I totally Believe in the American Dream, which is winning the Lottery. Your Dream might be different, but in America, you get to Dream one, and that's the important part, right? Or you can be like, "Dreaming is for Dreamers, I am going to Do Stuff!" Me, I like Dreaming. What is Your American Dream?
My Dream of winning the Lottery—and a big Lottery, not some li'l poop-butt million bucks, because the minute you spend one dollar you ain't a Millionaire anymore; I'm talking like a hundred Million—entails winning enough money to fill a swimming pool with coins and gold bars and money and stuff and go swimming in [...]
"Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature face a $1.5 billion revenue shortfall, state economists said Tuesday….The projections are not what lawmakers had in mind last session when they cut regulations, slashed spending and eliminated more than 4,000 state jobs to balance the $69 billion budget…. Lawmakers also turned away billions in federal transpiration [um, sic?] and health care money, and tried to boost the economy by including $70 million in tax incentives." —Well, there you have it.
It's as sure a sign of the arrival of Spring as the tulips peeking and the peepers peeping and the open-toed shoes. We've all seen them. People, dressed in powder-blue frocks and Styrofoam hats, frolicking at the strip mall turn-in and at the high-traffic urban business district. And they're cheery, genuinely cheery, like children on Christmas morning, or an I-banker reckoning his bonus. They are dressed like the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes they have boomboxes, the kind that you can change the batteries yourself, and they jam tunes.
Meet the new working class: seasonal temps paid to gambol like dystopic Care Bears in cheap national monument costumes.
"Most taxation has an over-burden in the form of distorting economic activity. But raising alcohol taxes actually moves us in the direction of economic efficiency. Even ignoring the costs alcohol imposes on the people who drink too much of it and on their families, the external costs of heavy drinking–costs on various public budgets plus losses to individuals as a result of drinking people outside their families – are several times as high as the taxes collected on it. So even in purely free-market terms, alcohol is currently grossly under-taxed; in effect, the rest of us get to subsidize the brewers and their best customers through our health insurance bills, [...]
I was settling into this steady warm feeling about Mike Bloomberg in recent months but that has pretty much evaporated with his latest insane bit of pro-business mouthing-off. Plans for a 6% tax hike on people earning half a million per year and more is going to destroy New York City, says New York City's billionaire mayor: "I think it's the best thing that ever happened to Connecticut. I can't imagine why every hedge fund wouldn't pick up tomorrow and move. The first common-sense rule of taxation is, don't tax people that can leave." Yes, just tax the poor ones who can't. Bloomberg then went on to describe [...]
For the first time since no one is sure when, Goldman Sachs has altered its general formula of close to a 50/25/25 annual net revenue allocation (in which, give or take, 50% goes to the employees, 25% is (sort of) set aside for taxes and 25% is retained for the company). This year? In what is being described as a PR move, just a bit over 35% is going to bonuses. (2009's net revenue comes to $45.2 billion, so $16.2 billion is set aside for employees.) In the last ten years, the compensation rate has never dipped below 44% of net revenues.
While Barack Obama celebrated his re-election with a wooden victory speech that was more about Christian American God than the human beings who stood in lines to keep him in the White House, in California nobody is apologizing for big liberal wins. Governor Jerry Brown worked his Proposition 30 tax increase hard, constantly flying up and down the state on Southwest, speaking Latin and Greek to the delight and confusion of media people, and making it very clear (in English) that the rival Proposition 38 was a scam funded by a multimillionaire wingnut. Brown's tax on the very rich won, by eight points, and Brown claimed victory with [...]
Paying taxes "makes you feel good," apparently. How good do YOU feel today?
"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege. One which the perpetrator did not provide to their victim." —Texas State Senator John Whitmire's complaint about death row inmates being allowed to choose their final meal before execution has led to the state's decision to ban the practice.
You, yes you, can do your taxes this year. Many of you are done, most of you haven't started, and a few of you are freaking out. Some of you are thinking: what if I just don't file? What will happen if I don't pay? What if I didn't file last year or the year before that? What will they do to me and will I be in prison with Wesley Snipes?
I have some answers to those questions! You should note that I am not a tax professional, that this is definitely not professional advice and that every situation is unique. Also you should be doing your taxes [...]
Gay-disliking, anti-union, immigrant-suspicious libel suit defendant and former DUI arrestee Rob Ford is now the mayor-elect of Toronto! Goodbye, wasteful government employees and bike lanes—oh yes, he really hates urban bicyclists. He's going to change the face of the city and do it… by spending… less money, in that magical way, and he beat out the crazily fun but hostile former drug addict gay dad George Smitherman to win the day. This will actually be a great experiment! Maybe he can privatize garbage collection and cut the city's debt by $1.58 billion over four years and also spend $4 billion on new subway lines and hire more [...]
Nutty iCarly Carleton Sneed Fiorina, she of the demon sheep, is coming hot and heavy for Barb Boxer in the upcoming California Senate race. BUT NOW here is The Box giving the people what they want: TAX AND/OR KILL THE BANKERS! (Mostly tax.) She and Jim Webb have proposed a new 50% tax on all bonuses, under the newspeak name of the Taxpayer Fairness Act, introduced today, and now the Republicans have to come out… in favor… of FAT CAT WALL STREET BONUS SEASON. Do watch Rachel Maddow tonight for extra giggling about how the Republicrats have to turn their backs on MAIN STREET thanks to their (probably [...]
I saw this morning's New York Post and it raised in me a great interest! "Successful New Yorkers" will pay 57% tax under Obama, says the front page of the paper! (Their alleged "front page" online says something different than on newsstands; in that universe, only New York's "risk takers" will pay 57% tax.) Well, I am a highly successful New Yorker! I am concerned! What does this mean for me?
.@mikebloomberg says 500 tax filers pay an incredible 15 percent of the city's income tax.
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) October 12, 2012
On radio, .@mikebloomberg says .1 percent (3700 people) of New Yorkers pay 27 percent of the city's taxes.
— Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) October 12, 2012
1. Can this be true. 2. I suppose it totally can be? 3. Can you show me the list though? 4. I presume these are all corporation-people, not people-people, yes? I mean, same difference. 5. I bet Eliot Spitzer is on there. Or at least Bernard Spitzer. 6. What about Jay-Z? 7. Also Mariah. [...]
For today's Awl newsletter, we're soliciting questions about THE LOOMING APRIL 15TH and all things tax and employment and money-related. Send them to me at choire @ the awl dot com or leave them here in the comments, or on Twitter, or whatever. Anonymity respected. But feel no shame! Experts (uh, sort of! Experts in life, we mean! Legal disclaimer goes here!) are standing by.
The Vineyard Gazette, of Edgardton, MA, covered the elections this week over in Tisbury, (also known as Vineyard Haven). And the people have spoken, nuking ballot measures that would increase taxes. Tisbury voters also decided two ballot questions which would have increased town property taxes, decisively rejecting both of them.
The first will be particularly problematic for town officials; it sought $85,000 to fund collective bargaining and contract settlements with employees.
The other questions sought $100,000 to begin putting aside for Tisbury’s currently-unfunded liabilities for post-employment benefits — mainly health insurance costs, for town workers.
Oh, no problem! That'll work itself out in time.
Jonathan Chait makes a point that should be included in every article about tax rates, because it is so frequently misunderstood: "The main problem with the article is that it presupposes that individuals making $200,000, or couples earning $250,000, will pay higher taxes. They won't. The tax hike only applies to income over that threshold. When you go from $250,000 to $250,001, you only pay a higher tax rate on that one extra dollar. Your taxes will go up by a few cents. If you earn $300,000, you will pay a slightly higher tax rate on the last $50,000 of your income — less than a couple thousand [...]
Crazy Oregon Very Slightly Taxes Wealthy Citizens and Corporations to Fund Schools and Public Services
In light of Barack Obama's pretty bullshit spending freeze scheme-you know, the one that affects programs like "air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks"-the success of two ballot initiatives in Oregon yesterday are fascinating! The state will raise, by nearly two whopping percentage points, taxes on households that earn more than $250,000 a year (which, in Oregon, is basically the equivalent of three miiilllllion New York City dollars) and will also raise the state's minimum corporate income tax. How radical! No wait, let's take a closer look at that one. Since 1931, all businesses in Oregon have been required to pay a [...]