March TaxCast

We encourage readers to tune in to this excellent program produced by the Tax Justice Network. Hosted  by Naomi Fowler, each 15 minute podcast follows the latest news relating to tax evasion, tax avoidance and the shadow banking system. The show will feature discussions with experts in the field to help analyse the top stories each month.

In this month’s show TaxCast covers Apple i-tax dodging, reclaiming Arab Spring country assets, the rich country club of the OECD and the ABCs of setting up letterbox companies…It’s child’s play!

February TaxCast

The February TaxCast is out. Once again, I encourage readers to tune in to this excellent program produced by the Tax Justice Network. Hosted  by Naomi Fowler, each 15 minute podcast follows the latest news relating to tax evasion, tax avoidance and the shadow banking system. The show will feature discussions with experts in the field to help analyse the top stories each month.

In this month’s show TaxCast asks: Are City of London Police really serious about prosecuting financial crimes? Are bankers paying fair taxes on their bonuses? And how Facebook is saving billions in tax via Ireland and Bermuda.

2013 Budget: “Difficult Cuts” for Americans, Gravy for Israel

by Josh Ruebner

Speaking before students at Northern Virginia Community College on February 13, President Obama unveiled his 2013 budget request, in which he proposed “some difficult cuts that, frankly, I wouldn’t normally make if they weren’t absolutely necessary.  But they are.”  These budget cuts are unavoidable, the President argued, because “the truth is we’re going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.” In a sad commentary on the misplaced priorities of the Obama Administration, however, these “tough choices” will affect the delivery of basic services to U.S. citizens while the Israeli military hits the jackpot at taxpayer expense.

As part of its budget request, the White House released a 205-page document detailing the cuts, consolidations, and savings the Obama Administration is proposing.  These proposed cuts include $5 million to the USDA to analyze food-borne pathogens, potentially making the U.S. food supply even less safe than it already is after 30 people died last year after eatinglisteriainfected cantaloupe; a $359 million cut to the EPA to provide grants to states for water infrastructure projects when an estimated 1.7 million Americans shockingly lack access to basic water and sanitation services according to the Water Infrastructure Network; and a whopping $360 billion cut over ten years in Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs even though the World Health Organization rates the U.S. health system as only 37th globally in health care performance.

Continue reading “2013 Budget: “Difficult Cuts” for Americans, Gravy for Israel”

Alex Salmond on Scottish Independence

David Frost speaks to Alex Salmond on Scottish Independence and Paul Krugman on the private debt crisis.

Many Scots now want to leave the UK, but will it be enough to win a referendum on independence in 2014? Sir David Frost speaks to the man who has led the movement for independence, Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond.

TaxCast

I encourage readers to tune in to the Tax Justice Network‘s excellent montly TaxCast. Hosted  by Naomi Fowler, each 15 minute podcast follows the latest news relating to tax evasion, tax avoidance and the shadow banking system. The show will feature discussions with experts in the field to help analyse the top stories each month.

You can now listen to the inaugural TaxCast which discusses the implications of the Vodafone vs India landmark tax case, compares Bill Gates and Mitt Romney’s attitudes to taxation and visits the Occupy camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Cristina Kirchner and Argentina’s good fortune

(Photo: Marcos Brindicci, Reuters)

by Mark Weisbrot

This article was written for the Guardian’s Comment is free prior to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s reelection yesterday.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is expected to coast to re-election as president of Argentina on Sunday, despite having faced hostility from the media for most of her presidency, and from many of the most powerful economic interests in the country. So it seems a good time to ask why this might happen.

Yes, it’s the economy. Since Argentina defaulted on $95bn of international debt nine years ago and blew off the International Monetary Fund, the economy has done remarkably well. For the years 2002-2011, using the IMF‘s projections for the end of this year, Argentina has chalked up real GDP growth of about 94%. This is the fastest economic growth in the western hemisphere – about twice that of Brazil, for example, which has also improved enormously over past performance. Since President Fernandez or her late husband Nestor Kirchner, who preceded her as president, were running the country for eight of these nine years, it shouldn’t be surprising that voters will reward her with another term.

The benefits of growth don’t always trickle down, but in this case, the Argentine government has made sure that many did. Poverty and extreme poverty have been reduced by about two thirds since their peak in 2002, and employment has increased to record levels. Social spending by the government has nearly tripled in real terms. In 2009, the government implemented a cash transfer program for children that now reaches the households of more than 3.5 million children. It is probably the largest such program, relative to national income, in Latin America.

Continue reading “Cristina Kirchner and Argentina’s good fortune”

Brzezinski on wealth inequality and the need for transparency

Smart analysis from one of Washington’s leading cassandras. Brzezinski opposed the Iraq war, has been warning against any confrontation with Iran, and has denounced the grotesque inequalities that beset the unregulated US economy.

The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences

The following is a lecture by John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review and Co-Author (with Fred Magdoff) of The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences.

[youtube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI6M0UBNDV4%5D
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