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Archive for May 3rd, 2010

Early Morning Swim

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Early Morning Swim

Late Late Night FDL: Time Burns On
Featuring the latest from Orenda Fink and Yarn.

Featuring the latest from Orenda Fink and Yarn.

What’s on your mind tonight?


Obama Is Sending BP the Bill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Obama Is Sending BP the Bill
It’s difficult to predict how many billions of dollars the cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico is going to end up costing, but President Obama, touring the devastation over the weekend, says he knows who should pay: “Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill.” On the Friday before his Gulf visit, Obama restated his position on expanding offshore drilling: “I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I’ve always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment.” Reuters: “Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill,” said Obama as he visited the area and pledged a “fully coordinated, relentless relief effort” in the region where the coastlines of four Gulf states are being menaced. The swelling black tide threatens wildlife, beaches and one of the nation’s most fertile fishing grounds stretching across the Mississippi Delta from Louisiana to Florida. Read more

It’s difficult to predict how many billions of dollars the cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico is going to end up costing, but President Obama, touring the devastation over the weekend, says he knows who should pay: “Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill.”

On the Friday before his Gulf visit, Obama restated his position on expanding offshore drilling: “I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I’ve always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment.”

Reuters:

“Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill,” said Obama as he visited the area and pledged a “fully coordinated, relentless relief effort” in the region where the coastlines of four Gulf states are being menaced.

The swelling black tide threatens wildlife, beaches and one of the nation’s most fertile fishing grounds stretching across the Mississippi Delta from Louisiana to Florida.

Read more

Related Entries



Robert Creamer: Common Theme of Gulf Oil Spill, Wall Street Collapse: Unrestrained Corporate Recklessness

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Robert Creamer: Common Theme of Gulf Oil Spill, Wall Street Collapse: Unrestrained Corporate Recklessness
The BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the 2008 collapse of Wall Street may not be identical twins, but they…

DADT Protest: Gay Activists Arrested For Chaining Themselves To White House Fence To Protest Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Six gay activists have reportedly been arrested at the White House this afternoon during a protest against “don’t ask, don’t tell.”…

John Odum: A 10 year old boy in Vermont meets “The Mean Society”
In South Burlington Vermont, a ten-year-old boy has been told he can’t play little league this summer. Why? Because his overwhelmed, divorced mother missed the…

Karen Russell: Playing While Brown
Happy that the Major League Baseball Player’s Association condemned Arizona’s misguided, mean-spirited new immigration law. Racial profiling is important to baseball, where 27% of the…


QUICK FACT: Fox’s Bolling falsely claims “illegals” are “not paying taxes”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:46 am by HL

QUICK FACT: Fox’s Bolling falsely claims “illegals” are “not paying taxes”

On the May 1 edition of Bulls and Bears, Fox News host Eric Bolling claimed claimed that American citizens “pay taxes,” as opposed to “illegals not paying taxes.” In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Administration, undocumented immigrants do pay taxes, including individual income, sales, property, and social security taxes.

Fox’s Bolling falsely claims “illegals” are “not paying taxes”

From the May 1 edition of Fox News’ Bulls and Bears:

PAT DORSEY (Director of Morningstar Equity Research): So, let’s say this bill is upheld and it goes into place. Your positive impact is, a lot of Americans get low-skill, low-wage jobs — woo hoo! Your negative –

BOLLING: — and pay tax.

TOBIN SMITH (Fox Business contributor): — and pay taxes.

BOLLING: — and pay taxes — instead of illegals not paying taxes.

[...]

BRENDA BUTTNER (host): I’ve got to let Eric have the last word.

BOLLING: The last word is, and don’t forget the tax implication: We’re all paying tax. If you remove the illegals who are not paying tax with Americans or legal immigrants who do pay tax, everyone wins, everybody wins.


Fact: Undocumented immigrants do pay taxes

CBO: “[I]mmigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes.” In a December 2007 report detailing the impact of undocumented immigrants on the budgets of local and state governments, CBO found that “[a]ccording to available estimates,” there were about “12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States” at the time and “those immigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes.” CBO further reported that “the IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Other researchers estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes.”

From the CBO report [footnotes omitted]:

According to available estimates, there are about 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Federal, state, and local governments spend public funds that benefit those immigrants, and those immigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes. Most available studies conclude that the unauthorized population pays less in state and local taxes than it costs state and local governments to provide services to that population. However, those estimates have significant limitations; they are not a suitable basis for developing an aggregate national effect across all states.

CBO also stated:

Data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suggest that some unauthorized immigrants use false or fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers (SSNs) to satisfy paperwork requirements during the hiring process and that employers use those numbers to withhold federal, state, and local income and payroll taxes for employees. Workers who do not qualify for SSNs can use Individual Tax Identification Numbers issued by the IRS to file tax returns, make payments, and apply for refunds. Although there are no reliable data on unauthorized immigrants’ rate of compliance with tax laws, the IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Other researchers estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes. For example:

The SSA assumes that about half of unauthorized immigrants pay Social Security taxes.

Several of the states whose estimates CBO reviewed used a model developed by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) to determine state and local taxes paid by unauthorized immigrants. ITEP assumes a 50 percent compliance rate for income and payroll taxes.

Researchers from the Urban Institute, the Migration Policy Institute, the Pew Hispanic Center, and the Center for Immigration Studies have assumed a 55 percent compliance rate for income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.

As part of a larger study on migration, the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego conducted a survey of unauthorized immigrants and found that, in 2006, 75 percent had taxes withheld from their paychecks, filed tax returns, or both.

SSA: “Among illegal immigrants, SSA actuaries currently assume that about half actually pay social security taxes.” In a December 2005 brief by the Social Security Advisory Board on immigration, the section examining the impact of immigration effects on social security finances stated that “[a]mong illegal immigrants, SSA actuaries currently assume that about half actually pay social security taxes although they are very unlikely to collect benefits.”

CBPP: “[U]nauthorized immigrants paid as much as $13 billion in Social Security payroll taxes in 2007.” In a November 2008 piece summarizing a report on immigration by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, senior fellow Paul N. Van de Water wrote that, according to Stephen Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, “unauthorized immigrants paid as much as $13 billion in Social Security payroll taxes in 2007. About $1 billion in benefit payments were made based on unauthorized work.”

From Van de Water’s November 20, 2008, post:

The presence of unauthorized (undocumented) workers in the United States also has a positive effect on the financial status of Social Security. The earnings of unauthorized workers are less likely to be reported for tax purposes than the earnings of the rest of the population and even less likely to result in future benefits, according to Social Security’s chief actuary.  Although the magnitudes cannot be precisely determined, the actuary has estimated that unauthorized immigrants paid as much as $13 billion in Social Security payroll taxes in 2007.  About $1 billion in benefit payments were made based on unauthorized work (for example, survivor benefits paid to U.S. citizens who were dependents of deceased individuals who had made payments into the Social Security system while performing unauthorized work).  Thus, undocumented immigrants improved Social Security’s cash flow by an estimated $12 billion in 2007.

The New York Times also reported in an April 2005 article: ” ‘Our assumption is that about three-quarters of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes,’ said Stephen C. Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, using the agency’s term for illegal immigration.”


The Gulf Coast BP Oil Spill: A Timeline

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:45 am by HL

The Gulf Coast BP Oil Spill: A Timeline
We’re sure to learn more in the coming months and years about what the government and BP knew about the scope of the disaster, when they knew it, and whether they responded appropriately. For now, TPMmuckraker decided to take a look at the timeline of events, and the shifting public statements of company and government officials on the spill.

Presented By:

Fmr. FL GOP Official: Forensic Audit Of Party Books Will Show Widespread Cronyism
Forensic auditors going through the books of the Florida Republican Party recently discovered that a close friend of Gov. Charlie Crist was paid over $350,000 for unspecified consulting work that no one seems to have known about. But, the former…


$500K device may have prevented oil spill

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:42 am by HL

$500K device may have prevented oil spill
A special note to regular bartcop readers: My thanks go out to Mike Malloy for having Mike Papatonio on his show on Friday. I would not have heard about “the story behind the story” had it not been for that. If you do not get Malloy’s show (9-12pm EST) in your area, get a podcast [...]


Marshall Holds Lead in North Carolina

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:41 am by HL

Marshall Holds Lead in North Carolina
A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina shows Elaine Marshall (D) expanding her lead in the closing days of the Democratic Senate primary;

Marshall leads Cal Cunningham (D), 28% to 21%, but there are still 33% undecided who they will vote for on Tuesday.

“There continues to be a very strong chance of a runoff election… The biggest suspense on Tuesday night may not be about who’s in the lead, but about whether that leader can inch over 40.”


Here’s How Exxon Tried to Avoid Paying for Its Massive Oil Spill — Let’s Not Allow BP to Do the Same

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Here’s How Exxon Tried to Avoid Paying for Its Massive Oil Spill — Let’s Not Allow BP to Do the Same
Penalties that British Petroleum will pay are based on spill volume — Exxon saved billions by scuttling the true amount.

Penalties that British Petroleum will pay are based on spill volume — Exxon saved billions by scuttling the true amount.

Bee Catastrophe: 1/3 of Colonies Died This Winter, Threatening Massive Ecological Catastrophe
Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States.

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States.

Oil Disaster 5X Worse Than Estimated, ‘Churning Slick’ Now the Size of Puerto Rico
The catastrophe continues, as Federal authorities have banned commercial and recreational fishing in a large stretch of water off four states.

The catastrophe continues, as Federal authorities have banned commercial and recreational fishing in a large stretch of water off four states.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Presented By:

Miller’s Crossing
It is hard to think of a more thoughtful or pragmatic voice on the subject of the Middle East than Aaron David Miller’s, so his recent article Foreign Policy,”The False Religion of Mideast Peace,” in which he explains his skepticism…


Middle EastUnited StatesWarfare and ConflictIsraelIsrael-Palestine


Hume Acknowledges Oil Spill Disaster ?Verifies? The Concern Of Environmentalists

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Hume Acknowledges Oil Spill Disaster ?Verifies? The Concern Of Environmentalists
Today’s Sunday morning news shows were dedicated, in large part, to the unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf Coast, as efforts continue to contain the 210,000 gallons of oil a day that are still leaking. The leak has reignited debate over offshore oil drilling, with the Obama administration saying that “further commitments for offshore [...]

Today’s Sunday morning news shows were dedicated, in large part, to the unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf Coast, as efforts continue to contain the 210,000 gallons of oil a day that are still leaking. The leak has reignited debate over offshore oil drilling, with the Obama administration saying that “further commitments for offshore drilling must await an investigation of the causes of the rig explosion and leak.” Even conservative darling and drilling proponent Marco Rubio said that the spill should make us “rethink” our drilling technologies.

Today, on Fox News Sunday, Fox’s Brit Hume said that, while his pro-drilling stance has not been changed by the disaster, the spill validates the concern of environmentalists who warned that such a disaster was inevitable:

Think about what the environmentalists have always said about this. Is it’s not a matter of if there’ll be a disaster of this kind resulting in this kind of offshore drilling, it’s only a matter of when. This verifies that argument, and becomes a powerful factor in the debate over what to do next. I don’t see any way around the political reality that this will set back the cause of offshore drilling in the United States.

Watch it:

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, though, showed no hesitation about continuing offshore drilling efforts, saying “I’m a drill, baby, drill person.” He made the case that we should actually undertake more drilling closer to the shore, because it’s “less dangerous, less treacherous than trying to drill fifty miles out from the coast.”

Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, who is now in charge of the federal response to the disaster, said yesterday that “it’s logical to assume” that the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will be hit by the oil spill. As The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson pointed out, if estimates about the flow of oil are accurate, this spill will be “on the scale of the largest oil spills in history.”

Rubio Reconsiders His ?Drill Here, Drill Now? Talk: ?I Think It Makes Us Rethink? Drilling Technologies
Following BP’s oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist (I-FL) reconsidered his previous support for oil drilling, stating that drilling is “the opposite of safe.” Crist announced this week that he will run as an independent and is expected to make his opposition to drilling a centerpiece of his [...]

Following BP’s oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist (I-FL) reconsidered his previous support for oil drilling, stating that drilling is “the opposite of safe.” Crist announced this week that he will run as an independent and is expected to make his opposition to drilling a centerpiece of his campaign.

The oil rig disaster has caused problems for the Republican candidate Marco Rubio, a drilling proponent. In 2008, Rubio told Newt Gingrich’s big oil front group American Solutions for Winning the Future that he was proud to join the “drill here, drill now, pay less effort.” (Rubio also promoted drilling In a spanish-language endorsement.)

Now, Rubio is waffling on drilling. On the one hand, he said recently, “We should be very concerned with what led to this disaster, and until that question is answered I don’t think we can move forward on anything else.” But at another campaign stop, Rubio “didn’t give a definitive answer to questions from reporters” on the topic.

This morning, Rubio again continued to struggle to explain his position on drilling. He told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that it’s a “moot point” as to whether we should stop any plans for drilling expansion. And on CNN, he said we should “rethink” our understanding of drilling technologies:

CROWLEY:  And you have been for more offshore drilling.  Does this make you rethink that?

RUBIO:  I think it makes us rethink the technologies of offshore drilling.

Watch a compilation:

President Obama has said no new offshore oil drilling leases will be issued unless rigs have new safeguards to prevent a repeat of the explosion that unleashed the massive spill. But, Obama maintains his support for eventually increasing offshore drilling, a position that Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) and a host of Democratic Senators are asking the administration to reassess.