What kind of Turkey Day would it be without listening to the dumb arguments of your Limbaugh-quoting inlaws as they try to swipe the last bit of stuffing and eat all the dessert? Well, a much better one, I'm sure, but ... now you can hit them up with a few arguments, too! Download the "Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet"!
Advanced imaging technology (AIT or “body scans”) at airports may be a hot topic in current news, but what’s also growing in public attention is that one manufacturer of those devices is represented by a former government official.
Even worse, additional news continues to arise that could implicate that company and its representative with creating false security risks and using media to influence public opinions, all in order to promote sales of these "body scanners."
However, even if true, those efforts may not be working as planned in full.
Continue reading by clicking here.
Employment in South Carolina may be improving somewhat, but not enough to counter the recent mark against unemployment benefits, the lack of which could only be further damaging to the economy, says the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
Click here to read more.
Two conservative figures who are consistently ridiculed for grandiose, egotistical stupidity just gave comedians and commentators across the globe another reason to mock them: both recently announced interests in running for president.
In a Wednesday, Nov. 17 interview, Sarah Palin stated she is considering a presidential run in 2012, a race she thinks she could win.
In interviews beginning last month, Donald "you're fired" Trump also declared interest in the Oval Office, in part because "we are no longer respected the way we used to be respected."
Both, of course, would run in the Republican primary.
In the event these two candidates appear neck-and-neck in that primary election phase, both agreed to complete the nomination process in a "Dancing With the Stars" competition.
A recent New York Daily News article offers means to laugh at those "less government spending," Tea Party-ish folks. Most of them are from areas that receive more in federal funding than they pay in federal taxes. And our very own South Carolina is one of those hypocritical havens.
From the article:
"Maybe there will be more reality shows featuring other big names in the Tea Party who call for cuts in government spending even as their home states are subsidized by the rest of us.
There could be Sen. Jim DeMint's South Carolina, which gets $1.35 on the dollar."
And don't forget that the state Republican Party merged with the Tea Party earlier this year. "The tea party movement is strong in South Carolina, where dozens of groups have hosted well-attended rallies," reads the article.
Read the entire Daily News article by clicking here.
Dark. Gloomy. And hundreds of billions of dollars short. That’s the outlook for our government’s budget in upcoming years.
The projected shortfall in federal funding is $418 billion for 2015. For 2030, the shortfall is an estimated $1.355 trillion.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
(Continue reading by clicking here.)
Recent polls find Republicans and Democrats sharply polarized in beliefs, and Independent voters are no help to overcoming this division.
That’s because those Independents appear rather polarized themselves.
(Read more by clicking here.)
In the November 2nd elections, Republicans won a majority presence in the U.S. House of Representatives for the upcoming second session of the 111th Congress. And they're already hitting up the president for tax breaks on the wealthy.
Given our current economy (and our economic standings for the last decade, if not the last 30 years), the United States might not be in any position to honor that request, however. And if it does, as recent news alludes it may, then our country is in for one heck of an economic roller coaster.
President Obama's initial goal was to reinstate the temporary tax reductions for all but the wealthiest two percent of the country. Every individual making under $200,000 and every married couple earning less than $250,000 would be allowed to maintain the reduced rate of federal income taxes that were only temporarily instated beginning in 2001 (see table below for the reduced tax rates currently imposed).
A goal in doing so would be to protect the lower 98 percent as we continue to face these hard economic times.
Individuals and families earning more than those amounts, who make up only two percent of the U.S. population, would return to a previous tax rate of 39.6 percent upon the highest bracket in income scale. For an individual clearing $500,000 net, this change will amount to an increase of about $5,800 in taxes owed.
The Republicans who will soon hold majority in the House, however, are protesting that increase. And they won't let it occur unless it happens to all income brackets, either.
(chart above from "2010 Federal Income Tax Brackets")
That $5,800 difference in the example of an individual clearing $500,000 amounts to a 3.8 percent increase in taxes owed. For someone making a middle-class income of $45,000, though, the increase in taxes upon reinstatement of the older rates would amount to about $2,000 - a 27 percent increase in taxes owed.
And in this economic era of very high unemployment and very sharp decrease in individual earnings, our nation can't afford either structure the Republicans are insistent upon.
We're increasing in debt - both as a country and as individual citizens. We're holding the highest rate of unemployment, and for the longest period of time, since the Great Depression. And we're facing deficiencies in funding for areas of primary need, such as education and unemployment benefits.
FACT: the United States currently has the lowest tax rate on wealth since 1931 - when the Great Depression went in full-swing, and has the lowest taxes on wealth of all developed nations.
FACT: the United States is the only country that applies income taxation upon citizens that live under its own definition of poverty.
Add to these facts an additional and largely overlooked truth, this one related to corporate income taxes. A 2008 study by the Government Accountability Office found that more than half of all American companies did not have to pay income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005 (and almost three-quarters of all foreign companies doing business in the U.S. enjoyed that luxury). About half of all companies doing business in the U.S. - both American-owned and foreign - were able to skip out on tax payments for two or more years during this same eight-year period.
This amounts to a very low estimate of $300 billion in corporate taxes that the U.S. did not collect in each and every one of those eight consecutive years - $2.4 trillion minimum overall. That's practically enough to fund an entire year's budget of the federal government.
How, then, given all these facts, can anyone (especially the top two percent in income in the U.S.) claim that taxes need to continue at a reduced rate for wealth? How can anyone claim that U.S. companies are overtaxed, or that a reduction in corporate taxes is what our country needs to rise from this dismal economic circumstances?
And how terrible would the U.S. economy be at the moment if those proper tax rates had been in effect all along?
For the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to make such demands indicates even more economic woes for the next two years.
Vote on 'Worst Person in the World.' Should Countdown...
(From True Majority, the progressive non-profit organization founded by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's fame)
What do you think is the most important issue to focus on in the last round?
Extending Unemployment Insurance: 1.2 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits in less than 30 days unless Congress acts immediately to extend them. Not only is extending these benefits the moral thing to do, it is essential to protecting local retailers this holiday season. If retail sales slip, more people will lose their jobs and the disastrous cycle will continue, edging national unemployment to 10%.
Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts: Income inequality is at its greatest point in over 100 years. The wealthy continue to benefit from decades of income redistribution and it's time to put the country's interests ahead of Wall Street's interests. This issue looks to be one of the key battles during the Lame Duck session of Congress between no and January.
Protect Social Security: Americans said loudly and clearly that they will not accept cuts to the safety net – including any proposal to increase the retirement age. When they return to work, members of Congress must realize that Social Security is off limits. With your help, we could make sure that happens.
Re-instate off-shore drilling ban: After the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, the Obama administration instituted an off-shore drilling ban only to lift that ban on October 12. More than 60,000 of our members signed a petition demanding that this ban be re-instituted. Now, with the newly appointed Nation Oil Spill Commission investigating the BP spill, there is an opportunity to push Congress to re-institute the ban.
Robservations by Rob Groce is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.