Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged tax

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A brief departure from our normal programming in which Poet on Fire rants about a matter of public policy


My mother taught me how to live with dignity in poverty.  The key to her success was that she knew how to do paperwork.  State, city, housing authority and federal forms did not daunt her.  Like her, I know how to do paperwork and so I am not afraid of handling life should I ever be poor.

Thanks to Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she was able to live independently on $968 a month [her $240 pension plus $728 social security].  She passed away a few years ago, but there are millions of elderly in America barely hanging on by their toenails.  Most of them are decent people who did the best they knew how. They deserve our support.  I, for one, am proud to pay taxes to support them.  Most of them paid into social security all of their lives and now John Boehner and his ilk want to undercut them.

Let’s be clear about a few things:

·       China owns roughly 9% of America’s debt.  Is that big? Mainstream media and politicians tell you it is. The Social Security Administration owns over thirty percent! That’s right, the SSA takes our social security contributions [“taxes”], buys Treasury bonds and earns interest on them—so that it will have the cash to pay you your due when it comes due.

·       The SSA is solvent—and there is no reason to expect that it will become insolvent in your life time, regardless of your age, unless some Republican Congress succeeds in strangling it or, as Grover Norquist says, “drown it in the bathtub.”

·       Your social security contributions [“taxes”], if you pay them, have been cut in half for the past four years.  Did you notice?

·       Any long term inadequacy of the social security fund can easily be repaired by raising the cap on the income amount subject to the tax.  Currently, no one pays the tax [contribution] on income over $100,000.  When, in the far future, it becomes necessary increasing funding in order to balance the books, simply raise that cap. It’s math.

So.  Please ask your Congress Member to quit fucking with social security.  Do it for all the elderly who depend on it for dignity and survival.  I know you may doubt me, but one day you or someone you know will be one of them.

~Tito Titus 

 Love this ^

Filed under social security politics public policy tax Boehner Congress

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We have to make sure that the promises we make in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are promises we can keep, and there are various ways of doing that,” Mr. Romney said. “One is we can raise taxes on people.”

“Corporations!” the protesters shouted, suggesting that Mr. Romney, as president, should raise taxes on large businesses. “Corporations!”

“Corporations are people, my friend,” Mr. Romney responded, as the hecklers shouted back, “No they’re not!”

“Of course they are,” Mr. Romney said, chuckling slightly. “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?” When someone in the front row angrily suggested that “it goes in their pockets,” Mr. Romney, becoming increasingly animated, asked: “Whose pockets? People’s pockets!

Mitt Romney, cheerfully laying out the “Corporations are people, too!” argument. 

Yeah… um, he’s right that earnings go to people. I just… I shudder, and I have trouble taking this seriously. Why do I get the feeling that Mitt Romney is an epic troll?

I report, you decide:


I see a wee bit o’ the troll face in this one…

(Source: The New York Times)

Filed under Mitt Romney corporations corporations are not people politics breaking my brain tax taxes tax the rich corporate corporate theft

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Former Sen. Alan Simpson told Lawrence O’Donnell it’s time to “peel all the layers of the onion” and figure out just why people seem to listen intently to Grover Norquist.

In an interview on The Last Word tonight, Simpson noted that Norquist had challenged Republican Sen. Tom Coburn on a $6 billion cut on ethanol subsidies he had called “tax increases,” which incensed Simpson greatly. “Grover and his happy band of warriors are trying to call that a tax increase– that’s a damn lie and he knows it,” he told O’Donnell. “And if he can get away with that, elect him President.”

Simpson continued to question Norquist’s power throughout the segment, arguing that “he can’t kill you, he can’t burn your house, he can defeat you in reelection,” and if a public servant thought the latter was enough to obey him, they didn’t deserve the spot.

He also told O’Donnell several times that “if Grover Norquist is more powerful than the President of the United States and the Congress, he should run for President” … On that note, Simpson called for an investigation. “Grover Norquist should be examined into– where does he get his money?” In times where people amass so much power, he argues, it becomes necessary to “peel all the layers of the onion.” “Anytime anyone gets this powerful,” he argued, “you want to dig in… who is he slave to?”

He clarified that he did not mean “salacious stuff and his personal life,” but how Americans for Tax Reform operated and why so many people in Congress feared him, because based only on his status as leader of an anti-tax group, “you must be chicken if you fall for that crap.”

I have a soft spot for former Sen. Alan Simpson. He’s part of the Reagan era, yes, and that’s where the accelerated sell-out of my generation began. However, he also has a streak of common-sense conservatism sorely lacking in the Republican Party. He’s pro-gay rights (including marriage) and pro-choice, which puts him to the left of nearly every Republican out there.

I agree with Simpson. Let’s find out where Grover’s getting his bucks.

Filed under Alan Simpson Lawrence O'Donnell MSNBC politics debt debt ceiling Grover Norquist Tax tax cuts Tax cuts don't solve everything Tax the rich

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Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion In Taxes While GE Paid Nothing

This past month, there was much outrage over the fact that General Electric, despite making $14.2 billion in profits, paid zero U.S. taxes in 2010. General Electric actually received tax credits of $3.2 billion from American taxpayers.

At the same time that General Electric was not paying taxes, many undocumented immigrants, who are typically accused of taking advantage of the system while not contributing to it by many on the right, paid $11.2 billion in taxes. A new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants paid $8.4 billion in sales taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.2 billion in personal income taxes last year. The study also estimates that nearly half of all undocumented immigrants pay income taxes.

Huh… so who’s gaming the system again?

Filed under tax taxes Undocumented Workers inequality

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BREAKING NEWS: Liberal concerns delay House vote on tax-cut deal

A liberal uprising over House procedures on Thursday was delaying a final vote on a far-reaching tax compromise brokered by the White House and Republican leaders.

Dozens of Democrats were demanding an opportunity to cast a vote to change an estate tax provision they view as too generous for the wealthy without also approving the rest of the package as passed by the Senate. That package contains a two-year extension of George W. Bush administration tax policies that benefit families at all income levels, including the very wealthiest Americans.

Democrats have complained for years about those provisions and want an opportunity to vote against them.

Senior Democrats said the delay was unlikely to derail the package, which is intended to prevent tax rates from rising in January for virtually every household.
House leaders initially proposed adding a third vote that would have permitted liberals to vote for the amended version but then vote against sending it back to the Senate for further action.

But after huddling with Democratic leaders on the House floor, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) said liberals were pushing for a new and broader amendment that would include changes to the estate tax, substitute the president’s signature Making Work Pay tax credit for a two-percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax and add a $250 bonus payment for Social Security recipients who are being denied a cost of living increase for the second year in a row.

And now they get a backbone? Well, better late than never…

Filed under Tax cuts Tax cuts don't solve everything Democrats Democrats gain a spine rich Rich versus Poor tax taxes The Obama Compromise *eye roll* Obama US House GOP

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Say NO to the Obama Tax Compromise!

Do not let Congress compromise with Obama. “The Compromise” is against everything the House Republican Leadership agreed to in the “Pledge to America.” This type of behind closed door politics is not what “We the People” voted for in November. Read more…

Sign Tea Party Patriots’ petition against “The Tax Deal” with Obama.

Don’t allow Congress to Compromise with Obama.

So this is a weird oppositeland… It’s now the “Obama Tax Compromise”

I think progressives should hijack this bitch and demand the removal of the Estate Tax compromise and capital gains compromise. Or something…

Filed under Obama tax compromise really?! Tea Party STFU Teabagger teabaggers Conservative conservatives tax taxes tax cut Tax cuts don't solve everything rich Rich versus Poor

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This morning, in an interview with Tea Party Caucus leader Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), ABC’s Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos picked up on the discrepancy between caring about the deficit when adding to it helps the poor, but not when it helps the rich. Asked if she would support a compromise which extended both the tax cuts and the unemployment benefits, Bachmann said no, characterizing letting the tax cuts expire as a “massive tax increase,” while dismissing extending unemployment benefits as “massive spending”:

BACHMANN: As far as a compromise goes, I want to get the current tax policy as far into the future as we can, if we can only get it extended for two years, that’s great. But I don’t think the American people should have to pay for that to have some new massive spending tied to it. If that’s the case, I don’t think you’re going to see the Republicans go along with it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But why is it OK for the wealthiest Americans earning over $250,000 a year — remember the President has called for extending all tax cuts for those under $250,000 — for them to get tax cuts extended but for people out of a job and needing unemployment benefits not to have their benefits extended?

BACHMANN: Well remember again what this is. It’s a massive tax increase and its on the people who are job creators. And people want to think that these are millionaires sitting in leather chairs lighting their cigars with $100 bills, that’s not what we’re talking about. These are people who are carpet layers who may be employed two or three other guys, or a plumber, maybe himself and his brother, and it’s $250,000 in gross sales for their business. Their the ones looking at massive tax increases. …That’s going to hurt more people than anything if we can’t have job creation. And this is a job killer if we raise taxes on the job creators.

Bachmann’s argument for tax extension is, in one word, “bogus.” As the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo points out, conservatives’ claim that the tax increase will hurt small businesses is “only accurate if you take an incredibly expansive view of what constitutes a small business.” In reality, “exceedingly few small businesses” would actually be affected by letting the tax cuts expire. Meanwhile, the cuts represent “the least effective tax or spending step for job creation,” according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Every dollar spent extending the tax cuts results in just 10 cents to 40 cents of economic activity, the CBO found.

Unemployment extension for those seeking jobs, however, represents the biggest bang for the buck of any government stimulus policy. According to the CBO, “the economy would see output rise by between $0.70 to $1.90.” That is part of the reason why an overwhelming majority of Americans support extending unemployment benefits for more than 2 million Americans in need, regardless of its effect on the deficit.

What a miserable woman. Seriously. We’re going to spend massive amounts on the rich but fuck the unemployed. I really don’t believe that she sees the contradiction. 

Filed under Michele Bachmann GOP STFU STFU conservatives Tea Party Teabagger teabaggers teabaggery fuckery rich Rich versus Poor tax Tax cuts don't solve everything Republican republicans economic violence economic crisis economy unemployment