Comments on: It’s the military, stupid http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/ Bridges, budgets, bonds Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:29:08 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Adam_Wentworth http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-1242 Sat, 30 Jun 2012 07:41:59 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-1242 Vietnamvet, I hate to break it to you but every major US involved war of the 20th century was a Democrat war. WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam are ALL democrat wars.

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By: Cate_Long http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-357 Sat, 20 Aug 2011 00:30:25 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-357 Unfortunately, Mr. Buffett largely ignores the flaws, loopholes and complexity of the U.S. tax code, all of which are far more responsible for the imbalances he seeks to correct. This brings me back to the connection my (astute) friend drew to the story about G.E.’s taxes. Even though the corporate tax rate is an infamous 35%, G.E. paid far less than that last year to the IRS (the exact amount was still being debated the last time I checked, but most estimates still put it well below even 20%). The problem is not necessarily that the U.S. government needs to raise tax rates , it’s that it needs to raise taxes . We need to close the loopholes that allow companies, and individuals, to avoid paying for their fair share of the government services and security that are vital to the health of our nation. There are, essentially, two tracks to take here: addressing the methods (secrecy) and addressing the motivations (big rewards, low to no consequences).

On the methods side, policy makers should enact legislation that would require banks to collect the beneficial ownership information for all account holders. Tax information should also be exchanged automatically between all countries on each other’s citizens. Both of these strategies would significantly inhibit the ability of individuals and corporations to hide the true nature of their tax obligations to the U.S.—and to other governments.

Another set of changes to the rules should focus on the motivations, or cost-benefit ratio, of evading taxes. Making tax evasion a predicate crime for anti-money laundering would subject those prosecuted to much steeper (jail) sentences, which raises the risk to their reputation and their lifestyle for engaging in such behavior. Requiring reporting by MNCs of all profits and taxes paid on a country-by-country basis would also raise the reputational risk for using overly aggressive tax planning. (Investors would also benefit from knowing exactly where a company is making money and where it is losing money—helping them gauge the strategic risks the company faces.) Finally, international commerce laws should be updated to require personal signatures that the prices of goods and services have not been altered for the purpose of evading taxes or customs duties in a given cross border transaction. No rational employee is going to want to risk jail time for herself or himself in order to save the company some money.

http://www.financialtaskforce.org/2011/0 8/19/oracle-of-omaha-sees-big-picture-mi sses-loopholes/

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By: kulthur http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-354 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:21:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-354 Bringing our military spending in line with our global competitors? Is this author stupid? The same competitors who can’t defeat Colonel Qaddafi without our help? Or the ones just launching an aircraft carrier? Or the ones whose conscripts are killing themselves with alcohol? Or the ones living in caves? Is this author capable of understanding the global order, or does he have a political narrative in his head where actual understanding should be?

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By: klhoughton http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-353 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 13:45:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-353 Jeffrey Immelt: “Stuff that the deficit commission came up with, which was a lower corporate tax rate ending every loophole, is what we would take, with a territorial system, we would take in a heartbeat. The fact is I’d take Germany’s or Japan’s or the U.K.’s corporate tax policy today, sight unseen, without any dispute, I would take any of those tax policies today.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/1 8/us-ge-immelt-idUSTRE77H7IG20110818

Call that bluff.

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By: soWhatever http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-352 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 11:58:47 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-352 We have a couple of wars we need to finish or somehow get out of before we can reduce our military budget. As a matter of fact, if we get out of these wars, we probably won’t have to reduce our regular military budget. By the way, the reason the rest of the “free” world has such small military expenditures is because they depend on us to protect them.

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By: Andao http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-350 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 10:34:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-350 Hmmm, seems to me giving a lot of that military money to welfare families would help the overall economy more. You could spend $100 million on an F-22 that sits on a runway and bleeds value, or you could give it to families to buy food. Supermarkets then pass more money onto farmers, and so on. Consumer spending is what keeps the economy rolling, not weapons sitting around gathering dust.

Not to mention our billion-dollar weapons tech can be stolen by a Chinese hacker who gets paid a few bucks a day.

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By: djlowballer http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-348 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 07:42:27 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-348 I think that there is something missing here. The reason the US collects a taxes in a low ratio to GDP is because companies use a lot of tricks and loopholes of a needlessly complex tax code to avoid the tax.

What the chamber of commerce says makes perfect sense. If you simplify the tax code and charge a lower tax rate, companies have less incentive to expatriate their earnings and the US would collect more taxes.

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By: robb1 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-347 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 04:59:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-347 In your graphs just do not count the state tax on top of the federal… in California we pay over 44% combining Fed and State way higher that most of Europe with no medical and a miser retirement for the employees… Of course we could spend less for the military, but where u think u can employ our veterans? Potato fields? We need to create a better fiscal environment for the small business so they can hire again and bring down unemployment at 3%.

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By: SourRon http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-346 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 02:22:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-346 @longtermthink

Gee, lets do a tax comparison with Sierra Leone, maybe their tax rates are lower. Of course they are amongst the poorest countries in the world, but who cares! Lets compare rates! “Western” is just a euphemism here for “first world” and other phrases that are no longer politically correct.

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By: jim3000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/08/18/its-the-military-stupid/comment-page-1/#comment-344 Fri, 19 Aug 2011 00:47:03 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/?p=3136#comment-344 Total taxes as a % of GDP doesn’t seem like it’s telling the whole story. Governments can take in revenue through a variety of sources, like VAT and personal income taxes to name two big ones. Tariff’s would be another.

What would be nice, is if we could measure the amount of dollars paid by a corporation in proportion to how many dollars that corporation earns. I don’t know, we could call it a “corporate tax rate”.

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