Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SAR #11089

When push comes to shove, we all push and shove.

Goal! Profits at financial institutions accounted for 28% of all corporate profits last year. Tell me again what it is these folks do that is worth a bucket of spit.

Ideological Roots: The GOP looked around, saw that the unions, especially the teacher's unions, and the pro-choice movement were the Democrats largest supporters. So they became anti-union, anti-teacher and anti-abortion. If they can abolish the unions, make serfs of the teachers and criminals of the women, then the Democratic base will dissolve, so they think. Does the GOP think it can win a civil war?

Justice For Some: Willie Nelson, caught with six and a half ounces of pot, was sentenced to sing a song for the judge. Over in Tyler, Texas, a kid caught with 4 ounces was sentenced to 35 years

Cut On Dotted Line: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – who is putatively in charge of caring for the health of the nation - sent the nation's governors a letter giving them hints on how to lower their Medicaid costs by eliminating “prescription drugs, dental services, and speech therapy” and suggesting they “add or increase cost sharing for services.” Maybe she should read her job description again.

Put It On My Tab: 30% of all mortgages in foreclosure have had no payment in two years, and nearly half have not made a payment in 18 months. It's one way to save up for a down payment on the next place.

Therefore: GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says the way to fix Social Security is to ban abortion. He says the reason we do not have enough workers to support the elderly is because they've all been aborted. Outlawing abortion would solve the problem, as long as the population keeps increasing geometrically. Maybe we should reverse the ban on cloning humans, too.

Daily Bread: Church-going Christians are 50% more likely to be obese than the atheist next door. According to a new study, the body is not a temple and the story of the fatted calf has been misunderstood. Stay after church for the potluck dinner.

Better Late...It turns out that a group of “thugs and hoodlums” arrested by DC police at the 2005 inauguration were just citizens expressing their opinion, and not vandals . Each will receive $2,000 and a signed portrait of President Bush for their wrongful arrest.

Shh! Don't Tell Kudlow: US corporations – large and small – are not heavily taxed. They are not even meaningfully taxed. Yes, nominal rates seem high, but as Leona said, only the little people pay taxes. And only the big people get bailouts – and still pay no taxes.

Cake, Having/Eating: While the rest of the world sits idly by, waiting for Saudi Arabia to increase production and save the world's economies, Saudi Arabia keeps pumping about 9 mbd while bragging it could pump 12 mbd if it wanted to. Meanwhile, more and more of the oil they do pump does not get exported – if the King does not feed the citizens, he may not get to be king much longer. So domestic petroleum use is expected to go from today's 3.5 million to over 8 mbd in 2028. That will leave damned little for export. Diet for a small planet, indeed.

Self Correcting System: Five major scientific societies united to issue a warning that the global availability of irreplaceable phosphorus fertilizer will begin to decline sharply just as the human population reaches 9 billion. If so, the population will not remain at 9 billion for long.

Cross My Fingers: When Fox lies, it isn't really lying, it's just engaging in “mischievous speculation.” Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon – who confessed to the offense - admits he finds some of Fox's reporting “rather far-fetched.”

The Goal: I'm all for nuclear power plants - as soon as they can build one that is “walkaway safe,” meaning that even if all power is lost and the coolant leaks and there isn't a human around for 2500 years, there would be no meltdown, no radiation leakage.

Stuffing: The nation's inventory of foreclosed houses is increasing faster than they can be sold off. The foreclosed inventory level is now at 30 month's sales.


Completely Appalled said...

"He says the reason we do not have enough workers to support the elderly is because they've all been aborted"

Because surely all these unprepared mothers would have raised emotionally healthy, capable, tax paying citizens.....

CKMichaelson said...

No, no, CA. They would be raised by private worker-development agencies under contract to the Department of Labor, on a cost-plus basis...

Anonymous said...


I don't know if you've seen. There's been an interesting exchange between Henry Blodget and GE's PR department on Twitter the past few days. Both Henry and Megan McArdle see it the same way.

McArdle: And having gone through his exchange, I don't see any way around it: the lede of the New York Times story simply cannot be reconciled with what GE is saying. Either GE is lying, or the New York Times is going to have to publish a correction.


CKMichaelson said...

RBM - Yeah, I've been following that exchange and came to the following conclusions. [But first I might as well admit I "uncritically" - with a nod and a nudge - accepted the NYT story & cited it, thus washing my hands...]

Best I can tell the NYT was creatively ignored the difference between world-wide profits and US taxes. They also took 'US taxes' to mean federal corporate income taxes.

GE, on the other hand, wants to count any tax they paid at the city or state level as well as any payments they made to the feds, ignoring the simple fact that they made the payments (according to law) knowing thwy would get them back and then some (also according to law).

In the end, both were less than honest, although both were technically truthful. Bottom line, corporations manipulate the tax code and pay damned little taxes.

I'm not at all convinced that corporations should pay income taxes, but am convinced they need pay some form of very steep taxes to offset the damage they do to the commons. And no, I don't know how to work that out. It can't be retroactive, for then they will simply do the damage, dissolve the corporation and run away under a new name to repeat the crime. But before they do the damage, the extent and cost of remediation isn't know...

Somehow I've wandered way off target: Did GE pay little or no US federal income tax? Sure looks that way. Did the NYT paint them a tad blacker than necessary, seems that way.


OkieLawyer said...

...then they will simply do the damage, dissolve the corporation and run away under a new name to repeat the crime.

Compare and contrast to what would happen to a "natural person" if they did the same thing (changed name to escape debts or criminal charges).

Anonymous said...

We should drop the corporate tax rate to 15% and eliminate ALL subsidies and givebacks and loopholes. It'll kill some and let the others keep their operations in the US.