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By Tim Price, originally published on Next New Deal

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Read My Lips: More New Taxes! (New Republic)

Tax Day would be a time for celebration if there were a clearer connection between paying taxes and receiving the many valuable public services and benefits they fund, writes Jonathan Cohn.

TurboTax Maker Linked to 'Grassroots' Campaign Against Free, Simple Tax Filing (ProPublica)

Giving taxpayers the option to use pre-filled tax returns could save them money and time, but tax software developer Intuit is lobbying hard against the proposal, reports Liz Day. 

Chances of Getting Audited by IRS Lowest in Years (AP)

Deep budget cuts have put such a strain on IRS resources that the agency audited only 1 percent of individual returns last year, writes Stephen Ohlemacher, and that number will drop in 2014. 

C.E.O. Pay Goes Up, Up and Away! (NYT)

Despite efforts to restrain the growth of executive pay through increased transparency and regulation, median CEO compensation grew 9 percent in 2013, hitting $13.9 million, writes Joe Nocera.

The Single Mother, Child Poverty Myth (Demos)

Family composition in the U.S. is not much different from that of Northern Europe, writes Matt Bruenig, but the European countries have much more generous welfare systems to keep children out of poverty.

What the French E-mail Meme Reveals About America's Runaway Culture of Work (The Nation)

French workers are often mocked because they continue to fight for work-life balance, writes Michelle Chen, but American work culture's disregard for those boundaries is the real historical outlier.

How 250 UPS Workers Fired for a Wildcat Strike Won Back Their Jobs (In These Times)

An outcry from union members, activists, elected officials, and customers forced UPS to reverse its decision to fire hundreds of drivers at a Queens facility for protesting a co-worker's dismissal, reports Sarah Jaffe.

New on Next New Deal

What is Economic Growth Without Shared Prosperity? 

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network National Field Strategist Joelle Gamble argues that economic policy should focus on improving life for all Americans, not just those at the very top.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Intuit ain't the problem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat
    Giving taxpayers the option to use pre-filled tax returns could save them money and time, but tax software developer Intuit is lobbying hard against the proposal, reports Liz Day.
    Leaving out the inconvenient fact that the current system is used to deliver entitlements via the earned income credit and the child tax credit, etc. etc. that are mind-numbingly complicated for even professional preparers....

    A return free option would be FINE for the tiny slice of taxpayers who face none of these intricacies, but those taxpayers don't really know who they are.

    A return free system would be nice, but it would require a complete revamp of the income tax law as it exists. Congress LIKES it the way it is.

  •  When we consider that all dollars originate (0+ / 0-)

    with the U.S Treasury, under the supervision of Congress, then taxes are merely a mechanism for returning (revenue) these tangible tokens of our obligations to each other back to the source (sort of like recycling glass and aluminum) for calculation and re-distribution.
    That Wall Street makes an enterprise out of speculation, gambling with these tokens should not be an excuse for them not returning those dollars just like everyone else does.
    That the rate at which dollars are recycled has been significantly depressed can be seen from the records kept by the Federal Reserve tracking what they identify as the "velocity" of money. Their graphs clearly show that while the quantity of money has steadily grown since the liberation of the dollar from the bands of gold in 1971, the rate at which currency flows through the economy has steadily decreased since about 1991.
    If we're looking for a stream reduced down to a trickle, that would be it. Something similar, of course, happens on our highways. As the volume of vehicles on the roadways grows, the speed goes down until we end up with grid-lock and it's quicker to walk than to drive. People react the same way to not having enough monetary flow; they seek out alternatives or look for another route. The latter is what accounts for our underground or irregular or black-market economy now having reached an estimated $2 trillion, annually.
    Some members of Congress are apparently aware of this phenomenon. It's what they are talking about when they complain about people who don't pay taxes into the pot from which they like to distribute bennies to the friends and supporters that keep them sitting pretty on Capitol Hill.
    Because that's really the bottom line -- the extent to which Congress critters can use the public purse to secure themselves in office (a bi-partisan, but not universal ambition), while maintaining the pretense that they have no control.
    Why would Congress pretend to be impotent? Because, were they to admit their control of the public purse, the public would be induced to seek revenge for the mismanagement.

    by hannah on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:26:42 AM PDT

  •  Adam Smith On Progressive Taxation (0+ / 0-)

    Wealth of Nation’s Smith vigorously defends a progressive system of income taxation in two places:

    1. “[taxation should be contributed] in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.”
    2. “The rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

    Smith even specifically named taxes that he thought should be required by the state among them luxury goods taxes and tax on rent. He believed that tax laws should be as transparent as possible and that each individual should pay a “certain amount, and not arbitrary” in addition to paying this tax at the time “most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay it.

    "Every tax, however, is, to the person who pays it, a badge, not of slavery, but of liberty.”

    Adam Smith quote, author of the "Wealth of Nations

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:13:25 AM PDT

  •  About IRS "audit" numbers (0+ / 0-)

    I believe that when the IRS says "audit," they mean the full-blown, bring-all-your-backup-documents-and-check-stubs-into-the-office type of audit. (I've been through one of those, many years ago -- not a pleasant experience, but it got much less confrontational after the first few questions, as I was able to pull out documents verifying how low our mortgage payment was, how old our (one) car was, and how careful I was to deposit every penny of self-employment income into the checking account.)

    What the IRS is doing a lot more of, however, is sending letters requesting more information on a particular item -- for example, "please explain and provide proof that your niece/nephew/unrelated child who you've claimed as a dependent/for head of household/for EITC really lives at your house." If you're claiming self-employment in a business that is easy to fake and hard to trace, please provide documentation that it really exists and how you track income and expenses.

    Cutting back on audits of higher-end taxpayers and corporations is, I believe, the goal of Congress' insistence on cutting the IRS enforcement budget -- they can't eliminate it, as the T-partiers demand, so they're just starving and strangling it, just as they did HHS so they couldn't properly implement the ACA.

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