Yes, we have a pope today!
While the battle of the budgets is playing out…..there is another issue that will be arriving………
Soon, very soon the airways will explode with the rhetoric on the path of immigration that the US will travel…..we will have hard core people that thinks this country is only good enough for white people and then those that think everybody should be welcome……the truth be known the answer will be somewhere in between the two extremes and a very watered down bill that everyone can claim victory when it is signed………and then there is the answer that I like…….and it would not cost much money to implement……
(Newser) – Hey buddy, wanna be a US citizen? How much is it worth to ya? Because if it’s enough, you can stay, as far as two writers at Stanford’s Hoover Institution are concerned. “We propose that, instead of the current maze of rules and formulas, the US should sell the right to become a citizen,” argue Gary Becker and Edward Lazear in an op-ed via Real Clear Politics. A $50,000 price tag “would attract those who place the highest value on citizenship,” pulling in young, enterprising immigrants “more likely to be positive contributors to the economy.”
This proposal, they argue, would “enhance the country’s stock of human capital,” spur growth, and even reduce the federal deficit. Poorer immigrants could pay with a loan, with installments extracted directly from their paycheck to ensure they don’t default. Current citizens could “pay the fee of immigrant relatives who matter the most to them,” encouraging “the best kind of family reunification.” All of this may sound radical, they admit, but it would “be a more open and fairer system than the one we have now.” Click for the full column.
Since the US is the capital of capitalism then this is the best answer for the country and we could not be accused of being so much socialist or whatever derogatory form one chooses to accuses of in the future…..
Whatcha think? Good idea?
The big news of the day is the filibuster that Rand Paul was involved with yesterday…..he did not set a new record but he did get his time in the “hero’s chair”……..
Two days left before the sequestration kicks in…two days left of endless accusations….two days left of the tragedy that is our Congress……..the drama continues and with every drama we have had our buzz words….remember ‘death panels’? Or maybe fiscal cliff? And the ever popular…..’Obamacare”………and now we have a new one….’chained CPI’………but what the Hell are these people talking about?
The National Journal has a good explanation……..
“Chained CPI,” writes Quinton, “is an idea that almost everyone supports in theory but hardly anyone is willing to risk in practice.”
Chained CPI is a measure of inflation created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that has been touted as a more accurate way to factor rises in the cost-of-living into, among other things, social security benefits and the tax code. Chained CPI doesn’t rise as quickly as the measure of inflation that the government uses now, so if the government switched to chained CPI to calculate social security benefits, benefits would increase more slowly over time. Similarly, if chained CPI was applied to the tax code, tax brackets would change at a slower rate, moving tax-payers into higher brackets faster.
Chained CPI rises slower than the measure of inflation that the government currently uses by making different assumptions about how people spend money. Chained CPI hinges on the idea that when the price of one good rises, people are more likely to buy a similar, cheaper good. Or, as a former staffer for President Obama’s fiscal commission told NPR, when the price of apples goes up, maybe you’ll buy oranges or bananas instead. The current measure of inflation assumes that you’ll just keep on buying apples, raising your cost-of-living faster.
What chained CPI does here is “chain” together groups of goods. This change could save $200-300 billion over the next decade by slowing the growth in cost-of-living adjustments, trimming social security benefits and increasing taxes.
So, why the controversy? Many Democrats have scoffed at the social security benefit hit that comes with chained CPI — especially to older seniors who rely most on the social security income. Also, it isn’t always as simple as chaining apples and oranges, especially when broader necessities like medical care and heating come into play. There are also of course ways of making chained CPI less severe to the social security benefits of needy seniors. Sophie Quinton points out that the Simpson-Bowles plan, among others, features such protections.
There you have it….now when the mouths start rattling on and on……..you will hgave an idea on what the Hell the blowhards are talking about…..and with luck uyour ears will not bleed.
For the 8 years that GW was prez we heard almost daily from the Dems that they wanted more transparency for the administration…..and now that Obama is prez we hear almost daily from the Repubs that they want more transparency from the administration…..well you asked for it….you got it!
I am talking about all the hoopla running through the Beltway about the use of drones…….the deal is that the US is targeting Americans and killing them without due process…….you may say what a mess this is and should be subjected to the hearing process……are kidding? Have you not been paying attention to the most recent hearings….they are jokes! The sole purpose is to generate sound bites and talking points…..period! Congressional hearings are a colossal waste of time and money…..they are for show not anything else!
Just what brought on all this “fake” concern?
(Newser) – It is legal for the American government to order the killing of an American citizen if a “high-level” official decides that the person is a senior member of al-Qaeda or an associated group who poses “an imminent threat of violent attack” against the US, according to a Justice Department document obtained by NBC News. The memo—which has a broad definition of “imminent”—is not the same one used to justify the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, but the legal reasoning appears very similar, reports the New York Times.
An ACLU director describes the memo as “chilling.” At its heart, “it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen,” he says. “It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.” A bipartisan group of 11 senators wrote to President Obama yesterday urging him to release documents explaining his “authority to deliberately kill American citizens” in drone strikes or other counter-terror operations, Politico reports, and the issue is expected to play a key role in the confirmation hearing of counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan as CIA director.
But let us be real for a change…..this is nothing new….Americans that have been on the wrong side of movements have always been targets…..COINTELPRO comes to mind…..okay there may be NO document evidence that anyone was killed but there is evidence that smear campaigns and such were employ by our government against people that did not agree with the direction of the country…..so it was an easy step to move up to killing those who do not agree with you…….
All this fake outrage……it is only outrage as long as it can drive the story…….these people that are outraged are hypocrites…….the country that everyone defends almost blindly has been using this technique for decades……Israel. They target people, families, friends, acquaintances, etc and they do not let civilians change the course of their assassinations……..
You bitched about the lack of transparency from at least two presidents and now you have it…..HAPPY?
Soon we will be embroiled in the haunting demon, sequestration…..the media will be full of this story of that and the toads in Congress will sprinter to the microphones and cameras to get in their daily talking points……and in the end it will be just another colossal waste of time…….with that said….do you know what the sequester is all about? Not what O’Reilley or Rivera or that Asian bat shit cray chick thinks it means…….what is it?
Matt Ylesias tries to simplify it for those that have a tough time trying to grasp just what the toads are talking about……from his Salon.com post……..
- What sequester is: A set of broad, across-the-board spending cuts. While Social Security, Medicaid, and a few select anti-poverty programs are spared, almost everything else is getting a hefty chunk taken out—16.3% for military programs, and 9.2% for discretionary ones.
- Why it’s happening: The sequester was an intentionally awful set of cuts designed to force Congress to create an alternative, sensible debt reduction plan. It didn’t.
- Why the cuts are dumb: “A time of high unemployment and ultra-low interest rates is a strange time to be cutting spending,” Yglesias observes. The cuts also expressly forbid trying to focus the cuts on unimportant or ineffective programs. “Things are just cut willy-nilly.”
- What harm they’ll do: A lot. One Goldman Sachs analyst predicts a full percentage point hit to GDP, and the Bipartisan Policy Center calculates that they could result in 1 million fewer jobs next year.
- But at least it fixes the deficit, right?: “Not really,” Yglesias argues. “The deficit right now isn’t a problem.” The worry is that an aging population and rising health care costs will eventually be disastrous, and the sequester doesn’t touch entitlements.
- Why Congress won’t just call it off: Republicans are demanding that defense cuts be replaced with more social cuts. Democrats will only call off the cuts if they get tax increases. Neither platform will fly, at all, with the other party. “Congress tried to bluff itself and now it’s prepared to call its own bluff,” Yglesias says.
Now there is just about everything that one would need to know to follow the acts that will come with the issue……it is all so much crap on a cracker……..
So sit back and enjoy the drama, the comedy and the absurdities to follow…….
I am helping my readers understand what is going on with politics……..now that the “cliff” drama is finished and the “debt” drama begins again….there will be media all over the GOP and their desire to lower corporate tax rates….and the argument will be lower rates will create jobs…..yes, that magical subject that get people elected…..you know that issue that all politicians talk about and then do NOTHING to create them? After all this is an issue that they love to taunt at every economic get together……..
Let’s be honest about the rates….yes they are high in the US….but once corporations use all their tax incentives it is quite low…..let’s look at a few things…….
- The federal corporate income tax rates were the highest in US history when the unemployment rates were the lowest in US history. From 1951, when the top marginal corporate income tax rate rose from 42% to 50.75%, to 1969, when rates peaked at 52.8%, the unemployment rate moved from 3.3% to 3.5%. From 1986 to 2011, when the top marginal corporate income tax rate declined from 46% to 35%, the unemployment rate increased from 7% to 8.9%.
- A “tax holiday” in 2004, which temporarily lowered the corporate income tax rate for companies that brought back cash stored overseas, resulted in companies cutting jobs. In 2004, Congress passed a repatriation tax holiday that allowed companies to bring back profits earned abroad at a 5% income tax rate instead of the top 35% rate. Fifteen of the companies that benefited the most from the tax holiday subsequently cut more than 20,000 net jobs.
- Companies hire employees because they need workers, not because of corporate income tax rates. According to a Nov. 15, 2011 blog post from billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, “you hire people because you need them. You don’t hire them because your taxes are lower.” In a July 2011 survey of 53 prominent American economists, 65% said that lack of demand was the main reason why employers were not hiring new employees as compared to 27% who said that uncertainty about corporate taxation was the main reason.
- Complaints about high federal corporate income tax rates causing high employment are unfounded because loopholes and deductions enable many companies to pay less than the statutory rate. Of the 500 large cap companies (a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion) in the Standard & Poor (S&P) stock index, 115 paid a total corporate tax rate – federal and state combined – of less than 20% from 2006-2011, and 39 of those companies paid a rate of less than 10%. General Electric, a multi-national corporation with net income of $14.16 billion, paid an effective tax rate of 7% in 2010. A 2011 study comparing the effective tax rates of the 100 largest US multinationals to the 100 largest European Union [EU] multinationals during the period of 2001-2010 found that EU multinationals have a higher average effective tax rate despite having to pay a lower statutory rate.
- Corporate profits in the United States are the highest they have been in 61 years, yet the federal unemployment rate is higher than most of the rest of the developed world. In 2011, corporate profits made up 10% of US GDP, the highest percentage since 1950. In 2011, the US unemployment rate was 8.9% compared to the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) average of 8.2%. Despite the highest corporate income tax in the world, corporate income tax revenue only brought the US federal government the equivalent of 1.2% of GDP in 2011 (the lowest percentage in recorded history), compared to the OECD average of 2.9% in 2010.
- Lowering the corporate tax rate raises the deficit, which hurts job creation. Lowering the federal corporate tax rate reduces the amount of money the US government receives in tax revenue, thus reducing federal government programs, investments, and job-creating opportunities. When the Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced the top marginal rate from 46% to 34%, the federal deficit increased from $149.7 billion to $255 billion from 1987-1993.
- Complaints about high federal corporate income tax rates causing high unemployment are unfounded because corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash. As of Oct. 23, 2012, large companies listed in the S&P 500 are holding onto $1.5 trillion in cash (14% of their total value), the highest amount in American history. This cash could, but is not, be used to hire more employees and lower the unemployment rate. President Obama, in a July 22, 2009 press conference, stated “there have been reports just over the last couple of days of… companies making record profits, right now. At a time when everybody’s getting hammered, they’re making record profits.”
- The US economy added 15 million jobs in the five years immediately following a large federal corporate income tax increase in 1993. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 added three new corporate tax brackets and increased the income tax rates for corporations making income over $10 million. The US economy added more than 15 million jobs and grew at an average annual rate of 3.8% in the five years after the legislation was passed.
There are other considerations that should be pointed out before this pack of crap is packaged and sold to the public…..
– Corporate profits are at record highs, while corporate taxes are at record lows. While the U.S. has a 35 percent corporate tax rate on paper, few corporations actually pay that, due to a proliferation of loopholes, deductions, and the widespread use of tax havens. In 2011, the last year for which data is available, the effective corporate tax rate fell to 12.1 percent, a forty-year low. The corporate tax used to track resonably well with corporate profits, but the two have become decoupled in recent years, with profits shooting up while corporate taxes as a share of the economy plummeted.
– Many of the biggest corporations pay no corporate income tax at all. As Citizens for Tax Justice has found, many of the biggest corporations have effective tax rates near zero. 26 major corporations paid no corporate income tax between 2008 and 2011, while making a collective $205 billion in profits.
– The GOP’s favorite corporate tax idea helps outsource jobs. Republicans love to promote a “territorial” corporate tax system, under which offshore profits made by U.S. companies are never taxed. (Currently, those profits are taxed when they are brought back to the U.S.) The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that such a plan results in “increasing incentives to shift business operations and reported income to countries with lower tax rates.”
– Corporate tax reform should raise revenue. Corporate taxes used to make up about one-third of federal revenue; now it makes up less than 9 percent. The U.S. used to raise about 5 percent of GDP in corporate tax revenue; now it raises below 2 percent. As former White House economist Jared Bernstein noted, “locking in these historically low revenue levels, either as a share of GDP, total receipts, or profits, would be yet another self-inflected wound.”
We will see lots of media coverage when this becomes a priority and depending on the news cycle…….this is one of those issues that will be obfuscated to the point that NO one knows what the truth is or should be……these that I offer may not be the absolute truth but some points that I found and wanted to pass on to you….hopefully it will ease the headaches that will be born trying to follow the antics coming from media and politicians……good luck……