blue bits. red rocks.


Everyone knew that tax reform is one of those issues that is perennially popular in theory but not so much in practice. The core problem is one that is confronted frequently in politics — the benefits of some objective are widely diffused, but the costs are concentrated. Those that bear the concentrated costs, whether from loophole closings or government spending cuts, have a powerful incentive to lobby against those changes, while those that benefit from a reduction in tax rates or the deficit don’t benefit enough to necessarily create a countervailing political force. This is especially so when the ox being gored is a well-organized industry group. The Roots of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Part I

Or take taxes. Under the efficient-market hypothesis, taxes are an extraction of resources from the jobs machine, or more literally, taking money out of the economy. It is not just separate from economic activity, but hostile to it. This is why most Americans believe that lower taxes will automatically lead to more prosperity. Yet if there were a shred of truth to this, then given our historically low tax rates we would today be drowning in jobs and general prosperity. Gardenbrain, in contrast, allows us to recognize taxes as basic nutrients that sustain the garden. A well-designed tax system — in which everyone contributes and benefits — ensures that nutrients are circulated widely to fertilize and foster growth. Reducing taxes on the very wealthiest on the idea that they are “job creators” is folly. Jobs are the consequence of an organic feedback loop between consumers and businesses, and it’s the demand from a thriving middle class that truly creates jobs. The problem with today’s severe concentration of wealth, then, isn’t that it’s unfair, though it might be; it’s that it kills middle-class demand. Lasting growth doesn’t trickle down; it emerges from the middle out. Our Gardenbrain Economy

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I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-fucking-American is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money. This has to happen if America is to remain strong and true to its ideals. It’s a practical necessity and a moral imperative. Stephen King

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…taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

WAKE UP! America. Wake up Republican voters. If you don’t understand the difference in policy, you are missing the point entirely. If you are not in the top 1% and vote Republican, you are voting against your own interest. More importantly, you are voting against a sustainable America. Romney Tax Plan: A Sham

What Romney is essentially proposing to do is finance a massive tax cut by cutting Medicaid, food stamps, housing subsidies and job training. In other words, the neediest Americans — and, to a lesser degree, federal workers — will be financing a massive tax cut. Is this why Mitt Romney’s stadium is empty?

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