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  1. #1
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    In Big Government We Trust

    50,000 inmates claim tax refunds, report no wages(AP)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 50,000 prison inmates claimed more than $130 million in tax refunds this year without providing any wage information to the IRS, a government investigator says in a report to be released Thursday.

    The Treasury inspector general for tax administration stops short of saying the refunds were fraudulently claimed. It does, however, say the Internal Revenue Service should investigate further.

    The report is the latest in a series of audits looking at prison inmates claiming tax credits and other government payments. It notes that the IRS identified nearly 250,000 fraudulent tax returns during the 2010 filing season — a 50 percent increase over 2009 — preventing $1.48 billion in fraudulent refunds.

    "While the IRS is identifying larger numbers of fraudulent returns, improvements must be made to its screening processes to ensure that returns filed by prisoners get adequate scrutiny," said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. "Expanded and expedited access to wage and withholding information would significantly increase the IRS's ability to verify information reported on a tax return when processed, and prevent fraud."

    The IRS issued a statement saying the agency takes refund fraud seriously and aggressively fights it.

    "The IRS is very successful at detecting and stopping incorrect refunds, including criminal refund fraud, and overall prevents 98 percent of questionable claims from being issued," the statement said.

    "The situation involving prisoners is not a simple process, particularly considering the fact that some inmates and their families are legally entitled to tax refunds and that the prisoner population is constantly changing."

    The IRS said it works with state and federal prisons to get information about inmates on a voluntary basis.

    "However, without congressional action to require state and federal prisons to report the status of inmates to the IRS, there will be gaps in the prison data and compliance problems will persist," the IRS said in its statement.

    Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  2. #2
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    How Much Government?

    Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was eager to weave a safety net under millions of impoverished Americans who were retired and had no savings. On his left, supporters called for a massive new government program. On his right, Republicans argued that it would bankrupt the country and undermine people’s habits of thrift and self-reliance.

    Sound familiar?

    FDR, ever the master, came up with an ingenious solution: create a program in which Americans would be asked to contribute to a social savings account that government would manage on their behalf and would be there for retirement. Instead of big government, it was to be a partnership that would encourage individual thrift and responsibility. Thus was born Social Security, overwhelmingly supported in the Senate by Democrats and Republicans (77–6 on final passage) and the most popular social initiative in the country’s history.

    Where is that spirit of creativity and collaboration when we need it again? Today, many citizens are at dagger points as we argue over a question that has hung over us since the founding of our nation: How much government is good for America?

    Democrats argue—with justification—that in the elections of 2006 and especially 2008, voters sent a clear signal that they wanted more government. Candidate Barack Obama asserted that free markets were broken and promised that Washington would ride to the rescue, saving the economy, overhauling health care, stopping global warming, and reforming K–12 education. Voters not only gave him 53% of their votes—the highest total for a Democrat in 44 years—but returned swollen Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

    Democrats can well say they had a mandate, and they insist that after throwing trillions of dollars at our problems, we are beginning to see success. The economic engines are indeed starting to rev up, and slowly—painfully so—people are finding work. So Democrats feel they will ultimately be celebrated.

    But it is equally clear that, for now, these massive efforts are scaring the dickens out of a growing number of Americans, prompting a significant backlash. Republicans now argue—with increasing justification—that we are creating more government than we need, more than we want, and certainly more than we are willing to pay for. Consider just a few statistics.

    • Public spending by federal, state, and local government was 24% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1950, 35% before the Great Recession, and could hit 44% this year.

    The Tax Foundation estimates that 60% of all Americans now receive more in income benefits from government than they pay into government, and that with new policy directions, the number will grow closer to 70%.

    The Tax Policy Center has found that while everyone is expected to pay payroll taxes, only 47% of American households now pay federal income taxes.

    • The European Union has agreed that it is dangerous for a country to allow its publicly held debt to exceed 60% of its GDP. The Congressional Budget Office says that the U.S. could hit 60% by the end of this year, and on its current course could hit 100% by 2020.

    • Meanwhile, The Economist estimates that the federal government now employs a quarter of a million people to write and enforce regulations.

    Personally, I find these trends troubling. If they continue, we will diminish both the vitality and prosperity of the nation. Government should be compassionate and yet lean. But I recognize that others who care just as much about the country’s future sharply disagree. Our challenge is whether we can put down our daggers and once again work together in a civil, creative spirit. We clearly have the means to solve our problems; what is less clear is whether we have the collective will.

    David Gergen is a professor of public service at Harvard and a senior political analyst at CNN. He serves on the board of Teach for America and has advised four Presidents

  3. #3
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Nevermind the above facts, we need to tax the rich, the top 1 or 2% of all Americans because they are rich!!

    What is truly "just" and "fair" is that all Americans pay some tax. If taxation is the price for democracy, shouldn't we ALL support it?

  4. #4
    Atypical is offline

    This Is The "Tax Foundation"

    November 29, 2010

    Obama Should Cut the Corporate Tax Rate

    If Obama and his advisors are looking for a Clintonesque opportunity to move back to the center in a way that would make a real difference to the economy, he should partner with Republicans to cut the corporate tax rate and reform how we tax the foreign profits of U.S. companies. The evidence suggests that such reforms would not only be good for the long-term growth of the economy, but would improve workers' wages and living standards over time, says Scott A. Hodge of Forbes magazine.

    A dramatic cut in the corporate tax rate could be the best tonic for the ailing economy.

    Next to Japan, the United States imposes the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized country at nearly 40 percent (combining the federal and state rates).
    A 2008 report by economists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) determined that the corporate income tax is the most harmful tax for long-term economic growth.
    High personal income taxes were found to be the second-most harmful tax for long-term growth, which would argue for not allowing the Bush cuts to expire on the "rich" as President Obama proposes.

    The least harmful taxes for growth, according to OECD economists, are consumption taxes and property taxes.

    Economic research also finds that because capital is mobile but workers are not, labor bears a disproportionate share of the economic burden of corporate taxes -- as much as 70 percent by some estimates. Economists such as Kevin Hassett at the American Enterprise Institute have found that workers in countries that have cut their corporate rates have seen faster growth in wages than workers in countries that have not cut their corporate taxes. (A recent Tax Foundation study found a similar relationship in our 50 states).

    Thus, Obama can legitimately sell a deep corporate rate cut as being prolabor because not only will it lead to an increase in wages and living standards, it will most likely lead to an increase in jobs because America will be a more attractive place for inbound investment, says Hodge.

    Source: Scott A. Hodge, "Obama Should Cut the Corporate Tax Rate," Forbes, November 22, 2010.

    From the Tax Foundation Site - Testimonials

    Facts and Figures on Government Finance is the most detailed and useful statistical portrait of where the spending goes and how it is financed." —Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in Economics

    "[The Tax Foundation's] tireless efforts to educate the public about America's tax burden have made a big difference here in Washington, and throughout the fifty states. Our tax policies are better for it, and our economy is stronger." —U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow

    "Through its outreach efforts and programs such as Tax Freedom Day, the Tax Foundation strives to promote tax reform designed to lessen the tax burden that Americans face today.... And I am grateful for the vast assistance and support that the Tax Foundation provided over the years in the battle for reform." —Dick Armey, Former Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives

    The "testimonials" by these three conservative apologists above are to be expected. They are in favor of no one paying taxes - except those earning very little. It's what's right according to conservative principles. Beware!

    For those that care anything about fairness there are many posts by me and Havakasha re taxes, wealth inequality and its ramifications, corporate malfeasance and conservative/libertarian lies. As I have said many, many times, dems do not have all the answers by far but cons currently have none.
    Last edited by Atypical; 12-02-2010 at 10:26 PM.

  5. #5
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Well spoken Atypical. Somewhat cynical, but overall, well done.

    I wouldn't say the "cons" don't have solutions. They've proposed solutions. You may strongly disagree with them, but to say they have no proposed solutions is not correct. Here are some of your "opponents" ideas.

  6. #6
    Atypical is offline
    Quote Originally Posted by SiriuslyLong View Post
    Well spoken Atypical. Somewhat cynical, but overall, well done.

    I wouldn't say the "cons" don't have solutions. They've proposed solutions. You may strongly disagree with them, but to say they have no proposed solutions is not correct. Here are some of your "opponents" ideas.

    I have posted on almost every one of their "solutions" previously. My positions, and those of others that are knowledgeable, are available on this site. There is a wealth of detail for consideration. I have no respect for any of the cons positions because we know why they say and do certain things. They have admitted as much. They want power and to destroy anyone that is an obstacle to getting that power.

    Nothing they say matters at all - it's what they do that matters!!!

    Ask yourself why any group that REFUSED to allow Medicare to negotiate Rx prices (Medicare D) should be respected re deficits. Bush did that! Corporate whore that he was.

    Ask yourself why middle-class tax rates are held hostage for the wealthy ones. The top group getting their selfish way will increase the deficit HUGELY. Why should anyone believe they care about deficits? After all, CHENEY SAID DEFICITS DON'T MATTER!!!!!!!!! They have NO credibility.

    Ask yourself why defense cuts are not a top priority. Probably 50% easily. Or getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We have spent TRILLIONS in those places. Care about the deficit? BULLSHIT!

    Ask yourself why MYTHS and LIES like taxes are so high for corporations and the wealthy - we must lower them to create jobs - have been thoroughly debunked yet they still repeat them. Demand creates jobs, not tax rates.

    Ask yourself why Social Security is always included in deficit discussions when it has NOTHING to do with the deficit. Because cons want to destroy the program.

    Ask yourself why the repubs can get UNANIMOUS support for certain policies of theirs. There is not one dissident among them? This speaks of a cult not a deliberative group. Rigid ideologues are the only ones that could pull that off! Why would anyone but an ideologue respect them for that?

    Ask yourself why repubs have so many repulsive, brain-dead wackos in the party? What attracts them? If repubs were known for solid, intelligent reasoning and policies that made sense these dangerous idiots would not be welcome. Dangerous religious fanatics are always conservative! White supremicists are always conservative. Gun nuts are always conservative. Why????

    Ask yourself why the Supreme Court 5 have voted for more precedent destroying changes than ever in the court's history? This from STRICT CONSTRUCTIONISTS that always say they respect precedent.

    Ask yourself why Rumsfeld said. "you go to war with the army you have" in response to complaints from soldiers who said they DID NOT HAVE EQUIPMENT THAT WAS NEEDED FOR THE MISSION AND TO PROTECT THEM. They care about the military? F... NO!!!!

    Repeal health care? The industry wrote it! Give yours up asshole repub. Then will talk.

    Tarp was a BUSH initiative. Now they want to cancel it? Just more bullshit to play both sides as it suits them to get more power by using the public's anger and confusion for their benefit.

    Cons have zero credibility, zero intelligence, zero respect for the country, zero respect for the truth of anything, and apparently zero respect for each other, as well. This has to be true because how else could they live with themselves knowing that they are playing a game, a psychological game with the country to say anything that will get the gullible to believe them. They don't govern - they obstruct, demean and destroy ideas that have merit but with which they disagree.

    Evidence - On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, the host discussed the GOP's current love affair for the horrible "poison perv pill" as a way to kill meaningful legislation in Washington:

    "If you want to kill a proposed policy in Washington, one of the most devious ways to do it is with a "poison pill." As a metaphor, the poison pill is relatively straightforward: you simply force something into a bill that is so politically toxic, it kills the whole thing.

    But if you are this year's minority party in the House -- and yes, that still means the Republicans --then you've got a whole new take on the poison pill tactic .... This year's Republican lawmakers have come up with "poison sex pill" or the "poison perv pill" or the "world's most cynical poison pill," depending on how you think about it. They keep coming up with ways to add the word "pedophile" or "Viagra" or "rapist" to bills that have precisely nothing to do with any of those things. They add those things to bills so it looks like Democrats are voting in favor of pedophiles or Viagra or rapists, when in fact they are voting for things like better school lunches. Classy, right?"

    Watch this -

    If only we had an opposition party in the country that had the guts to fight these frightening, vicious assholes. But we don’t – and all supporters of the cons will eventually be sorry too, because these policies don’t help the majority – they only help a small group.

    And you aren’t in it no matter what you think.

    George Carlin again. It's time.

    "Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don't. You have no choice. You have owners. (the wealthy) They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They've long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying . . . lobbying, to get what they want . . . Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don't want . . . they don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that . . . that doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they're getting ****ed by a system that threw them overboard 30 ****in' years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they're coming for your Social Security money. They want your ****in' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They'll get it . . . they'll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this ****in' place. It's a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in The big club. By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn't matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don't give a **** about you. They don't give a **** about you . . . they don't give a **** about you. They don't care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It's called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . ."
    Last edited by Atypical; 12-05-2010 at 06:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Havakasha is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiriuslyLong View Post
    Nevermind the above facts, we need to tax the rich, the top 1 or 2% of all Americans because they are rich!!

    What is truly "just" and "fair" is that all Americans pay some tax. If taxation is the price for democracy, shouldn't we ALL support it?
    You have it completely wrong. No one is talking about taxing the rich because they are the
    rich. Strawman argument if ever there was one. Argue with Warren Buffett for a change.

    Why do you think Warren Buffett is railing about the fact that he is paying
    a lower percentage of tax than his own secretary? He knows something is wrong
    with the tax system in that it favors the wealthy over the middle and lower classes
    but somehow you are completely blind to what is going on.

    Are you an automoton or just deluded?
    Last edited by Havakasha; 12-03-2010 at 04:08 PM.

  8. #8
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    The rich pay 35% income tax. That's the highest bracket.

    Oh, but that doesn't matter because they make most of their money on capital gains and divendends. So, naturally, we should tax those higher - we have to get their money.

  9. #9
    Havakasha is offline
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    As i said before, ARGUE WITH WARREN BUFFETT. I wonder if he knows a little more
    about the tax situation for the wealthy than you?

    Nah. Of course S&L knows more than Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and all the rest.

    Warren Buffett on taxes:
    "But--the--way the tax system has gotten tilted toward guys like me over the last 2O years--as opposed to the middle class, you know, in my view, is a little OBSCENE."

    Last edited by Havakasha; 12-03-2010 at 04:39 PM.

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