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From today’s WaPo:

“Eighty percent of Americans agree on almost nothing (even Olympic swimming!).

But a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found exactly such consensus on one of the central issues in the debate over the “fiscal cliff”: 85 percent of registered voters, including 77 percent of Republicans, said it was a “bad idea” for members of Congress to promise to “never increase taxes on corporations or the wealthy under any circumstance”.

While not explicitly mentioned in the poll question, the result has been widely interpreted as gauging support for the anti-tax pledge advocated by Grover Norquist and his group, Americans for Tax Reform.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

 

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This New York Times story has been out since last week, but it deserves to be held up again and again over the coming weeks and months.

“[Despite a widespread perception to the contrary]…most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.

Households earning more than $200,000 benefited from the largest percentage declines in total taxation as a share of income. Middle-income households benefited, too. More than 85 percent of households with earnings above $25,000 paid less in total taxes than comparable households in 1980.

Lower-income households, however, saved little or nothing. Many pay no federal income taxes, but they do pay a range of other levies, like federal payroll taxes, state sales taxes and local property taxes. Only about half of taxpaying households with incomes below $25,000 paid less in 2010.”

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Things aren’t looking so great in North Carolina policy and politics these days, but here’s one good thing:

We aren’t Florida or Colorado or Michigan or one of several other states that have regressive tax initiatives on their ballots this fall.

The folks at Citizens for Tax Justice have compiled the list and this post on Think Progress this morning highlights the three worst: Read More

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In case you missed them, there were two very different but equally powerful history lessons that were made available online in recent days:

#1 – The first came from a professor of history, Duke University’s William Chafe, whose op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer provided a refresher course on the close link between the rise and fall of the middle class and our ebbing and flowing societal commitment to public investments.

#2 – The second came from author Larkin Warren whose piece for the New York Times (“I Was a Welfare Mother”) provides a powerful refutation of those who seek to “divide and conquer” or simply ignore the Americans who find themselves, at times, “dependent” on public assistance.

Great stuff.

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If you’re trying to make sense out of this constantly shifting debate about the supposed percentage of Americans who are “dependent,” check out this post by Mike Konczai at The Next New Deal .

In it, he explores where some of these numbers that are getting thrown around came from and what the people behind them are really trying to accomplish. 

“The right is splitting over whether or not the 47 percent argument is worth defending. It’s important to understand that, while it is true that 47 percent of households don’t pay a federal income tax, the distribution of the tax burden isn’t what the 47 percent theory is about. The 47 percent theory is all about grand political battles. My colleague Mark Schmitt has one examination of where this theory comes from hereBrian Beutler also investigates the background of the 47 percent meme, and Kevin Drum does a history of the EITC here. Read More