Archive for April 15th, 2010

by jhwygirl

I certainly hope the Dems in Kalispell are paying attention to this.

Democratic candidate for HD8, Dane Clark, of Kalispell was handing out tea party pamphlets, packin’ heat (because rumors of agent provocateurs, it seemed prudent) and passing out campaign lit for Mark French, Republican primary congressional wingnut racist bigot from Sanders County.

James Conner never writes enough for me. I wish he wrote more – but it looks like he’s done two pieces recently, both regarding Flathead County politics.

I did read his eulogy for friend Loren Kreck, back when he posted it a couple weeks ago. Loren Kreck is an environmental hero that I had never heard of, yet generations of Montanans – generations of people – will benefit from his diligent work to preserve the North Fork of the Flathead.

James? You did Loren righteous. It’s a beautiful piece of writing.

by jhwygirl

Teabaggers around the states today celebrated whatever it is they celebrated by getting out and protesting whatever it is they’re protesting. On Keith Olbermann’s show tonight, he reported on a senior citizen that was interviewed at one of these many protests who said she was on social security, did not want to see it dissolved, and didn’t know that the teabaggers wanted to get rid of social security.

They’re teabaggers, and they’re proud of it:

Jay has a great piece up at Left in the West pointing out many interesting facts about those that love tea.

I got a nominal refund from the feds. I like it that way. Big refunds mean a freebee loan to uncle, and why would anyone want to do that? I owed the state a few bucks, and I was happy to do it – it means that much less in coal porn profits for my share.

President Obama and his wife paid $1.8 million in taxes on the $5.5 million that he made. They donated $329.100 to charities – and none of those figures include the $1.4 million Nobel Peace prize the President won and then donated to a number of organizations, include Bozeman’s Greg Mortenson, who works building schools in Afghanistan.

I like my government. I like having police and schools. I like that someone builds and maintains roads and highways. I also like that someone regulates things like food and hospitals, and ensures that places like gas stations don’t present a hazard to the public.

The reality that these teabaggers create is interesting. In 2009? 47% of Americans did not pay federal income tax. 47%.

Interestingly, a preliminary table created by the Tax Policy Center estimated 45% of Americans would have no tax liability – but what is even more interesting is that under a “simplified tax system”, which many tea partyiers advocate for (including my brother), only 27% of people would have a no tax liability.

Who isn’t paying taxes? The lowest income folks – those on social security, families and single parents utilizing the earned-income credit. Who’s fault is that? Blame it on Ronald Reagan:

It is no accident, btw, that the number of people not paying income tax was so high in 2009. You may have noticed that we’ve had a recession lately. And here is a powerful insight: When people’s incomes decline so too does their income tax (at least most of the time). At the same time, many working families have benefited from temporary tax cuts aimed at boosting the economy, and as a result some did not pay income taxes last year. As the economy improves and those tax cuts expire, it should also be no surprise that the share of people who don’t pay income taxes will likely shrink from half last year to less than 40 percent by 2012.

There is, however, another reason why some people don’t pay. For decades, both Democratic and Republican governments have made conscious policy decisions to remove low-income working families from the income tax rolls. And, guess what, sometimes government policy works exactly as intended. That’s what happened this time.

Let’s take one of the biggest drivers: the Earned Income Tax Credit. Based on an idea (the negative income tax) originated by conservative icon Milton Friedman, the EITC is refundable, so that people who work for low wages can not only wipe out their income tax liability, they can even get a cash payment from the government. The EITC was enacted in 1975 under President Ford, greatly expanded in 1986 under President Reagan, and expanded again under presidents Clinton and Bush (both of them). It’s been the very model of bipartisan tax policy (which, I suppose, is why some dislike it so).

Both the EITC and the child care credit are explicitly designed to encourage people to work—a goal most of us (including Friedman and Ronald Reagan) thought was a very good thing.

Doesn’t make much sense to tax people that aren’t sitting on their cash – people living hand-to-mouth are only going to spend.

Which is something even that tea partyin’ senior citizen on social security realized as she was being interviewed, having used her social security check to put gas in the car to get her to the protest.

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