Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Can you see it? 

"Bush insists tax increases not planned. Spending Cuts expected to pay for recomstruction"

Toledo Blade Sept 17th, 2005

"Medicare Premiums to rise by 13% next year"

Toldeo Blade Sept 17th, 2005

"Columbia Gas asks Ohio to approve record rate. Charges would be 45% higher than last year."

Toledo Blade Sept 16th, 2005

"In 2004, the ratio of average CEO pay to the average pay of a production (i.e., non-management) worker was 431-to-1, up from 301-to-1 in 2003, according to "Executive Excess," an annual report released Tuesday by the liberal research groups United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies.

That's not the highest ever. In 2001, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay hit a peak of 525-to-1. Still, it's quite a leap year over year, and it ranks on the high end historically. In 1990, for instance, CEOs made about 107 times more than the average worker, while in 1982, the average CEO made only 42 times more.

The cumulative pay of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in the past 15 years totaled $11.7 billion."

CNN Money, Aug 30th 2005

"Just days before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the U.S. Census Bureau published its annual report on income in America. The poverty rate increased in 2004 for the fourth year in a row, and 37 million Americans (12.7% of the population) were living in poverty -- 4 million more than in 2001, despite three years of economic recovery. Sadly, more than 15 million of these impoverished Americans, many of them children, lived in households headed by full-time workers."

Business Week Sept, 16 2005

"In his State of the Union address, the President announced his intention to propose to make permanent a range of tax cuts that are scheduled to expire by the end of 2010. Last year’s budget featured a similar proposal. Since then a new round of tax cuts has become law — including the reduction in the tax rates on dividends and capital gains — which increases the cost of making the tax cuts permanent. The cost has risen to a very high level — approximately $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years, including the costs of the higher interest payments that would have to be paid on the national debt.

This large cost will add substantially to the budget deficits the nation faces. A number of analyses by respected institutions and leading economists — including studies by the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and economists at Brookings — find that the increased deficits the tax cuts will create will reduce national saving and may weaken the economy over the long run as a result. These studies do not support Administration claims that the tax cuts will significantly increase long-term economic and job growth. Making the tax cuts permanent would be of greatest benefit to one group — very-high-income households.

Estimates based on data from the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center show that if the tax cuts are made permanent — including estate tax repeal — the top one percent of households will gain an average of $58,200 a year (in 2004 dollars) when the tax cuts are fully in effect, reflecting a 7.3 percent change in their after-tax income. By contrast, people in the middle of the income spectrum would secure a 2.5 percent change in their after-tax income, with average tax cuts of $655 — a little more than one-ninetieth of what those in the top one percent would receive.

The cost to middle- and low-income households from making the tax cuts permanent — from the higher costs they may pay for various services if increasingly large budget cuts are instituted to help pay for the tax cuts, as well as from the higher interest rates and other possible adverse economic effects of the enlarged deficits — is likely to outweigh the modest tax cuts that many of these households would receive.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Jan 2004

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