Most of the discussion assumes that inequality is something that happened. By contrast, the more obvious story is that inequality is something that was done; it was the result of policies that had the effect of redistributing income upward.
Tens of millions of people made New Year's resolutions last week, but few were as creative as the one pushed through Congress yesterday. Apparently, the new Congress decided that its first order of business should be to go after workers who are no longer able to hold jobs due to injury or illness.
Right out of the blocks, House Democrats are pushing a tax reform in the 114th Congress that tackles the extreme gaps between CEO and worker pay. Their maneuver could raise awareness of a CEO pay loophole so outrageous it will be hard for Republicans to defend indefinitely.
It turns out that the taxpayer subsidy to Jim Harbaugh is equal to an awful lot of food stamps, which are a useful reference point here, since Republicans have tried to vilify the program. If we assume that Harbuagh's salary is made up by $7 million in tax-deductible contributions by rich people, then taxpayers will effectively be paying $2.8 million to subsidize his coaching job. This is equivalent to 20,000 months of food stamps. People who get upset over someone getting food stamps from the government should be very upset about a football coach getting a taxpayer subsidy equal to 20,000 months of food stamps. To be clear, I have nothing against Harbaugh or the University of Michigan, but it is certainly reasonable to ask about the size of the salaries at nonprofits that are being subsidized with our tax dollars.
My personal opinion on all this: the change in the scoring rules is an effort to smooth the way to "tax reform" and the less we hear about "tax reform" in this Congress the better.
In 2015 one of my primary wishes is that all of us will concentrate on treating other people with respect. I have just scratched the surface; I encourage you to give this entire matter some very deep consideration.
2014 was the year that nine-figure government settlement deals with corporations passed from shocking anomaly to normal event.
No one is arguing for complete equality of income. Not even close. We celebrate the success of the One Percent, and rightly so. All we ask, especially in this time of giving, is for the compassion, the humility, the shared experience that existed only a few decades ago.
While many of us show our generosity throughout the year by donating to charity and volunteering our time to help causes we support, there's no better time than the holidays to get into the spirit of giving.
It is astonishing that someone so bright and well-intentioned does not see the hypocrisy in calling taxes a "drag," "destructive" and "the culprit" and then complaining that money was "slashed" from an entitlement program.
So give yourself one final gift this year and consider your taxes as you do what you normally do during the end of the year and the holiday season. A bit more attention to the tax rules and possibly tweaking what you do, might give you a bigger refund at tax time.
Any presidential candidate should make the baby bond a central plank of their 2016 if they want to seriously address the problem of wealth inequality. Without such a proposal, wealth, and therefore political power will become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small elite.
Joseph and Mary remind us that Christmas is a genuine love story--the story of God's unwavering love for us and our love for him; the marvelous love of a wife and a husband and the joyous wonder of a first child.
Yesterday, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 was passed by Congress, temporarily and retroactively extending more than 50 tax breaks that expired on December 31, 2013, meaning you and other taxpayers out there may receive a little extra holiday cheer this season.
In this interview, he explores the work of Thomas Piketty and the need for the field of economics -- and the country -- to come to terms with the growing gulf between haves and have-nots.
First, there is denial. Then relief, and then possibly a nice refund after it's all said and done. We're talking about tax season, and it has arrived. It's also a good time to take care of other financial business, like maxing out an IRA or rolling over an old 401(k).