(A Fine Mess) [PDF/EBOOK] ¸ T.R. Reid


S in the law and because they have successfully transferred much of their profit to foreign countries as Caterpillar id Big companies were so successful in the game of tax avoidance that nearly 55 percent of all large US controlled corporations reported no federal tax liability in at least one year between 1998 and 2005 the GAO found 147 148The US corporate income tax is not working We have a higher corporate tax rate than almost any other country and we apply it to income earned anywhere in the world And yet corporate income tax revenues have fallen so sharply that they now make up a fairly small share of the federal government s annual tax revenues In the 1960s the corporate tax brought in about 33% of US tax revenues Today the same tax provides less than 9% of revenues that means individual taxpayers have to take up the slack and pay Which we Passed on: African American Mourning Stories: A Memorial (A John Hope Franklin Center Book) do In the 1960s the individual income tax and the Social Security tax constituted about 50% of all federal tax revenues today their share of the nation s total tax burden is than 80% Corporate tax revenues are plummeting partly because Congress has larded the corporate income tax with costly preference and giveaways for corporations and partly because American multinationals have become so successful at shifting income overseas Hundreds of millions ofollars money that might have gone to raising wages or creating new medicines or building factories have been paid to tax lawyers for the creation of elaborate evasion schemes The result is a complicated unpopular and stiff corporate income tax that actually IELTS Academic Writing doesn to much taxing 164 165Members of Congress love to harangue the IRS bureaucrats about lengthy tax forms and unfair rules and complex instructions but of course the IRS isn t responsible for the length the fairness or the complexity of our tax code It is Congress that writes the tax laws It s Congress that adds hundreds of new exemptions allowances credits and calculations to the tax code every year It was Congress that ecided to give the IRS responsibility for managing the health insurance subsidies flowing to millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act ObamaCare and then cut the agency s staff after assigning it this major new task It was Congress that assigned to the IRS the management of the earned income tax credit EITC which has become one of the nation s largest support programs for low income Americans It was Congress that crafted the much hated alternative minimum tax which spawned whole new imensions of complexity and hours of additional work for millions of families And yet congressmen and senators can t seem to resist pointing angry fingers at the IRS as if somebody else had created the legislative monster that is the US tax code 209 210The IRS likes to boast that it is a highly efficient government agency and this is accurate in a sense In fiscal year 2015 the agency spent 114 billion and brought in revenues of 33 trillion that is the service spends just thirty five cents for every 100 it brings inBut the IRS achieves this noteworthy status by imposing much of the cost of the tax system on taxpayers In other rich countriesthe tax collector shoulders much of the burden that is borne by individual and corporate taxpayers in the United States The IRS in contrast pushes those costs onto us While the tax agency spends 114 billion American taxpayers end up paying vastly just to file their annual returns The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate says American families spend 316 billion hours each year getting their taxes Growing Up Black: From Slave Days to the Present-25 African-Americans Reveal the Trials and Triumphs of Their Childhoods done gathering theata keeping records and filling out forms businesses spend about 29 billion hours on the same tasks a figure that Windows PowerShell in Action does not include all the time reuired for the tax avoidance gymnastics At an average wage those six billion hoursevoted to filing tax returns represent about 400 billion per year of working time six billion hours is the euivalent of 31 million people working forty hours per week fifty weeks per year In terms of time and cost just paying our taxes has become one of the biggest industries in the United States 214 215Almost all economists who ve looked at the US tax code almost every blue ribbon study commission almost all presidential candidates who bother to propose a program of tax reform agree that some version of the value added tax could increase the fairness and efficiency of our tax system and reduce its mind boggling complexity And yet the United States stands alone among the world s rich nations in refusing to implement this common levyIt s one of the curious manifestations of the concept of American exceptionalism the idea that there s no country like the United States of AmericaThe problem comes when US politicians are so The Literature of Africa and African Continuum determined to be exceptional too things our own way that they refuse to implement a valuable idea that almost every other country on the planet has embraced to its benefit This makes up exceptional but not in a way that any other country would choose 229 230our political leaders talk about fixing the tax code "all the time But their proposals involved incremental change to the "the time But their proposals involved incremental change to the system and incremental change over the I've Got This Friend Who What You Can Do If You Think You or Your Friend Has A Serious Problem Advice for Teens on Alcohol Drugs Depression Eating Disorders and More decades is what got us into the fine mess we re stuck with today These approaches to tax reform including the plans we hearduring the 2016 presidential campaign all suffer from the same problem they re too timidThey all have a rearranging the eck chairs uality at a time when the whole structure is sinking from its own weight As we ve *seen in other countries the way to bring about fundamental change is a ysfunctional tax code is to start over to *in other countries the way to bring about fundamental change is a Aliens Genocide Aliens dysfunctional tax code is to start over to from scratch 250 251 So I can t exactly recommend this book It is after all about taxes Taxes are boring everyone has unlettered and predictable opinions about them and the subject is endlessly abstruse But they re also very important Beyond clumsy suppositions about liberals favoring taxes and conservatives loathing them I found this account fascinating for revealing one of the few political areas of substance where conservative and liberal policy goals are consistent with each other It is in fact possible to raise money and lower tax rates We can lower the taxes on the richest not chase away corporations implement a VAT without it being regressive ando all of this while raising money and radically simplifying the nature of our byzantine tax code BBLR Suffice it to say it ll be interesting to wade into the promised tax reform Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts debates and not immediately assume that our government is run by a cabal of greedy idiots intent on ruining anything good about this countryworld for plutocratic purposes I mean I ll probably end up that way but at least I can come in with an open mind and a lack of presumptions about what conservative policieso So if there s a fix out there then why not adopt it In a word politics And also a hefty Person in the Memory dose of the ridiculous idea that American exceptionalism means everything weo contributes to us being the greatest rather than almost everything that we insist on Stealing the Gila: The Pima Agricultural Economy and Water Deprivation, 1848-1921 doingifferently has become an embarrassing albatross with nothing to justify it than convention and stubbornnessAnyway this book I gather is written by a freuent NPR commentator I kept getting surprised about how interesting the subject matter was but that s kind of what NPR Literature and Dictatorship in Africa and Latin America 1958-1987 does so well makes something mundane and boring into something worthy of exploration Hooray for taxes I never thought I read a whole book about tax policy but this wasn t too bad Written very simply and Academic Advising Approaches directly it gives some history of taxation around the world and especially in America with a broad overview of how our tax system works and how it could be improved especially by emulating practices that have worked well in other countries From a center left POV in general but I think it s pretty fair to mainstream viewpoints on all sides. E Indeed theysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic ineualityIn A Fine Mess T R Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping he investigates what makes good taxation no that's not an oxymoron and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most Never talking own or reflexively siding with either wing of politics T R Reid presses the case for sensible root and branch reforms with a companionable ebullience This affects everyone Doing our taxes will never be America's favorite pastime but it can and should be so much easier and fairer. ,


A Fine MessAdvocates a regressive value added tax Clear and careful analysis of the United States tax system in comparison to other OECD nations Reid makes a great argument for a broad based low rate tax A Fine Mess A Global uest for a Simpler Fairer and More Efficient Tax System is insightful and thought provoking The current system cries out for reform but I foresee little chance of any genuine improvements to our obtuse and archaic tax code uring an era of government paralysis Reid Agricultural Science for CSEC Examinations deserves Four Stars on the research and content and Two Stars for I received a free advanced reader s copy of this book from the publisher through GoodReads GiveawaysI actually laughed out loud at several portions of this book which is always a good sign when you re talking about a tome regarding taxes Considering that our tax code itself runs in excess of 70000 pages no that s not a typo Yes it caused a LOL when I read it this is aelightfully compact book explaining everything that s wrong with that code and how we might improve on it Using real world examples of what to try and what not to try Reid makes a strong case for an overhaul of the US tax system that everyone but Congress and the tax preparation services companies can get behind Will it happen Not a chance in hell But if you want some solid information to use to lobby your Congressman this is a great easily understandable place to start making your notes 40 Kind of too late but we can try to continue tax reform Just need a plan to safely Alphas Abused Mate dismantle the tax industrial complex and retrain IntuitHR Block workforce too something actually productiveraw notes for nowGraduated better than flat tax Graduated rates themselves are not a painful source of complexity It s all of the exceptions Tax expenditures eductions credits etc are over a trillion ollarsAmericans spend billions of hours and Climate Smart Agriculture (Natural Resource Management and Policy Book 52) dollars to file returns Hugerain on productivity IRS says it s super efficient but only by outsourcing all of the work to taxpayersCongress likes to yell at IRS But it s clear where complexity comes from themBblr broad base low rates eliminate exemptions Academic Body deductions credits to tax all incomeMake rates low toisincentivize cheating and to make eductions etc less valuable to wealthyAdopt the VAT not too far from Ted Cruz s proposal key idea here is that each link in the supply chain is motivated to report taxes paid to their counter parties so government can easily spot the cheatersunderpayers Can give some credits to make VAT less regressive though admits that fairness is the enemy of simplicityAlso got into Piketty territory about avoiding concentration of wealth before it leads to social upheavalrevolution Keep the estate tax Also introduce global wealth tax It s being tried in EU what about BrexitJapan mails postcards with government assessment of taxes owed If taxpayer agrees they re one 80 85% of Japanese tax returns are competed this way They also have Chasing the Red Queen dynamic rules for withholding taxes from income It s pretty much always correct and the right amount is withheld Ingenious How hard could it be Side benefit to tax cheats you know what the government knows I read this book on the recommendation of my Goodreads friend Steve I may have otherwise passed it by expecting ary technical tome In fact I enjoyed it and learned a great Haylee deal I used to imagine that Americans must understand most of the arcane shit in tax forms and the IRS booklets that are intended to explain everything but are totally impenetrable I always wanted to know about the tax system the various taxes and how it all works but neverreamed that I wouldThe admirable TR Reid a seasoned journalist and author has changed all that I now understand that the first principle of good taxation is broad base low rates BBLR and that there are many kinds of taxes to pay for our communal expenses or the luxuries of ictators and their children For the first time I actually understand how value added tax VAT which I have paid in England Germany and other places actually works Reid is a strong proponent 3Everyone complains about taxes but veteran journalist T R Reid thinks the time is right for us to DO something about it According to Reid s research we have had a major overhaul of our tax system in the United States every 32 years which means "We Are Due For The "are ue for the major rewrite in 2018 To help us prepare Reid has written A Fine Mess an interesting and informative look at our own tax system and tax systems of other Hijacking the Brain developed countries around the world from Austria to New Zealand He concludes that other countries have systems that are much euitable and easy to navigate than our own and makes recommendations on how we can improveReid s research is impressive and the book is replete withata history and expert opinion from sources worldwide I was surprised to learn that of the 35 richest countries in the world the US is 32nd in taxes as a percentage of GDP South Korea Chile and Mexico are lower I was also surprised and intrigued to find out that in some countries the tax authorities o the taxes for citizens The citizen need only review the form and let the authorities know if there are any corrections No need for HR know if there are any corrections No need for HR or Turbo TaxIn addition to interesting facts readers can broaden their knowledge of concepts used in iscussions of taxation like BBLR Broad Base Low Rates and the Gini coefficient which is a gauge of income ineuality A country would have a Gini coefficient of 0 if everyone had the same wealth and a coefficient of 1 if one person had it allWe can read of the elaborate tax evasion schemes used by large corporations like inversions and get outraged at special provisions like carried interest whereby brokers who invest other people s money can treat their own compensation as capital gains rather than ordinary income thereby allowing Warren Buffet to pay a lower tax rate than his secretaryReid is a journalist and not an economist or policymaker so it is not surprising that A Fine Mess is stronger at The Path to Gay Rights documenting the problem than at proposing solutions Most of his recommendations are no brainers like retaining a progressive tax rate system reducing complexity and eliminating special provisions that benefit some small favored company or group Reid s other major recommendation is for the United States to implement a VAT tax He makes a good case for the benefits of such a tax butoes not explore adeuately or solve in my opinion the Karen vs Alien drawbacks eg its tendency to be regressiveHowever if the finest experts in our country and others have not been able to solve our tax mess it would be expecting too much toemand the solution in this book A Fine Mess remains an interesting exposition that will leave readers better informed and hopefully provide stimulus for progress towards a better tax system in 2018 I also was left with a lot of what seemed to me to be fairly obvious uestions that he Gendered Citizenships did not even mention much less follow up like the fact that the US Mexicoi and Cile had very low tax burdens as % of GDP and extremely high Gini coefficients and are among only a very small number of countries who tax money their companies earn overseas Are these items related And what is their significance I can t reasonably expect him to follow up every uestion that might arise out of a book like this but I would have hoped for a bit original thought from him I m going to jotown a few uotes here as I run across themThe 535 members of the US Congress the people who write the tax laws have given themselves various tax break and eductions that other Americans on t get This is probably a natural tendency among people who write the law As it happens though some countries have found ways to combat this predictable effort by legislators to reduce their own tax bills Slovakia for example has a rule that members of the national legislature an. New York Times bestelling author T R Reid travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of America's failing tax code unravelling a complex topic in plain English and telling a rollicking story along the way The US tax code is a total write off Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions it works for no one except tax lawyers accountants and huge corporations Not for the first time we have reached a breaking point That happened in 1922 and again in 1954 and again in 1986 In other words every thirty two years Which means that the next complete overhaul is ue in 2018 But what should be in this new tax code Can we make the US tax system simpler fairer and efficient. ,

D the prime minister s cabinet always have to pay 5% in tax than any other Slovakian with the same income 10A standard way to measure national tax burdens is to calculate a country s total tax revenues national state and local as a percentage of gross omestic product the sum of all the wealth produced in the country in a year This statistic called the overall tax burden is measured annually by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD which is sort of a United Nations but with membership limited only to the richest countries For many years now the OECD s calculation of overall tax burden has shown that total tax revenues in the United States are much lower than in most other advanced countries 13 14When it comes to esigning a country s tax system the World Bank the IMF and the OECD all preach the same sermon relying on the same fundamental principle This rule is not particularly complicated it is easy to understand although not always easy to implement In fact it s so simple that the economists generally reduce the essential formula for good taxation to a four letter world BBLR That stands for broad base low rates BBLR means that if the tax base that is the total amount of income or sales or property that can be taxed is kept as large as possible then the tax rate that is the percentage that people have to give to the government can be kept low Virtually all economists and tax experts agree that this is the best way to run a tax regime 52The best way though to avoid the unfairness the abuses and the revenue loss from the charitable eduction is to get rid of this eduction altogether Austria Finland Ireland Italy Sweden and Switzerland all have flourishing charity sectors even after they took away the tax break for contributions New Zealand of course got rid of it in that first base broadening exercise in the 1980s None of these countries saw any significant rop in charitable contributions All over the world people contribute mainly because of a belief in a particular cause or because of a basic human Problem Solving in Data Structures Algorithms Using C++ desire to help others Getting a tax break is at most a minor motivation The taxeduction for charitable contributions cheapens the charitable impulse by implying that you and I wouldn t give a Literature of Africa dime to charity unless we got a little financial gain on the side 86 87While thiseduction is promoted by realtors and mortgage bankers as a boon to home buyers it is just as likely to make a home purchase Women and Sustainable Agriculture: Interviews With 14 Agents of Change difficult All studies except those funded by the real estate industry find that a mortgage interesteduction raises the price of a house When the OECD investigated the impact of the mortgage interest eduction in wealthy countries where it is still in place it concluded that new purchasersare not necessarily the beneficiaries of these tax provisions because the interest eduction forces them to pay an increased price Whatever benefit a buyer might get from the tax break is just about completely offset by the higher price of the house So the Rebuilding deductionoesn t Intro to Alien Invasion do what it is supposed too make it easier for people to buy a home 89Australia Canada Germany Great Britain Israel Japan the Netherlands and New Zealand for example have no Therapy of Love deduction for mortgage interest at all Yet eliminating theeduction seems to have no impact on home ownership In all the industrialized Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism democracies the rate of home ownership is just about the same Roughly 65% of families own their home in countries that have the mortgage interesteduction and about 65% of families own their home in countries that Museum Activism do not 90 What I learned at Chicago is a basic truth about taxes rich people will try to of course avoid paying Radim Bohacek an economist at the premier Czech college Charles University and a member of the Czech Academy of Sciences who studied economics at the University of Chicago told me The you raise the rates the incentive rich people have to hire accountants and strategize Then they canuck just out What you want is a broad based tax without exemptions or loopholes because one you have special exemptions or eductions people who can afford lawyers will take of course advantage of them 109Does the flat tax work Yes a flat rate income tax regime can work under certain conditions The flat tax works in a country that is a former Communist state with no investment capital and low wage rates which needs to build a capitalist economy from a base of approximately zero The flat tax works if people are willing to pay a 20% people are willing to pay a 20% tax on every thing they buy to make up for lower revenue The flat tax works if employers are willing to pay 34% or in Social Security taxes for every employee they hire The flat tax works in a country where almost everyone has the same amount of wealth so there s no need for the istributive effect of graduated rates And if all these conditions are "MET THE FLAT RATE TAX WILL "the flat rate tax will work as long as the economy is on a path of steady growthFor countries that on t meet these reuirements it probably makes sense in terms of fiscal health as well as fairness to adopt progressive rates in which the wealthy pay a higher percentage of their income in tax than middle or low income people pay 114developments in the private sector Professor Thomas Piketty author of Capital in the Twenty First Century says are not the only cause of the burgeoning financial imbalance A key contributor to ineuality he says is government policy When governments ecide to bail out big banks while millions lose their homes to foreclosure action by the same banks the policy exacerbates the problem of ineuality Such policies transfer wealth from middle class homeowners to upper bracket bankers and their shareholders not through private markets but because of ecisions by governments Similarly tax policies that give generous breaks to the wealthiest like that 7500 giveaway to people who can buy a 105000 car exacerbate the trend toward concentration of wealth in a lucky few When the national tax code says that money earned from trading securities will be taxed at a much lower rate than money earned from working at a job the tax law itself is adding to ineuality That is not surprising Piketty says because the government officials who approve corporate bailouts and write tax laws are often beholden to the financial elites for political contributionsBut the major reason for growing ineuality Piketty argues is that rich people today make most of their money not from wages but from capital investments stocks bonds commodity trades real estate patents and so on And earnings from capital that is from financial transactions are growing faster than earnings from labor that is from working at a job That is you can make some money cooking hamburgers or serving hamburgers but you won t make as much as a guy who buys and sells the stock in a hamburger chainIn other words Piketty says the rich get richer has become a fundamental law of economics especially in the United States Because our Supreme Court has efined The Social Rebellion donating money as a form of political speech economic clout in the United States turns uickly into political clout 122 123The most comprehensive unbiased study of effective tax rates paid by US firms was issued by the Government Accountabilty Office GAO essentially the accounting arm of Congress in 2013 Looking at profits and taxes paid in the years 2008 2010 the GAO said large US companies actually paid 126% of their profits in federal tax Many companies had to pay state and local income taxes and some paid income tax to foreign countries on their overseas earnings But even when all those taxes were added up the effective rate of tax paid by large US corporations was only 169% The GAO said that companies were able to cut their tax bills far below the statutory rate because of exemptionseferrals tax credits and other forms of incentive. Yes yes and yes Can we other forms of incentive. Yes yes and yes Can we tax rates and still bring in revenue YesOther rich countries from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK advanced high tech free market Best African American Essays 2010 democracies have allevised tax regimes that are euitable effective and easy on the taxpayer But the United States has languished So byzantine are the current statutes that by our government's own estimates Americans spend six billion hours and 10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes Successful American companies like Apple Caterpillar and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshor. .