You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘taxes’ category.
This nation has not taxed itself enough for 13 years. As a result, we have not spent enough on our infrastructure….Driving on roads with potholes, doesn’t scare me that much. But being on a very tall bridge, knowing it can collapse any second including the ones in which I’m crossing it, does scare me… With my luck… it will be the I 95 bridge across the Susquehana at Port Deposit, Maryland. That one always scares me. If you haven’t heard, a bridge just collapsed in Washington State, on Interstate 5 north of Seattle. The Republicans running that state had gutted all maintenance to cut expenses. Now they have one big expense to pay for. The accident occurred 3 hours prior to this writing. So far there was no loss of life, just many loss of cars.
Being afraid of bridges, I immediately checked Delaware…. Out of our 862 bridges across this state, we have 53 that are listed as severely deficient, just as was the one in Washington State that collapsed…. We are lucky. Only 6.1% of our bridges are severely deficient. Nationally, eleven percent of our bridges are severely deficient. Neighboring PA with 5,540 bridges out of 22,669, comes in with a 24.4% deficient bridge ratio.
Just remember that the next time you drive up into the sky across the Schuylkill River. One of of every 4 Pennsylvanian bridges, can drop out from under you into the water at any second… one out of four.
The time for wringing hands is over. It is time to make our bridges safer and the wealthy to gladly foot the bill… Actually if you ask those people who 3 hours ago found themselves in the Skagit River, … it’s way, way past time.
I’m usually done with a piece of legislation when it doesn’t go my way.. I always shared a disdain for those who lose and refuse to accept reality for what it is… But I’ve received so many questions over SB51, that I’ll break protocol, to discuss it for one last time…
The main question I’ve received most often, is why did I take on this unattainable cause. Surely one could see the writing on the wall when the Senate voted? Wasn’t it a waste of time?
Oddly, no. And I’m perplexed a little as to why I feel that way. Because it did suck up a lot of time and it had only two people vote against it in the entire General Assembly, and two abstentions (one principled and one physical.) So I’m going to try and work it out here, in type, as to why it was important to lead a fight against it. One that if one was keeping score, turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.
The reason for SB51″s success, was its stealth. It was out of committee, in the Senate, out of the Senate, in the House committee, and on the House floor, each time with very little notice. In fact, it wasn’t until after it had passed the Senate that I began hearing how bad this bill really was. Perhaps in a regular year, that would not have occurred. Someone would have read the bill earlier as it hit the docket and passed that information along. It should be noted this is an extraordinary year. The recomposition of this General Assembly has made many big changes possible. Gay Marriage, Background Checks, Reporting Stolen Firearms, Repeal of Death Penalty, Kinder-Morgan, Assault Bans, Bans of High Capacity Clips, have kind of sucked the wind out of the room when it comes to a bill that says something sensible like we should be hiring smart teachers instead of dumb ones.
One of our most progressive commentators said something like “I can see no one having a problem with that.”
And indeed. This bill seemed to have everyone on board. DSEA, that educational labor union who represents teachers, RODEL who represents the corporate Investors, the Governor who put this prominently in his state of the state address, both parties whom neither wanted to be seen as being against better education, the Chamber of Commerce and those who fund the entities inside the Community Service Building on 10th Street, progressives, conservatives. There was no one who seemed not to want to rubber stamp it…
It took a lot of work to wake up even three people to contest it…. And that is a start….
With overwhelming support, my goodness, in percentage terms…. 93% of the entire General Assembly was in favor. That ironically was the same percentage of Delawareans that wanted Offshore Wind over the objections of 4 well place members of the Executive Committee back in 2007-8…
How can anyone “credible” be against such a good bill with “overwhelming” support?
I would say there is one common thread among those who first voiced opposition and carried the water for trying to educate the public about this bill. And if you agree or disagree, please feel free to chime in. This is an informal piece.
Anyone who has experienced Common Core, who has actually experienced it, would be against this bill. I experienced it by helping a student with their homework assignment. Teachers and administrators experience it in their professional capacity. School Boards experience it by being in the cross fire between the DOE and parents who are as upset as I was with the crap that is being passed off as “learning.”…
Obviously from the results of the vote, very few people in Delaware have experience Common Core. Once you see what it has done to your kids, you are outraged. Outraged. There is no other accurate description….
So the vote in support of SB51, was primarily based, if I could extrapolate, on ignorance. I too would have been right there with them if I had not had the cathartic experience of meeting Common Core face to face. Once one does, one quickly learns to hate it. For many, many years I have been privy to a lot of grumbling from educators over each new “program of the year”, but never, never have I experienced a deterioration in a student’s drive to do well, as I have seen across the board with Common core…. “A” Students just giving up and settling for “C’s”, because of the capriciousness of the teaching and those learning materials that come in “packets.”
Here is what has to happen. These tests and packets need to get leaked to the public. Once seen and ridiculed, the proper perspective and potential damage from Common Core becomes clearer. Further more, every single member of the educational committees of both the Delaware Senate and House, should take this bill. Then the General Assembly would finally be in alignment with where the parents will be next year.
This year was really the first where Common Core was trialed. Next year it will be much more extensive.
So when one says that our teaching colleges and universities will be rated by how well their student teacher’s students do on Common Core tests over the next five years, quite a bit of that sentence totally depends on how good or bad Common Core is… I can tell you… it’s really.. really… bad.
Common Core is no better than “No Child Left Behind.” That too was a landmark piece of legislation to make teachers accountable to teaching, and not sending unprepared students up the ladder. It was hailed as the crowning achievement of American Society. Those very few who looked at the detail, and questioned how it would work, were laughed at as being among those who wanted to “leave children behind.” But guess what? When that was implemented in full across the nation, it didn’t work. Students did worse instead of better. Gee, the educational structure asked? How can this be? Answer was, it didn’t work in Texas under then Governor George W. Bush, either. They just tweaked the test scores.
Common Core is no better. In fact, it is probably worse. And there are many reasons why, which have been discussed on this blog many times, as well as on Transparent Christina, Kilroy’s of Delaware, Delaware Way, and Seventh Type… It “can” be better, but those pieces are being squashed under “bigger” principles, such as busting the teachers union, paying off Wall Street investors, making fistfuls of dough out of charter schools and vouchers… Big money has got its roots into education and is now trying to choke off all competition from good crops..
This bill’s overwhelming victory is not the end…. In fact, I think it may just hasten the end of Common Core, instead of extending it… I think so because I know how bad this program is.. I know there is no way you, once you experience it’s insanity, its inadequacy, and its ineptitude, will be supportive of common core… You can’t be.. No one like being inside a Kafka novel. We have nine months to educate Delaware what Common Core will do to your children. Nine months… If we are wrong, and the public does not by then demonize this program, then perhaps it is good that this bill passed.
But I’ve seen Common Core face to face… so I sincerely doubt that outcome….
Then, come next January, January 2014 an election year no doubt, we again will see these familiar words with a lot of support behind it.
“Section 1. Amend the title of Chapter 12, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strikethrough as follows:”……
Much interest has lately been place in the IRS treatment of the Tea Party. This wing of the IRS is responsible for making sure that groups who say they are tax exempt, really are… Otherwise, Mitt Romney would become a group and be non-taxed. They serve a legitimate function. Without them, every business would laundry their money this way….
This is the legal requirement. Do you think bands of citizens on street corners, many of them armed, preaching about insurrection and civil disobedience fits in to these categories…
You are not alone.
The IRS is fully justified in scouring any of these organizations and going after their individual members for cheating…
After all, there a very good chance they are not paying their fair share of taxes, wouldn’t you agree?
The real crime, is how does a political organization that spends considerable amounts (millions) of money on candidates and to influence elections, get to say it is an organization that is apolitical and therefore tax exempt?
IF there is any violation of law, it is the fact that 9/12 Patriots and Sheriff Arapao, and Jeff Christopher, were not audited sufficiently to determine whether they were apolitical or working for a political agenda….
Like we really don’t know.
I say they do work for a political agenda and should have their tax exempt status revoked and be ordered to pay back-taxes on all incoming amounts collected…
That is the real crime. The IRS was just doing it’s job……
First off. Any one can say anything. I can say we should seriously colonize a nearby class “M” planet. I can find 40,000 reasons why the human race should do so. But, if you were to ask me how we would get there, I couldn’t tell you. But I would try.
I would blame the bad people here. I would say we need to get good people in positions of power. People with “vision”. I would say, we aren’t and haven’t been trying hard enough to allocate resources towards that. I would say that if we just rewarded those who worked on it, we’d get there. I’d say that if we paid some of my fellow science friends to figure what we are doing wrong, my fellow science friends with your money, would surely lead the way….
But in the end, after all your money was spent, all we’d have left to show for it… is an idea; that idea being that you know, that we should colonize a nearby class “M” planet….
Just in case you couldn’t see through the metaphor, this is what the Rodel Foundation has done….
I could go on and on with details, but it would be just copying this person who already has. Instead, I promised you a hole in their reasoning , didn’t I? Well, that’s what I promised so let me deliver.
Let us assume you recruit the best. You go after the trophy winners where ever they may be… you excite them with your presentation, you optimism and you give them a pen to sign the contract….
They pause, and ask. How much will I get paid?
A quick check of sources shows Delaware’s starting wage is $39,099. From the top that puts Delaware as the 10th highest starting salary. If you think a teacher with a portfolio of student loans more than owed on one’s house is not going to go to the highest bidder, you aren’t thinking correctly. Which means Delaware is already starting out of the gate with a handicap of 10.
So isn’t it silly, you tell me, to spend all the federal RTTT funds on recruiting the “best” teachers or professionals and then, forget to pay them because we are strapped for cash the following year? Can you say 8% pay cuts? Exactly how long ago was that?
What makes anyone think that a really good teacher who has an inside track in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wyoming, California,New Jersey, Maryland, New York and Alaska is going to give it up to come to Delaware for less?
If you want talent, you have to pay for it. The idea of waving a magic wand and good teachers will come, is not grounded in reality. We might as well be recruiting on a class “M” planet.
Two big tragedies last week. Two bombs go off in Boston killing a total of 3 people, and a quirk explosion in West, Texas, demolishing a fertilizer plant and killing 14 for which we can find bodies for, and leaving 60 people still unaccounted …
One got unlimited media attention; the other a passing mention.
One shut down our 22nd largest city. The other will be investigated at some future point.
The differences are intriguing.
The Boston Massacre was a textbook case of how to find a bad guy. As Steve notes here, we’ve been planning for an event like this a long time. Homeland Security produced an army to “invade” Boston in order to find the perpetrators. They shut down transportation, and went door to door. Ironically, despite the effort and expense it was luck that gave them their men. The initial dragnet missed the one in the boat, and only when the curfew was lifted, did the boat owner find him and alert authorities.
What was Boston’s cost? Well, add up fuel for all the vehicles, armored cars, and helicopters. Add up all the overtime pay for police, fire, ambulance, and the para military troops brought in. Add the economic cost of shutting down the 22nd largest city for a day… It’s so big, I can’t even guess. We’ll have to wait for the number crunchers with receipts actually in their hands. But particularly with including the economic cost somewhere near a $billion, that means we spent a billion dollars to catch 2 people that were really caught by a) being run over by the other bomber, and b) a man stepping out for a smoke….
But we still, … cost ourselves a billion dollars….
Now. Texas. We had a combined 24,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate. It wasn’t required to obtain a state air emissions permit because it was so old. In 2004 they were supposed to come up and get reauthorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “They failed to do so.”
Federal documents say the plant did not have required security and safety plans in place. the EPA fined the plant more than $2,000 in 2006 for failing to update a risk management plan. In response, the site’s operators told the EPA that the plant posed no risk of fire or explosion. The worst case, plant officials said, would be a 10-minute release of ammonia gas that would kill or injure no one.
The EPA also found that West Fertilizer did not have a formal maintenance program and that its employee training records were poor. In addition, the plant was found in violation of key security measures by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency discovered that the plant had planned to transport anhydrous ammonia without making or following a security plan. Last summer, regulators fined the plant $10,000, then settled for $5,250…. And now we find the fertilizer had 1350 times the legal amount of fertilizer material than it was allowed….
Was too much money spent by government leading up to the explosion? Or too little? Were we lulled by a litany from the Texas Republicans that companies could police themselves, and that we didn’t need to spend any money on regulations and enforcing standards? Of course we were. It all started by that guy who once owned the Texas Rangers, who said he would “cut taxes”…
Since we cut taxes we have had multiple issues. And since that time when taxes first got cut, it is easy to see our successes all come about when we, the United States Government, spends money lavishly… When we cut back, we get nothing but trouble with a capital “T”….
So our success come when we tax and spend. Our failures come when we cut taxes and fire, close down, and destroy jobs.
There comes a time when profits get so high, that hiring new people bites into them. WE have reached that point. Corporate profits have never been as high as they are today. Yet we have 15 million underemployed. The hard way to fix it, is to force businesses to hire more people they don’t want. The easy way is to tax some of that profit that certainly is not necessary for the businesses’ survival… I mean corporations have lived on less since the beginning of time, then hire an inspector who has the authority to close a Texas fertilizer plant when it flagrantly defies the law.
America needs to accept this is how it has to be.
We need things done! Eight years of Bush’s neglect plus the 2 years of having the Tea Party corral Congress, has severely damaged America! Putting America back to work, and boosting sales to corporations who benefit from all new economic activity, and using those workers to fix what is broken in America, is a win, win, win situation…..
So at what level should the assessed tax be? It appears that since incentive is a huge part of capitalization, the level of taxation needs to be below 50%. Simply put, if I invest $1 million and lose money on that, what was the point of the investment? Therefore, it appears that after a certain income level ($5 million?) taxes after all deductions should be around 40% of all income earned. If you have too much money, keeping 60% is certainly profitable. ;
Considering our current situation, a) a thriving economy, b) a current 40% tax rate on the top 1%, and c) still high unemployment, tweaking the tax law towards deductions, so that deductions only started after the first 40% got paid, might be the silver bullet that our nation needs, one which will cut the deficit, hire the unemployed, and use both to rebuild America.
We need more money, and we have to get it. Period. All future American successes depend upon it…
Courtesy of Obamarmy
Ok kids, Look at the graph…. and see who can be the first to tell me….. Why do we really need to ramp up the education of our black and brown kids now?!!!!
Tax the Rich. Hire teachers to reach an 11 to 1 ratio. Test beginning, mid, and end of cycle only to evaluate the student’s needs ( don’t use them to close schools, fire teachers, or divvy out bonuses to your friends and supporters)… and lets get it done….
Btw, it has to start with the first one.
Forget about the deficit. Forget about class struggle. Forget about intra-class equity. Forget about soaking the rich….
“Just forget about it…..”
Our current tax base inequity is killing our economy….. Not just ours, but the global economy as well. The solution to the worlds economy is our tax rate, right here in the USA….
Imagine all the wealthy in the United States. It is here. It is full of one color.
Now, let us show you how that wealth was divided just before 1980. That was the beginning of the Republican Party (you know what I mean).
Now, let us show you how wealth is divided with the closest available figures today.
Now let me show you how the US dominates the worlds wealth.
It is pretty clear to everyone that the economy is driven by demand. If there is demand, then investment flows into options to create more supply. When supply is higher than demand, cutbacks have to occur until both are closer in alignment. Right?
So the big global economic problem is…. in America there is a lack of spending!…. Unfortunately it has been going on 5 years. and a lot of this lack of spending comes from the collective behavior across this country now put towards paying down individual debt from what we once spent in our past….
The solution is to spend more. The burden on spending more must lie with those who have money to spend.
This group failed us. The trickle down theory never trickled down. Seriously? Why would it? Who except the Mother Theresa’s of us, would simply give our money away to help the poorer and downtrodden?
Our forefathers lived through this a hundred years ago. If you want to see our future, study the economy from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Business and the wealthy could not be trusted to look out for anyone’s interests. There had to be another way.
We stumbled upon it funding WWII. Tax wealth. Use that as seed investment money. Build things.
Has anyone ever thanked our forefathers for their investment into the building of a vast network of interstate highways? Imagine if we had counted upon the private sector to make this improvement to our lives?
Highways were paid for by taxing those “with money”. As seen above, in the past the middle class had money and chipped in accordingly. Today that money is no longer in middle class hands and is instead of being reinvested it is now getting siphoned off-shore where it does no good what so ever.
Until Americans return to the good habit of spending, the soft economy will continue…. To get that quick transfusion which will jump start our economy, our nation needs to put money back into the hands of the middle class, so they will again start buying things that employ people….. The middle class likes to spend. They are the gas that runs the economy’s engine.
The simplest method accomplishing this, is to increase the taxes a little bit on those who have way too much money. …
Studies show that for every penny in increased tax, there is 99 times that economic benefit as that penny circulates through the system until it again finally settles into the pockets of the rich. From there, it needs to be recycled again so we can again create the type of pie chart above showing the golden days when wealth rested in the hands of those who would run right out and spend it….
The answer is not socialistic, that is to take money away from the wealthy. Oh no. Instead, it is to temporarily borrow it, to force their investment into the economy so all again reap the benefits, not just the 1%…. Seriously, we should all get rich together, and we will, once we raise taxes on ”Those Few Who Will Not Spend…..”
Thanks Nancy. Tom Carper sponsored, and Chris Coons endorsed, a bill that shuffles money around the Agriculture Department to keep our food inspectors fully employed.
Our food will not be uninspected now because of the Republican induced sequester. Politics are one thing. People dying are another. The only protection Americans have between themselves and unscrupulous cut-throat foreign food processors, is the FDA. Eliminating them would the the death of us all. Remember the tainted pet food?
I’m glad our delegation stepped up to protect them… However this gave me pause. Where the money was being shifted from….
The Pryor/Blunt/Coons amendment adds no additional cost to the bill. Instead, it moves one-time funding for school equipment grants and deferred maintenance on buildings and facilities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture…
One time funding for school equipment grants, meaning many schools in Delaware which thought they would soon be on the receiving end of new refrigeration units to safeguard school lunches, must now remain using the old pre- 1930′s models currently in place. It also means when the sequester is done, and funds return, their will be less spent on helping Americans, because it will be shuffled to cover the depreciation currently not charged because of this amendment.
When are we going to stop pussy footing around the real issue, and tax the wealthy at the rate of their hero, Ronald Reagan’s first tax cut level, until we have paid off our deficit? The middle class should not bear the cost of the wealthy’s bad investments. The top 1% should be the first to anti up, and then, only when they have nothing left, should the middle class even be asked to sacrifice…..
America is being spoon fed raw sewage and is then arguing which medicine is better to cover up the symptoms….. Tax the wealthy and all our dreams will come true. America can be healthy again….
Courtesy of Wikipedia.
After all the bluster dies down, Historians will revisit this era and come to this conclusion.
In order not to tax the top 1% an additional $85 billion dollars, the 99% was made to suffer for it….
Cost = $85 billion.
Let us compare that to wealth, not income, to see how that $85 billion stacks up….
The current household wealth of the United States is listed between $64 and $65 trillion dollars…. We are going to draw the line at at the top 20% and bottom 80% of the population.
The top 20% owns 89.9% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 80% owns 11.1%…. In dollars that stacks up as follows:
- Top 20% owns $58 Trillion in net worth.
- Bottom 80% has $ 7 Trillion of net worth.
Ok. now we have the dollar figures. Let us break down the population. Since we are dealing with government services we must assume that affects everyone, so we are going to use the 315 million population figure for our calculations.
- Top 20% of population equals 63 million people.
- Bottom 80% of population equals 252 million people.
So now let us see how that works out per person. For both income levels we are going to divide the total wealth by the total persons and get the total wealth per person…
- 58 Trillion divided by 63 million people gives a per person average of…$841,269 per citizen.
- 7 Trillion divided by 252 million people gives a per person average of … $27,777 dollars per citizen.
Ok so here is what historians will find. If we tax the existing revenue for the $85 billion difference it will only hit the top group of 20%… If we sequester or cut out of our national budget, it will only hit those in the bottom 80%…
To see what the average hit will cost, we will take the $85 billion and divide it among the number of people in that income range. Then later we will apply that to their wealth and see who has the greater and who has the less percentage…
- $85 Billion sequestered spread over 63 million 20%’ers comes to $1349 each.
- $85 Billion sequestered out of the 252 million 80%ers comes to a tiny…. $337 each…
So here is the fun part.
- That $1349 is this percent of $841,269… 0.16% of one percent.
- That $337 is this percent of $27,777…. 1.2 percent…
Each person in the bottom 80% is paying roughly 8 times more of a burden to their wealth than paid by those in the top 20%……. When our economy fails and historians look back and say, didn’t anyone crunch the numbers? Well, yes? Someone did..
And if fairness is truly an America virtue, then once we know that a 8 to 1 ratio exists, it become easy to figure out how to divide the costs equally… (8x +1x = $85B) then we should have a tax hike of $75 billion and sequester or cut of $10 billion to give every America an equal percentage bite out of their wealth….