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May 12, 2011

This is why a tax repatriation holiday is a terrible idea

ThinkProgress -- Tax Holiday Sought By Multinational Corporations Would Cost $78.7 Billion
A group of multinational corporations (that already pay exceedingly low taxes) have been lobbying Congress to enact what is known as a tax repatriation holiday. The plan would enable these companies to bring money they have stashed offshore back to the U.S. at a dramatically lower tax rate (instead of the statutory rate that they normally pay to repatriate money). The corporations have united under a campaign called “WinAmerica,” and evidently they are having some effect. Yesterday, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) unveiled a bill that would let corporations repatriate their money at a tax rate of 5.25 percent (instead of the usual 35 percent). Brady said that, “this is about creating jobs, expanding U.S. businesses and strengthening American companies.” However, when Congress approved a repatriation holiday in 2004, companies used the money to enrich their executives, not create jobs. And according to an analysis by the Joint Economic Committee a repatriation holiday today would cost close to $80 billion in lost revenue: Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat who is a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, yesterday circulated an estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation pegging the cost of a repatriation bill at $78.7 billion. An unsuccessful effort to create a similar holiday in 2009 would have cost the U.S. government about $30 billion over a decade in forgone revenue. If the money that corporations brought back actually led to job creation, some might consider this worth the cost. But that’s not what happened in 2004.

Gigwalk: Locate quick odd jobs in your neighborhood

Great idea to crowdsource work? Or a terrifying vision of the future workplace? Gigwalk: Turn your iPhone into a money printing machine - TNW Apps
For many of us, our iPhones are essential parts of our business lives. We literally can’t get work done without them. For the large majority of people though, the iPhone is just a way to keep in touch with people and waste time on the web or with games. Gigwalk [App Store, free] changes that completely, turning your iPhone into a way to earn money with the investment of a bit of your time and basic photo skills. The premise of Gigwalk is simple. An iPhone app allows Gigwalkers to see a job in their area, the money that they will earn for it and the instructions for completion. Jobs may consist of a variety of tasks, all of which can be completed right from the iPhone.

Matt Taibbi: The People vs Goldman Sachs

MUST READ. The People vs. Goldman Sachs | Rolling Stone Politics
They weren't murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye. But then they went one step further. They came to Washington, took an oath before Congress, and lied about it. Thanks to an extraordinary investigative effort by a Senate subcommittee that unilaterally decided to take up the burden the criminal justice system has repeatedly refused to shoulder, we now know exactly what Goldman Sachs executives like Lloyd Blankfein and Daniel Sparks lied about. We know exactly how they and other top Goldman executives, including David Viniar and Thomas Montag, defrauded their clients. America has been waiting for a case to bring against Wall Street. Here it is, and the evidence has been gift-wrapped and left at the doorstep of federal prosecutors, evidence that doesn't leave much doubt: Goldman Sachs should stand trial.

After approving NBC buyout, FCC Commish becomes Comcast lobbyist

This is what corruption looks like. After approving NBC buyout, FCC Commish becomes Comcast lobbyist
Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down—and right into a top lobbying job at Comcast-NBC. The news, reported this afternoon by the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico, comes after the hugely controversial merger of Comcast and NBC earlier this year. At the time, Baker objected to FCC attempts to impose conditions on the deal and argued that the "complex and significant transaction" could "bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms." Four months after approving the massive transaction, Attwell Baker will take a top DC lobbying job for the new Comcast-NBC entity, according to reports. The response of groups like Free Press was expected in its anger, but not without merit. "No wonder the public is so nauseated by business as usual in Washington—where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows," said Free Press' Craig Aaron. "The continuously revolving door at the FCC continues to erode any prospects for good public policy. We hope—but won't hold our breath—that her replacement will be someone who is not just greasing the way for their next industry job."