Tag Archive: Taxation


62 Percent Of Americans Say They Favor A Flat Tax

 

 

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” The latest Reason-Rupe poll asked Americans if they would support or oppose changing the federal tax system to a flat tax, where everyone pays the same percentage of his or her income, finding that 62 percent favor the flat tax and 33 percent are opposed. When asked where they would set the flat tax, the average response was 15 percent.

  This reflects another recent Reason-Rupe poll finding that 67 percent of Americans say it is “not the responsibility of the government to reduce the differences in income between people with high incomes and those with low incomes,” while 29 percent say it is.

  Strong support for a flat tax extends across income groups (62 percent) among those making less than $30,000 a year and 73 percent among those making more than $110,000 a year. Similarly across education groups and age groups, 6 in 10 say they support the flat tax.”

Contrary to media memes and their class-warfare compatriots on the Left , the rich do pay a higher percentage of taxes …

” Urban Institute data reports that in fact, the wealthy do pay a higher tax rate than the middle class. Average effective federal tax rates in 2011, as a percentage of adjusted gross income find the following (after tax credits):

Lowest Income Quintile: -5.8%

Second Quintile: 1.3%

Middle Quintile: 9.2%

Fourth Quintile: 12.9%

Top Quintile: 20.6%

The “1 Percent” pay 25.3%” “

Reason has more

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Internet Transition Triggers GOP Backlash

 

 

 

 

” The Obama administration’s decision to relinquish oversight over the group that manages the Internet’s architecture has raised an early red flag with Republicans, who blast the move as a threat to free speech.

  Exactly who would regulate the Web’s back-end is unclear, but the decision already has sparked backlash among some in the GOP, who warn it could allow the United Nations or authoritarian countries to step in and seize control of the Web.

  U.S. lawmakers have long warned about the dangers of ceding ICANN’s authority to the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency. They see the U.N. as a vehicle for countries with tight constraints to allow even greater online censorship. Congress unanimously passed Bono’s resolution ahead of a 2012 ITU meeting to reinforce America’s commitment to an open Internet.”

    At first glance the Obama administration’s promise to relinquish control over ICANN seems like a good idea … one less thing the government controls … but given that this administration is not known for championing liberty and the free markets one is left wondering if this is a back-handed way for the Statists to cede control over the free flow of information to the UN or some other Statist body while appearing to do the opposite .

   There is much talk as well that this new move opens the door to an internet tax and censorship which should be of concern to us all . If there is one thing we know about the Obama administration it is that it loves both taxes and regulation so we cannot help but wonder that something larger is at play here than “fairness” and freedom . 

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Worst Run States In America

 

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” For several years now, 24/7 Wall Street has analyzed how well each state within the United States is run by its elected officials and government bureaucrats. To determine how well each state is run, they looked at each state’s financial data as well the services that each provides to its residents, while also factoring in their standard of living.

  To determine how well the states are run, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed hundreds of data sets from dozens of sources. We looked at each state’s debt, revenue, expenditure, and deficit to determine how well it was managed fiscally. We reviewed taxes, exports, and GDP growth, including a breakdown by sector, to identify how each state was managing its resources. We looked at poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, violent crime and foreclosure rates to assess the well-being of the state’s residents.

  While each state is different, the best-run states share certain characteristics, as do the worst run. For example, the populations of the worse-off states tended to have lower standards of living. Violent crime rates in these states were usually higher and residents were much less likely to have a high school diploma.

  The worst-run states also tended to have weak fiscal management reflected in higher budget shortfalls and lower credit ratings by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poors.

  The better-run states tended to display stable fiscal management. Pensions were more likely to be fully funded, debt was lower, and budget deficits smaller. Credit ratings agencies also were much more likely to rate the well-run states favorably. Only two poorly run states received a perfect credit rating from either agency. California and Illinois, which are ranked worst and third worst, received the lowest ratings from both agencies.

The states that were well-managed also tended to have lower unemployment rates.

  We won’t keep you in suspense – the map below, which was produced by USA Today from 24/7 Wall Street’s data, reveals which states were reported to be the worst run in 2013:”

 

 

Is it any wonder these states produce more than their share of corrupt politicos in DC ? 

MyGovCosts.org has the story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Rand Paul Comes This Reminder Of Why Everything Government Costs So Much

 

 

 

 

 

    In the event that our readers had any doubts as to why a proposed $60 million project , as mentioned in our previous post , ends up costing $94 million this picture should serve as a stark reminder of the cost of government business .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado Ballot Measure Proposes Education Classes To Marry

 

” As if getting married wasn’t complicated enough, a proposed ballot initiative would require mandatory pre-wedding education before couples could say “I do.”

  Lumped onto the hours spent debating centerpieces, picking a photographer, finding the perfect dress and corralling future in-laws, the proposed Colorado Marriage Education Act calls for 10 hours of pre-wedding marriage education.

  If either the bride- or groom-to-be is marrying for the second time, the requirement kicks up to a minimum of 20 hours. It goes up to 30 hours for a third- time’s-the-charm.

  A re-marrying widow would be held to the same standard as a first-timer. The law would not apply to civil unions.”

 

 

Why the double standard regarding civil unions ? This young woman sums it up nicely …

 

 

” “This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” said Alyx Reese-Giles, who was married for the third time in November. “The government has no business deciding what education people should or should not get before entering into marriage. Marriage is about communication and being ready to commit, and no class is going to teach you that.” “

     Just where are the limits to State intrusion into our lives ? The answer ? There are no limits as long as we are willing to sit back and allow the State to insinuate itself into every aspect of our lives . Sheep will be herded … or eaten .

 

 

” As proposed, the prenuptial curriculum would be created and overseen by the Colorado State Board of Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners. The board would then validate completion and issue a “Marriage Course Completion Certificate.” The couple would pay the cost associated with the education.”

 

Tax and control , that’s what it’s all about , tax and control .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brought To You By The Free State Project

 

 

Free State Project

 

 

” Among the many advantages of moving to New Hampshire, these 101 reasons are at the top. If you know of a good reason that should be added, let us know.

Government

Sales Tax

New Hampshire has no general sales tax.

Income Tax

New Hampshire has no general personal income tax. Dividends and interest are taxed at only 5%.

Source: Bankrate
Eminent Domain

New Hampshire state law prohibits the use of eminent domain for private use or private development.

Source: USA Today
Gun Laws

New Hampshire offers some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation: no license is required to open carry and a concealed carry license is available on a shall-issue basis.

Seat Belt Laws

New Hampshire is the only state that does not have a mandatory seat belt law for adults.

Right to Revolution

New Hampshire’s constitution is one of only four state constitutions that expressly protect citizens’ right to revolution (Section 1, Article 10).

Image: Some rights reserved by James Walsh

Your Money In Pictures: The Top 5 Charts Of 2013

 

” As part of our countdown to the new year, here are Heritage’s top five must-see charts of 2013.”

 

 

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Each American’s Share of Publicly Held Debt

” As Washington lawmakers continue to spend more and pile on debt, each American’s share of public debt has risen to $36,000—about six times more than in 1970—and is set to rise astronomically in coming years. Without reform, the government will have borrowed $135,547 in public debt for each American, or almost three times the current median income, by 2036. This chart shows that serious consequences lie ahead if the government continues on its current path of reckless spending with no reform in sight.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brought To You By The Libertarian Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tea Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Government Doesn’t Work … Never Has , Never Will

 

 

 

” People shouldn’t be surprised about the botched roll-out of Obamacare and all the damaging effects of the law that are now generating headlines. Over the decades, federal efforts to subsidize and manipulate the economy have failed over and over again.

That lesson has been driven home to me in researching Downsizing Government. Farm policies, for example, have been an ongoing boondoggle for more than eight decades. President Herbert Hoover’s Federal Farm Board blew $500 million trying to stabilize crop markets, but it did the opposite by inducing overproduction and depressing prices. Every farm bill since then—including the one moving through Congress right now—has been based on two very dumb ideas: that farm businesses need welfare and that agriculture needs government central planning.

I recently came across “The Sickness of Government,” (PDF) a 1969 essay by famed management theorist Peter Drucker. It is strikingly relevant to the problems we see in Washington today from Obamacare, to farm programs, to IRS abuse, to NSA spying. Unlike, say, Ayn Rand–who at the time was writing about government from the standpoint of individual freedom–Drucker was writing from the practical perspective that Big Government simply wasn’t working.

Modern government has become ungovernable. There is no government today that can still claim control of its bureaucracy and of its various agencies. Government agencies are all becoming autonomous, ends in themselves, and directed by their own desire for power, their own narrow vision rather than by national policy.” “

 

 

 

   In simple terms , big government runs contrary to human nature . Competition , ambition and self-interest are the motors of the human spirit and government is the antithesis of all . Big government , by it’s very nature , contradicts the natural order of things as it attempts to do FOR the individual that which should be done BY the individual . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercatus Center Policy Guide

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” The Mercatus Policy Guide is intended to summarize and condense the best research available on the most pressing topics. It serves as a starting point for discussion, not a comprehensive overview of economic policy. Anyone who wants to go deeper into these studies should consult the references listed at the back. Mercatus scholars are available to further explain the results of their studies. We hope the guide will prove to be a valuable tool in your evaluation of economic policy.”

Courtesy Of Rightwing Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Taxes Penalize Gun Owners, Threaten Second Amendment

 

 

” Liberals are trying every tool at their disposal this year to go after guns. They have failed on Capitol Hill to restrict the Second Amendment, so they are moving through the states to enact their agenda. The latest maneuver is to hike the tax on guns and ammunition to dissuade the law-abiding from buying firearms. It’s the perfect storm of liberalism — more revenue for a bigger government and fewer people keeping and bearing arms.

President Obama’s hometown of Chicago started the movement late last year by enacting a $25 tax on new firearm purchases, which went into effect on April 1. Cook County stopped just short of adding a levy on ammunition.

In February, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, California Democrat, and 26 of the most uber-liberals in the House introduced a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to create an excise tax of 10 percent on any concealable gun in order to empower Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to establish a firearms buy-back grant program. Since the Newtown, Conn., school-shootings tragedy, anti-gun states across the nation have introduced similar measures.

A new bill in the House would prevent this infringement on the Second Amendment. Rep. Sam Graves introduced legislation on June 13 that would make it illegal for states and municipalities to raise taxes or fees on firearms and ammunition. The Missouri Republican’s proposal would also prevent raising taxes in order to pay for background checks. “The Constitution says ‘shall not infringe,’ ” Mr. Graves told me in an interview Thursday.

These costly measures disproportionately affect lower-income people, who often live in higher-crime areas. Along with other costly mandates, such as maintaining liability insurance, these restrictions would likely be overturned as unconstitutional by the courts.

“This is no different than a poll tax — but on the Second Amendment,” said Lawrence Keane, general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “These anti-gun politicians are clearly trying to unduly burden the exercise of the Second Amendment by pricing firearms and ammunition out of reach of many law-abiding Americans. Mr. Graves’ bill will put a stop to these sinister schemes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Economic Situation June 2013

” The US economy is creating new wealth and growing employment, albeit at a slow pace. But uncertainty is the key word that describes the economic situation at mid-2013.There are major unknowns with respect to Fed policy, taxing and spendingthe effects of the Affordable Care Act on employment, the implementation of Dodd-Frank financial reform, regulatory policy affecting the production of electricity, and the prospects for Europe’s recovery from an extended recession. Add to this pallid picture reductions in growth in China,India, and the developing world taking some of the edge off the global boom, which, in spite of that growth haircut, is still tugging away on America’s export growth.

With the closing of the books on the 2012 economy, real GDP growth registered 2.2 percent. But the current picture suggests we will be lucky to break 2.0 percent in 2013 and a bit more in 2014. This compares with the results of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Livingston Survey in December 2012, which predicted 2.1 percent growth in 2013’s first half and 2.3 percent in the second half of the year. It will be a while before Livingston speak again, but right now, Economy.com’s dynamic GDP growth meter indicates the economy is expanding at 1.8 percent.

As Goldilocks might put it, “It’s not just right.” Not by a long shot. We can see images of the slowdown in the Institute of Supply Management’s indexes for the manufacturing and non-manufacturing (service) economies shown below. Both indexes are headed south of the border. Recall that 50 is the magic number that coincides with zero growth.”

” Now the bad news. Consider the next chart. It shows in nominal terms the level of federal receipts and expenditures for 1Q 1990 through 4Q 2012. Even with progress being made, there is a yawning gap waiting to be closed.

If the gap is to be closed, there is no doubt but that it will take more revenue and less spending. But when it comes to getting revenue, there is a never ending political debate regarding tax-rate fairness and which taxpayer income group, if any, should pay the higher or lower tax rate. (After all, there could be a flat tax.)There is hardly any discussion of revenues, which seems odd, to say the least.

But of course, there is reason to be concerned about fairness. People understandably rebel when they perceive they are being treated unfairly by government. (Consider the current IRS controversy.) But if revenues are the chief concern, then how much revenue is collected may be an equally important consideration when politicians talk about taxes.

Writing in 1924, treasury secretary Andrew W. Mellon said this about the political manipulation of rates:

   I have never viewed taxation as a means of rewarding one class of taxpayers or punishing another. If such a point of view ever controls our public policy, the traditions of freedom, justice and equality of opportunity,which are the distinguishing characteristics of our American civilization, will have disappeared and in their place we shall have class legislation with all its attendant evils. The man who seeks to perpetuate prejudice and class hatred is doing America an ill service. 

But why pay attention to the thoughts expressed by Andrew Mellon? Does he have credentials that command attention? Yes, indeed. As Secretary of Treasury during the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations, Mellon led a successful effort to reduce the size and debt of the federal government. In the earlier part of his government service, the nation was adjusting to a post–World War I environment, with lots of debt overhang. Sound familiar? His arguments about the relative merits of lower tax rates to produce higher revenues won the day. And he saw higher revenues when rates were reduced. He literally discovered the basis of what we now celebrate as the Laffer Curve. In all fairness, we should call it the Mellon-Laffer Curve.”

Read the whole thing for it’s glimmers of hope and dread .

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America Falls Behind In Creating Rich Entrepreneurs

 

 

” The creation myth of American wealth is almost always rooted in the entrepreneur.

It’s the two kids who start a computer company in their garage or dorm room. Or the former standup comic who creates form-shaping undergarments, or the South African immigrant who creates a new electric car and private space program.

But despite the high-profile examples, America may actually be falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to creating entrepreneurial wealth. A new study from Barclays, “Origins and Legacy: the Changing Order of Wealth Creation,” finds developing countries now lead the U.S. when comes to wealth creation by entrepreneurs.

So is America losing its entrepreneurial mojo? There is some evidence that entrepreneurial activity is flagging. The latest data from the Kauffman Foundation found that there were 514,000 new business owners a month in 2012, down from 543,000 in 2011. The 2012 numbers marked the lowest in five years.”

 

 

Another one for the Obama record books … killing the entrepreneurial spirit … all is proceeding as Alinsky planned .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New App Lets You Track Government Spending On Your Phone

 

 

” Adam Andrezejewski, who ran as the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois in 2010, believes passionately that American taxpayers should know how government spends their money.  Andrewzejewski and a team of designers have now realized that dream by creating Open the Books, a free app that creates a searchable database allowing America’s shareholders (i.e., taxpayers) to see how the federal government is spending their money. The app works on both Apple and Droid platforms. If you don’t have a smart phone, the same information can be viewed at http://www.openthebooks.com. All you need to do to find out about local spending is to enter your zip code.

In a Wall Street Journal article alerting Americans to this oversight program, Andrewzejewski details just three of the unpleasant surprises about federal spending he was able to find using Open the Books:

• The brother of a former state director of agriculture under former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has received nine federally guaranteed loans totaling $1.67 million since 2006. He has also received hundreds of thousands in direct payments and subsidies from the federal government, all based on his ownership of a single hog farm in Teutopolis, Ill.”

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cigarette Taxes And Cigarette Smuggling By State

 

 

 

 

” Public policies often have unintended consequences that outweigh their benefits. One consequence of high state cigarette tax rates has been increased smuggling, as criminals procure discounted packs from low-tax states to sell in high-tax states. Growing cigarette tax differentials have made cigarette bootlegging both a national problem and a lucrative criminal enterprise.

Every two years, scholars at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan think tank, use a statistical analysis of available data to estimate smuggling rates for each state.[1] Their most recent report uses 2011 data and finds that smuggling rates generally rise in states after they adopt large cigarette tax increases. Smuggling rates have dropped in some states, however, often where neighboring states have higher cigarette tax rates. Table 1 shows the data for each state, comparing 2011 and 2006 smuggling rates and tax changes.

New York is the highest net importer of smuggled cigarettes, totaling 60.9 percent of the total cigarette market in the state. New York also has the highest state cigarette tax ($4.35 per pack), not counting the local New York City cigarette tax (an additional $1.50 per pack). Smuggling in New York has risen sharply since 2006 (+70 percent), as has the tax rate (+190 percent).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Whom the Taxpayer Toils

 

 

 

 

” Each July Fourth, Americans celebrate their freedom, the result of a revolution over “taxation without representation.” This month, we celebrate another type of freedom – from our own tax man. It turns out that taxation with representation is no picnic either.

According to the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day – the day on which the average American has earned enough money to pay off his federal, state, and local tax bills for the year – occurs on Thursday. In 2013, the average American had to give up all of his earnings from Jan. 1 through Feb. 6 to pay his state and local taxes. He then had to work from Feb. 7 through April 18 to cover his federal tax bill. On average, each of us will work 108 days this year only to pay taxes, and we’ll spend more, shockingly, on taxes than on food, housing, and clothing combined. This is what government costs.

The earliest Tax Freedom Day has ever fallen was Jan. 22. That was in 1900, when Americans paid less than 6 percent of their income in taxes, as opposed to almost 30 percent today. Of course, the government provides a lot more services today, and therein lies the rub. Politicians want us to think of government as Santa Claus – a jolly fat man with unlimited resources that it hands out to good little boys and girls. Like Santa himself, this is a myth, and it is time we all grew up and realized it.

The government has no money. Every single dollar our governments – federal, state, and local – spend comes from the people. In essence, the government forces people to spend money on things they would not have bought voluntarily, and that we, very obviously, cannot even afford. The current generation is already taxed at a high rate, and future generations will be taxed even more heavily to pay off the massive debt the government is accruing.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Tax Dollars At Work: Subsidizing The Security Of Wealthy Allies

 

” It’s Tax Day, and for millions of Americans that means ponying up to the IRS. The federal government does many things these days—most of which would be more efficiently carried out at the local level, or in the private sector. But Uncle Sam also engages in a particular form of charity that many Americans overlook: spending many tens of billions of dollars to defend wealthy, developed nations.

A new Cato infographic puts it all in perspective. It shows how much American taxpayers spend to subsidize the security, and to defend the interests, of other nations that are more than capable of defending themselves.”

 

 

 

” Looked at another way, U.S. alliances constitute a massive wealth transfer from U.S. taxpayers (and their Chinese creditors) to bloated European welfare states and technologically-advanced Asian nations.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seizures at Cyprus Already Being Repeated, in Principle, in American Levies

” The prospect of a tax on deposits in the banks of Cyprus has even left-leaning economic commentators in a tizzy.“A tactical blunder,” declared Lawrence Summers, who was President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and chairman of the National Economic Council for President Obama. A proposed tax of 6.75% on deposits up to about $130,000 and of 9.9% on deposits of more than $130,000 “would unfairly punish savers and could do lasting damage to confidence in banks in other euro-zone countries in financial crisis,” the New York Times wrote in an editorial denouncing the idea

  Is it the taking? Bloomberg View columnist Caroline Baum, a sage, criticized the Cyprus proposal on the grounds that it is a confiscation that “amounts to a seizure of private property.” For those of us Americans who will see the IRS or state governments withdraw funds from our own bank accounts next month for tax owed, or who are seeing payroll withdrawals and estimated tax payments this year that are higher than they have been in a decade, the distinction between “seizure of private property” in Cyprus and here at home will be, alas, an awfully fine one.”

 

18 Things Presidents Are REALLY Spending Our Tax Money On

 

 

” It is said that two things are certain: death and taxes. Of course, that ignores the inevitability that those taxes will be spent on ridiculous crap. We asked our readers to show us what presidents have secretly splurged on with our hard-earned money. The winner is below, but first the runners-up … “

 

#8 By: Froggar

 

 

 

 

 

 

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