With Healthcare.gov working-ish, people are finally starting to see what exchange plans will cost them. And the answers vary a lot from state to state. In Minnesota, a single 40-year-old man can get a “silver” quality plan for $154 a month; in Vermont, he’d pay $413, more than double. The interactive screencapped above makes the point well.
The increase in the nation’s economic activity in 2010 affected households’ income, federal tax liabilities, and federal tax rates. In this report, CBO presents its estimates of the distribution of household income and federal taxes in 2010, and it compares those estimates with estimates for the preceding three decades. The report also discusses the effects of changes in tax rules on the distribution of federal taxes in 2013.
"Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly home- less person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the sur- vival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “ex- ploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about great- er justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has devel- oped. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us some- thing new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”
There are members of Congress in both parties who don’t understand or accept basic science concepts. This hilarious video is dedicated to them.
Pope Francis has issued an “apostolic exhortation,” a lengthy and detailed exposition of how the Catholic Church should focus its energies. And there’s a lot in there about the economic forces shaping the lives of people around the world.
Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan, has recorded a radio ad promoting the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The ad has been running on the progressive radio program “The Randi Rhodes Show.”
America’s most essential and abiding divisions stem from the fact that the U.S. is a federation composed of the whole or parts of 11 disparate regional cultures — each exhibiting conflicting agendas and the characteristics of nationhood — and which respect neither state nor international boundaries, bleeding over the borders of Canada and Mexico as readily as they divide California, Texas, Illinois or Pennsylvania. The differences between them shaped the scope and nature of the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and, most tragically, the Civil War. Since 1960, the fault lines between these nations have been growing wider, fueling culture wars, constitutional struggles and those ever- present pleas for unity.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a landmark $13 billion civil penalty to resolve an array of state and federal investigations into the sale of risky mortgage products in the run-up to the financial crisis.
Staff Sgt. Alex A. Viola, 29, of Keller, Texas