Soaking the Poor, State by State


You have heard, perhaps, that rich people in America are egregiously overtaxed. And the poor? They’re the lucky duckies! Why, 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes at all!

(This is not true, of course. Many poor and elderly Americans pay no federal income tax, but they pay plenty of other taxes.)

Still and all, it’s true that the federal income tax is indeed progressive. Conservatives are right about that—though it’s not as progressive as it used to be, back before top marginal rates were lowered and capital gains taxes were slashed in half. But conservatives are a little less excited to talk about other kinds of taxes. Payroll taxes aren’t progressive, for example. In fact, they’re actively regressive, with the poor and middle classes paying higher rates than the rich.

And then there are state taxes. Those include state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and fees of various kinds. How progressive are state taxes?

Continue reading Soaking the Poor, State by State

10 Big Companies That Pay No Taxes (and Their Favorite Politicians)


Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.

Continue reading 10 Big Companies That Pay No Taxes (and Their Favorite Politicians)

Most firms pay no income taxes – Congress

David Goldman | August 12 2008 | CNN Money

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined samples of corporate tax returns filed between 1998 and 2005. In that time period, an annual average of 1.3 million U.S. companies and 39,000 foreign companies doing business in the United States paid no income taxes – despite having a combined $2.5 trillion in revenue.

The study showed that 28% of foreign companies and 25% of U.S. corporations with more than $250 million in assets or $50 million in sales paid no federal income taxes in 2005. Those companies totaled a combined $372 billion in sales for the largest foreign companies and $1.1 trillion in revenue for the biggest U.S. companies.

The GAO report, which did not name any specific companies, said that some corporations reported zero income before deducting expenses while others said they had zero net income after deducting expenses. Either way, those companies reported no tax liability, the GAO said.

But many of the companies the report found had paid no tax were likely small businesses that pay other taxes. Generally, many small firms, because they do not have shareholders, are able to shift corporate income to individual income.

“Small businesses that are going to be liable for a lot of income tax are likely to use other tax forms so they only pay individual income taxes,” said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

The study was requested by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D, and Carl Levin, D-Mich., in an attempt to determine if corporations are abusing so-called transfer prices.

Continue reading Most firms pay no income taxes – Congress

May 2016 Jobs Number Revised Downward to 11,000


Despite the preliminary June jobs report of 287,000the May jobs report of 38,000 (which was awful) was revised downward to 11,000 (even worse yet).

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 8.28.48 AM

There was not much change in economic conditions to explain the jump in the June numbers, so expect them to revised by the next jobs report.



May had awful jobs numbers (originally 38,000, revised downward to 11,000) and the U-3 unemployment rate dropped from 5.0% (April) to 4.7% (May).  June U-3 unemployment increased to 4.9%.  Notice what happened: bad jobs report in May caused unemployment to go down, and good jobs report in June caused unemployment to go up.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 8.40.00 AM


People Not In The Labor Force

Continue reading May 2016 Jobs Number Revised Downward to 11,000


The average person out there doesn’t know much about what wars the U.S. is fighting at any given time.

Most will know that the military is in Afghanistan or Iraq (still), but typically not much beyond that.

For instance, under Bush (2001 – 2008) the U.S. fought wars in:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Iraq
  3. Pakistan
  4. Somalia

Under Obama (2009 – present), the U.S. is involved in wars in  over four times as many countries:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Cameroon
  3. Chad
  4. The Iraq War
  5. Iraq (War on ISIL)
  6. Jordan
  7. Korea
  8. Libya
  9. Libya (War on ISIL)
  10. Mali
  11. Nigeria (War on ISIL)
  12. Pakistan
  13. Somalia
  14. Strait of Hormuz
  15. Syria (War on ISIL)
  16. Turkey
  17. Uganda
  18. Yeman

Plus, Obama is using NATO in Europe to try and provoke a conflict with Russia.  And the U.S. is also trying to start something with China too.

If you want to see an estimate of how much Bush and Obama’s wars have cost, look here.

This is a list of wars the U.S. has fought since it became an independent country (listed by president):

1775 – 1788Revolutionary War, Chickamauga War, Northwest Indian War3
Washington1789 – 1796Chickamauga War, Northwest Indian War, Whiskey Rebellion3
John Adams1797 – 1800Quasi War1
Jefferson1801 – 1808First Barbary War1
Madison1809 – 1816US Occupation of West Florida, Tecumseh's War, War of 1812, Creek War, Second Barbary War, First Seminole War6
Monroe1817 – 1824First Seminole War, Texas-Indian wars2
John Quincy Adams1825 – 1828Texas-Indian wars, Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations, Winnebago War3
Jackson1829 – 1836Texas-Indian wars, First Sumatran Expedition, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War4
Van Buren1837 – 1840Texas-Indian wars, Second Seminole War, Second Sumatran Expedition3
William Henry Harrison-Tyler1841 – 1844Texas-Indian wars, Second Seminole War2
Polk1845 – 1848Texas-Indian wars, Mexican-American War, Cayuse War3
Taylor-Fillmore1849 – 1852Texas-Indian wars, Cayuse War, Apache Wars3
Pierce1853 – 1856Texas-Indian wars, Cayuse War, Apache Wars, Bombardment of Greytown, Puget Sound War, First Fiji Expedition, Rogue River Wars, Third Seminole War, Yakima War, Filibuster War, Second Opium War, Second Fiji Expedition, First & Second Cortina War14
Buchanan1857 – 1860Texas-Indian wars, Cayuse War, Apache Wars, Puget Sound War, First Fiji Expedition, Rogue River Wars, Third Seminole War, Yakima War, Filibuster War, Second Opium War, Utah War, Navajo Wars, Palute War13
Lincoln1861 – 1864Texas-Indian wars, Apache Wars, Navajo Wars, First & Second Cortina War, American Civil War, Bombardment of Qui Nho'n (Vietnam), Yavapai Wars, Dakota War of 1862, Colorado War, Shimonoseki War, Snake War12
Lincoln- Andrew Johnson1865 – 1868Texas-Indian wars, Apache Wars, Navajo Wars, American Civil War, Yavapai Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Powder River War, Red Cloud's War, Siege of Mexico City, Formosa Expedition, Comanche Campaign12
Grant1869 – 1876Texas-Indian wars, Apache Wars, Yavapai Wars, Comanche Campaign, U.S. Expedition to Korea, Modoc War, Red River War, Las Cuevas War, Great Sioux War of 1876, Buffalo Hunter's War10
Hayes1877 – 1880Apache Wars, Great Sioux War of 1876, Buffalo Hunter's War, Nez Perce War, San Elizato Salt War, Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, Victorio's War, White River War9
Garfield-Arthur1881 – 1884Apache Wars, Victorio's War2
Cleveland1885 – 1888Apache Wars1
Benjamin Harrison1889 – 1892Apache Wars, Pine Ridge Campaign, Garza Revolution3
Cleveland1893 – 1896Apache Wars, Garza Revolution, Yaqui Wars3
McKinley1897 – 1900Apache Wars, Yaqui Wars, Second Somoan Civil War, Philippine-American War, Moro Rebellion, Boxer Rebellion6
McKinley-Theodore Roosevelt1901 – 1904Yaqui Wars, Philippine-American War, Moro Rebellion, Boxer Rebellion4
Theodore Roosevelt1905 – 1908Yaqui Wars, Moro Rebellion2
Taft1909 – 1912Yaqui Wars, Moro Rebellion, Crazy Snake Rebellion, Border War, Negro Rebellion, Occupation of Nicaragua6
Wilson1913 – 1920WWI, Yaqui Wars, Moro Rebellion, Border War, Occupation of Nicaragua, Bluff War, Occupation of Haiti, Sugar Intervention, Occupation of the Dominican Republic, Russian Civil War10
Harding-Coolidge1921 – 1924Occupation of Nicaragua, Occupation of Haiti, Occupation of the Dominican Republic, Posey War4
Coolidge1925 – 1928Occupation of Nicaragua, Occupation of Haiti2
Hoover1929 – 1932Occupation of Nicaragua, Occupation of Haiti2
Franklin Roosevelt1933 – 1944WW!!, Occupation of Nicaragua, Occupation of Haiti3
Franklin Roosevelt-Truman1945 – 1948WWII1
Truman1949 – 1952Korean War1
Eisenhower1953 – 1960Korean War, Vietnam War, Lebanon Crisis3
Kennedy-Johnson1961 – 1964Bay of Pigs Invasion, Simba Rebellion, Vietnam War3
Johnson1965 – 1968Dominican Civil War, Vietnam War2
Nixon1969 – 1972Vietnam War1
Nixon-Ford1973 – 1976Vietnam War1
Carter1977 – 1980Shaba II1
Reagan1981 – 1988Multinational Force in Lebanon, Invasion of Grenada, Tanker War3
George H.W. Bush1989 – 1992Invasion of Panama, Gulf War, Somali Civil War3
Clinton1993 – 2000Somali Civil War, Intervention in Haiti, Bosnian War, Kosovo War4
George W. Bush2001 – 2008War in Afghanistan, Iraq War, War in North-West Pakistan, Somalia4
Obama2009 – 2016War in Afghanistan, Intervention in Cameroon, Chad, Iraq War, Iraq (War on ISIL), Jordan, Korea, 2011 Military Intervention in Libya, Libya (War on ISIL), Mali, Nigeria (War on ISIL), War in North-West Pakistan, Somalia, Strait of Hormuz, Syria (War on ISIL), Turkey, Uganda, Yeman18
Sources: Wikipedia: List Wars Involving the US
Wikipedia: Timeline of US at War

Wikipedia: Timeline of US Military Operations

Wikipedia: List of ongoing armed conflicts

Wikipedia:List of number of conflicts

Wikipedia: Outline of Wars

Histropedia: Wars involving the US


Think about that in November when you vote.


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NDP Note (Also related to this post):


HONEST CAMPAIGN:  If Elected, I Promise To Give Trillions To The Rich, Spend Trillions On War, and Cut Everything for Working People







U.S. is 240 Years Old and It Has Spent Over 469 Years Fighting Wars: List of U.S. Wars at Home and Abroad


Just in case you wondered why your local public schools and universities were having problems getting funded, it’s not all their fault.  Nor is it the highway departments’ fault your state roads and bridges are not getting fixed and are becoming dangerous.

And if your state has been having budget problems, there’s one primary reason: under both Democrats and Republicans, states have mirrored the federal government in handouts to profitable corporations to the tune of over $180 billion.

Taxpayer money that used to go to fund public schools, public libraries, public services, Meals-on-Wheels for seniors, and many other taxpayer-funded services, now go to profitable companies to help pad their profits.

When Republicans and Democrats talk about privatizing government functions, you can always count on this happening: you will get less and pay more.  And someone who is rich will get richer.


Here is a list of the subsidies and awards listed by state:

AK$676,803,280$676 million
AL$3,413,018,766$3.41 billion
AR$682,215,269$682 million
AZ$435,037,197$435 million
CA$2,670,247,463$2.67 billion
CO$773,824,248$773 million
CT$4,246,915,669$4.24 billion
DC$336,094,328$336 million
DE$324,280,692$324 million
FL$3,450,556,194$3.45 billion
GA$1,522,717,351$1.52 billion
HI$515,430$515 thousand
IA$2,908,329,068$2.90 billion
ID$310,702,207$310 million
IL$4,875,121,771$4.87 billion
IN$5,505,983,189$5.5 billion
KS$793,317,346$793 million
KY$7,725,418,949$7.72 billion
LA$16,659,935,692$16.65 billion
MA$1,121,502,357$1.12 billion
MD$1,020,557,805$1.02 billion
ME$681,443,625$681 million
MI$14,199,793,452$14.19 billion
MN$2,421,601,745$2.42 billion
MO$5,505,983,189$5.50 billion
MS$3,804,387,807$3.8 billion
MT$48,810,402$48 million
NC$4,494,206,385$4.49 billion
ND$110,524,376$110 million
NE$443,936,362$443 million
NH$8,382,095$8 million
NJ$8,900,756,858$8.9 billion
NM$4,067,819,794$4.06 billlion
NV$3,174,859,740$3.17 billion
NY$23,974,689,789$23.97 billion
OH$4,637,654,611$4.63 billion
OK$1,667,965,854$1.66 billion
OR$6,653,054,666$6.65 billion
PA$5,011,816,496$5.01 billion
RI$462,565,091$462 million
SC$2,533,880,431$2.52 billion
SD$123,437,018$123 million
TN$3,804,492,345$3.80 billion
TX$6,653,709,245$6.65 billion
UT$1,000,738,632$1 billion
VA$565,547,785$565 million
VT$336,895,134$336 million
WA$13,378,264,962$13.37 billion
WI$1,832,327,312$1.83 billion
WV$426,777,726$426 million
WY$1,226,569$1 million


Good Jobs First Subsidy Tracker, which provides the data, also shows which profitable companies get your tax dollars simply by clicking on the state.


Walmart gets a lot of public money to help keep the Waltons from going hungry and so they don’t have to shop at Dollar General or Goodwill.


Think about that as you go to vote in November.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License


NDP Note (Also related to this post):


HONEST CAMPAIGN: If Elected, I Promise To Give Trillions To The Rich, Spend Trillions On War, And Cut Everything For Working People





U.S. is 240 Years Old and It Has Spent Over 469 Years Fighting Wars: List of U.S. Wars at Home and Abroad

Why Bernie Sanders Was Not The One They Were Waiting For

We’ve seen this show before, so you’d think people would be used to it by now.

Progressive darling comes along pretending to be something they are not, people get taken in, and eventually disappointed with the results.

The recurring problem is people take the news at face value as if it was truth  and they don’t do any of their own homework to see if, in fact, these guys are the real deal.

Bill Clinton’s  terms as governor in Arkansas would have told you he was basically a Republican.

Barack Obama really didn’t have a record as anything more than a go-fer for the Chicago FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) markets early in his career.  He certainly wasn’t the community organizer he claimed to be.  In Springfield, the state Capitol of Illinois, you’d be challenged to find any legislation he sponsored or even co-sponsored.  Even after being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, his record is completely unremarkable.  And then there’s the question of Obama’s CIA connections and how they helped him rise in politics.

And now there’s Bernie Sanders.  Sanders is never who he claimed to be.  He wasn’t a Socialist nor was he a Social Democrat; he was a pro-war Democrat who voted for all the wars.  And as far as healthcare, just look back to the 2010 vote on Obamacare when Sanders said he would not support anything that did not have a public option in it.  Next thing you know, Obama took him for a ride on Air Force One, offered him some incentives, and Sanders was voting “yes” for it.

Once again, people did not do their own homework, because if they had, they would have at least found some articles (among many out there) like these from Counterpunch:

2006:  A Socialist In The Senate?

2015:  Stark Differences: Jeremy Corbin vs Bernie Sanders  – or –  Bernie Out of the Closet: Sanders’ Longstanding Deal with the Democrats

2016:  Why Bernie Sanders is No Jeremy Corbin

Like Ian Welsh wrote, Bernie is irrelevant now.

We can thank Sanders for showing us that people want what FDR offered, not what the Clintons are offering.  Other than that, he just “berned” everybody who supported him.

So that leaves us with Clinton vs. Trump, neither of whom can be trusted.  They’re both spending a lot of money for a job that pays $400,000 per year, so it makes you wonder.

What would be most amusing is around September or October is if Clinton is trailing Trump by 5 points in the polls (with the Greens and Libertarians each polling 7%) and Sanders has to try and rally his former followers who spent $230 million on him because they trusted him before he changed sides.  Oh noes!  No Clinton cabinet position for Sanders.

If Trump does win, then maybe the U.S. will finally be rid of the Clintons.  But then we’ll still have Trump, which is not good.  It’s amazing how many unqualified people can run for public office, especially for president (and for Trump, considering this is his first political race).  But then again, there are a lot of unqualified people in Congress carrying water for the rich.  Most of them couldn’t pass a Constitution test.

Last and most importantly, Sanders has proven that anyone linked to the Democrats cannot be trusted, period.


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Good Post-Mortem on the Sanders Campaign

In case you missed it, Bernie Sanders is now campaigning with Hillary Clinton.

A Sanders endorsement for Clinton will come shortly.
(Update 7/12: Sanders endorses Clinton)

At last count, the Sanders campaign took in $230 million.

Will the Sanders movement continue?  Probably not, but there are important lessons.

On June 13, Eric Draitser interviewed Counterpunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair for a podcast.  They  discuss what the Sanders campaign did right and how it ultimately went wrong, among other things.

Pretty interesting.


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How the Super-Rich Will Destroy Themselves

Paul Buchheit | July 11 2016 | Common Dreams

(Photo: Timothy Krause/cc/flickr)

Perhaps they believe that their underground survival bunkers with bullet-resistant doors and geothermal power and anti-chemical air filters and infrared surveillance devices and pepper spray detonators will sustain them for two or three generations.

Perhaps they feel immune from the killings in the streets, for they rarely venture into the streets anymore. They don’t care about the great masses of ordinary people, nor do they think they need us.

Or do they? There are a number of ways that the super-rich, because of their greed and lack of empathy for others, may be hastening their own demise, while taking the rest of us with them.

1. Pandemic (Because of Their Disdain for Global Health)

“A year ago the world was in a panic over Ebola. Now it’s Zika at the gate. When will it end?” –Public health expert Dr. Ali Khan.

It could end with a global pandemic that spreads with the speed of the 1918 Spanish Flu, but with a virulence that kills over half of us, rich and poor alike. Vanderbilt University’s Dr. William Schaffner warned us a decade ago, “You’ve got to really invest vast resources right now to protect us from a pandemic.” Added infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Baum, “There’s nobody making vaccines anymore because the profitability is low and the liability is high.”

Continue reading How the Super-Rich Will Destroy Themselves

Independence Day Delusions

Paul Buchheit | July 04 2016 | Common Dreams

However we interpret the concept, we may not be as “free” as we’re led to believe. (Photo: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)

We thank soldiers for our “freedom” as they travel to foreign lands to keep us free from dangers that are exacerbated by their presence in those foreign lands. Many of them return home facing lifelong battles with physical or mental injuries.

We rightfully give thanks for the many freedoms that are denied the citizens of countries like North Korea, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia. Among our many liberties, having the freedom to criticize our national leaders helps to make us a better people.

The concept of “freedom” is at the very least ambiguous, and, at the most, destructive to those being deceived by false patriotism. The people who benefit from the uncontrolled pursuit of money push the concept of individual freedom on the rest of us, making us feel unpatriotic if we disagree. “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself,” once blathered Milton Friedman, whose economic theories made America the most unequal developed nation.

However we interpret the concept, we may not be as “free” as we’re led to believe.

Is Our Nation Really “Free”?

According to the watchdog organization Freedom House, in terms of political and civil liberties the U.S. is tied for 44th freest country, after UK, Chile, Japan, Portugal, and most of the Scandinavian nations. The organization’s 2016 synopsis states: “The United States received a downward trend arrow because of the cumulative impact of flaws in the electoral system, a disturbing increase in the role of private money in election campaigns and the legislative process, legislative gridlock, the failure of the Obama administration to fulfill promises of enhanced government openness, and fresh evidence of racial discrimination and other dysfunctions in the criminal justice system.”

Freedom from Taxes? If We’re Willing to Send the Mentally Ill to Jail

Typical of a taker, Donald Trump claims that the tax collectors “take our tax money and throw it down the drain.” Another taker is libertarian Charles Koch, who said “I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington.”

Continue reading Independence Day Delusions