• 60% of Americans paid no federal income tax last year (2020)

    107m households paid none. So around 20m households paid, ti looks like. For reference to a normal year, in 2019 76m households didn't pay any -- it's been around this number for the last decade.

    Tax credits and higher unemployment during the pandemic is the reason. An example is a household that almost reached the income rate where they would pay taxes, but then received a few stimulus payments, which put them into the category of nonpayers.

    Fed income taxes don't include payroll taxes. 80% of households paid at least payroll taxes in 2020.

    The number is expected to go down this year just a few percent (to 57%) and then return to around 40% in 2022, as long as the economy recovers. However, Congress made some changes for 2021 which will have less households paying, such as an increased child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and child and dependent care tax credit (affects millions of families).

    The country is undecided how to deal with tax revenue. In 2020 80% of fed income taxes were paid by the top 20% of earners (30% of fed income taxes were paid by the top 1%, which is up from 25% in 2019). Democrats want high earners to pay more, while Republicans say they already pay quite a bit.


    CNBC: 61% of Americans paid no federal income taxes in 2020, Tax Policy Center says   
  • Assange case: Bit of progress for US gov side

    Many are heartbroken.

    Last January a London court (Judge Baraitser) ruled he couldn't be extradited to the US over concerns of 'risk of suicide' (and some mental health concerns) while not opposing the US gov on the more central political issue.

    In the US's appeal, now Britain's High Court has granted permission to the US to expand their grounds for appealing the decision to not send Assange to the US.

    Next trail date is Oct 29.


    APnews: US granted more grounds to appeal on Assange extradition  
  • China announces sanctions on seven Americans, including HRW's Sophie Richardson

    China's foreign ministry spokesperson also referred to American 'preaching' and 'arrogance.'

  • Economic concerns raised by former Wells Fargo CEO

    ... Kevin Kovacevich: Inflation (2-3% increase in salary for average worker, and 4-5% inflation on just the basics like food, gas, consumer goods); trillion dollar deficits already and trillion more if Biden admin gets budget passed.

    Markets at all time high. Kovacevich's idea is that the market is priced alright based on where rates are now, but once that changes in the coming year or years the market will look differently.

     
  • UAE princess capture helped by FBI, says USA Today investigation

    Reportedly, they gave the UAE gov the geolocation of Princess Sheikha Latifa's yacht as she fled the kingdom in 2018, after getting it from a US internet provider.

    Reports have it the FBI was misled by the UAE, that they had been told she was kidnapped.

    The US org might have broken protocol to do this, not first subpoenaing the provider.

     
  • Rumsfeld died, age 88

    Forum boards were a list of comments that were either negative and critical of the harms he is believed to have caused, or dismissive or joking. I read through them and didn't see any on the other side of the fence.

  • Lordstown Motors CEO and CFO have resigned

    ... amid shortselling investigation, but having more to do perhaps with the company saying they had 'substantial doubt' they could continue next year. Shares were down 10%.

     
  • Lots of talk about billionaires not paying taxes

    No one knows how the journalists at ProPublica got hold of tax records for several years for some of the richest Americans.

    Bezos, Musk, Soros, Buffet, etc., paid what appear to be small dollar figures in income tax for certain years (some years $0, some years around $70k were the most quoted figures, dating back to the year 2011). This is because they don't generally make income (particularly when you're talking about each year). Instead, they hold assets. Their largest asset is generally company stock, which is only taxed if it is sold (capital gains). Some years, they need to raise cash and so they take loans against their assets. This is not taxable.

     
  • US Republicans very much enjoying Kamala Harris' not visiting the US/Mexico border

    They're counting the days (now about 80) since she's held a news conference on the immigration issue.

    She's been down in Guatemala, tasked with addressing the root cause of the immigration crisis.

    According to Ted Cruz in a recent criticism of the Biden government, the US is seeing the highest rate of illegal immigration in 20 years.

     
  • Most disruptive infrastructure attack ever on U.S. soil

    Apparently. Colonial Pipeline hack. This pipeline sends a lot of the oil from Texas to New Jersey, from where it's distributed to other places. Hackers gained control of Colonial's system and are doing a ransomware action. Colonial took their all their operations offline because they didn't want the hackers to gain access to the IT that controls the pipes. They're currently handling some segments of the pipelines manually.

    We don't know too many details because Colonial hasn't given them to the DHS, reportedly.

    Some gas stations have run dry. Price of gas has already gone up 7 cents in the week, following the regular demand-supply equation. There's been panic buying and long queues, and the airline industry has been affected. Flights have been stopped and they've additional stops in order for planes to fuel up.

    The pipelines serve 90 U.S. military installations and 26 oil refineries, so the ripple effects are still to be seen.

    FBI is saying the hacker is Darkside from Russia, who usually works on big money ransom projects. They have a published list of things they won't hack, and don't seem to want to hurt normal people, although in this case gas prices effects everyone.

    A massive effort is expected to get things running again about a week after the problem started, involving the FBI and other government agencies and a task force assembled by the White House. But it depends whether they can resolve the ransomware situation.

    In recent years, the U.S. has scaled up its oil production and became a net exporter, but is now looking at returning to being an importer of oil.

     
  • There's talk about making Puerto Rico the 51st US state
     
  • Convicts in private prisons serve 90 days longer than public prisons

    This is about 5% longer.

    In private prisons, the company's contract has it that they are payed a per diem for each occupied bed.

    "The delayed release erodes half of the cost savings offered by private contracting and is linked to the greater likelihood of conduct violations in private prisons. The additional days served do not lead to apparent changes in inmate recidivism," according to the author.*

    Mukherjee, Anita. "Impacts of Private Prison Contracting on Inmate Time Served and Recidivism."

     
  • 400 people moving to Dallas every day

    Other hot real estate markets right now include Phoenix, Austin, and Atlanta.

    Line up to buy and buy as soon you can, with prices for new homes less than for old homes for the first time in 15 years due to inflated building costs (lumber notably up 400% this year), although different from 15 years ago buyers are actually qualified to buy.

     

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