Archive for tax revenue

Senate Democratic leaders are planning to go on offense on raising taxes

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feeling your cheerios

Dems are feeling their oats.

Via The Hill:

Democrats are planning to capitalize on the Republican Party’s poor handling of the recent fiscal showdown by parlaying it into another legislative victory. Congressional Democrats want Republicans to sign off on $50 billion worth of tax increases to eliminate the sequester’s automatic spending cuts.

Yeah, like that'll happen. But one Democratic aide said the situation looks more promising now because the GOP is feeling the heat "after what they did to the country by following the Tea Party agenda, to show they are willing to come to the table and compromise.” Plus, they think Republicans will feel incentivized because a hunk of the sequester for 2014 will hit defense programs.

Okay Dems go for it, and don't blow this one:

Democrats say they would not accept any budget deal unless it includes tens of billions in new tax revenue. Their opening bid is $1 in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts to offset the cost of ending sequestration for domestic and defense discretionary spending programs.

House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell undoubtedly are pointing and laughing as we speak. However, Americans don't want them to control the House, but they do want Boehner to go and Obamacare to stay.

So Democrats do have some leverage. And while they're at it...

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking Senate Democratic leader, will propose legislation that would reduce Congress’s authority over raising the debt limit.

It would give the president authority to raise the debt limit and merely allow Congress to vote on a resolution of disapproval to block action.

Yes, please and thank you.

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IRS Star Trek Parody Skewers Issa, Paul and Tea Party

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Star ship Enterprise

Well, every department of the Government has something to hide. And from time to time, they need scrutiny. But other times this intense investigation really becomes an obsession – a witch-hunt -- especially when barking up the wrong tree.

Like a mad dog howling at the moon, the misguided or simply self-important missionaries of justice take a step too far. They cross the line and begin to more than annoy. They start to waste our tax money.

Fortunately for us, the IRS, everyone’s favorite target, has decided to answer the many challenges (done at tax payer expense – just like the Congressional hearings). Actually, just like the actual hearings themselves, this is a parody of reality. Surely Issa and Paul are figments of Larry David's (Seinfeld) imagination which made an art form out of turning “nothing” hilariously into being “something.”

The IRS is taking to the airwaves to answer back to those who seek to go where no man has gone before – INSIDE the IRS – at a star-date in the future.

Without further fanfare, I proudly present to you, an IRS film (yes, they really did commission this with our tax money) to boldly go where no government employee has gone before – the journey to seek out new tax forms and restrictions on politically undesirable organizations and to deny them their Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code status.

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VIDEO: Debunking Myths About Who Pays No Federal Income Tax

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debunktion junction

16th amendment income taxes16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Federal Income Tax (1913)

So much for that whole "takers vs. makers" thing. Another right wing talking point goes down the drain:

Via theurbaninstitute:

Much has been made of the fact that nearly half of Americans paid no federal income tax in 2010. Some people interpret that statistic as saying that we are a nation of makers and takers, with the makers paying the taxes that support the takers. But the story is not that simple. This video explains who doesn't pay income taxes and why, and notes that the share of non-payers is headed down to just a third a decade from now.

So what exactly are income taxes used for? This:

Medicare and Medicaid

Medical research

Public school funding

School lunches

Defense funding

Social security

Roads

Police protection

Fire protection

Public libraries

Job training

Bank regulation

Scientific research

Food inspection

Food and Drug Administration

Air traffic controllers

Unemployment benefits

Sorry, anti-taxers, but privatization just won't cut it. That would make everything even more unaffordable, and the priority would be profiting rather than focusing on the quality of services that the government provides to protect its citizens. Instead, government is doing its job, per the U.S. Constitution:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

another talking point bites the dust

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John Boehner wants to prolong sequestration. Oh, and his job performance numbers are in the toidy. Coincidence?

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rock bottom smaller

A Public Policy Polling poll of Ohioans has GOP House Speaker John Boehner's job performance numbers at a whopping 20 percent; 59% disapprove of the job he's doing. (John Kasich's not doing too well, either. Follow the link.)

owie

Since October 2012, The Boehner's approvals have fallen 13 points, down from 33%.

Gee, could it have anything to do with the fact that he "is, in fact, bad at his job”? How bad? Well, as we speak, TPM has a post on Boehner's call for more-- wait for it-- sequestration:

...House Speaker John Boehner reiterated that his chamber would move quickly when Congress reconvenes to pass a continuing resolution that would avoid a government shutdown but prolong sequestration.

The short-term resolution would keep the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration in place.

Good grief, can he get any more tone deaf?

Take this L.A. Times headline, for example:

Defense officials tell Congress that scheduled sequester budget cuts threaten to gut the military.

Or this Times story:

The Obama administration announced Monday that about 5,600 low-income California children would be shut out of federally funded Head Start preschool programs because of Washington budget gridlock.

How's that outreach workin' for ya, GOP?

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Yeah, like this will ever happen...

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totes adorbs

This totes adorbs Think Progress headline caught my eye: Senators Seek To End Taxpayer Subsidy For Exorbitant CEO Pay:

With executive compensation at record highs, two senators are trying to end a government subsidy of performance-driven executive pay schemes that cost taxpayers $5 billion per year. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) proposed a bill Friday that would limit the amount of performance-based pay that can be written off as a tax deduction and bring in $50 billion in tax revenue over a decade.

Isn't it presh how Reed and Blumenthal think Republicans would ever pass any bill ever that would pull support from their ritzy CEO BFFs? Especially one called the Stop Subsidizing Multimillion Corporate Bonuses Act.

But hey, at least they're trying. And who knows? Stranger things have happened...

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Senators promise colleagues 50 years of secrecy in exchange for suggestions on tax reform, "making secrecy a priority"

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what's the big secret

You know, the one thing I've been wishing for is more secrecy from our elected officials, because gee, who really needs transparency anyway? Especially when it comes to tax reform and being aware of which U.S. Senator supports which policies.

Yes, by all means, the more secrecy the better. America first!

weeee smaller

The Hill:

The Senate's top tax writers have promised their colleagues 50 years worth of secrecy in exchange for suggestions on what deductions and credits to protect in tax reform.

Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), have assured lawmakers that any submission they receive will not be released by either the committee or the National Archives before the end of 2064.

Deeming the submissions confidential, the Senate’s top tax writers have said only certain staff members will get access to a senator’s written suggestions. Each submission will also be given its own ID number and be kept on both password-protected servers, with printed versions kept in a locked safe.

The promise of confidentiality was revealed just two days before the deadline for senators to participate in the Finance Committee’s “blank slate” process, which puts the onus on lawmakers to argue for what credits and deductions should be preserved in a streamlined tax code.

The piece goes on to say that Baucus and Hatch were "trying to prove to colleagues that they were making secrecy a priority."

A priority. Of course. Forget about allowing the rest of us in on what you're up to.

Keeping the submissions confidential for a half century, the aide added, was “standard operating procedure for sensitive materials including investigation materials.”

Okay, I get that their motivation was to get all the senators engaged, but providing fifty years of secrecy doesn't do much to instill confidence in the honesty and intentions of our Congress members. And as The Hill noted, "blowback from interest groups and businesses" is a concern.

How about ignoring the lobbyists, just this once? How about showing some spine and concern by unambiguously standing up for the welfare of all Americans? Rhetorical, and yes, I know, I know, totally unrealistic. But sometimes that pesky wishful thinking just slips out.

wishful thinking fingers crossed smaller

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VIDEO-- Paul Krugman reacts to sequester madness: "This is not the time to be cutting at all." Oh, and spending has FALLEN.

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chart graph government spending down under obama

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Ed Schultz:

"Government spending actually fell rapidly after the stimulus ended."

"The last time we saw spending cuts this deep was after the Korean War."

"Progressives, they don't want chained CPI. There's no indication it would ever help the economy." (Here’s what “chained CPI” would do.)

chart deficit cuts not taxes

Paul Krugman:

"These are especially dumb cuts."

"Austerity hurts even more than the standard estimates say."

"...We are demonstrating that we can't govern ourselves..."

"This was designed to be stupid."

"This is exactly what the doctor did not order."

"The fix-it is just repeal the whole thing. We shouldn't be doing any of this."

"This is not the time to be cutting at all."

"The budget deficit is an issue for the next decade, it's not an issue for now."

"We have capital with no place to go... The government should be taking advantage of that ... to be fixing stuff."

"It's insane, top to bottom."

"Not that [deficits] never matter, but they really don't matter right now."

"The budget deficit is a result of the crisis, not the cause of it."

"The main thing right now is... mass unemployment. Create jobs... Get those school teachers rehired. Fix those bridges."

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