Politics in the new America

Breaking Down The Policy of Taxing

In 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Republican Party, U.S Congress on December 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

During the 2012 political campaign we got to hear a lot about the tax policy and how unfair the United States taxing system is supposed to be. We also heard the slogan “Tax the rich more” several times. All this talk about the inequality of taxes levied on the citizens in this country made me dig a little deeper into the tax system to find out what was really going on. Who needs to be taxed, what tax breaks should be eliminated, who is not paying and why is our focus not on changing the tax policy?

How is it that tax rates have gone up and down over the years but it has never been enough to fix the budget or the economy. That leads us to draw the conclusion that somewhere the money is not coming in. Someone is not paying the fair share.

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A study done by Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez examines the progressiveness of the U.S Federal Tax System. The research which was published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that the most dramatic changes in the federal tax system almost always has taken place within the top 1 percent of income earners, with relatively small changes occurring below the top percentile. The research also suggests that any debates within the Congress on the topic of tax and tax policy also affects the top 1%. Topics like permanent reduction in tax rates for capital gains and dividends and repealing of the estate tax all concern the top income level of the society. In essence, the tax issues of the marginal voter never gets discussed making the policy of taxing in the United States extremely unfair. An opinion post on Bloomberg online carries the headline, Forget the Fiscal Cliff, Fix the U.S Tax System. The post talks about all the things wrong with the U.S Tax System and provides some ideas as to how we could fix those issues. Authors of the post, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers argue that, “The real danger, is not that we’ll fall off the cliff. It’s that Congress will solve the problem badly, missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to design a better tax system.” The study done by Piketty and Saez only proves their [Steven and Wolfers] point.

Another page added to history, one more step towards change; DADT is repealed!

In 2012 Presidential Election, Democratic Party, Presidential Debates, Republican Party, Tea Party, U.S Congress on September 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

At 12:00 am on September 20th 2011, one of the most discriminatory policies existing in the United States military ceased to exist. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy is now officially history. For the past decade and more the idea of letting LGBT As per the December 21, 1993 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14, it was legal policy (10 U.S.C. § 654) that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Any person engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were to be discharged.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice, passed by Congress in 1950 and signed by President Harry S Truman, established the policies and procedures for discharging service members.

The one thing I love about America is how as a country we have learnt so much from our past and made changes. Slavery, civil war, civil rights, assassinations, integration, wars and finally 9/11. Every event has had a devastating impact on the American society and we always learnt something valuable from it. That learning is what made and makes the United States such a strong country and by strong I don’t just mean hard power. I am talking about social and structural power. The mistakes we made us stronger and a better country. So why is the whole sexual preference concept so alien to the American community? As a culture America is perhaps the most open and progressive culture in the western world. Popular cultural trend is mostly set by America and American institutions/people. The question mark is still on the sexual preference being such a taboo. In a free country like this, how can the people discriminate against someone who has a different sexual preference? How can you discriminate against Americans who have sacrificed their lives and are on the battlefield fighting your security or maybe even your pride?

Herman Cain is one person on the GOP hopeful roster who you’d think would be against any kind of discrimination. Considering he is a “representative” of the African-American community he would know not to discriminate a fellow human being on any basis. Cain has supported the military’s ban on homosexuals and says he would have never repealed it as president. As for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA – a proposed bill that would prohibit “discrimination” against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity), the conservative commentator explains that he “would veto that relative to special rights to homosexuals.”

The Future of The American Jobs Act

In 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Republican Party, U.S Congress on September 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Warren Buffet has gone on record saying that his secretary pays higher taxes than he does. President Obama just released his jobs plan which he has been promoting an awful lot these days. He also has said that he is ready to work out the tax code with both Republicans and Democrats. The American jobs act was released to the public sometime ago. Let’s weigh in on the key points of the plan:

  • Cuts payroll taxes: The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold. Perhaps, Perhaps! The only point that both Republicans and Democrats might agree when this bill comes to a vote. Republicans LOVE tax cuts and this is a perfect opportunity building up to 2012 making the point that the GOP isn’t opposed to tax cuts for the middle class. Democrats have been pushing for payroll tax cuts for a long time now. It has been extended temporarily for a while but President Obama. Experts say that this might create 8-10 millions jobs in this painful economy.
  • Tax cuts for veterans:  A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans; This provides tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans. Veteran unemployment is at 12% and this tax breaks would go a long way in helping veterans seeking a life after the military.
  • Tax credit for employers, employing: A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers. Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers when hiring. Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs for youth.
  • Modernizing public schools: The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs.
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