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9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes

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  • David Cay Johnston is a columnist for tax.com and teaches the tax, property and regulatory law of the ancient world at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management. He has also been called the “de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States” because his reporting in the New York Times shut down many tax dodges and schemes, just TWO of them valued by Congress at $260 Billion. Johnston received a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for exposing tax loopholes and inequities. He wrote two bestsellers on taxes, Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch. Later this year, Johnston will be out with a new book, The Fine Print, revealing how big business, with help from politicians, abuses plain English to rob you blind.
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  • Here is a question to ask yourself: We started down this road with Reagan’s election in 1980 and upped the ante in this century with George W. Bush. How long does it take to conclude that a policy has failed to fulfill its promises?
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  • How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
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  • The Peasants Need Pitchforks
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David Cay Johnston, Willamette Week | OR

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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berkleyillustration.etsy.com

For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity—so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates. The late Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist who wanted to shut down public parks because he considered them socialism, promoted this strategy. Ronald Reagan embraced Friedman’s ideas and made them into policy when he was elected president in 1980.

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For the past decade, we have doubled down on this theory of supply-side economics with the tax cuts sponsored by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, which President Obama has agreed to continue for two years.

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You would think that whether this grand experiment worked would be settled after three decades. You would think the practitioners of the dismal science of economics would look at their demand curves and the data on incomes and taxes and pronounce a verdict, the way Galileo and Copernicus did when they showed that geocentrism was a fantasy because Earth revolves around the sun (known as heliocentrism). But economics is not like that. It is not like physics with its laws and arithmetic with its absolute values.

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How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us, Richard D. Wolff, t r u t h o u t
How the rich soaked the rest of us: The astonishing story of the last few decades is a massive redistribution of wealth, as the rich have shifted the tax burden.

The Peasants Need Pitchforks, Robert Scheer, Truthdig

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  • "The top 1-percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles," Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz concludes, "but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99-percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1-percent eventually do learn. Too late."
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  • Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
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  • No Other Way Out
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Throw Out the Money Changers

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  • Once we defy the religion of unfettered capitalism, once we demand that a society serve the needs of citizens and the ecosystem that sustains life, rather than the needs of the marketplace, once we learn to speak with a new humility and live with a new simplicity, once we love our neighbor as ourself, we break our chains and make hope visible.
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  • These are remarks Chris Hedges made in Union Square in New York City last Friday (April 15) during a protest outside a branch office of the Bank of America.
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Chris Hedges, TruthDig

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Oisin Prendiville (CC-BY-SA)

We stand today before the gates of one of our temples of finance. It is a temple where greed and profit are the highest good, where self-worth is determined by the ability to amass wealth and power at the expense of others, where laws are manipulated, rewritten and broken, where the endless treadmill of consumption defines human progress, where fraud and crimes are the tools of business.

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The two most destructive forces of human nature—greed and envy—drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance. They seek to make us prisoners in our own land. They view human beings and the natural world as mere commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Human suffering, wars, climate change, poverty, it is all the price of business. Nothing is sacred. The Lord of Profit is the Lord of Death.

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Special Report | Protests: April 15, David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Union Square Sounds of Resistance
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  • Bank of America Protest
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  • Chris Hedges: Obama Defies Core Values of Liberal Tradition
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Martin Luther King - A Time to Break Silence (Excerpt)

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  • These words of Martin Luther King Jr. are as relevant now as they were during Vietnam.
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  • Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence: Complete Text and Audio
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granako, YouTube

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Starting in 1965, King began to express doubts about the United States' role in the Vietnam War. In an April 4, 1967, appearance at the New York City Riverside Church — exactly one year before his death — King delivered Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

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Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence: Complete Text and Audio, Martin Luther King, Jr., American Rhetoric

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For Alan Greenspan, Redemption, and Wisdom, Remain Elusive

"Mr. Greenspan is an ex-maestro. His reputation is pushing up the daisies, it has gone to meet its maker, it has joined the choir invisible. He's no longer the Man Who Knows; he's the man who presided over an economy careening to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression - and who saw no evil, heard no evil, refused to do anything about subprime, insisted that derivatives made the financial system more stable, and denied not only that there was a national housing bubble, but that such a bubble was even possible."

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co./truthout

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve. (Credit: Stephen Crowley/New York Times)

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Some people have asked me for reactions to a piece by Alan Greenspan in the latest edition of International Finance on how President Obama’s activism is preventing economic recovery.

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I could go through the weak reasoning, the shoddy econometrics that ignores a large literature on business investment and ignores simultaneity problems. But never mind; just consider the tone.

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“A basic premise of competitive markets, especially in finance, is that company management can effectively manage almost any set of complex risks. The recent crisis has cast doubt on this premise,” Mr. Greenspan writes. “But the presumption that intervention can substitute for market flaws, engendered by the foibles of human nature, is itself highly doubtful. Much intervention turns out to hobble markets rather than enhancing them.”

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The President Is Missing

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  • Did Mr. Obama have to praise Congress for enacting “the largest annual spending cut in our history,” as if shortsighted budget cuts in the face of high unemployment — cuts that will slow growth and increase unemployment — are actually a good idea?
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  • The Nowhere Man
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Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Fred R. Conrad/New York Times

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What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?

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I realize that with hostile Republicans controlling the House, there’s not much Mr. Obama can get done in the way of concrete policy. Arguably, all he has left is the bully pulpit. But he isn’t even using that — or, rather, he’s using it to reinforce his enemies’ narrative.

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His remarks after last week’s budget deal were a case in point.

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Maybe that terrible deal, in which Republicans ended up getting more than their opening bid, was the best he could achieve — although it looks from here as if the president’s idea of how to bargain is to start by negotiating with himself, making pre-emptive concessions, then pursue a second round of negotiation with the G.O.P., leading to further concessions.

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The Nowhere Man, William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

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  • In so many critical ways, he has been the Nowhere Man, the absence of what was so seemingly present when he was elevated to his current station.
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  • I am, personally, waiting with bated breath for the next battery of slogans to be deployed by the Obama campaign. No, seriously, I am. Nowhere Man 2012: Because Everyone Else Is Worse. That'll send them racing to the polls.
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Our Cowardly Congress

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  • It’s unclear where the adults are, but they don’t seem to be in Washington.
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  • This isn’t government we’re watching; this is junior high school.
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Nicholas D. Kristoff, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski.

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

It’s unclear where the adults are, but they don’t seem to be in Washington. Beyond the malice of the threat to shut down the federal government, averted only at the last minute on Friday night, it’s painful how vapid the discourse is and how incompetent and cowardly our leaders have proved to be. A quick guide:

• Democrats excoriated Republicans for threatening to shut down the government, but this mess is a consequence of the Democrats’ own failure to ensure a full year’s funding last year when they controlled both houses of Congress.

• Republicans say they’re trying to curb government spending and rescue the economy — but they threatened to shut down the government, even though that would have been both expensive and damaging to our economy.

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With or Without a Government Shutdown - Republicans have Already Won the Debate

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  • Corporate owned media outlets won’t call for tax hikes on corporations, and rich TV personalities won’t call for tax hikes on the rich. The topic of tax hikes just doesn’t exist in our now-consolidated media. Which is really a shame because the Republicans who seem to have already won the debate have a bad idea - a really, really, bad idea.
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  • Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression
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Thom Hartmann, Common Dreams

With or without a government shutdown, Republicans have already won the debate on our nation's budget. Why? Because the corporate media is on their side.

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Make the wealthy pay their fair share.

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A budget shouldn’t just focus on spending cuts directed at the poor and middle-class - it should also include revenue raisers like closing corporate loopholes and asking millionaires and billionaires to cough up a few extra bucks a year. Let’s cut some wasteful spending, but let’s also raise a few taxes. But this common sense narrative has been lost inside the main stream corporate media - where there’s only one question that’s being asked today, and that is “how much spending needs to be cut?”

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Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression, Mark Ames,  AlterNet

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  • The DC-Wall Street power circuit, with a big assist from the corporate media, is blindly pushing an agenda that could lead to massive social upheaval.
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  • Austerity - a sure path to a bad economy
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  • Citizens must be better educated about U.S. economic option
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  • Anti-Austerity Alliance Wins in Illinois
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