Saturday, January 21, 2012

Total Effective Federal Tax Rate By Income -- 2007

"Our income tax system is designed to be “progressive.” That is, we generally agree that people with higher incomes should pay a greater percentage of their income in federal income taxes, because they can afford to pay more. But because capital gains are concentrated at the highest levels of income and taxed at favorable rates, many of the most affluent taxpayers pay a lower effective tax rate than those beneath them on the income scale."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What If Obama Loses?

Not something we want to think about, but Washington Monthly has done an excellent job of scoping out the particulars of this unhappy event! Read it and work hard to re-elect the President in 2012.

It’s a common complaint—we’ve certainly made it over the years—that too much political campaign coverage focuses on the horse race. The packed debate schedule in the current GOP nomination battle has put a bit more focus than usual on the substance of what the candidates are saying, which is good. But even so, most of this coverage has wound up being about whether a given policy position might help or hurt a candidate’s chances of winning. What’s most important has been left largely unexamined: if one of these candidates actually becomes president and advances his or her policies, what would be the consequences for the nation?

Friday, January 6, 2012

U.S. debt was a better investment than gold this year

Inside the Beltway, our country’s debt load was politically toxic in 2011, but in the global marketplace, it was even better than gold. The euro-zone crisis sent investors fleeing for the relative safety of U.S. Treasurys. Now the U.S. bond market is set to have its best year since 2008, with a 13.7 percent return — significantly outperforming the stock market in 2011. What’s more, the Wall Street Journal points out, “the biggest star was the 30-year Treasury bond, with a 35% return, far outpacing even gold, another favorite safe-haven asset.”

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nobody Understands Debt

From Paul Krugman in 1/2/2012 NYT:

In 2011, as in 2010, America was in a technical recovery but continued to suffer from disastrously high unemployment. And through most of 2011, as in 2010, almost all the conversation in Washington was about something else: the allegedly urgent issue of reducing the budget deficit.

Another Excellent Inequality Study

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) isn’t as well known in these parts as the CBO, but their reports are widely considered equally reliable and nonpartisan.

So I took notice of their newly released study on income inequality.