Posts Tagged ‘economic inequality’

The IRS only audits working people, because it’s cheaper

October 7, 2019

The IRS only audits working people, because it's cheaper.
Leona Helmsley said “Only the little people pay taxes.”  That’s who the IRS audits, any way.

“On the one hand, the IRS said, auditing poor taxpayers is a lot easier: The agency uses relatively low-level employees to audit returns for low-income taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit. The audits — of which there were about 380,000 last year, accounting for 39% of the total the IRS conducted — are done by mail and don’t take too much staff time, either.”

“On the other hand, auditing the rich is hard. It takes senior auditors hours upon hours to complete an exam. What’s more … ‘the rate of attrition is significantly higher among these more experienced examiners.’ As a result, the budget cuts have hit this part of the IRS particularly hard.”

“For now, the IRS says, while it agrees auditing more wealthy taxpayers would be a good idea, without adequate funding there’s nothing it can do.”

“Since 2011, Republicans in Congress have driven cuts to the IRS enforcement budget; it’s more than a quarter lower than its 2010 level, adjusting for inflation.”

— “IRS: Sorry, but It’s Just Easier and Cheaper to Audit the Poor,” Paul Kiel, ProPublica

Related:

“The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You,” David Leonhardt, New York Times

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Taxing the Super-Rich

August 14, 2019

What is a wealth tax, anyway? Alvin Chang explains. A Vox video.

There’s a related fact sheet here

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Berlusconi’s Back. Europe Shrugs.

July 5, 2019

Berlusconi's Back. Europe Shrugs.

Billionaire octagenarian, former football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced 3-time former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, forced out of the Italian Senate over his 2013 tax-fraud conviction, has started serving as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Madonna Mia!

More:

“Forget the tax fraud and sex scandals. Italy’s Berlusconi is back.” Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post

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Image (“Pasha Berlusconi and His Harem, after François Gabriel Lepaulle”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

January 21, 2019

Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned a Poor People’s Campaign for May 1968 to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, affordable housing, and education for poor adults and children, an Economic Bill of Rights. The effort was to involve poor people of all races from all parts of the country, urban and rural, but the historical roots of racial economic disparity could not be ignored:

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DC Shut Down? The GOP Does Davos.

January 15, 2019

DC Shut Down? The GOP Does Davos.

The president has shut down the U.S. government by refusing to authorize federal spending, but presidential aides and cabinet officials are spending $3-4 million and change to go to the World Economic Forum at Davos, kind of a Coachella for billionaires and financial heavies at a resort in the Swiss Alps.  Administration figures scheduled to attend include: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

U.S. officials at Davos will have a significant weight lifted from their shoulders at this year’s WEF. Unlike last year, President Donald Trump will not attend. Swiss protesters must be crestfallen.

More:

“Trump’s team is still running up bills for Davos during the government shutdown,” Justin Rohrlich and Heather Timmons, Quartz

“Davos, other Swiss ski resorts warned of high avalanche danger,” Xinhua

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Equal Pay Day 2018

April 10, 2018

Equal Pay Day 2018

It’s Pay Equality Day, last of the 99 extra days into 2018 that American women worked to finally make the same amount of wages that men made by Dec. 31, 2017. The concept originated with the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a way to point out the economic injustice of  American women earning 82 cents when men are earning a dollar. Want to change that inequity? Look here.

In a timely decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that employers can’t use workers’ salary histories to justify paying women less.

More:

“When Is Equal Pay Day? 2018 Is The Year Women Can Help Close It Once & For All,” Sarah Friedmann, Bustle

 

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Steve Mnuchin Inadvertently Tells the Truth

April 9, 2018
Steve Mnuchin Inadvertently Tells the Truth

Steve Mnuchin and wife  view the tax refunds of average Americans.

“… government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites,” admits U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mr. Mnuchin was referring to the Russian government, but we fail to see any distinction from the way he and other Trump Administration billionaires operate in the USA. “Oligarchy” is not just a Russian word.

And the world’s oligarchs are globalized:

“U.S. sanctions ensnare Russians with ties to Trump world,” John Hudson and Paul Sonne, Washington Post

“Mueller’s team questioning Russian oligarchs,” Kara Scannell and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN

“NRA’s ‘Man in Moscow’ Hit by New U.S. Sanctions,” Daily Beast

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Health Care

January 15, 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Health Care

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressing the Medical Committee for Human Rights, 1966

Image source: Library of Congress.

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Trump to Meet Real Billionaires at Davos

January 12, 2018

Trump to Meet Real Billionaires at Davos

Serial bankrupt and reality-TV star Donald Trump will meet some real billionaires when he joins the global titans of business, finance, and economic policy in two weeks at the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Mr. Trump, an ethnocentric isolationist who publishes his economic policy on baseball hats, will converse with Nobel laureate economists, world leaders, and international financiers on the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” which “will make a case for renewed commitment to international collaboration as a way of solving critical global challenges.” Since this is the kind of elite crowd and Globalist agenda Mr. Trump campaigned against, his presence at the Forum is baffling, especially since the Davos golf season ended in October.

The 2018 Forum is co-chaired by 7 powerful womenSharan Burrow (General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation), Fabiola Gianotti (Director-General, European Organization for Nuclear Research – CERN), Isabelle Kocher (CEO of French multinational electric utility company ENGIE), Christine Lagarde (Managing Director, International Monetary Fund — IMF), Ginni Rometty (Chairman, President and CEO, IBM Corporation), Chetna Sinha (Founder and President, Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation), and Erna Solberg (Prime Minister of Norway). Mr. Trump’s last meeting with women of so many nations involved a swimsuit competition, and didn’t have a code of conduct.

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Gloves, Because Poor People Touch These Things

November 21, 2017

Gloves, Because Poor People Touch These Things

Hedge fund manager and foreclosure king Steve Mnuchin, the current Secretary of the Treasury, recently visited the U.S. Mint to see newly-printed currency with his name on it. Mr. Mnuchin was clad in a plain dark suit, accessorized with a red tie and his newly-minted wife, the minor film star Louise Linton. Ms. Linton once represented a Scottish leather goods company, and was disappointed that her name could not be printed on the bills next to her husband’s as the Treasury’s “Brand Ambassador.”

Louise Linton was clad in about $10,000-worth of black leather Michael Kors garb she ordered straight from the catalog. The gloves alone cost $625; it would take more than a dozen of those uncut $1 bill sheets she’s holding to buy them.

Mr. and Mrs. Mnuchin previously raised the public eyebrow when they took a government plane to view the total eclipse from the roof of Fort Knox, the U.S. Government gold depository. “Glad gold is safe!” tweeted the Secretary later, probably because his wife wasn’t carrying a bullion-sized purse. Ms. Linton wore Hermes, Tom Ford, and Valentino for that occasion.

More:

“‘Like Bond villains’: What happened when Steven Mnuchin and his wife posed with a sheet of money,” Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post

“Louise Linton Clearly Wants America to Hate Her as Much as Possible,” Lizzie Crocker, Daily Beast

“Louise Linton Gets Mocked for ‘Disney Villain’ Style After Previous Tone-Deaf Outfit Controversy,” Jillian Ruffo, People

“With Long Leather Gloves, a Sheet of Money, and a Smize, Louise Linton Strikes Yet Another Pose in DC,” Kaitlin Menza, Vogue

“The Treasury Secretary’s Wife,” Kevin D. Wiliamson, National Review

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