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Luminous Animal

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Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,310

Journal Archives

Misconceptions and Realities About Who Pays Taxes


The 51 percent and 46 percent figures are anomalies that reflect the unique circumstances of the past few years, when the economic downturn greatly swelled the number of Americans with low incomes. The figures for 2009 are particularly anomalous; in that year, temporary tax cuts that the 2009 Recovery Act created — including the “Making Work Pay” tax credit and an exclusion from tax of the first $2,400 in unemployment benefits — were in effect and removed millions of Americans from the federal income tax rolls. Both of these temporary tax measures have since expired.

In 2007, before the economy turned down, 40 percent of households did not owe federal income tax. This figure more closely reflects the percentage that do not owe income tax in normal economic times.[4]

These figures cover only the federal income tax and ignore the substantial amounts of other federal taxes — especially the payroll tax — that many of these households pay. As a result, these figures greatly overstate the share of households that do not pay federal taxes. Tax Policy Center data show that only about 17 percent of households did not pay any federal income tax or payroll tax in 2009, despite the high unemployment and temporary tax cuts that marked that year.[5] In 2007, a more typical year, the figure was 14 percent. This percentage would be even lower if it reflected other federal taxes that households pay, including excise taxes on gasoline and other items.

Most of the people who pay neither federal income tax nor payroll taxes are low-income people who are elderly, unable to work due to a serious disability, or students, most of whom subsequently become taxpayers. (In years like the last few, this group also includes a significant number of people who have been unemployed the entire year and cannot find work.)

Moreover, low-income households as a group do, in fact, pay federal taxes. Congressional Budget Office data show that the poorest fifth of households paid an average of 4.0 percent of their incomes in federal taxes in 2007, the latest year for which these data are available — not an insignificant amount given how modest these households’ incomes are; the poorest fifth of households had average income of $18,400 in 2007.[6] The next-to-the bottom fifth — those with incomes between $20,500 and $34,300 in 2007 — paid an average of 10.6 percent of their incomes in federal taxes.

Moreover, even these figures greatly understatelow-income households’ totaltax burden because these households also pay substantial state and local taxes. Data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy show that the poorest fifth of households paid a stunning 12.3 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in 2011.[7]

When all federal, state, and local taxes are taken into account, the bottom fifth of households pays about 16 percent of their incomes in taxes, on average. The second-poorest fifth pays about 21 percent.[8]
Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon Sep 17, 2012, 08:00 PM (1 replies)

ABC News has retracted.


"An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect".
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:40 AM (0 replies)


A woman takes pictures of her abortion...

My intention in documenting and sharing my abortion is to demystify the sensationalist images propagated by the religious and political right on this matter. The perverse use of lifeless fetus photographs are a propaganda tool in the prolife/prochoice debate in which women and their bodies are used as pawns to push a cultural, political, and religious agenda in the United States.

At 6 weeks of pregnancy, my abortion looked very different than the images I saw when I entered the clinic that day.

This is my abortion.

To learn more about this project, please read my oped for The Guardian.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Tue Jul 10, 2012, 08:10 PM (11 replies)

Not one of those links claims Awlaki's son was with al-Banna and & none cited the Obama admin.

1) The hidden OP was headlined thus: "Obama's Administration Killed a 16-Year-Old American and Didn't Say Anything About It"
All of your links come from Yemeni sources. Do you have a link from the Obama admin

2) There were several strikes that night. One of your links says 5 strikes one of which killed al-Banna but no mention that Awlaki's son was killed in the same strike, one of your links says 27 killed but no mention of the number of strikes and again no mention that Awlaki's son was with al-Banna. In fact, the source cited for al-Banna's death and the source for Alwaki's son's death are two different people. The 1st is a Yemeni "official"; the 2nd a "tribal leader." The 3rd link says 3 strikes and doesn't mention al-Banna at all.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:00 PM (1 replies)

President Correa on Assange in a recent interview.

(Also a link to my old thread with other updates from Ecuador, etc. because it won't kick to the first page anymore.http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002835642)

In Rio de Janeiro, in exclusive interview to Página/12 (Argentina), Carta Maior (Brazil), and La Jornada de México (México):

"We have not a vassal's soul":

“Assange wants to go to Ecuador to continue fulfilling his mission for freedom of expression without limits, because our country is a peaceful territory committed to justice and truth”

Correa also dismissed today that the Assange asylum-situation would cause tensions with the UK. He added:

"It is the last we would wish, but we are not going to ask permission to no country for us to take our sovereign decisions"
If any in Ecuador “would have done to anyone a hundredth part of what they have done to Assange we would be called despots and oppressors"

And this is the full paragraph with President Rafael Correa's statements in Rio de Janeiro, referred to the asylum requested by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. President Correa explains, "What the analysis of the asylum application consists of":

"Ecuador defends the right to life, one has to see if there is danger of death. Ecuador supports the right to due process, must see if so has been the case. Ecuador rejects the persecution of a political nature attacking the political rights of individuals. Must see if there is any breach or violation in this regard. That is the analysis"

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:31 PM (44 replies)

By the way, that ret. soldier that you are citing was a Bush speechwriter,

cofounder of the vile Red State website, and currently the VP of communications of the right wing think tank, Texas Public Policy Foundation, which is, in part, funded by the Koch Brothers.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 08:42 PM (0 replies)

Hippie Capitalism: How An Impoverished U.S. City Is Building An Economy On Co-ops


“There’s not a lot of help coming from the federal government, or the state government,” says the city’s Green Party mayor, Gayle McLaughlin. “So we’re kind of on our own.” Two years ago, she went all the way to Spain in search of another economic model that might reinvigorate her city, once the locus of bustling shipyards that produced hundreds of boats for battle during World War II.


“I found that the values of people in Mondragon were very much in line with the values that we were putting forward as part of our political movement in Richmond: standing for equity, standing for justice, standing for community empowerment,” McLaughlin says. And so she brought the idea back to California and hired what is probably the only official municipal worker co-op consultant in the country. As of January, the first co-op born from this campaign, the aptly named Liberty Ship Café, is up and running, with plans for new bike shop, bakery, urban agriculture, and solar installation co-ops on the way.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 07:31 PM (1 replies)

The Mondragon Corporation employing 83,000 people in 256 co-ops

The MONDRAGON Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. Founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956, its origin is linked to the activity of a modest technical college and a small workshop producing paraffin heaters. Currently it is the seventh largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2010 it was providing employment for 83,859 people working in 256 companies in four areas of activity: Finance, Industry, Retail and Knowledge. The MONDRAGON Co-operatives operate in accordance with a business model based on People and the Sovereignty of Labour, which has made it possible to develop highly participative companies rooted in solidarity, with a strong social dimension but without neglecting business excellence. The Co-operatives are owned by their worker-members and power is based on the principle of one person, one vote.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 07:28 PM (0 replies)

All military-age males in a strike zone are combatants...

On Monday, the New York times reported that "Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent."

Glenn Greenwald reports:
"The media now knows that "militant" is a term of official propaganda, yet still use it for America's drone victims"

Early this morning, the U.S. fired a missile from a drone in northwest Pakistan — its first since the NYT story – and killed two people. Here’s how The Washington Post is now touting the article about this attack on its online front page:

Readers who click on that story are greeted by an Associated Press story bearing this headline:

There is, as usual, no indication that these media outlets have any idea whatsoever about who was killed in these strikes. All they know is that “officials” (whether American or Pakistani) told them that they were “militants,” so they blindly repeat that as fact. They “report” this not only without having the slightest idea whether it’s true, but worse, with the full knowledge that the word “militant” is being aggressively distorted by deceitful U.S. government propaganda that defines the term to mean: any “military-age males” whom we kill (the use of the phrase “suspected militants” in the body of the article suffers the same infirmity).

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 11:42 AM (110 replies)

It appears that you are right (link to a much more in depth article)...

Shell is pulling out while BP is committing and it looks like got more favorable treatment. So, Shell stops FOR NOW, keeps its reps in Libya and seeks similar flexibility with the NOC that BP received.


It was not to be. In 2008, Shell began to shoot 3D seismic in Area 89, the following year drilling six wells with an investment of $95 million, while paying NOC $103 million for permit rights. In December 2010 it was reported that the first gas had been found. At the time, an official with Shell Exploration and Production Libya, Nureffin Wafati said further exploration wells were necessary to establish if the reserves were commercial. Shortly afterwards, Brinded visited NOC in Tripoli for talks, the details of which were never made public.

Later Shell said that the results were disappointing and did not justify further investment. There was speculation that the find was of insufficient magnitude to generate a profitable supply contract to Brega, let alone to underwrite the construction of a state-of-the-art LNG plant.


Given that Area 89 was not going to produce the feedstock for the existing Brega facility, rejuvenated or not, the figures for Shell no longer added up. What could have been a multi-billion coup was turning into wormwood. If, as Shell has indicated, the NOC has been less flexible with the Anglo-Dutch major in renegotiating than it appears to have been with BP, then Shell’s departure may be seen as inevitable. BP also has its Ghadames blocks where there is heightened expectation of fresh highly commercial reserves.

However Shell has not apparently abandoned Libya for ever. Dow Jones yesterday reported an internal Shell email as telling employees: “This is not a country exit, and a Shell Representative Office will remain in Libya.”
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Jun 1, 2012, 04:11 PM (1 replies)
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