It’s Time Corporations Flew Old Glory Instead of the Jolly Roger

It’s Time Corporations Flew Old Glory Instead of the Jolly Roger

The swashbuckling pirates of olde amassed private fortunes by raiding ships and stealing them. Once they captured a ship, they would replace its flag — which represented one of the world’s sovereign nations — with the Jolly Roger. By flying the skull and...
The Wealthy’s Free Pass

The Wealthy’s Free Pass

All of a sudden, almost everybody — in Congress at least — seems to want to talk about the IRS. Fine. We need a good debate about taxes. But let’s have a debate that zooms in on the core issues. Like who’s paying taxes in America today and who isn’t....
Foreign Aid Is Afghanistan’s Resource Curse

Foreign Aid Is Afghanistan’s Resource Curse

Rebellious American colonists once proclaimed that “taxation without representation is tyranny.” A corollary is more significant in the modern world: “government without taxation results in tyranny.” This phenomenon is primarily observed in...
These Hedges Need Trimming

These Hedges Need Trimming

They’re hunkering down at SAC Capital, the hedge fund empire of billionaire Steven A. Cohen. Federal prosecutors have been picking off SAC’s second bananas one by one, plea bargaining for information that brings them ever closer to Cohen. SAC coughed up...
How We Pay for CEO “Performance”

How We Pay for CEO “Performance”

Federal unemployment benefits for 400,000 Californians out of work since last fall recently dropped 18 percent, a $52 cut out of weekly checks that average $297. Similar cuts are rolling out in other states. In all, long-term unemployed Americans will on average lose...
Pro-Austerity CEOs Rake in Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay

Pro-Austerity CEOs Rake in Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay

Note: This op-ed was distributed via the McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Laurence Fink, the 60-year-old CEO of Wall Street money manager BlackRock Inc., wants the retirement age raised to 70. In one TV interview, he explained that we could all wait a few more years...
The Art of Inequality

The Art of Inequality

Thomas Campbell directs the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. He’s smiling a great deal these days. Why? Campbell has just received something museum directors only dream about: a donation of paintings, drawings, and sculptures worth over $1 billion. The...
Shouldn’t We Base Our Tax Policy on More than Hunches?

Shouldn’t We Base Our Tax Policy on More than Hunches?

n January, Congress raised the top marginal tax rate on income over $450,000 from 35 to 39.6 percent. But even with this boost, that top federal rate is still less than half of what it was back in the Eisenhower years. Given the growth of the nation’s debt, we...
Under-Taxing the Rich Is Uncivilized

Under-Taxing the Rich Is Uncivilized

Please don’t fret about paying taxes. They’re your most productive investment. As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. noted more than a century ago, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” Tax cuts may bring some temporary...
Transplanting Taxes from Corporations to the Rest of Us

Transplanting Taxes from Corporations to the Rest of Us

Today, corporate profits are setting all-time records while middle class families continue to struggle financially. These trends are intertwined. Whether you’ve clicked to send your tax forms to the IRS along the cyber-highway or dropped your return in the...
Happy Birthday, Dear Income Tax

Happy Birthday, Dear Income Tax

Cross-posted from The American Prospect’s website. In February 1913, exactly a century ago, the Sixteenth Amendment gave Congress a constitutional green light to levy a federal tax on income. Later that same year, lawmakers made good on that opportunity. An...
Obama 2.0: Yes We Can Raise Taxes

Obama 2.0: Yes We Can Raise Taxes

Republicans seem to have something against tax increases. I get that. But it’s still not crazy to think we can win some important revenue battles during Obama 2.0. And given this country’s pressing needs – from repairing our infrastructure to...

The Dropped Ball

Millions of Americans watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. The glitzy one in Times Square symbolized joy and hope for the New Year. Just a few hundred miles to the south, Congress dropped another ball — one that no doubt sent champagne glasses clinking...
Billionaires with No Skin in the Game

Billionaires with No Skin in the Game

Sometimes, the folks who aren’t protesting can be just as newsworthy as the crowds mobilizing in the streets. Consider the news coverage of a bunch of rallies held recently around the country. Protesters from Duluth, Minnesota to Jackson, Tennessee called for...
In Fact, Fairly Taxing the Rich Won’t Scare Them Away

In Fact, Fairly Taxing the Rich Won’t Scare Them Away

Why do so many lawmakers in Congress oppose raising taxes on America’s wealthy, even just a little? The answer: We’ll never really know for sure. Lawmakers might oppose tax hikes on the wealthy, for instance, because their rich campaign contributors...