was about Greece. The book is very enlightening and well written. Here are some selected snippets about … Continue reading About Those Greeks…
Despite a wide coalition of business, labor, religious groups, farmers and others pushing for an immigration overhaul, many individual Republican House members who represent largely white districts have been unmoved. SOURCE: Republican leaders to block US immigration measure – Yahoo News. After so many years of a stalemated government there are so many things that need changes. We are stuck in the 20th century practices … Continue reading Republican leaders to block US immigration measure
On top of that, higher-income taxpayers could see their itemized deductions and personal exemptions phased out and pay higher capital gains taxes — 20 percent for some taxpayers. And there are new taxes for them to help pay for health care reform. There are different income thresholds for each of these new taxes. An additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax, for example, kicks in on earnings … Continue reading Tax code changes will hit high-income Americans hardest
“The Republican Party is not really a party. It doesn’t stand for anything except re-electing itself,” Stockman, who directed the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, tells Newsmax. “The neocons are only oriented to an aggressive, imperialistic foreign policy of big defense establishment and suppression of our civil liberties. That’s bad. “The tax cons want to just cut taxes — any time, … Continue reading GOP Is Not A Real Party…
The U.S. government and Switzerland have reached an agreement that could expose Americans who have used Swiss banks to avoid paying taxes…. The crackdown began in 2009 after a whistleblower notified U.S. authorities that UBS, the largest Swiss bank, was enabling Americans to evade taxes. UBS settled the case later that year. It turned over account records on 4,500 U.S. customers and paid a $780 … Continue reading Swiss, U.S. reach deal on outing tax evaders
A Senate panel late Monday accused Apple (AAPL) of using what it called a “complex web of offshore entities” to dodge billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes. Source: Lawmakers say Apple dodged billions in taxes – CBS News. If we could just manage to get a Centrist party in control of those folks in Washington one of the first things I would want them to … Continue reading Lawmakers say Apple dodged billions in taxes…
Our financial ills will never be settled till you fix it so every man will pay an income tax on what he earns, be it a farm, grocery store or municipal or government bonds — Will Rogers March 21,1933 Will’s words above were spoken during the heights of the depression but even then the rich were finding loopholes to avoid paying taxes. I have never understood how … Continue reading Power To The People….
I must admit that I am a loyal customer of Amazon. I pay an extra $79 a year to have two-day free delivery of almost everything I buy and I buy quite a bit from them. I get many things the next day. It amazes me just how quickly they can get my order to me!
Another company that amazes me is Google. If I have a question on just about anything I can get many different views on the subject usually within a minute or two. I can remember in high school and even college spending hours in the library scouring through twenty-four book encyclopedias and many other books to find a minute amount of info I can now get in seconds.
If I hear another person give me a slippery slope story I just might punch them. The idea of the slippery slope consumes so much of their lives. It is the center point for their current stands against gun regulation. It is the center point for their current stands of excluding anyone from their religious circles who don’t totally align with them. It is the center point of their current stands on taxes.
Source: Most Americans Face Lower Tax Burden Than in the 80s – NYTimes.com. But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their … Continue reading Taxes, Its All Relative…..
source: A Very Different Lame-Duck: Lessons From 2010 – ABC News. The fiscal cliff is what we’re focused on,” Cantor spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said. “That’s what we need to get a resolution for.” “Fiscal cliff” this “fiscal cliff” that; I am really getting tired of all the rhetoric. It is almost as if some evil empire dropped the “fiscal cliff” viciously into our laps. This … Continue reading The Origins of the Fiscal “Cliff”
Source: Churches and Taxes – ProCon.org.
US churches received an official federal income tax exemption in 1894, and they have been unofficially tax-exempt since the country’s founding. All 50 US states and the District of Columbia exempt churches from paying property tax. Donations to churches are tax-deductible. The debate continues over whether or not these tax benefits should be retained.
Proponents argue that a tax exemption keeps the government out of church finances and thus upholds the separation of church and state. They say that churches deserve a tax break because they provide crucial social services, and that church tax exemptions have been in place for over 200 years without turning America into a theocracy.
Opponents argue that giving churches special tax exemptions violates the separation of church and state, and that tax exemptions are a privilege, not a right guaranteed by the US Constitution. They say that in tough economic times the government cannot afford what amounts to a subsidy worth billions of dollars every year.
Here is a letter from my Quaker friends at AFSC that I thought you might be interested in. If enough of us speak out we might just be able to force some of the politicians to actually do some of the things that they campaign on. 🙂 If you want to sign this petition click on this link https://afsc.org Continue reading Mr. President, Keep Your Promises!
But every one of us write our own history. If it sounds better the way we want it than the way it might have been why that don’t stop us any more than an amber light. – September17, 1933 Will Rogers Will’s quote here is still pretty much true today except to maybe change the word amber to red. The number one cause of … Continue reading Amber Lights…
I was a small business owner for six years after I retired from the big business corporate world. But being a sole proprietor with no employees I really don’t have a good view of just what small businesses are really about. The Republican political leaders say small businesses are the growth engine of our country and we shouldn’t tax them by taking away the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 annually.
How many of the so-called small businesses were like mine just a guy in a shop building things for customers? How many hire more than a handful of employees? I decided to look into this.
Here is a link to a bunch of numbers in this area: http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html
- Of those 29 million about 22 million are business with no employees
- Only one million firms have more than 9 employees
- Only 90,000 (0.3% have more than 100 employees
- Across the United States, small business failure rates rose by 40% between 2007 and 2010
- Only about one if five small businesses will be in existence five years after its creation
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is really the case then I say let the Democrats emulate the Republicans in their do-nothing attitude. There has been talk about the Senate Democrats letting the all the Bush tax cuts expire and forcing the ten-percent reduction in the military budgets by doing nothing. Will the Republicans be flattered by this imitation … Continue reading Let the Democrats Emulate the Repbulicans
This excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article peaked my senses. It seems the rich, who we give massive tax breaks, are aware that their kids will probably blow through their inherited wealth after they are gone. What a bind to be in! I bet they take all this planning and trustees as tax deductions. It seems very ironic that while most of us are … Continue reading Poor Little Rich Kids…..
I have a scheme for stopping war. It’s this – no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one. Will Rogers This goes in line with a previous post about paying for wars. We seem to always be ready to point out other countries problems to them and part of our solution is to teach them how to … Continue reading Stopping wars….
Less taxes and less regulation is the constant mantra that Republican party sees as a way to bring down the unemployment rates in this country. Everything else to them is seems to be utter nonsense. But let’s look at the facts around these two issues. Less Taxes — Taxes are currently the lowest they have been in 36 years, especially for the top 10% of … Continue reading All I Know…Less Taxes, Less Regulation….
This post is going to start a new category for me entitled “My Conservative Friend”. It will be about some conversations I have had with some of my conservative friends. It will also be about some of the conversation I have yet to have with them. Yes, even though they deem me a liberal I still have some conservative friends; in fact some of them … Continue reading Paying Taxes….