Arthur Laffer is Not Laughing at Sam Brownback’s Budget

By: Saturday January 24, 2015 10:00 am

An anonymous tipster called me on a burner phone, and directed me to a row of round hay bales in a field outside Topeka. “Walk down the row, and when you find a pile of manure, look for an envelope. I think you’ll be very interested in what’s inside.”

Curious, I pushed back a bit. “Lots of things might interest me. What’s in that envelope that’s so special that I should go looking for a pile of manure?”

The voice on the phone laughed, hard. When it calmed down, the voice said “What’s in the envelope? Two things. I won’t tell you what the first one is,” — the voice snickered — “but the second one is a bill submitted to the State of Kansas from Arthur Laffer.” . . .


Double Drought in Kansas Brings Tears to Brownback

By: Saturday June 14, 2014 10:30 am

The numbers don’t look good, either in the rain gauges around the state or the state balance sheets in Topeka.

Poor Sam Brownback.

Not a Dime For Wisconsin Rainy Day Fund Despite Nearly $1 Billion Surplus

By: Saturday March 1, 2014 4:00 pm

In their eagerness to provide tax cuts, Wisconsin lawmakers have pushed aside a law aimed at encouraging fiscal responsibility that requires half of state surplus revenue be set aside for a rainy day.

Late Night: The Ghost of Ronnie

By: Thursday October 10, 2013 8:00 pm

It’s become commonplace in what remains of the mainstream media to say that the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that even St. Ronnie wouldn’t make the cut, which is true as far as it goes. But thanks to Reaganism, it doesn’t need Ronnie anymore.

A Truly Simplified Tax Code Is Incompatible With the Main Goals of Washington

By: Wednesday April 10, 2013 9:50 am

It is time for people in Washington to acknowledge it is impossible to get a truly simplified tax code in this current political climate. It is simply inconsistent with the other driving ideological preferences in Washington, which includes the idea of very low federal “spending”, low taxes, and a Congress that plays an active role in setting policy. It is possible to fulfill two or three of these goals at once, but not all four.

President Obama’s new budget is a prefect example of how a truly simple tax code is incompatible with the top goals of the two parties. The overview calls for making the “tax code more simple and fair” by closing tax loopholes. Yet, just a few lines later it calls for multiple new tax incentives to promote several proposals.

Poverty Hits Record Levels as Washington Debates More Austerity

By: Wednesday April 3, 2013 7:35 am

While Washington debates cutting Social Security and Medicare the facts are in on the “recovery” – it’s a bust. Not only has unemployment remained historically high – 7.7% officially, 23% by the old metrics – but poverty has spiked to historic highs.

For the Obama Campaign, It’s All About Taxes

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 1:15 pm

The presidential election is over but the Obama campaign operation hasn’t been shut down. It still exists in a more limited form, actively engaging in public outreach and encouraging constituent lobbying. What the Obama campaign is specifically pushing for at this moment, however, offers a telling insight into the thinking of the administration about the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Romney’s Plan Would Raise Taxes on the Middle Class to Pay for Cuts for the Rich

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 8:50 am

Almost every “proposal” from Mitt Romney on important issues is vague and lacking in real details that they are almost impossible to actually evaluate. But despite the lack of details, the Tax Policy Center has done their best to try to analyze the impact of Romney’s tax plan based on the few elements Romney has said are in it. Their finding is that there is no way Romney can fulfill his plan to lower the tax rates in a revenue neutral manner which wouldn’t result in the rich paying less and the middle class paying more.

CBPP on Pelosi’s Bush Tax Cut Shift

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 6:45 am

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has put hard numbers to Nancy Pelosi’s shift on the Bush tax cuts. So now we know specifically that raising the dividing line on the tax cuts from $250,000 to $1 million gives back $366 billion in revenue over a ten-year time frame. This is in line with Citizens for Tax Justice’s calculations of 43% less revenue from the shift. CTJ also pointed out that half of that revenue would go to millionaires, since they would get a tax break on all of their earnings from $250,000 to $1 million. So that results in a $183 billion gift to millionaires.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Swanson, The Military Industrial Complex at 50

By: Sunday May 27, 2012 1:59 pm

In 1961, President Eisenhower delivered his now famous farewell address, in which he warned the American people of the dangerous rise of a powerful “military industrial complex” in this country.

Last year, for the 50th anniversary of this prophetic speech, many of the leading thinkers and activists on U.S. militarism and war-making came together for a conference to take stock of how this complex has evolved and what can be done to reign it in. For those who weren’t able to attend, author and activist David Swanson has just published The Military Industrial Complex at 50, an edited collection of the insightful and inspiring remarks that were delivered at this timely event, in addition to several other complimentary essays.

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