Tag: Taxes

A look at Chatham County’s proposed use for $137 million in SPLOST funds

In my City Talk column today, I write about the proposed projects to be funded by the $137 million that will be controlled by Chatham County if voters approve another 6-year round of SPLOST (the 1-percent special purpose local option…

The need for a new arena in Savannah and the next SPLOST vote

Back in 2006, the last time Chatham County voted on a new round of SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), the referendum was approved rather handily by a vote of about 60-40. Of course, that was also a specially…

Don’t panic: Social Security and Medicare are far from broke, many long-term fixes available

When some politicians and organizations are calling for steep and immediate cuts to entitlement spending, it’s very difficult to tell sometimes whether they are making ideological or economic arguments. Do they really want a more libertarian society in which the…

Calculated Risk on budget surpluses in California and other states

I wish I had a way of measuring rhetoric from southerners about the California economy over the last six years. Here in Georgia, for a number of years before we felt the worst of things, state and local officials maintained…

Shrinking deficit, improving job growth — plenty of reasons for economic optimism

For a few years, one of my closest friends referred to me routinely as Mr. Doom & Gloom because of my consistent predictions of a worsening economy. I never understood the baseless optimism before the recession and during the first…

The federal government is “a massive insurance conglomerate with a large standing army”

From Ezra Klein’s post at the Wonkblog at the Washington Post, Five charts that will make you feel better about paying your taxes: The truth is that the federal government, as seen through the budget, is a massive insurance conglomerate…

A few thoughts on Obama’s proposed budget

I’ve been trying to tell my friends on the right for the last few years that in a second term Obama would propose a budget that would cut future spending on Medicare and Social Security. Should he have proposed those…

“But I paid for those benefits!”

In the ongoing debate about the federal budget, there are frequent demands for cuts in entitlements. Ironically, most of those demands come from politicians on the right, while the biggest objections to cuts in Social Security and Medicare typically come…

Looming defense cuts a special worry in Savannah and Hinesville area

Elected officials from the South generally and Georgia specifically have been among the most intractable in compromising on issues regarding the federal budget. If they’re unwilling to compromise this time to limit the impact of the looming defense cuts, it’s largely their own region that will suffer the most.

How effective a stimulus was the payroll tax cut of 2011 and 2012?

The answer: Pretty effective. Apparently better than many economists expected. The data seems to show that payroll tax cuts are more effective than cuts that effectively come as lump sums. From the WSJ’s Workers Spent More of Payroll Tax Cut…

A few thoughts on the debt ceiling — and why it will have to be raised

We can make long-term spending part of the debate if we want, but the issue is really about paying bills that have already been incurred and meeting spending requirements that are already existing law — and wildly popular on top of that.

Stabilizing the U.S. debt means $1.2 trillion in spending cuts or revenue increases over next decade

Over the long term, we’ll need to raise even more revenue and/or cut spending further, but the $1.2 trillion seems a good target for sustainability over the next decade and beyond.

That’s a lot of money, but consider the fact that the 400 wealthiest Americans have a net worth of $1.7 trillion.

What do our federal taxes get spent on?

Of the major expenditures in the budget, defense seems the most logical to cut. After all, in 2011, we spent more on the military than the next 13 nations combined.

About that “deal” on the “fiscal cliff” and a 4th place finish for 2012 in Calculated Risk’s economic predictions contest

The House Republicans who were so angered by the lack of spending cuts in the deal tonight were the same ones who killed the much bigger deal that Boehner and Obama were negotiating in recent weeks. Obama’s offer that was on the table had $1.2 trillion in revenue increases and $925 billion in spending cuts over 10 years.