Thursday, August 02, 2012

Catnip 8/2/12: Tax Plans in the Wind


Wind farm visible to the north of Mount Diablo. There is another looking south too. Don't know the names, maybe will travel and find out up close some day...

Back to the attempted destruction of America, already in progress...

Looks like the reverse Robin Hood tax plans of Mitt Romney and the GOP are not going over well with.... well, anyone who crunches numbers for a living. Ezra tackles Romney's plan (while on vacation!) and comes to the same conclusion as the rest: Romney would have to make massive cuts to spending on the country to promise tax cuts for the wealthy, and the fact that he won't identify those cuts leaves it to the experts to fill in the blanks. "The size of the tax cut he’s proposing for the rich is larger than all of the tax expenditures that go to the rich put together. As such, it is mathematically impossible for him to keep his promise to make sure the top one percent keeps paying the same or more."

The Congressional Republican tax "reform" plan concocted by Dave Camp and Paul Ryan doesn't fare any better. The CBPP scored the measure, and came up with these five points: 1) Fail to require any deficit reduction and, in fact, invite higher deficits. 2) Cut individual income tax rates well below the already unaffordable Bush levels. 3) Slash the top corporate tax rate and eliminate taxes on foreign profits. 4) Not identify specific measures to broaden the tax base. 5) Not protect low- and moderate-income Americans. Bottom line: It explodes the deficit while increasing taxes on the masses. "The bills’ absence of a firm deficit-reduction requirement, combined with their requirements for costly and regressive tax rate cuts, illustrate the danger that the tax reform process could become a trap, producing legislation that boosts deficits, reduces tax code progressivity, and widens after-tax income inequality."

19 Democrats voted with the Republicans to protect the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Here is the list. One Republican defected from the ranks - Tim Johnson of Illinois, who is retiring this year.

Segregation by income is on the rise. While this has always been the norm to some extent, now more than ever the poor live with the poor, and the rich live with the rich, and never the two shall understand each other. "The analysis finds that 28% of lower-income households in 2010 were located in a majority lower-income census tract, up from 23% in 1980, and that 18% of upper- income households were located in a majority upper-income census tract, up from 9% in 1980.3." Segregation by race is still more prevalent though.

Lookit the Chevy Volt go. "Rival General Motors Co. said sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt rose again in July to 1,849, up over the 125 the company sold in July 2011 and over the 1,760 sold in June. For the first seven months, GM has sold 10,666 Volts, up 270 percent over the same period last year." The Golden State is key - 1 in 3 Volts are now sold in California.

Chuck Grassley to the rescue! The esteemed (cough) Senator from Iowa will defy Mitt Romney's plans and introduce an amendment to a Senate "tax extenders" (credits) bill to save the wind production tax credit. "The Senate Finance Committee today is scheduled to mark up the tax extenders package first announced Wednesday — but they’ve got more than 100 amendments to work through first. The deal included soon-to-expire tax credits for biofuels and energy efficiency, but left out the wind production tax credit. The PTC, though, will get a vote via two amendments from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the original author of the wind production tax credit." Huge battle over other extenders though - consevatives want to take out credits for other renewable energy measures, and again, this probably goes nowhere in the House, but stay tuned.

Iowa wind Republicans have some friends out there. Republicans from Colorado, home of turbine maker Vestas (who is threatening to layoff "most" of their Colorado employees), still want to see the wind tax credit extended. "Eight out of nine of Colorado’s Congressional delegation signed a letter to Congressional leadership in February urging the wind energy tax credit extension," and are more or less are standing by that. And oh look, Colorado is a highly-contested swing state too. How interesting.

The Fed will do nothing to help the economy, but they are "ready for action" if things don't improve. Thanks, Ben. You're a real pal.

The Obama campaign has a handy state map that shows you how Republicans have attacked women's health care and the right to choice across the nation over the past year or so. Pretty scary.

A coffee company in New York has a new brew that contains "200% more caffeine" than your average dark roast Arabica beans. Gonna haffa get me some of that.

And I'm off....