Cognitive Dissonance

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

Posts tagged taxes

510 notes

I.R.S. to Recognize All Gay Marriages, Regardless of State

All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

The federal rules change is one of many stemming from the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That ruling found that same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits, but left open the question of how the federal government would actually administer those benefits.

Precisely the right decision.

Filed under LGBTQ gay rights politics taxes policy law lawblr discrimination DOMA defense of marriage act news

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Weld County begins divorce proceedings with the State of Colorado. Name the 51st state!

My contribution:

"West Dakota.

Or these folks could just head north to the promised land of Wyoming where there’s no recognition or type of same-sex unions, no legal weed, no state tax, all the boomsticks, fireworks year-round, and you can frack the hell out of everything. BONUS: Wyoming has a such rage boner for Colorado, so NoCo refugees could totally get in on that.”

So why does Northern Colorado want to form its own state? Full story here.

Filed under Colorado Politics 51st State gun control taxes marijuana fracking frack all the things

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Liz Cheney Tax Flub Explored

Awesome. Maybe that’s why Liz Cheney is running on “No taxes ever because reasons” as a key plank of her platform.

But this is my favorite part: “Cheney has lived most of her life outside Wyoming but traces her family roots in the state to 1907 settlers and describes herself as a fourth-generation Wyomingite.”

Uh… no.

Filed under Liz Cheney politics Wyoming US Senate Taxes republican Mean Girls is so appropriate to this whole thing

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The Tea Party and the IRS “Scandal” The Actual Facts of the Case

This goes for political groups in general. The big differences between a 527 (straight-up political action committee) and a 501(c)(4) are DISCLOSURE and ENDORSEMENT — especially the endorsement of political candidates over general social welfare activities.

This is why groups like Planned Parenthood and labor unions (along with other conservative groups) will often have a 501(c)(3) [i.e. a tax-exempt charity for union members hit with disastrous events], a 501 (c)(4) [i.e. a group devoted to lobbying on labor issues like the minimum wage], and a 527 [i.e. a PAC that endorses and donates to candidates] — and never shall the pots o’ money meet.

If anything, this “scandal” illustrates the incompetence of the IRS when it comes to awarding the proper tax status to the proper type of group. Ideally, each group SHOULD be subject to scrutiny and rejected or accepted based upon said examination. That’s not happening and that’s the real scandal here.

Filed under politics irs irs scandal tea party 501(c)(3) 501(c)(4) taxes tax exempt

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I just spent way too much time playing Tax Evaders. I know, what the hell is Tax Evaders? Here you go:

Incredibly, some of the wealthiest, most powerful corporations pay less than you or I do in taxes. While the rest of us pay our fair share, these corporate Tax Evaders are stealing nearly $100 Billion a year out of our national economy - every year. Meanwhile, drastic cuts to our public services are taking place, threatening social security, health care, education, and much more.

It’s time to stop talking about cuts, and start talking about the corporations who have changed the laws in order to avoid paying their fair share. It’s time to make them pay.

Join us in shining a light on corporate Tax Evaders.

Tax Evaders is a national project involving artists, game designers, researchers, protest groups, grassroots organizations and concerned citizens.

We’d like thank our allies: Citizen Engagement Lab, The Other 98%, US Uncut The Yes Lab, The Overpass Light Brigades, Americans for Tax Fairness, Public Research Interest Group, and Occupy Wall St.

Seriously, if you grew up with an Atari, or ever played old school Space Invaders, you might start screaming at your computer, “GIVE ME MORE CORPORATE OVERLORDS TO SLAY!”

I’m not saying I did, but I might have…

Filed under Tax Evaders Politics Video game Space Invaders lulz Evil Corporations Corporate taxes taxes tax evasion Sequester Americans for Tax Fairness

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When you receive your check or direct deposit this month, you may notice an increase in the taxes you pay, which means a decrease in your net pay. Due to the expiration of the payroll tax cuts that reduced the employee paid portion of Social Security from 6.2% to 4.2% in 2011 and 2012, you should expect at least a 2% decrease in your pay.

The impact of those taxes will vary among individuals, as it’s dependent on your particular tax bracket. The positive news regarding the tax tables is that certain brackets were not eliminated as originally proposed.

Here’s the email I received from payroll today. All of us are going to see roughly a 2% decrease in our pay, but the good news is that the brackets originally proposed for elimination — the $250,000+ brackets — didn’t see an increase ‘til $400,000-450,000.

So good for you guys! 

I can’t really explain why this email irritated me as much as it did, other than the 2% decrease in net pay is going to hit non-benefited, part-time employees like myself the hardest, and it didn’t have to happen as a part of the fiscal cliff “compromise.”

These are the very real consequences of the U.S. Congress playing politics with our paychecks, and it will have economic consequences, particularly for low wage workers in a stalled economy.

Filed under payroll taxes social security politics employment economy

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He’s got 70 guys who didn’t go to Congress to limit government, they came there to stop it. So how do you deal with guys who came to stop government, or Grover wandering the earth in his white robe saying he wants to drown government in the bathtub. I hope he slips in there with it.

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, (R-Wyo.) on Grover Norquist’s “no-tax” pledge he wrote when he was a twelve-year-old volunteer for Richard Nixon.

This isn’t the first time Simpson has slammed Norquist. In May 2012, he said: “For heaven’s sake, you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you. He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”

Norquist’s response? To paraphrase, Alan Simpson is a senile old drunk who hurt my feelers.

Luckily, Simpson appears to be correct in saying Norquist “will be irrelevant in two years.” Republicans are abandoning the anti-tax pledge in droves as the fiscal cliff looms. 

Just a note to the GOP: When I was twelve, I thought a lot of weird shit should be real. I’ve never made it a policy suggestion — much less a pledge/litmus test — for elected leaders. Why? Because adulthood.

Time to grow up or drown with Grover.

Filed under Alan Simpson GOP Lulz Grover Norquist taxes politics Senate U.S. government fiscal cliff no-tax pledge dead

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Mitt Romney Loses the Cowboy Vote, or the Launch of Pistol Pete 2012

Taking the UW shuttle this morning, I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on two cowboys (and veterinary science majors) discussing Mitt Romney’s 47% gaffe. This is why I carry a small notebook always:

1st cowboy: Did you know 47% percent of people don’t pay taxes? Moochers. That’s what Romney said this morning. If that’s real, then 47% of America needs to get off their lard asses.

2nd cowboy: Did you pay taxes this year? I didn’t. 

1st cowboy: No, but I’m a student. Like you.

2nd cowboy: Then Romney thinks you’re suckling the government tit. Freeloader.

1st cowboy: Am not.

2nd cowboy: According to Romney, yeah you are. 

1st cowboy: Fine. Shut your mouth. He’s lost my vote. He lost it a long time ago anyhow. 

2nd cowboy: Eh, Romney’s a prissy asshole. But I’m not voting for Obama. I can’t. Obama sucks.

He pauses.

2nd cowboy: Hold on. We should write in Pistol Pete!

1st cowboy: FUCK YEAH!

They high-five

Me: Wait. Is that a win or a fail for democracy?

1st cowboy: We gotta win something, right?! Pistol Pete 2012!

He’s right… our football team is 0-3 right now. For the record, meet Pistol Pete, the University of Wyoming mascot:

If it gets them to the ballot box, it’s a win. Right?

Right?

Maybe this one’s a draw…

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Pistol Pete Politics Mitt Romney taxes University of Wyoming Overhead at UW democracy voting

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Dear Mittens:

Until we see your tax returns, I’m lumping you in with the supposed 47% of those not paying taxes, mmkay?

Most of that 47% have too little income in a given year to owe federal taxes (like me), but still pay federal and state taxes (like me again). Somehow, I think you’re less “working poor” and more “Co-captain of the tax dodgeball team” – right?

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under Mitt Romney politics taxes GOP show us the returns

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Mitt Romney paid taxes at a rate of at least 13 percent. And he’s proud to say so.

David Simon, the creator of The Wire and author of Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, calls out Mitt Romney for his arrogance:

"Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.

Stunning.

Am I supposed to congratulate this man? Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college. If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter. Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly: Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent. I swear. And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail. But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits. I’m just not that kind of guy.

God.

This republic is just about over, isn’t it?”

He gets it. He understands the inherent patriotism in paying taxes versus ducking them. It’s not that hard to grasp.

Filed under David Simon Mitt Romney politics show us your returns taxes GOP Republican economy

113 notes

drinkthe-koolaid:

jonathan-cunningham:

The above chart represents debt as a percentage of GDP over time. The low red bar is what Paul Ryan says his budget would produce. If you actually look at the numbers though, the truth is the the plan produces debt much closer to the blue at the top. So how does Ryan get away with such an extreme discrepancy? Well, he insists that with lower taxes will “broaden the tax base” and “maintain revenue growth”. Here’s the thing- even assuming that he’s right and the tax base broadens and it generates more revenue, the high end estimate of that is at the dotted line, with a more reasonable estimate represented by the slashes. As you can see, Ryan still drastically overestimates revenue growth- assuming the economy picks up in the first place, which is a pretty poor assumption.

With these tax cuts blowing the lid off of Ryan’s deficit reduction, his proposed evisceration of Medicaid, the social safety net, and public investments is exposed for what it really is: An attempt to gut the federal government and refund the tax bill to the highest-income households, not reduce the deficit. Some $5.3 trillion in non-defense spending cuts—nearly two-thirds of which come from programs for lower-income households—would roughly finance the $5.4 trillion cost of maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts, reduced estate and gift taxes, and the AMT patch. Ryan’s additional $4.5 trillion in tax cuts—two-thirds of which would go to households earning over $200,000—would be financed with a combination of increasing deficits and reducing tax expenditures other than preferential rates on unearned income, thereby shifting the distribution of the tax burden toward the middle class. Nothing screams fiscal charlatan like trillions of dollars worth of tax cuts skewed toward the affluent but financed by gimmicks and abdication of longstanding commitments to seniors, children, and the disabled.


Horrifying.

Well, then. If this isn’t just a bit unsettling…

drinkthe-koolaid:

jonathan-cunningham:

The above chart represents debt as a percentage of GDP over time. The low red bar is what Paul Ryan says his budget would produce. If you actually look at the numbers though, the truth is the the plan produces debt much closer to the blue at the top. So how does Ryan get away with such an extreme discrepancy? Well, he insists that with lower taxes will “broaden the tax base” and “maintain revenue growth”. Here’s the thing- even assuming that he’s right and the tax base broadens and it generates more revenue, the high end estimate of that is at the dotted line, with a more reasonable estimate represented by the slashes. As you can see, Ryan still drastically overestimates revenue growth- assuming the economy picks up in the first place, which is a pretty poor assumption.

With these tax cuts blowing the lid off of Ryan’s deficit reduction, his proposed evisceration of Medicaid, the social safety net, and public investments is exposed for what it really is: An attempt to gut the federal government and refund the tax bill to the highest-income households, not reduce the deficit. Some $5.3 trillion in non-defense spending cuts—nearly two-thirds of which come from programs for lower-income households—would roughly finance the $5.4 trillion cost of maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts, reduced estate and gift taxes, and the AMT patch. Ryan’s additional $4.5 trillion in tax cuts—two-thirds of which would go to households earning over $200,000—would be financed with a combination of increasing deficits and reducing tax expenditures other than preferential rates on unearned income, thereby shifting the distribution of the tax burden toward the middle class. Nothing screams fiscal charlatan like trillions of dollars worth of tax cuts skewed toward the affluent but financed by gimmicks and abdication of longstanding commitments to seniors, children, and the disabled.

Horrifying.

Well, then. If this isn’t just a bit unsettling…

(via savagemike)

Filed under politics taxes taxation GOP

198 notes

What the president wants to do is restrain capitalism through taxation. If you score big, he wants a big piece of the action so he can give what you get to other people.

Now I could be wrong about this, but I think Mr. Obama allows historical grievances — things like slavery, bad treatment for Native Americans and U.S. exploitation of Third World countries — to shape his economic thinking. Rather than seeing the U.S.A. as basically noble, he gives the bad things about America far too much weight, leading to his desire to redistribute wealth, thereby correcting historical grievance.

Mr. Obama is not a communist, he’s not a socialist. He’s a social justice anti-capitalist. That’s what he is.

Bill O’Reilly, giving us a healthy dose of WTF, topped off with a dollop of denial and sprinkles of American Exceptionalism.

Let me summarize this: “Ignore the bad shit, folks, nothing to see here. Reasons. Noble America. Capitalism.” I’d say these things are more than “grievances,” Bill O. And taxes? How ELSE do you suggest we fund the government? Unicorns and smiles don’t pay the bills.

Yeah…

Yes, Bill O. You’re wrong about this.

Filed under Bill O'Reilly Fox News Politics Barack Obama American Exceptionalism Denial Capitalism taxes seriously? conservative

17 notes

Twenty-seven GOP Congressional Candidates Refuse to Sign Anti-Tax Pledge

At least 27 Republican candidates promoted by the National Republican Congressional Committee have refused to sign the anti-tax pledge circulated by Americans for Tax Reform and its President, Grover Norquist, according to the Washington Post.

Well, I guess Grover doesn’t have all the power. So that’s a plus, I suppose.

Props to those who refuse to sign, though. Hopefully this becomes a trend.

Filed under Grover Norquist politics GOP Republicans Congress Taxes Anti-Tax