06 May

Senate passes Internet sales tax in final vote, 69-27

The US Senate passed an online sales tax in a vote this afternoon after a heated final round of debate. A small group of anti-tax Republicans, as well as Democratic Senators from states without sales tax like Montana and Oregon, argued vociferously against the bill—but to no avail.

The final vote was 69-27, not much different than the 74-20 procedural vote that took place two weeks ago. The proposal has hardly changed at all in two weeks. The Marketplace Fairness Act, S.743, would allow states and localities to make Internet retailers collect sales tax from their customers if they do more than $1 million per year in out-of-state online sales.

The bill would allow states to write laws that would force e-commerce businesses to collect sales taxes. Right now consumers are supposed to keep track of any online sales and then report them to their state government and pay sales tax on the purchase. It still has to go through the House where passage is a little more rough but don’t be too shocked if in a few months you have to start investigating adding sales tax to any e-commerce software.

12 Apr

CNET News – Democratic senator wants Internet sales taxes

A Democratic senator is preparing to introduce legislation that aims to end the golden era of tax-free Internet shopping.

The proposal–expected to be made public soon after Tax Day–would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.

via CNET News – Democratic senator wants Internet sales taxes. I know it’s going to happen, it’s just an incredibly hard problem to solve. Tax laws from state to state much less city to city vary a ton in not just amount but what is taxed. When this goes through (though possibly not this year) some business is going to make a mint providing a back-end service to know how much taxes need to be applied towards a purchase. Amazon/PayPal/Google Checkout should start building that now, if they haven’t already.

09 Dec

NYTimes.com – O’Donnell’s Magic Turns Loss into Win

“Today marks a lot of tragedy,” Ms. O’Donnell said after headlining a fundraiser for the Northern Virginia Tea Party on Tuesday night. “Tragedy comes in threes: Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards’s passing and Barack Obama’s announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits.”

via NYTimes.com – O’Donnell’s Magic Turns Loss into Win. How do you make that statement in all seriousness? How is it good for tax breaks to be extended that mostly benefit the wealthy good and extending unemployment benefits so people don’t end up on the street a tragedy? Oh yeah and which actually costs less and provides better than half the number of jobs the other does (so overall a better deal – costs less per expected job created) unemployment benefits. But yeah kicking people out of their homes is a good thing.

07 Dec

NYTimes.com – Still Digging

Like our mythical family, we need a plan, not just more sugar treats. Surely the cynical quote of the week — courtesy of The Daily Beast — goes to Dan Bartlett, the former George W. Bush administration spokesman who was speaking about the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that Bush “temporarily” put in place a decade ago: “We knew that, politically, once you get it into law, it becomes almost impossible to remove it. That’s not a bad legacy. The fact that we were able to lay the trap does feel pretty good, to tell you the truth.”

Bartlett offered no thoughts as to how these budget-busting tax cuts will address our country’s deficiencies today — just a high-five that in the politics of sports, the G.O.P. just scored a goal on Obama.

via NYTimes.com – Still Digging. Politics and politics rather than real policies that improve the state and standing of the United States. Tax breaks that cost the US $4 Trillion in the next decade and over the next 75 years cost 3 times as much as the Social Security projected shortfall.

15 Nov

Reuters – Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes

The study showed about 28 percent of large foreign corporations, those with more than $250 million in assets, doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $372 billion in gross receipts, the senators said. About 25 percent of the largest U.S. companies paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $1.1 trillion in gross sales that year, they said

via Reuters – Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes. How about let’s start to fix the budget problems with taxes against those corporations Congress?

15 Nov

NYTimes.com – I Believe I Can Fly

Where do I start? We know that these were not the Republican goals because they had eight years under George W. Bush to pursue them and did just the opposite. And even if we assume that this time they really mean it, they’ve never explained what programs they would cut and how doing that now won’t make our recession worse. But even if they did, these are the wrong priorities. Our priorities now are to mitigate the recession that was set in motion under Bush and to put the country on a path to sustainable economic growth. That will require vastly improving the education and skills of our work force and enabling them with 21st-century infrastructure so they will be smarter and more productive. We know that tax cuts alone won’t do that; we just had that test, too, under Bush. It requires a complex strategy for American renewal — raising some taxes, like on energy, while lowering others, like on workers and corporations; and investing in new infrastructure, schools and research, while cutting other services.

via NYTimes.com – I Believe I Can Fly. Remember the Republican agenda old failed ideas and non-ideas.

02 Aug

NYTimes.com – Defining Prosperity Down

The point is that a large part of Congress — large enough to block any action on jobs — cares a lot about taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population, but very little about the plight of Americans who can’t find work.

via NYTimes.com – Defining Prosperity Down. Krugman once again with arguing forcefully and eloquently for some rational decision making on the part of economic policy.

22 May

Down The Memory Hole – Paul Krugman Blog

Here’s a rough-cut version. The blue line, left scale, shows median family income in 2008 dollars; the red line, right scale, shows the top marginal tax rate, a rough indicator of the overall stance of policy. Basically, US postwar economic history falls into two parts: an era of high taxes on the rich and extensive regulation, during which living standards experienced extraordinary growth; and an era of low taxes on the rich and deregulation, during which living standards for most Americans rose fitfully at best.

via Down The Memory Hole – Paul Krugman Blog. When in doubt just re-write history to make it fit your version.

18 May

Why a Soda Tax Makes Sense for Washington – NYTimes.com

We’re drinking more soda for several reasons. Above all, the inflation-adjusted price has fallen 34 percent since the late 1970s, largely because it can be manufactured more cheaply than in the past. Meanwhile, the average real cost of fruits and vegetables has risen more than 30 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

via Why a Soda Tax Makes Sense for Washington – NYTimes.com. Very interesting stat.

11 Mar

My response to Glen Beck’s silly “We surround them”

Glen Beck not too long ago did a silly little thing in which he posted a list of 9 statements and said that if you believe in them to send in a picture for him to do display them or something.

This is my response to the list.

  1. America is good. Right a country is now a person and is good. And that person has never overthrown multiple governments that torture/murder/enslave/eliminate due process all so that they support us and not Russia? And what the heck does good even mean?
  2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life. – Please, I don’t believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny but I believe in a man 2,000 yrs ago that someone how died and rose again. And just happens that half of the belief structure of my faith has been written in the past 500 yrs. Or the now 15% who are atheists.
  3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday. Well at least more honest than the last time I cheated on my taxes or the last time I work on personal stuff while on company time.
  4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government. Right, I get to beat my kids, my husband gets to rape me and my daughter, control what my kids think, because I know better than thousands of other people that really having a house that is about to fall apart is good survival instict, oh and teaching my kids that the earth is the center of the universe is what I want to do. We wouldn’t want the government trying to provide for a more just and educated society, much more fun teaching kids to hate and not understand or listen to logic and reason.
  5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it. Except for the president, you know because he is allowed to break the law at will and not be held accountable for it. Oh and the people who help him break the law they get medals. Or if you are rich enough and have a really good reason for doing what you did, then it’s all cool.
  6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results. Except if you are gay, female, black, trans-gender, bisexual, or really just think or act different, then you have no equal freedoms and thus defiantly no equal results. Oh and just because you were raised in a poor school district and thus received a poor education means you should some how magically overcome a limited education expect there are no libraries for you to educate yourself at because:
  7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable. Yes they can it’s called taxes, and next time you feel reluctant to pay taxes because you want to hold onto what’s yours we’ll go back to pre-government days and let you fight to hold onto it and see how that works out. I really only want my friends to get the benefits of what I make and I really don’t want to try and help society advance by providing education, or help for people who are less well off than I am, unless they go to one of my pre-approved charities will they will be told they have to believe in God to get a warm bed and meal.
  8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion. – Unless you disagree with me, or with what America does or what the President (unless he’s a Democrat), or you can make stupid jokes about it and call the person fat, ugly, stupid, claim they should fail, etc.
  9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me. Unless they lie their way into a war, torture innocent people, tap my phone and record what I do online and where I travel overseas.