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America Has The Highest Corporate Rates In The World! REALLY!!??

December 4, 2012 1 comment
2012-12-04_1357

Tax to GDP Ratios in the OECD area, 1975 to 2009
CLICK TO ENLARGE!!

In the vast caverns of the Republicon/corporate political ecosystem one will hear that constant bombardment of “America has the highest corporate rates in the world” which is true if you only look at the surface numbers. Surface facts are often used to miss-lead the American populace into subscribing to policies and doctrines that only benefit the 1 to 5 percent of America. Conserva-Dems, Republicons, and the corporate trolls find this lie particularly pleasing to utter.

With all due respect, Republicons are masterful at getting around 45% of Americans to believe things that are just factually untrue and economic disasters except when used as a form of upward wealth extraction. Some of the near and dear ones to the wallets of the financially elite are “Death tax“, “death panels“, “job creators“, “tax cuts equates to job growth“, “war on Christmas“, “welfare queens“, “makers and takers“, and “freedom (in terms of Healthcare and social Security)”. The bevies of deceitful terms that are in common use today by those calling themselves “conservatives” are endless; see Thom Hartmann’s book “Cracking The Code” for further enlightenment. These phrases may come off the tongue smoothly, but what do they mean by them and what has been the proven result of following this ideology?  As the saying goes “figures don’t lie, but any liar can figure”! Resisting the urge to go into a rant about all of those misleading words; they are another subject, for another blog, on another day!

Republicons and corporate toadies will not miss an opportunity to utter “the US has the highest tax rates among OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in the world”, but this political talking point is an easily dis-proven phrase. Now the mere utterance of that phrase is not untrue, but it conveniently fails to disclose the truth behind the phrase. While America’s corporate tax rate is the highest among the top developed countries in terms of the number, maxing out at 35%. America has the lowest actual paid rate in the developed world, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) America is dwarfed by other countries. This simply means that America collects the least amount of tax dollars than all but 2 of the OECD countries. Read more…

Fiscal Cliff: effects on taxation and revenues!!

November 26, 2012 4 comments

The more one learns about the “Fiscal Cliff” (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act) the more we know and that is an empowering educational tool for the voting populace. Now let’s look at why Republicons are so afraid of the fiscal cliff and the accompanying expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Once America understands the fundamental underpinnings of the fiscal cliff in terms of taxation the more un-cliff’like they may find it. Fiscally it is appealing in many aspects seeing that a lot of it impacts the rich and dividend investors and furthermore increases revenue.

The scariest aspect of the fiscal cliff for Republicons is, dare WE say, returning the top marginal tax rat to 39.6% (which is the rate under Clinton, you know the president that gave us a surplus) from the current 35%, but wait there’s more. Not only will the top marginal rate return to reasonable level, but it will also raise capital gains tax rates to 20% from the ridiculous maximum rate of 15%. In my humble opinion, the top marginal income tax rate should have never been lower than 50%, for reasons that I will address in another blog. I even dare to contest the special treatment of capital gains; I think that capital gains should be taxed as normal income, period (again, I will address that in another blog). Another revenue increasing result of the fiscal cliff would be that stock dividend income would be taxed as regular income and that would be a beautiful thing and I would call it “a start towards fiscal sanity”!

The beauty, in my estimation, or the danger, in the estimation of the rich and the Republicon party, in the fiscal cliff kicking in is that there will be more cuts to loop-holes and tax breaks which primarily benefit the rich. For example, Estate taxation, or the death tax as conservatives call them, would go up by changing the estate tax that currently only applies to those inheriting over 5.1 million to anyone inheriting one million dollars or more,  (boo hoo). This would mean anyone inheriting over 1 million dollars would have to pay a 35% estate tax. Another topper would be that the AMT (alternative minimum tax) would also change in aspect of who would be subjected to it. So far, the changes that could take effect does not make 99% of the United States populace worry or fearful of this cliff that everyone is talking about; although I could be just fiscally naive. The so-called fiscal cliff has some bearing on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Apparently there is a 3.8% medicare surtax that will be implemented on wage earners making over $200,00 and families making over $250,000 annually. Read more…

Fiscal Cliff?? Slogan, Warning, or What?

November 26, 2012 1 comment

Thank you Occupy Philly for the satire on the Fiscal Cliff.

When listening to the pundits constantly echoing of the phrase “fiscal cliff” with the added implication of dread in their voice; I could not resist my wonk urge to get a clear definition of what the fiscal cliff is and its implications in a sterile (non-partisan) fiscal way. right, as if that is possible!

After much exhausting research on the “Google” I have come to understand that it means as much as Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” and that’s not saying much. Irrational exuberance was a phrase coined by Greenspan to warn us that investors were over-weighing the market without actually saying that they were over-weighing the market (some say that Greenspan was warning of an impending fiscal bubble  but I am not sure he was that astute). It is an illusive way to warn about a possible fiscal disaster without warning about a possible fiscal disaster, but leaving yourself cover to be able to say “I WARNED YOU”. You know, “having your cake and eating it too” or as a  friend of mine often said “It’s my SAVE ASS move!”.

The name “fiscal cliff” is a classic political misnomer seeing that there’s no major impact on the economy with its onset; anyone would infer different from its title, fiscal cliff. Any use of the word “cliff” typically means immediate and life-ending descent from a high distance which does not apply in this case. Ever since Bernanke used the phrase “fiscal cliff” at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in February of this year, the term has been used for a multiplicity of partisan needs. Well let’s get an understanding of what Ben Bernanke meant when he said it, so let’s go to the way-back machine to get the jest of it. To quote Bernanke “I hope that Congress will look at [the spending cuts and revenue increases] and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date,”. Read more…

American Debt and Who got Us Here!

Prior to 1980 America had never reached a debt of one Trillion dollars, but with the election of  Ronald Reagan we passed that mark and then some.  When Ronald Reagan took office our national debt was a mere 900 billion dollars; give or take a few hundred million dollars. Reagan ushered in the theory called “Reaganomics” which would be later referred to as “Trickle Down Economics” (see; http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/SupplySideEconomics.html) but by either name it set in motion an approach to monetary policies that would devastate America, but I digress.

Reagan’s presidency ushered in Reaganomics which was an approach that relied on 3 key policy/fiscal foundations; tax cuts which reduced the operational capital of government, deregulation which opened up corporate welfare and corruption, and the role of government to that of noninterference (which is how Republicons referred to government protections from corporations and money’ed interests). America believed that Reaganomics would increase investments by the wealthy in the job market and in turn would stimulate prosperity for all. I refer to this as “trickle on economics” but again I digress. Reagan would  go on to deregulate savings and loans markets; he reduced taxes, increased military spending which directly led the stock market crash in 1987. The start of deregulation of banking and investment markets by Reagan,  and the administrations that would continue this approach, would come to roost later in American history but I will cove that later. This approach would take  the debt from 930 billion to 2.6 trillion in a mere 8 years or $10,058.90 per capita for a population of 258,709,873. I would again note that this had not happened since the start of America until Reagan’s presidency. The Reagan administration increased debt by roughly 2 trillion over an 8 year period which is an increase of 189% of the debt he inherent-ed; just WOW!

Reagan set the table for economic policies that would be adopted in large parts and small from this point forward. Bush Sr. (Reagan’s vice-president) would be elected in 1989 and continue the “trickle down economic policies of Reagan and would fare no better than his predecessor  Bush Sr. would lead the country to an economic collapse and end his one term presidency with the nation in debt for a staggering 4 trillion dollars or $4,064,620,655,521.66 to be exact. This result was in spite of him raising taxes in 1992 in order to curtail the disastrous fiscal policies he continued from Reagan. You would think that Bush would have learned from Reagan’s fiscal FAIL, but Republicons (I refuse to call them “conservatives”; there is nothing conservative about them) did not learn and America was fooled by slogans and propaganda that still exists today; and again I digress. I think that you are starting to see that I digress a lot, but what can I say I have a lot of un-expressed political history in my head. So now we are at the 4 Trillion debt mark. The Bush Sr. administration increased debt by roughly 2 trillion over an 4 year period. Supply Side Economics and Republicon governance quadrupled the national debt to over $4 trillion in twelve years (1980-1992) and they call themselves “conservatives”! Bush Sr’s administration governed over an increase of the U.S. debt of what would equal an 55% increase in just one term; I dare to speculate that with another term he would have nearly equaled Reagan’s debt disaster! That’s right I said it.

Read more…

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