Open thread June 15, 2021 Dan Crawford | June 15, 2021 6:45 am Comments (24) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
With the publication of income tax data from Pro Publica, I am wondering about the pros and cons of having some income tax information being public. I did a bit of research and it appears that there has been at least one media figure advocating for that. That person is Binyamin Appelbuam, lead economics writer at the New York Times. Here’s a segment from a recent column:
I’ve argued that the government should disclose the amounts that everyone pays in income taxes, just as it discloses property taxes. The ProPublica story underscores the argument for transparency: It allows Americans to judge how well the system is working.
As I wrote in 2019, “Publishing a list of millionaires who paid little or no taxes this year could significantly reduce the number of millionaires who pay little or no taxes next year.”
Past disclosures, including the Panama Papers and the revelations about Donald Trump’s finances, have offered glimpses of the prevalence of tax avoidance. This newest data offers something more comprehensive. I hope it is enough to convince people that change is necessary.
The whole article is here: Opinion | The Real Tax Scandal Is What’s Legal – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
In Finland, income tax data is made public. Appelbaum wrote an entire column in 2019 on public disclosure. Opinion | Everyone’s Income Taxes Should Be Public – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
In Finland the day that income tax returns are made available is called National Jealousy Day. For most of us, I don’t think publication of income and taxes paid would be a big deal. For years all presidential candidates released years of income tax data. It was somewhat interesting. But now that we know more from Pro Publica, I think a national database might be worthwhile.
Another idea I liked I believe I read in here several years ago. Pay stubs should be expanded to show where income taxes are spent. Would then avoid, as much as possible, outrageous claims about them all going to welfare, foreign aid, etc.
Course, there is no chance of our government, Rep or Dem, ever allowing either of these two things.
(A lengthy, graphics loaded story about Amazon in NYC.)
Well, it took them long enough but they finally found the replacement for The Lost Cause.
” Stopping Critical Race Theory Is Now a Bona Fide Right-Wing Grift
Make no mistake, the scheme has thoroughly infiltrated the Republican plan for the 2022 midterms and beyond.
” Well, pretty clearly, Representative Pringle has lost his connection, as well as the plot and many of his marbles. But, make no mistake, the scheme has thoroughly infiltrated the Republican plan for the 2022 midterms and beyond. Hell, just Tuesday morning, Mitch McConnell told the Senate:
‘Today the Senate will vote on the nomination of Kiran Ahuja Ahuja, President Biden’s choice to head the Office of Personnel Management. This is the position responsible for making hiring, payroll, and training decisions that affect literally millions of federal employees. The president’s nominee has made statements expressing sympathy for the discredited ahistorical claims about our nation’s origins that form the backbone of so-called critical race theory.’
‘Still elsewhere in the Biden administration efforts to subvert the basic understanding of our founding principles are already well under way. The Department of Education’s latest proposed priorities run roughshod over existing history and civics programs established with bipartisan support, in order to push critical race theory on public school students and keep pace with woke sensibilities.
American students deserve a rock solid civics education grounded in actual fact, not divisive propaganda that tells them they’re a little more than a product of their racial background. That’s the basis of new legislation I was proud to help introduce this week. Schools that choose to trade in fact-based curricula for activists propaganda like The 1619 Project forfeit their right to receive federal education grant funding for those teachings.’
Notice how McConnell slipped the 1619 Project in there? He’s Rep. Pringle with a super-PAC.”
Stopping Critical Race Theory Is Now a Bona Fide Right-Wing Grift
Inflation-mania appears to have taken hold on the misinformation web news smorgasbords. Just as supply-side microeconomics explains the frictions that cause production price to increase, then demand-side microeconomics explains who may care about those price increases. E.g., my ten year old truck has less than 60,000 miles on it, so it should be good for another ten years or more. Telecommuting and urban living have done more for the longevity of consumer vehicle useful life than all of the engineers in Detroit. The owners of car dealerships and especially commissioned car sales persons care about auto production supply shock far more than I. OTOH, food prices, with some in particular (i.e., milk, bread, and ground beef), matter to all households with incomes less than one and a half standard deviations from the high end of the curve. Like gas, food falls under the headline inflation where price volatility is the rule and inflation calculations are a joke. In times of high home prices, then one can always rent but they must live somewhere. In times of high auto prices then auto mechanics get more work. One need not trade their vehicle before its time, but US consumers have bad habits with their wants. Whether the bad habit is broke or the consumer is broke is a matter of choice.
Macroeconomics comes down to just a few things. Microeconomics comes down to just a few million things.
With the former, the academics dream it and with the later, I lived it. With my former economics prof at Loyola and when he is not mad at me, we still discuss the relationship and how the former glosses over the latter. Inflation is a popular word used to describe everything wrong with the economy. The nation awoke and the means of providing for it have to catch up. NDd has it right.
(Hmmm. The post above was done using only the ‘blockquote’ and ‘copy’ widgets, with very acceptable results, I think. Will it work the same way later on?))
well, it would be nice if the US and Russia could agree on fighting climate change and other destruction of ecosystems.
then maybe we could get Republicans and Demmocrats to agree.
and that’s not necessarily “agree with each other” but both of them agree with the facts.
say, while we argue about releasing income tax returns which will have no effect on anything except to make the rich mad about their privacy and the poorish mad about the unfairness of it all, we need to come to understand that we might have to spend a little money and drive a little less if we are going to have a planet worth living on in the fairly near future.
that is, “we”, ourselves; not just “the rich.” at this point I think it is more likely the rich will come to their senses than that we will.
“then maybe we could get Republicans and Demmocrats to agree.”
This has happened once in almost 30 years and the Iraq War was, and is, a disaster. It’s not ever going to happen until the old, white working class Rep voters die off, and their children are outnumbered.
Seems the NFL is doing it right. Can’t wait to see the GOP attacks on them.
“The NFL decided earlier this year not to make vaccines mandatory for players, and a number of high-profile players have said in recent weeks
that they have not yet received a shot. While those players will still be allowed to participate in practices and games, the memo outlines a set of protocols that will essentially create two teams within each organization.
Per the memo, any player who is not fully vaccinated will continue to be subject to:
Daily testing, mask wearing (including in the team facility) and physical distancing
A quarantine if he has a high-risk exposure to someone with COVID-19
Significant restrictions when traveling, including required isolation in the team hotel and relegation to a separate team plane
A prohibition of meals with teammates
A prohibition on social, media and marketing sponsorship activities
A ban on gathering with more than three other players away from the team facility
A requirement to wear personal protective equipment to visit a nightclub or indoor bar that has more than 10 people in it
A ban on attending indoor concerts or other entertainment events.
A five-day delay between first reporting to training camp and participating fully in activities.
Vaccinated players will face none of those restrictions. They will be required to be tested once every 14 days.”
GENEVA — A highly anticipated first summit meeting between President Biden and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia ended early on Wednesday and was described by both sides as a series of polite but adamantly stated disagreements about which country is the greater force of global disruption.
After about three hours of talks, the two leaders emerged, separately, and offered professional respect for each other, like two skilled boxers describing the other’s prowess. Both expressed a desire for a better relationship, but announced no dramatic actions to arrest the downward spiral that has already hurtled them toward the worst U.S.-Russian tensions since the Cold War.
In dueling news conferences on the edge of Lake Geneva, a traditional site for two of the world’s most powerful antagonists to discuss their differences, the two leaders committed to the creation of working groups to deal with urgent issues, starting with arms control and the proliferation of cyberattacks. They agreed to send ambassadors back to each other’s capitals, Mr. Putin said, and expressed interest in working in some areas of mutual interest, from the Arctic to Afghanistan.
“There has been no hostility,’’ Mr. Putin said, speaking about the meeting.
Mr. Biden declared “I did what I came to do,’’ including laying out a series of warnings and red lines for the Russian leader, which he insisted were not “threats.”
“I think the last thing he wants now is a Cold War,” Mr. Biden said at his news conference, describing Mr. Putin as the struggling leader of a declining economy who was worried about the growth of an expansionist, aggressive China on his border.
But Mr. Biden also said he had handed the Russian leader a list of 16 examples of “critical infrastructure,” and had made clear that if they were attacked, “we have significant cyber capabilities” and would respond “in a cyber way.”
Mr. Biden said there had been no hyperbole and no talk of military intervention in their exchanges, which he described as “simple assertions.” But his warning that accelerating Russian cyber operations would get an in-kind response could signal a significant escalation in the daily cyber conflict now underway among major and lesser powers, including China, Iran and North Korea. …
yes, but you see that when they did agree they got something done.
as an old white working class voter, i will be happy to die off for you. Thanks for the suggestion.
I really do not exactly disagree with you. Macro glosses over far too much, especially when restricted to monetarism. While macro explains far too little, then micro attempts to explain far too much without ever linking all of the interrelationships. Both proceed from deeply flawed assumptions about trade, work, finance, and structural economics. Neither can explain reality after ignoring reality from the start. We say that the purpose of an economy is to provide the goods and services that the public needs along with the wants that can be responsibly provided, or at least we should say that. Economics has an elite bias that runs counter to that purpose. Free markets is a euphemism for excessive accumulation of capital. Taxing it all back is both implausible and inefficient. The only folk that are getting their pony are the ones that own the horse farms.
pretty much. but “economics” does not say anything. “economists” do… the ones who are owned by the owners of the horse farms.
“as an old white working class voter, i will be happy to die off for you. Thanks for the suggestion.”
You forgot “Rep”.
do I get to wear a blue arm band?
i was thinking that when i was a mere child of old white working class republican voters, i was still outnumbered. they told us at the time that only 2% of us were trouble makers. then the sixties hit them.
didn’t help much though. ’cause now we are “boomers” and stealing our children’s future.
Back long ago (early 60’s?) before there was an Internet where people like us could read and comment upon the musings of self-important elites, then The Club of Rome openly postulated that North America and Northern Europe would need to export capital and jobs to Asia in order to raise the standard of living in Asia as a bulwark against massive immigration from Asia to the North. With the advent of container ships and the perpetuation of cheap oil then this strategy also benefited first world capitalists with the global price arbitrage of labor. Never saw that elites even cared that this bargain would lower the standard of living for first world wage workers. Nowadays liberal elites can mourn for the plight of the first world labor class and conservative elites can judge the losers undeserving, but that is a distinction with no real difference.
yes. back in the day even I suspected that raising the standard of living in Asia might mean lowering that in America. Since then, I have read a few things that say “not necessarily so,” and “the world bank was invented by FDR and Keynes to prevent the next world war by ending poverty especially in underdeveloped countries,” and “was always a cynical plot to make (some very) rich westerners richer while entrapping underdeveloped countries in debt and supporting dictators, and that “development” has always meant environmental destruction as well as turning independent farmers into a reserve army of unemployed workers.
i suspect all of this is true, just not at the same time.
and for what it’s worth I like to believe a “lowered standard of living” that meant freedom from cars, pollution, and plastic..not to say the treadmill of meritocracy…might turn out to be a good thing. but of course I should have known better. leaders can’t help but lead, and followers can’t help but follow.
Excellent! Well said. I am afraid that I must agree with you on all counts.
We screwed the free trade pooch when we left out industrial policy. Neither Keynes nor FDR wanted that. Before we outsourced foreign policy to corporate Amerika and the MICC, then the idea had been to export technology and capital to emerging economies for them to produce for themselves. But corporations wanted the government out of the business of financing foreign development because investors and the corporate world foresaw great profit in selling out the US government and US industrial workers. After that then politicians and economists just did as they were told. The press was never really free. It was owned by businessmen. Big business decided what should be done. News media promulgated the intentions of big business as holy doctrine. Politicians and economist went along for the ride. As always, we the people pay our taxes, pay our fines, and do our time.