Category: tax



But much more of the increase in the deficit was because of tax cuts under George W. Bush, Medicare Part D (which expanded coverage for prescription medicines) and – most of all – the financial crisis that brought down the economy and sharply reduced tax revenue starting in September 2008.

Our modern debt surge is much more about declining federal government revenue than it is about runaway spending. If you believe strongly that our fiscal issues are primarily about “runaway spending,” please read our book.

The smart approach is to begin the long and not-so-nice work of controlling deficits while allowing the economy to grow.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/is-there-a-fiscal-crisis-in-the-united-states/


The debt ceiling crisis is the latest case in which the radical right in the South has held America hostage until its demands are met. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln refused to appease the Southern fanatics. Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress chose not to follow their example and instead gave in. In doing so, they have encouraged the neo-Confederate minority in Congress to find yet another opportunity in the near future to extort concessions from America’s majority by sabotaging America’s government. 

 

The Tea Party, the debt ceiling, and white Southern extremism – War Room – Salon.com.


Washington’s spending has recently been higher as a percentage of the nation’s economic output than at any time since World War II. But by the same measure, Washington’s revenues are the lowest in more than 60 years.

So does the U.S. have “a spending problem,” as Republicans keep repeating in the current debate over how to reduce the nation’s record deficits? Or is the problem that taxes are not high enough? Those questions frame a long-running partisan debate, and as usual we won’t offer an opinion one way or the other. But for those seeking their own answers, we can offer some fiscal history and factual context.

Some key facts we think are worth considering:

 

Fiscal FactCheck | FactCheck.org.


Liaquat Ahamed: U.S. taxes are too low | Video | Reuters.com.


The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts.

On road to surplus, U.S. detoured into debt.


In fact, most Americans have no idea that Barack Obama has lowered taxes. According to a 2010 CBS News/New York Times Poll, only 12% of Americans knew that Obama has lowered taxes. 53% thought that he kept taxes the same, and 24% believed that Obama has raised taxes.

Not surprisingly, only 2% of Tea Party supporters knew that Obama had lowered taxes. 44% of them thought that the President has raised their taxes.

The right believes this because they got the idea from Fox News and talk radio. Four days ago, Fox News.com ran a story claiming that Obama is going to raise taxes. The tax increase boogeyman is a favorite of the right, because it is easy to put out there and it motivates their base every time.

Barack Obama Is Now The Biggest Tax Cutter In American History.


“The president has made it a priority to reform government and make it more effective and efficient for the American people, which is why his budget reflects a commitment to streamlining government and saving taxpayer dollars,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in response to the report.

Upon taking office, Obama quickly appointed a chief performance officer, a new position meant to tackle government organizational issues.

Federal Eye – Government overlap costs taxpayers billions, GAO reports.


According to calculations by Whitehouse’s office — which match our own — when you include Social Security and Medicare taxes, the effective tax rate for the wealthiest 400 Americans would have been 16.72 percent in 2007; the tax rate for a worker earning $29,000 a year would have been 16.79 percent.

PolitiFact Rhode Island | Whitehouse says richest 400 taxpayers are taxed at a lower rate than a $29,000-a-year worker.


When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees’ fight over collective bargaining.

Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.

tax.com: Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who ‘Contributes’ to Public Workers’ Pensions?.


And for the third straight year, American families and businesses will pay less in federal taxes than they did under former President George W. Bush, thanks to a weak economy and a growing number of tax breaks for the wealthy and poor alike.

Taxes (As A Percentage Of Economy) Drop To Lowest Level In 60 Years.


2011 Tax Increases | FactCheck.org.


James Roosevelt: Social Security at 75: Crisis Is More Myth Than Fact.

The truth is that Social Security is completely solvent today, and will be into the future because it has a dedicated income stream that covers its costs and consistently generates a surplus, which today is $2.5 trillion. Estimates are that the Social Security surplus will grow to approximately $4.3 trillion in 2023, and that reserves will be sufficient to pay full benefits through the year 2037. After 2037, Social Security would still be able to pay for 78 percent of benefits even with no adjustments to revenues or benefits.


http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103309522016&s=10526&e=001toHAQdtY5v9aKxkuorIC7NrzO29Nzrv_MvUaUsOG656_0kP9SnvxWgP5kuPmW4AfVv1I12zfP16kwbkvRDcB9Lj5Dh4zsxUVvuNtEZiqGToRQBmGYZH0h1LvUZ-axMT2Nxf3_sXHVx76mhin6UydOw==.


Ever since George W. Bush massively cut taxes back in 2001, squandering much of the $5.6 trillion, ten-year surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton, liberals have assumed that the fiscal game was rigged. Conservatives had been explicit about their starve-the-beast strategy—the practice of creating large deficits through tax cuts in order to force future spending cuts. By playing along, the thinking went, Democrats would only further enable irresponsible behavior—a bit like negotiating with terrorists. Why kill yourself balancing the budget, as Bill Clinton did, if the next Republican is just going to slash taxes again?

When The Starved Beast Bites Back | The New Republic.


Americans paid a lower share of their national income in taxes in 2009 than at any time since 1950. Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 98 percent of working families got a tax cut this year. The rich, too, have been treated very kindly by the tax code in recent years. The top marginal tax rate on income is fully half of what it was 30 years ago, and the top rate on capital gains is at its lowest point since 1933

Where Does the Money Go?.

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