Category Archives: Income Inequality

Republican fantasy tax plans all “puppies and rainbows”

Let me paraphrase Josh Barro of The New York Times in summing up the tax talk you’re hearing in the Republican Presidential Debates: It’s all puppies and rainbows.

As Barro points out here, Marco Rubio would eliminate all taxes on capital gains, which of course would benefit those in the U.S. who have accumulated the most wealth.  Donald Trump, with no specifics about how he’s pay for a trillion-dollar cut in revenues, would eliminate the estate tax (which currently affects only people worth more than $5.54 million–I bet you don’t fall into that bracket) and cut the top tax rate from 39.6% to 25%, a windfall for the highest income earners. And Ben Carson’s flat tax would actually raise taxes on lower-income families whoke (surprise!) cutting them for the wealthiest.  You don’t have to take my word for it–as ThinkProgress notes , even Chris Wallace of Fox News has pointed that out.

Folks, I dislike paying taxes as much as anyone else.  But the Republicans right now are using our general dislike of taxes to promote fantasies.  The reality is that tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, 5%, or 10%–which is what all these plans ultimately come down to–would result in increased costs for just about everyone else, either directly in the form of higher taxes or indirectly in the form of reduced benefits and programs.

How your tax $$$ subsidize Walmart & McDonald’s

One more reason fast-food and other low-wage businesses are happy with the status quo on minimum wage: Your tax dollars help subsidize their chintzy wages, which often leave their workers on public assistance. As detailed in a University of California study and reported in The New York Times, around half of all home health care… Continue Reading

Washington Post’s maps paint a fascinating – and unexpected – picture of the USA

The Washington Post’s “GovBeat” feature is doing some great work, including this story and link to 25 maps and charts of the United States (your first 10 stories a month at Washingtonpost.com are free; then the paywall rises up.) One, “Finding America’s Uninsured,” (#23) shows that the national problem of people not having health insurance… Continue Reading

The rich really are getting richer, says Oxfam report

Oxfam International gets my award this month for masterful timing: While an assortment of the richest and most powerful people in the world were gathering for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam released a report on income inequality. The report, picked up by Forbes, Slate , and others, concludes that the 85 richest… Continue Reading