The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities has posted 10 charts and associated text on the impact of the capital gains tax. These provide an excellent guide for anyone encountering work colleagues or radio hosts who offer stomach-churning arguments in favor of lower capital gains rates.
As you can see from this first one to the right, the beneficiaries aren't exactly hoi polloi. Nearly half the extra income from low rates go not to the top one percent but to the top one-tenth of one percent. That is hoi oligoi in anyone's book, except for the propagandists who try to convince people there was no such thing as class war until society's whiners and lazybones launched it. The top one percent of taxpayers receives 71 percent of all capital gains, according to the Tax Policy Center.
The preferential rate for capital gains is a key reason why the tax system violates the ?Buffett rule,? which essentially states that high-income taxpayers should not pay [a lower percentage] of their incomes in federal taxes than middle-income Americans. A significant group of high-income taxpayers?particularly those who derive the bulk of their income from capital investments?pay taxes at a lower rate than many middle-class families.That isn't good enough for some people, like the face-palmers at the Cato Institute, who think the proper capital gains tax rate should be zero.
As this chart shows, households with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 who receive most of their income from their paychecks (as middle-class people generally do) paid 14.9 percent of their income in federal income and payroll taxes in 2011, according to [the Tax Policy Center]. Millionaires who received more than two-thirds of their income from capital gains and qualified dividends faced a 12.0 percent rate.
In the fear, uncertainty and doubt division of the capital gains department, the propagandists who object to any proposals for higher capital gains rates and/or seek lower ones than now exist?have a special target: seniors. They argue that raising capital gains taxes would hurt older people who are more likely than the young to have dividend and capital gains income. But, as CBPP points out once again, the distribution of tax benefits from the already-low capital gains rate is "highly concentrated among a small group of high-income households." As can be seen from the chart, the impact on seniors of raising the capital gains rates would affect a tiny percentage of the elderly. And they could easily afford the nibble.
Nearly 60 percent of elderly filers had incomes below $40,000 in 2011. As the chart shows, taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rates as salary and wages would have reduced their after-tax incomes by much less than one-tenth of 1 percent, on average, or less than $6.The CBPP site includes seven more charts focusing on the truth and myths of capital gains. The whole post is a nicely condensed collection whose arguments you can pull out during barbecue today when your right-wing uncle gets started jabbering about the damn socialistic scheme to alter the tax code. The way the current arrangement works, as in so much else, is socialism for the rich.
Nearly all elderly households (96 percent) had incomes below $200,000 in 2011, and taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rates as salary and wages would have reduced their after-tax incomes by less than 1 percent, on average.
Our regular featured content-On This Day In History July 4 by TheMomCatPunting the Pundits by TheMomCatThese featured articles-Everyone is looking for an edge by ek hornbeckThe 1st Amendemnt v United States Government by TheMomCatThe Surveillance State[...]
Read The Full Article:
Former UNC President Bill Friday shared the news that close friend actor Andy Griffith the star of The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock died at his home in Dare County, North Carolina this morning.[...]
Read The Full Article:
Court Papers Undercut Ratings Agencies' DefenseBy GRETCHEN MORGENSON, The New York TimesPublished: July 2, 2012When Cheyne issued its various securities in 2005, Moody's and S.& P. rated them all investment grade. Even though Cheyne's portfolio was[...]
Read The Full Article:
The entire country wasn't as riveted as us political junkies last week, when the Supreme Court handed down an historic ruling on the Affordable Care Act, on the limits of the reach of the federal government, on states' rights, on the course of the future for one-sixth of the nation's economy. According to hot-off-the-presses polling from Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, a very large chunk of people really didn't know what happened with the ruling.
Despite extensive public interest in the court?s ruling, just 55% of the public knows that the Supreme Court upheld most of the health care law?s provisions; 45% say either that the court rejected most provisions (15%) or do not know what the court did (30%). Among those aware that the court upheld most of the law, 50% approve of the decision while 42% disapprove.While perhaps discouraging for the general health of the American electorate, this should give Republicans some pause over whether they really want to keep their temper tantrum going. More people approve of the Court's decision than disapprove, by healthy enough margin, and when you factor in the 56 percent in the Kaiser Family Foundation poll who say it's just time to move on with the law, keeping this fight going seems to be a losing prospect for Republicans, however much it might keep their base wound up.
It also means that there's room for Democrats to really start selling exactly what the plan will do for the very real people of America. There's a solid majority out there ready to listen and learn, and they should hear about what Republicans still want to take away from them.
In the wake of the new Vanity Fair article raising questions about Mitt Romney's use of offshore tax havens, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul responds to criticism from the Obama campaign and Priorities USA about his financial secrecy:
President Obama?s attacks on Mitt Romney have been proven false time and again. As job growth slows, manufacturing activity stalls, and our economy continues to sputter, President Obama knows he can?t make a legitimate argument for another term in office, so instead he is trying to tear down his opponent. This is just the latest example of President Obama and his political machine saying or doing anything to distract from his abysmal record over the last four years.Proven false? By who? And, given that Mitt Romney still refuses to release his tax returns before 2010, by what? Everything else in that statement is misdirection. There's a reason Mitt Romney isn't releasing those tax returns, and until he does there's no way his campaign can make the claim that concerns about what may lurk in those documents have been "proven false." They haven't.
Bill McKibben, climate expert and founder of 350.org has a piece reminding us that the extreme and extremely dangerous weather events we're seeing across the US are occurring in a context of global climate change. With Bill's permission, we're reposting[...]
Read The Full Article:
A report released on Tuesday revealed that former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson was driving with a small amount of the sleep drug Ambien in his system when he was involved in multiple collisions in Southern California last month.
Despite that, prosecutors declined to charge Bryson with any crimes, saying it was not clear the drug had anything to do with the bizarre collisions and that a seizure was more likely to blame.
Bryson resigned from President Obama's cabinet on June 21 after revelations that he crashed his Lexus into a car, drove away and then crashed into a second car minutes later in a neighboring city.
A medical report made public on Tuesday shows George Zimmerman had a broken nose, cuts to the back of his head and joint pain but was otherwise healthy the day after he shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February.
The 28-year-old complained of pain and occasional nausea from thinking about the killing, the report said. But he was at the doctor's office in Altamonte Springs, Fla., because his boss told him he would need a medical note to return to work.
"He was told that he had a broken nose and denies being taken to the hospital," the report said. "He then returned to work and was told he needed a police report and medical clearance to return to work."
The report was made public by Zimmerman's attorneys as part of his defense against a second-degree murder charge in a case that has drawn international attention. Prosecutors say Zimmerman profiled and killed the teen Feb. 26 in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., in an act of twisted vigilantism. He has pleaded not guilty and claimed he shot Martin in self defense after the teen attacked him and tried to kill him.
Zimmerman's attorneys submitted the medical report as evidence on Friday during a hearing in which they asked Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to release their client again on bail despite the judge revoking it earlier this year. The judge has yet to make a decision.
The four-page report by Altamonte Family Practice said that Zimmerman denied having any dizziness, headaches or numbness the morning after the killing even though he told authorities the teen had slammed his head into the pavement so hard he thought he was about to die.
"During the altercation he was assaulted, punched in the face, and shoved to the ground where his head was hit into the pavement multiple times," the medical report said.
But although they recommended he speak to a psychologist to deal with the trauma, the medical workers saw no need to give him stitches for the cuts and told him he only needed to clean the area with soap and water everyday. He was also prescribed medications to deal with anxiety and joint pain.