Tag Archives: Taxation

Trillions of Dollars in Our Taxes on New Nuclear Missiles? Let’s Stop Omnicider! | Instant News

As a global pandemic wreaks havoc on human health and economy, it seems like the right time to consider our country’s priorities, huh?

No, it turns out, for a war machine. US is ready for that spend at least a trillion, and perhaps several trillion, of our tax dollars to completely overhaul and upgrade our entire nuclear arsenal over the next three decades. Predictably, eight other nuclear weapons nations – Russia, China, France, Britain, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea – have followed suit, so like it or not, we are in a new arms race. It’s hard to imagine a more colossal waste of money, energy, and human intelligence, especially with the pandemic and climate chaos beating us, so hard.

The really chilling part of this insane scheme is the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to replace the Minuteman III missiles stationed in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. Bureaucratically dubbed the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the Pentagon or prime contractor Northrop Grumman might immediately give him a ridiculous name meant to convey his destructive power (previous missile monikers include Atlas, Titan, and ridiculously, Keeper of the Peacekeeping).

Let’s beat them up and call it what they are, Omnicider, because a nuclear war involving such a missile, which would carry a warhead tens or hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb that killed more than 140,000 people, could end all lives. in this world. And more importantly, let’s leave it behind, eliminate the entire ICBM leg of the nuclear weapons triad (its most unsafe and unstable leg, nuclear submarines and long-range bombers being the other two legs), and move on to get rid of this cursed planet. weapons, including the signing Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

There are myriad reasons why Omnicider is such a bad idea – its exorbitant price tag, the opportunity cost of investing our tax money in missiles and warheads instead of human and environmental well-being, and its contribution to a new arms race that threatens global peace and security.GBSD has a starting price tag of $ 100 billion, with an entire life cycle cost of $ 264 billion, and that possibility is too low. When was the last time a major weapons system was under budget? Chirp, chirp, chirp of crickets.

Great article by Elisabeth Eaves in the Atomic Scientist Bulletin dig deep into the various aspects of this ignorance. He noted that canceling the program would not be easy, with economic and political support entrenched behind the leg of the ICBM triad. In addition to the states mentioned above, where the missile silos are located, Utah is the site of Northrop Grumman’s new headquarters building for the program, and plans to test the missile’s solid fuel system nearby. Also add California to the list, as the missile’s test flight was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base, which was targeted to land on Kwajelein Island in the Marshall Islands (or in the Pacific Ocean).

People in the state are subject to nuclear attack simply because these facilities are located there, so local opposition is expected. Of course, we all retreated, even a limited nuclear war could because nuclear winter, wiping out nearly all life on Earth.

There are myriad reasons why Omnicider is such a bad idea – the exorbitant price tag, the opportunity cost of investing our tax money in missiles and warheads instead of human and environmental well-being, and its contribution to a new arms race that threatens global peace and security are few. . It seems difficult to make an affirmative case for the program.

How did we get here? As the Eaves article chronicles, President Barack Obama has, in a dubious bargain, agreed to conservative senatorial demands to spend large sums of money to “modernize” (aka remodel and upgrade) the entire US nuclear weapons complex in exchange for ratifying a simple New START treaty with Russia. Recently extended for five years by Russia and the Biden government, New START allows each country to deploy 1,550 nuclear weapons; The US and Russia’s nuclear arsenal comprises more than 90% of the global nuclear arsenal.

Even though Biden was Vice President at the time, he was not at all bound by this previous decision. He and Congress can and should decide to cancel Omnicider and other nuclear weapons programs for better and more life-affirming priorities – tackling the pandemic, reviving the economy, building affordable housing, providing universal health care, canceling student debt, enduring climate chaos – whatever we decide to be a government. Even some conservatives argue that there are more pressing priorities in the Pentagon’s budget – increasing conventional power and dealing with cyber threats, for example – that cost more money than new nukes.

As a bureaucratic checkbox for the program, the Army has rumored a Finding of No Significant Impact, or FONSI (Heyyyy !!! Does Henry Winkler agree with the acronym?), which states that testing various aspects of GBSD will not harm the environment. Because the US military is among the largest polluter on this planet, I am skeptical of this “finding.”

While this may seem like a small step, anyone can email the government your concerns about GBSD to [email protected].

Hopefully this will help trigger national and regional movements to stop these false programs, such as campaigns stop the MX missiles decades ago. Let’s vote for humanity, another species that has no say in nuclear policy, and Earth, over the omnicide.


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A one-time wealth tax could help fix the impact of COVID-19 on the UK budget: MPs | Instant News

LONDON (Reuters) – A one-time wealth tax may be a way for UK finance minister Rishi Sunak to close a huge hole in the country’s public finances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an influential lawmaker said Monday.

FILE PHOTO: UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak takes part in an outside broadcast interview, in London, England, 26 November 2020. REUTERS / Toby Melville

Mel Stride, chair of the parliament’s Finance Committee, said other countries such as France and Switzerland had imposed wealth taxes only to be levied back later.

“I think what might be more promising in terms of raising more taxes effectively is a one-time wealth tax,” Stride told Times Radio.

“So I think it’s probably nearing the end of the spectrum of possible-stroke-desirable question marks rather than an annual wealth tax,” he said.

However, British media last month reported that Sunak told supporters that a one-time wealth tax would go against his Conservative Party values.

Sunak’s emergency spending and tax cuts are estimated to cost more than 280 billion pounds ($ 389 billion) in the 2020/21 financial year, burdening the country with the largest peacetime budget deficit ever.

He will announce his next spending and tax plans in a budget statement on March 3.

A group of three economists, including UK Treasury advisors, published a report in December recommending a one-time tax on assets including property as a way to raise £ 260 billion.

Estimates by the Wealth Tax Commission are based on taxes that apply to any individual with an individual wealth of over £ 500,000 – or £ 1 million for a spouse – and are charged 1% a year for five years.

Raising total revenue through more traditional taxes would require major hikes in income and value-added taxes that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set aside before the 2019 election victory, the commission said.

The Parliamentary Finance Committee has no formal role in proposing economic policy decisions.

It aims to publish a report on wealth tax before Sunak’s budget statement next month.

On Monday, he published a report urging the government to set criteria on how and when to lift COVID-19 restrictions on the economy as well as modeling to show the economic costs and benefits of such restrictions.

Johnson will this week assess how quickly Britain can get out of its lockdown but the death toll and number of hospital admissions are still too high, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday.

($ 1 = 0.7200 pounds)

Written by William Schomberg; editing by Sarah Young / Guy Faulconbridge


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Bolsonaro Brasil will introduce a law to cut the diesel tax | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addresses journalists after meeting with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes in Brasilia, Brazil January 27, 2021. REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he plans to send a bill to Congress on Friday that would cut diesel taxes, following recent threats by truckers to strike over high fuel prices.

In a weekly online broadcast on Thursday, Bolsonaro said he wanted the National Financial Policy Council to be involved in setting guidelines for the fuel tax.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito and Jake Spring; Edited by Leslie Adler


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Brazil’s Bolsonaro scoffed as he explained the priorities to Congress | Instant News

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Opposition lawmakers booed Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday when he addressed a session with Congress to outline his legislative priorities for this year.

Bolsonaro, who has faced criticism for his handling of the world’s second deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, said his government had allocated enough funds to vaccinate Brazilians and the country would soon have a vaccine approved by its regulators.

The privatization of state enterprises, independence of the central bank, and administrative and tax reform are the priorities of his government, he told Congress.

Bolsonaro also included in his priorities a draft reform bill “federative pact” aimed at changing the financing relationship between the federal and local governments.

The agenda has a good chance of being overturned after its allies took control of Congress on Monday in elections for speakers from both chambers.

But when he began his speech, opponents booed the president. He replied: “See you in 2022,” referring to next year’s presidential election when he plans to seek a second term.

Arthur Lira, chairman of the lower house and member of the newly elected right-wing Progressive Party, said the country needed emergency measures to help Brazilians hit by the pandemic, while looking at fiscal responsibility in government spending.

Salaries paid last year to Brazilians who lost their livelihoods in the pandemic increased Bolsonaro’s popularity, but cost the Treasury Department more than 322 billion reais ($ 60 billion), a burden that has pushed government finances further to the brink.

The aid program ends on December 31 and lawmakers are looking for ways to extend it.

Newly elected Senate chairman Rodrigo Pacheco, of the center-right Democratic party, said the two leaders would meet with Bolsonaro’s economic team to find ways to help those in need without breaking mandatory spending limits.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle, Lisandra Paraguay, Ricardo Brito and Maria Carolina Marcello; Edited by Marguerita Choy


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UPDATE 1-Brazil’s government debt ends in 2020 at a record high of 89.3% of GDP | Instant News

(Adding details)

BRASILIA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Brazil’s national debt and public sector deficits ended last year at record highs, central bank figures showed on Friday, while a sharp drop in the cost of official borrowing pushed interest payments as part of the economy to historic lows.

As the COVID-19 pandemic devastates Brazil’s public finances throughout the year, government debt in December amounted to 89.3% of gross domestic product, more than economists predicted and a record high.

The public sector deficit in December excluding interest payments was 51.8 billion reais ($ 9.5 billion), the central bank said, close to the median estimate of 51.5 billion reais in a Reuters economist poll.

Despite worsening public finances, the 2020 deficit was narrower than the government’s forecast and debt was lower than many economists had expected, due to the economic recovery in the second half of this year.

The annual primary deficit was 703 billion reais ($ 129 billion), or 9.5% of GDP. The government’s latest estimate is for a deficit of 844.2 billion reais, or 11.7% of GDP, although the Ministry of Finance has indicated the deficit could be closer to 800 billion reais.

The figure shows that the central government’s main deficit of 745 billion reais was offset by surpluses in local government and state-owned enterprises.

The nominal deficit in December including interest payments widened to 75.8 billion reais, the central bank said, resulting in an annual deficit of 1.02 trillion reais, or 13.7% of GDP.

While debt and borrowing swelled as the government spent large sums of money to protect people, businesses and jobs, the record low interest rates meant that interest payments as a share of GDP fell to 4.22% from 5% the previous year, a series low.

In nominal terms, last year’s interest payments fell to 312.4 billion reais from 367.3 billion. ($ 1 = 5.45 reais) (Reported by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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