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Thursday Morning News Roundup

Elizabeth Warren is running for Senate in Massachusetts. I simply love Elizabeth Warren. The professor is smart. She’s thoughtful. The biggest question I have about her candidacy is whether she can be tough in the trenches. Politics is a tough business. Will she be able to throw elbows when necessary? From time to time on this blog, I will endorse a candidate who I feel will represent the American people and fight for the middle class. My endorsement comes with more than simply lip service. I am sending a cash donation to her campaign – today.

Creating jobs is key to our recovery. I simply don’t understand how giving corporations, already fat with corporate profits, more tax breaks is going to give them incentive to create jobs. I think it is clear that many of these corporations have created jobs overseas but have not done so here in the US. Gov. Rick Perry has been touting his record for job creation. Unfortunately, he’s creating a bunch of minimum wage jobs. A review of the data reveals that he has doubled the number of minimum wage and low-wage workers (making less than minimum wage) since 2007. We need to create quality, living wage jobs.

The American Society of Pediatrics releases a statement which corrects the false and misleading statements that come out of the mouth of Michele Bachmann. While there is so much misinformation coming out of the Republican debates, Michele Bachmann seems to lead the charge. Her recent statement that the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine causes mental retardation is simply a scare tactic. There are no data in the literature to support this. None. There are lots of valid reasons for opposing a “mandatory” vaccine. Personally, I support the vaccine because it saves lives. This vaccine can potentially save over 4000 women a year from dying from cervical cancer.

One of the things that I found most interesting about us Americans is that we can hold diametrically opposite views at the same time. We can go to church on Sunday and we can read the Bible. We can believe that we are our brother’s keeper. We can believe in recycled passage that we should love our brother as ourselves. Yet, we can somehow also believe that a person dying on a ventilator without medical insurance who has a treatable disease should be unplugged. I don’t get it. Yet Tea Party supporters actually shouted during a recent CNN debate, “Let him die.” Ironically, one of Ron Paul’s chief strategists Kent Snyder died recently. He was uninsured and broke. Ron Paul’s answer to health care reform is to let churches and charities chip in and help out. It sounds nice. But in actuality churches do not have the resources to support over 50 million Americans without health insurance. Kent Snyder’s friends have donated over $40,000 towards his $400,000 medical bill. This is an excellent example of how charity can and does fall short.

Five things that the Tea Party will cheer for. Yuck.

A trader for the Swiss bank UBS has lost over $2 billion. How is this possible? Not $200,000 or even $2 million. This guy somehow lost $2 billion!!!

Bank of America is fined for firing a whistle blower. This guy informed investigators of the widespread fraud in Countrywide. He was fired? He deserves a Medal of Freedom!

The Rick Perry problem.

New evidence reveals that News Corp directors knew of the US hacking over a decade ago.

As soon as I saw that solar power company Solyndra went under, I knew that the sharks would be circling. The $535 million taxpayer loan is plenty of reason for us to question the wisdom of lending them money. Now, there is the finger pointing. Did the administration push the loan through without the “proper” review? I think that everything should be reviewed but that we must not lose sight of the purpose of government loans. The government needs to take big gambles in the name of the American people. We need to push the envelope. If business were going to support these long shots they would have already, but business is always going to lean toward safe and trendy.

Paintings of banks on fire are selling like, well, hotcakes.

What’s on your mind today?

By |2011-09-15T10:47:36-04:00September 15th, 2011|Corporate Wrongs, Healthcare, Party Politics|Comments Off on Thursday Morning News Roundup

Bold, new jobs program

Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, has always been a straight shooter. He speaks plainly and says what’s on his mind. In my opinion, he’s always represented the interests of the middle class. I am joining Bernie Sanders and calling on the president to introduce five new jobs bills. Each jobs bill should add up to approximately $300 billion. The total package should be $1.5 trillion. This is the size package economists say that we need for the size of our economy. It’s time for us to quit dancing around and pretending that we’re going to stimulate the economy. Quit pretending and get it done. The American people need jobs. We do need to rebuild our infrastructure. These jobs bills should not be a bunch of tax cuts and tax breaks. Instead, they should be infrastructure projects rebuilding America. It is time that we invest in our most valuable resource – us.

By |2011-08-20T10:54:20-04:00August 20th, 2011|Economy|Comments Off on Bold, new jobs program

We aren’t going broke and we ain’t broke (update)

Republicans have been trying to convince the American people that we don’t have any money. They have used the financial collapse of Wall Street to scare Americans into believing this tale. It is true that the average American is having problems paying his/her bills. That is because everything is going up except their salary. Wages have been flat or depressed for over 30 years. We (our government) have promoted policies which have allowed corporations to play a game of labor arbitrage, which has depressed our income and fattened the wallets of CEOs. We have showered big business with tax breaks and have done nothing to help the average worker. As a matter of fact, we have made it harder on the average Joe by deregulating almost everything and tearing up the economic safety net.

From EPI:

Incomes, on average, have grown substantially over the last three decades, both in absolute terms and per person. The good news is that projections show comparable income growth over the next three decades, too. The chart shows the annual levels of per capita income for 1980-2010 and 2010-40. Adjusting for inflation, per capita income was $28,684 in 1980, steadily increased to $47,737 by 2010, and is expected to rise to just over $75,000 by 2040. With this level of past and future income growth, we as a nation are not broke—governments can afford the investments and services we need, and employers can provide rising compensation to employees.

And we won’t be broke if we make appropriate choices. The future prosperity of the broad middle class hinges on the economic policies and structures that determine how this future income is generated and shared. For instance, federal and state governments certainly face deficits today, and those deficits are primarily the result of tax policies (Bush-era cuts for the wealthy) and the impact of the Great Recession (which will lessen with time). But with the per capita income growth over the next three decades projected to match that of the past three, we have the means to pay for the government programs we need, and should do so.

Update: I have a commenter focus on this post like a laser. He has had several thoughtful questions. I would just like to add that blotting government spending on one axis versus income on the other axis only reveals a part of the picture. We need to see more in order to truly evaluate if government spending is truly out of control. We need to look at GDP also. Anyway, I would like to point everyone to this nice paper by EPI. It explained that we aren’t broke and we can afford to pay workers more.

By |2011-05-25T13:03:00-04:00May 25th, 2011|Economy|7 Comments
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