robertreich:

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote in 1904, “taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”

But the wealthiest Americans, who haven’t raked in as much of America’s income and wealth since the 1920s, are today paying a lower tax rate than they have in over thirty years. Even…

Playing off of Elizabeth Warren’s widely publicized quote about taxes (see picture above), the editors at The New Republic take the argument one step further, making a moral case for paying them.  Their defense of taxation hinges on two arguments. “The first is  distributional,” write the editors. “A civilized society recognizes  [that capitalism will create losers as well as winners, often because of  forces beyond any individual’s control] and vows to mitigate” that  problem. “The second reason we need taxes isn’t about the least  fortunate; it’s about public goods.” This is the point Warren made, and  the editors at TNR make the same point, asking, “Could Bill Gates have made his fortune without government-financed education and technology?”
Keep reading …

Playing off of Elizabeth Warren’s widely publicized quote about taxes (see picture above), the editors at The New Republic take the argument one step further, making a moral case for paying them. Their defense of taxation hinges on two arguments. “The first is distributional,” write the editors. “A civilized society recognizes [that capitalism will create losers as well as winners, often because of forces beyond any individual’s control] and vows to mitigate” that problem. “The second reason we need taxes isn’t about the least fortunate; it’s about public goods.” This is the point Warren made, and the editors at TNR make the same point, asking, “Could Bill Gates have made his fortune without government-financed education and technology?”

Keep reading …

thenewrepublic:

A few weeks ago, Warren Buffet caught some flack from conservatives for an OpEd in the New York Times in which he argued that the rich are undertaxed.  
The Wall Street Journal editorial page:
“If he’s worried about being undertaxed, we’d suggest he simply write a big check to Uncle Sam and go back to his day job of picking investments”.
Jonathan Chait’s blog suggests that such criticism is misguided- wealthy people who favor higher taxes on the rich don’t just believe they should pay more taxes. They believe the government needs more revenue.
So are the recent rumors true? Will one of the wealthiest figures in modern America step down as the Berkshire CEO to focus full time on philanthropy?
Courtesy of mint.com

thenewrepublic:

A few weeks ago, Warren Buffet caught some flack from conservatives for an OpEd in the New York Times in which he argued that the rich are undertaxed.  

The Wall Street Journal editorial page:

“If he’s worried about being undertaxed, we’d suggest he simply write a big check to Uncle Sam and go back to his day job of picking investments”.

Jonathan Chait’s blog suggests that such criticism is misguided- wealthy people who favor higher taxes on the rich don’t just believe they should pay more taxes. They believe the government needs more revenue.

So are the recent rumors true? Will one of the wealthiest figures in modern America step down as the Berkshire CEO to focus full time on philanthropy?

Courtesy of mint.com

Restore the property tax! Restore the property tax!
It’s not a chant you’ll hear anytime soon at a Tea Party rally or even a  liberal political potluck, but the progressive social-justice magazine Dollars & Sense makes the case that the property tax, “the original wealth tax,”  is perhaps the fairest tax—and that, properly levied, it could prevent  massive cuts in public services. Read more …

Restore the property tax! Restore the property tax!

It’s not a chant you’ll hear anytime soon at a Tea Party rally or even a liberal political potluck, but the progressive social-justice magazine Dollars & Sense makes the case that the property tax, “the original wealth tax,” is perhaps the fairest tax—and that, properly levied, it could prevent massive cuts in public services. Read more …

Last week Utne Reader web editor David Doody wrote a post about what Alison Kilkenny at The Nation has called “the era of the one-sided compromise,” questioning whether the Republican party, both at the state and national levels, could actually compromise on a budget deal that included some sort of new tax revenue. His conclusion was no, they wouldn’t be able to. Which is exactly what played out over the weekend, as Jonathan Cohn writes at The New Republic:

As you have probably heard by now, House Speaker John Boehner on Saturday evening informed President Obama that he was no longer interested in pursuing a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction. It was a major turning point in the debate. For the past week, Obama has made clear that he hoped to use ongoing negotiations over the debt ceiling to put in place a massive, potentially historic deal to reorder the nation’s spending priorities – a deal that would reduce deficits by as much as $4 trillion cumulatively over the next decade.

Read more …

The Crockpot: A Weekly Link-Digest from Utne

  • Our current issue has a number of stories on narcissism. Well, in that spirit comes the Museum of Me, “a new Facebook app from Intel that turns your life into a virtual gallery exhibition.” Look at me! Look at me!
  • What makes a new product a successful sell for the Lady Gaga Generation? Remember rule number one: “Everyone is Awesome.”
  • A petition to end the war on drugs in the next 24 hours.
  • Biblical prophecy and Michelle Bachmann.  Mother Jones dissects the politician’s relationship with Olive Tree Ministries, an evangelical Christian organization with an eye on the end times.
  • In case you hadn’t heard, populist playwright David Mamet is now a born again conservative. Kurt Loder chronicles the conversion in the current issue of Reason.
  • Do the Kennedys stop media portrayals of their family that they find objectionable? That’s the claim from Richard Bradley in Boston Magazine.
  • Yet another logical article about taxing the rich instead of cutting necessary programs. This one from Mark Engler at YES! Magazine.
  • How some species stick around despite drastic changes to their environment.
  • The lineup for TEDGlobal 2011, which starts in Edinburgh on July 11, is set. Among the over 75 artists, inventors, theorists, and activists slated to appear live and via international webcast are anti-extremism activist Maajid Nawaz, rational optimist Matt Ridley, and Debunker Ben Goldacre.
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for amphibious ice cream.
  • A trip around the solar system, in pictures.
  • Randa Jarrar, who has written previously for Utne Reader, guest-edited the fiction section for Guernica Magazine this month.
  • Fans of HBO’s Treme—which chronicles life in New Orleans post-Katrina and if jam packed with native musicians and superstar cameos playing bounce, jazz, funk, and bluegrass—should check out this weekly water-cooler conversation, which tells you who is playing what.
  • If you’re looking for some summer reading, you’re in luck (or not): Glenn Beck is launching his own publishing imprint with Simon & Schuster called Mercury Ink. The imprint will feature fiction and nonfiction books that reflect Beck’s interests.
  • The Atlantic is doing just fine without blogger Andrew Sullivan, thank you. When the blogger extraordinaire left for The Daily Beastearlier this year, there was concern that the mag’s revitalizing online growth would take a hit. Instead, the site hit 10 million uniques in May.
  • What happens when a violent criminal enrolls in a Ph.D. program for “homicide studies”? He becomes an academically-trained serial killer.
  • Did you ever wish you had a twin? Mental Floss presents some of the charms and quirks of unusually close twins.
  • Molly Jong-Fast—whose mother, Erica Jong, is famous for writing about women and sexual liberation—wrote an essay for Salon about living a (relatively) prude life.

American churches enjoy nonprofit, tax-exempt status with a few important conditions, and one of them is that they can’t endorse political candidates or otherwise get involved in political campaigns. But the Internal Revenue Service is failing to enforce this provision, even as some pastors openly defy the law by holding annual “Pulpit Freedom” events in which they deliver explicitly political sermons. Read more.

In these dark times, a whole cavalry of fiscally conservative knights  quest to slay the civil-liberty-scorching, deficit-belching dragon of  Big Government and save our miserly populace from economic terror. But  these gallant soldiers are all armed alike: with threats of tax cuts and  illusions of grandeur. Quixotically, the fiscal conservatives will face  the dragon and, like those before them, perish. Enraged, the dragon  will mete out vengeance on the hapless, defenseless commoners. Or at  least that’s how the tax-cut fairytale goes, argues former Reagan budget  director David Stockman. Read more …

In these dark times, a whole cavalry of fiscally conservative knights quest to slay the civil-liberty-scorching, deficit-belching dragon of Big Government and save our miserly populace from economic terror. But these gallant soldiers are all armed alike: with threats of tax cuts and illusions of grandeur. Quixotically, the fiscal conservatives will face the dragon and, like those before them, perish. Enraged, the dragon will mete out vengeance on the hapless, defenseless commoners. Or at least that’s how the tax-cut fairytale goes, argues former Reagan budget director David Stockman. Read more …