Category Archives: Taxes

2012 Election Not a Mandate for More Gridlock

When Barack Obama was re-elected to the presidency last November, House Speaker John Boehner observed, “the American people have spoken. They have re-elected President Obama. And they have again elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.” Republican House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell noted that the voters, “have simply given [Obama] more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control.” President Obama

Understanding the US Budget

The United States budget can be broken into two groups, DISCRETIONARY spending and MANDATORY spending.  About 7% of the budget is interest paid on our debt – which will only increase, but should also be considered mandatory as defaulting is not an option. As you can probably guess mandatory spending is outside of the President’s control and is regulated by established laws in place.  Mandatory spending includes Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc.  The last major bump in Mandatory

An Economy on the Rebound

When President Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009, the U.S. economy was in free fall. During the preceding year and half, some of the nation’s largest and most important financial institutions went bankrupt, including Bear Stearns, Countrywide, and Lehman Brothers, as risky loans and other investments failed. Many other large banks were on the verge of collapse. The downfall of the financial sector had been preceded by a spectacular end to a massive speculative housing

The Case Against Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s nomination as the 2012 Republican candidate for President is an important and historical moment for me and many other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the U.S. and the world. A thick glass ceiling was shattered when Romney, a prominent member of my faith, overcame anti-Mormon bigotry prevalent in parts of the Republican primary electorate to clinch the GOP nomination. During the past twelve years we have been witnesses to a triumph over

Does Romney Believe Laziness Causing High Unemployment?

Remarks that Mitt Romney made to wealthy donors back in May 2012, have put Romney in an awkward position. Romney denigrated nearly half of the population of the U.S. and erroneously claimed that Obama supporters were all dependent on government assistance. After receiving a question about how Romney would be able to win the election, Romney remarked: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who

Thank Romney for Underscoring Need for “Buffet Rule”

After losing the South Carolina Primary to Newt Gingrich, possibly in part due to his waffling at the pre-Primary debates about releasing his tax returns, Mitt Romney released his tax returns for the past two years, which show that he paid about 14% in federal taxes on income of nearly $43 million. The timing of Romney’s tax return release was impeccable- for Democrats. For months, President Obama and Democrats have been attacking Republicans for wanting to maintain tax breaks and

Communists Like Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith

Conservatives often invoke our country’s Founding Fathers as well as prominent historical figures like economist Adam Smith, whose ideas about the “invisible hand” of free markets helped form the theoretical foundation of modern capitalism, when they advocate far-right economic policies. Lately, there has been a lot of talk by GOP presidential candidates about creating a flat tax system in the U.S., particularly from Texas Governor Rick Perry and Godfather’s Pizza founder Herman Cain. Ironically, you’ll never hear a conservative pundit

Taxes and Used Car Dealers

To support their argument against President Obama’s calls additional revenue to solve the budget deficit, Republicans have argued that the U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Democrats, on the other hand, have pointed out that companies and wealthy Americans are paying historically low levels of taxes. Paradoxically, both parties are right. To understand why, you need to think of the U.S. tax code like code like a user car dealership. Sticker prices are usually

Where Did All That Debt Come From?

I’ve intended since the spring to write about our country’s current fiscal situation and how we arrived here. For months, Congressional Republicans have been asserting that our federal government does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem, and have argued for draconian spending cuts largely aimed at programs that benefit the middle class. And President Obama and many Democrats have largely conceded to the GOP on the issue, allowing them frame the debate about our economic woes

Warren Buffet Paid a Lower Tax Rate Than His Secretary in 2010

In today’s New York Times, billionaire investor Warren Buffett pointed out that he pays a lower federal income tax rate than his staff. His effective tax rate last year? 17.4 percent! His is not a unique case. Our tax code is written so that the wealthiest have the best tax breaks. As the President has said, everyone needs to pay their fair share. And since debt reduction is the pressing issue on politicians’ minds in Washington, I hope that the

Wake Up Middle Class!

With Obama’s plan to let the Bush Tax cuts expire in 2010, there has been an onslaught of media attention concerning his budgetary decisions. Phrases like “socialism”, “re-distribution of wealth”, and “tax hikes” are being associated with President Obama’s fiscal policies to discredit his approach. Obama has been open and direct concerning who his tax policies are targeting. The interesting part of the situation? There has never been such an uproar from the middle class fighting for the benefits of

The Republican Philosophy – One Giant Credit Card

Tax and Spend Liberals. If I had a nickel for every time I heard this phrase, I would be writing this post from an exotic hut with glass bottom floors somewhere in the French Polynesia. This negative connotation has been associated with the Democratic Party for several decades, and will be an effective talking point for elections to come. The irony: I would much rather be a tax and spend liberal, then a free charging conservative. Recently I had a

A Moral Dilemma

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; It is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” -FDR With the 2004 presidential election come and gone, many citizens will tune out the various debates that our lawmakers continue to engage in.  Both sides will retire to their blue and red corners of this polarized nation with a sigh of relief, the red for their victory, the

Economics Paper from 2004

Perhaps one of my passions (and an intragal part of politics and policy making) is economics. This paper was written three months before the 2004 election. (First two paragraphs of the article) Perhaps one of the most partisan debates today is the economics of monetary and fiscal policy. Many administrations in the past have implemented their own beliefs in regards to this subject. In studying various administrations of both parties, I have come to various conclusions: The Federal Reserve and