Why Michigan Taxes Burden the Middle-Class and Poor

This article, although opinionated, outlines fairly well how the recent changes in Michigan taxes simply shift the burden of paying for government to the middle class and poor while allowing huges accumulations of wealth for a few elite business people.

http://markmaynard.com/2012/04/how-do-you-convey-to-people-the-seriousness-of-whats-happening-to-michigans-working-class/comment-page-1/


Article Debunks Why the Rich Really Didn’t Earn Their Wealth….But the Middle-Class Did.

This article provides 5 solid reasons why the rich do not pay their fair share.  The assertions are backed by facts and data from studies that support these reasons.
Here are those reasons summarized.

  1. The rich have taken the wealth created by the middle class.
    While workers have TRIPLED their productivity over 30 years, the richest 1% have TRIPLED their share of income. Worker pay remained flat as the top 10% took almost all the productivity gains since 1980.
  2. The rich have mismanaged key American industries
    American have the most expensive health care system in the world. Failing banks have survived because of taxpayer bailouts. Management-approved shortcuts have led to workplace deaths and chemical leak disasters. Companies lobby for cap and trade laws so their profits can pay for their pollution.
  3. The very rich use middle-class taxpayer-funded research to subsidize their “entrepreneurial” business success.
    The rich have made their fortunes in good part because of taxpayer-funded research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the Internet), the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and numerous other government agencies.
  4. The rich have increased their incomes by not paying taxes
    The richest 10% own 80% of the stock market, providing billions in “unearned income” that is taxed at less than half the rate of income earned through real work. Real tax rates for the richest Americans have gone way down over the last 30 years, from 34% in 1980 to 23% in 2006. Yet the 1% claim they pay most of the taxes.
  5. The richest show little regard for the law or others in society.
    The middle-class depends on sound financial management for their economic security. According to sources such as the New York Times and ProPublica, Wall Street firms including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs have been repeatedly charged with fraud only to avoid punishment by paying a fraction of their profits in fines.

Here is the article entitled Five Reasons Why the Rich have NOT Earned Their Money.   Complete with referencess to the studies to support its assertions.


An Interesting Take on Why ALEC Supports “Stand Your Ground” Gun Laws

The following is an opinion piece.   However, it is worth a read because it introduces such a novel, but compelling, explanation for ALEC’s support of the Florida and Michigan “Stand Your Ground” gun laws.   I have shared some of the most compelling paragraphs below followed by a link to the entire article.

“The Castle Doctrine is just one part of the “shiny object” campaign that the corporate right has waged for decades to prevent this awakening from occurring. Don’t mind that the top 1% controls 40% of the wealth in this country, instead blame the public worker making $40,000 a year. Don’t mind the fact that the wealthy elite in this nation have siphoned trillions of dollars out of our economy and into their pockets through corrupt trade, banking, and tax policies. No, blame the fact that some single mom is getting $200 more in food stamps than she is entitled to. Even better if your mental picture of that single mom conjures up a person of color. The welfare abuse in this nation is but a grain of sand on the beach of corporate welfare and political corruption, yet the right has succeeded in getting us to focus on that one grain with rabid outrage. You have to give the right wing props for pulling that one off. Overlook the fact that corporations have sent all of our jobs overseas in search of slave labor, but hey, feel free to pop off rounds at somebody you don’t recognize before you even figure out what is happening. Now THAT is freedom!

In order to get people to continue to vote against their best interests, the ruling class has to make them believe the average guy next to them is the enemy. In order to “drown our government in the bathtub,” they have to completely destroy any remaining sense that we are our brother’s keeper. It is the only way it is OK to deny people health care when they are sick, or food when they are hungry. It is how they can demonize our teachers, firefighters and police officers while they siphon trillions from our collective bank accounts.

What the Castle Doctrine laws have done is take away the legal requirement of thought and reasonableness. I would strongly argue that the short-cutting of the legal requirements has the effect of also short-cutting the moral and ethical considerations of taking a human life, and groups like ALEC know this. It is one more step in their goal of having us utterly dehumanize each other.”

Read the entire article


Congress Passes Bill to Deal with Insider Trading in Congress.

For those that do not understand what insider trading is, it is how people with knowledge not available to the public use that knowledge to make a profit in the stock market.   For example, say you are an attorney and you become aware that your client is going to file for bankruptcy so you go out and tell your girlfriend about it so she can sell her shares and avoid loss.  Your girlfriend is trading on information that is NOT available to the public in order to avoid a loss.   If she sold shares short, she would make a profit even.

This is not permitted under insider trading rules.   If you have priviledged information, you can’t use it to profit or avoid loss.   Until this legislation, Congress men and women could do so…..unlike the rest of America

Check it out.

 


ALEC’s U.S. Congressional “Corrupt Practices” Report – What ALEC Alumni are Doing in DC

Although this report was published in 2011, it is still so very relevant.   And, the explanation that appears with it now is especially helpful.

Check it out here.


Ginsberg on Citizens United

Ginsberg is hinting that evidence of corruption caused by the Citizen’s United Case should undermine that ruling.

http://www.kaiseredu.org/tutorials/Medicare-and-health-reform/player.html


Great summaries of “Obamacare”

With all the lies circulating about “Obamacare”, I thought you might enjoy some pretty factual explanations.

Summary of the New Health Reform Law   from the Kaiser Foundation

Health Reform and Medicare:  Overview of Key Provisions from Kaiseredu.or   (best for those of us whose brains can’t take all those complexities but do require FACTS)