The House Democratic Party leadership made a remarkable step forward last week in putting out a proposal for a financial transactions tax (FTT). There has long been interest in financial transactions taxes among progressive Democrats. The list of people who have proposed financial transactions taxes over the years includes Representatives Peter DeFazio and Keith Ellison, along with Senators Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders. But the proposal last week came from Representative Chris Van Hollen, who is part of the party's leadership. And Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated that she also supports the proposal. This means that financial transactions taxes are now part of the national debate on tax and financial policy. And there should be no mistake; this is a really big deal for the financial industry.
The President has introduced only the grand idea of providing tuition-free education for all students attending community colleges, an idea which, at first glance, seems to have great merit. But at this point we know very few details.
Here are some suggestions to help you figure out where you are on the pre-retirement spectrum and some changes you might consider.
In terms of the overall tax burden (state, local, federal), the top 1 percent don't even pay that much more as a percentage of their income than do the bottom 20 percent. Think about that for a minute. But you knew that, right, Mitt?
Welcome to 2015 -- now is a good time to examine the financial changes that will impact you in the days ahead. And it's mostly good news -- some of these changes can put more money in your pocket in 2015.
One of my resolutions is to help as many people as possible achieve one of the most common resolutions American's make: financial fitness. Was it on your list or should it have been?
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.