Federal Tax Rates & A Fair Share
The Political Math Blog published a great graphic showing who is not paying their "fair share". (HINT: It's not the "1%")
Tonight's Crazy Story:
John Calipari Receives Typo-Plagued Key to the City
Can you spot the two errors in the key to Pikeville, Kentucky, John Calipari received?
Topic One: ObamaCare
ObamaCare's funny math: "Now, Social Security and Medicare trustee Charles Blahous has come forward with a new report detailing another of Obamacare's accounting frauds. Blahous charges that $470 billion of the law's Medicare cuts are used to both: 1) add money to Medicare's Trust Fund and 2) fund new subsidies for buying health insurance. If this "double-counting" is eliminated, Blahous argues, Obamacare would add, not subtract, at least $346 billion to deficits over the next 10 years. ... Medicare's financing system is complicated, so think of the issue this way: Imagine that you are a family diligently saving $200 every month for college. Someone comes along and tells you that your kids will never get into college unless you also spend $200 on tutoring now. "But won't this cost me $400 total?" you ask. "No," they tell you, "Just write yourself a $200 IOU every month to cover what you were saving before." When it comes time to pay for your child's tuition, no college will to accept your IOUs as legal tender. This is the problem Obama's accountants hoped no one would notice."
FreedomWorks's Dean Clancy on what could replace the individual mandate: "I think it’s quite possible the individual mandate will rise from the grave in a new form. And I’m worried that both political parties, for their own reasons, will conspire to make this happen. Specifically, what I’m worried about is a coalescence of the Left and Right around the idea of giving everybody a new universal health insurance tax credit, coupled with a policy called auto-enrollment. There would be no mandate, formally speaking, but the effect would be similar. I call it a soft mandate, and it’s arguably as bad as the mandate. ... But the point of all this is that if you have a tax credit, you are in effect creating what I would call a kind of soft mandate. How is that? Well, if the tax credit is, let’s say, $5,000, then if you didn’t take the credit, you would in effect be paying a $5,000 tax penalty. It’s a carrot rather than a stick, but the effect is similar to a mandate. And that’s probably tolerable, because it is optional. But what if you combined that with auto-enrollment? Now you’re really putting a lot of pressure on people to get covered. And that’s why I think the Democrats are going to seize on this idea, which will probably be presented as a Republican idea: tax credits plus auto-enrollment. "
Time for a Laugh:
"There's certainly nothing fun about paying taxes. But you have to remember that all the money goes to a good cause, like paying the salaries of the meter maids who give parking tickets, keep welfare checks flowing to the Octomom — important things like that."
Topic Two: Taxes
Political Math has a great chart showing how progressive the US income tax system is. "I love this chart because I think it summarizes so many important things very easily. We can immediately get the scope of how much the top 1% makes, (it's a lot) but also easily see that they pay more as a % of the tax burden than they make as a % of the national income. We can see that the US tax system is actually fairly progressive, with the top 20-10% paying the closest to a "fair share" (if by fair you mean every dollar made is taxed at an equal proportion to all income as a whole). Warren Buffett is an anecdote, but one that has been repeated so often that many people think that the rich, as a whole, don't pay very much in taxes. This chart shows that this is entirely untrue. When viewed through the lens of effective taxation (which is a very appropriate lens to use) the top 1% of income earners pay a much higher rate on their income than any other income group."
Technology and income inequality: "I would add one more reason why income inequality has grown in recent decades, and it’s not a small one: technology. Whenever a major new technology develops, it causes a marked and sudden inflorescence of new fortunes that greatly exceed the old fortunes. This happened with railroads (Vanderbilt, Gould, Harriman, Hill, etc.), steel (Carnegie, Phipps, Frick, Schwab, etc.), automobiles (Ford, Dodge, Sloan, Kettering, Mott, etc.), petroleum (Rockefeller, Flagler, Archbold, etc.) For each of those megafortunes, there were hundreds of others whose possessors were merely very rich, not Forbes-400 rich. The microprocessor is the most profound technology since the steam engine and has, therefore, created an inflorescence of fortunes such as has never been seen before. Of the 400 people on the Forbes List for 2011, no fewer than 48 of them are categorized as having fortunes based on “technology.” Many other fortunes on the list, such as those of the Walton family, which founded Walmart, would not have been possible without the microprocessor. And again, for every one of these billion dollar new fortunes, there are dozens of multi-million dollar ones and million dollar ones. The wealth creation caused by the microprocessor is astonishing."
( As of Thursday, April 12, 2012 )
Your share as a citizen: $49,958.11
Share per household: $136,690.67
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,988,117,718,930
Topic Three: The "Veepstakes"
With Romney almost certainly the nominee, greater attention has been given to who will be his running mate. Josh Kraushaar breaks it down in unique fashion: setting up an NCAA Tournament-style bracket split into four major characteristics and giving a top four seed for each one. Here are his characteristics and seeds (with links to the Wikipedia pages for each of them):
Hispanics: 1) Marco Rubio, 2) Susana Martinez, 3) Brian Sandoval, 4) Luis Fortuno
Women: 1) Kelly Ayotte, 2) Susana Martinez, 3) Nikki Haley, 4) Condoleezza Rice
Safe Governing Pick: 1) Rob Portman, 2) Bob McDonnell, 3) Tim Pawlenty, 4) John Thune
Conservative Leaders: 1) Paul Ryan, 2) Bobby Jindal, 3) Chris Christie, 4) Pat Toomey
Tweet of the Day:
Anna Rand (@OBAMA_CZAR):
If Hilary Rosen's comments "weren't meant to be personal", than what were they?
Topic Four: Energy Policy
Green jobs growth slower than expected: "Three weeks ago, President Barack Obama stood in front of a sea of gleaming solar panels in Boulder City, Nevada, to celebrate his administration's efforts to promote "green energy." Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president. Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes. And it employs just 10 people."
The Keystone fight comes up again: "House Republican leadership will take another crack at forcing approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on legislation extending federal transportation funding for another 90 days. "American families and small businesses are struggling with high gas prices, and President Obama’s policies are only making things worse,” a House GOP leadership aide said. "This bill will pave the way for a House-Senate conference to discuss both reforming how taxpayer dollars are spent on federal infrastructure programs, and also meaningful solutions that would address high gas prices and create jobs by permanently removing government barriers to American energy production."
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"In the next place, the state governments are, by the very theory of the constitution, essential constituent parts of the general government. They can exist without the latter, but the latter cannot exist without them."
Topic Five: The Zimmerman Charges
It appears I was not the only person thinking that the Zimmerman charges were being overblown. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz had some criticism for the prosecutor as well: "Maybe her plan is to use the judge here as a get-out-of-tough-cases card? She probably knows she can’t get Zimmerman on murder two, but she also doesn’t want to be the one to have to break that to the public. She also doesn’t want to have to try to prosecute him on murder two if the evidence isn’t there, which would be a risk if the grand jury did indict him. So instead she’s taking the middle path: Go directly to the judge with a weak charging instrument and rely on him/her to throw it out. Then come back with a new affidavit listing a lesser charge — manslaughter or murder three — and say that she has no choice but to prosecute Zimmerman under that because the court stymied her on murder two. I’ll be curious to see what the fact pattern in those affidavits looks like because, frankly, if it’s as thin as the excerpt I posted up top, I’m not sure she’ll get the court to sign off on those charges either."
Tomorrow in History
April 14, 1828 - Noah Webster copyrights his American Dictionary of the English Language, which contains a record (at the time) of 70,000 entries.
Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening:
The Palestinian "No"
What are the Muslim brotherhood's intentions in Egypt?
Guess who is paying for Warren Buffett's healthcare
Why welfare does not equal a ticket out of poverty
Anti-Semitic "eviction" notices posted at Florida college
The Tea Party is not over
Did Obama pay a lower tax rate than his secretary?
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