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February 02 2012

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Ecuador Creating Alternative to Neo-Liberal Model

Jayati Ghosh: Ecuador raising taxes on wealthy, higher royalties on oil companies and making large social investments

Time: 16:38 More in News & Politics

December 17 2011

Acceptance in Lieu scheme brings a dozen new gifts to the nation

A Rubens drawing, 30 artworks by Walter Sickert and a note from Gandhi are among those helping settle tax bills

A stupendous drawing of Venus rising by Rubens, 30 artworks by Walter Sickert and a poignant note written by Gandhi that was his tacit approval for Indian partition are among a dozen artworks and archives now in the possession of the nation because of the 101-year-old Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

Hundreds of outstanding collections and artefacts have been given over the decades as a way of settling tax bills and the 12 newly revealed gifts represent a particularly good year for the scheme, said its senior adviser Gerry McQuillan.

"We're normally allowed to clear up to £20m tax in one year and this year we're bumping right up to it," he said. "It has been a good year."

The scheme was created in Lloyd George's people's budget of 1910 and is now administered by Arts Council England, dispersing gifts to galleries across the UK from Aberdeen to Cardiff to Southampton.

The jewel in the crown this year is a Rubens drawing that settles £4.4m in tax and will go on display at the National Gallery from Saturday before institutions are invited to apply for it. "I'm sure we'll be inundated with applications," said McQuillan. "It is exciting. It is a stunning drawing, the depth of it and the sophistication. It is one of the best Rubens drawings I've seen."

The illustration of the Roman goddess Venus rising from the sea is actually a design for an ivory salt cellar, albeit a spectacularly grand one that still exists and is in the Swedish royal collection.

Another highlight this year is the Mountbatten archive, which includes particularly important papers relating to Lord Mountbatten's time as the last British viceroy of India.

It includes letters, diaries, and photographs as well as a handwritten note from Gandhi. McQuillan said Mountbatten knew that partition could not happen unless Gandhi agreed but an answer was needed on a day that the Indian leader was not speaking – so he wrote a note that was interpreted as a yes.

"It is an incredibly poignant little bit of paper," said McQuillan. "It was taken as Gandhi's tacit approval and that gave the people there the courage to go forward."

The Mountbatten archive is vast by any standards, taking up 130 metres of shelf space at Southampton University where it has been on deposit. The plan is for it to remain there permanently.

Another archive, containing portraits, scientific instruments and star charts is being gifted to Greenwich Observatory, and relates to a man few have heard of but who was of huge importance in British shipping and naval history.

Nevil Maskelyne, the fifth astronomer royal between 1765 and 1811, was responsible for coming up with and publishing star charts that proved vital for navigators to establish their position, helping to make the British Royal and mercantile navy the envy of the world.

"Although he is not well known, what he achieved was absolutely crucial in making Britain the most important trading nation in the world," said McQuillan.

The gifts of art works also include: a collection of 30 Walter Sickert paintings, drawings and etchings put together by his patron Morton Sands, which will go to the Ashmolean in Oxford; a JMW Turner landscape painted on his first visit to Rome in 1920, which will go to the National Galleries of Scotland; and an early 16th century nativity scene by the Ferrara painter Il Garofalo, which is going to the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge.

The newest piece is a late Barbara Hepworth sculpture from 1973 called Meditation which will go to Aberdeen Art Gallery, while the oldest by some distance is a piece of iron age metalwork – a large and beautifully preserved firedog from about 50BC-50AD which has been at the National Museum of Wales since the 1930s.

As well as art there is a Rococo sofa designed for the Palm room of Spencer House at the end of the 18th century, which will first go on display at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire before a permanent home is chosen; nine items of mostly 18th century glass all made in Newcastle going to the city's Laing art gallery; and an archive of the Wyndham family going to museums in Wiltshire and Somerset.

Farnham museum will receive a portrait of one the town's most famous sons, the 19th century radical journalist and agitator William Cobbett, settling £1,400 of tax. "That's the strength of this scheme," said McQuillan. "It is not just about the £4m masterpieces, it is also about works like this, which will give Farnham something that will bring to life a man closely associated with the town."

The arts minister Ed Vaizey said he had sat in on some of theAcceptance in Lieu scheme's panel sessions and been impressed. "It has been a successful year, there have been some great items that we've accepted but I think pretty much every year is good."

This year's announcement comes on the back of a long-campaigned for announcement by the Treasury earlier this month, when it announced it is to extend the scheme, allowing individuals to make donations and get tax relief during their lifetime.


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August 01 2011

Ransom Paid | robertreich.org - 2011-08-01

Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics.

The deal does not raise taxes on America’s wealthy and most fortunate — who are now taking home a larger share of total income and wealth, and whose tax rates are already lower than they have been, in eighty years. Yet it puts the nation’s most important safety nets and public investments on the chopping block.

It also hobbles the capacity of the government to respond to the jobs and growth crisis. Added to the cuts already underway by state and local governments, the deal’s spending cuts increase the odds of a double-dip recession. And the deal strengthens the political hand of the radical right.

Yes, the deal is preferable to the unfolding economic catastrophe of a default on the debt of the U.S. government. The outrage and the shame is it has come to this choice.

More than a year ago, the President could have conditioned his agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts beyond 2010 on Republicans’ agreement not to link a vote on the debt ceiling to the budget deficit. But he did not.

Many months ago, when Republicans first demanded spending cuts and no tax increases as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, the President could have blown their cover. He could have shown the American people why this demand had nothing to do with deficit reduction but everything to do with the GOP’s ideological fixation on shrinking the size of the government — thereby imperiling Medicare, Social Security, education, infrastructure, and everything else Americans depend on. But he did not.

And through it all the President could have explained to Americans that the biggest economic challenge we face is restoring jobs and wages and economic growth, that spending cuts in the next few years will slow the economy even further, and therefore that the Republicans’ demands threaten us all. Again, he did not.

The radical right has now won a huge tactical and strategic victory. Democrats and the White House have proven they have little by way of tactics or strategy.

By putting Medicare and Social Security on the block, they have made it more difficult for Democrats in the upcoming 2012 election cycle to blame Republicans for doing so.

By embracing deficit reduction as their apparent goal – claiming only that they’d seek to do it differently than the GOP – Democrats and the White House now seemingly agree with the GOP that the budget deficit is the biggest obstacle to the nation’s future prosperity.

The budget deficit is not the biggest obstacle to our prosperity. Lack of jobs and growth is. And the largest threat to our democracy is the emergence of a radical right capable of getting most of the ransom it demands.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

Paul Krugman: The President Surrenders

"Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels":

The President Surrenders, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.
The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. ...
And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.
Republicans will supposedly have an incentive to make concessions the next time around, because defense spending will be among the areas cut. But the G.O.P. has just demonstrated its willingness to risk financial collapse unless it gets everything its most extreme members want. Why expect it to be more reasonable in the next round? In fact, Republicans will surely be emboldened by the way Mr. Obama keeps folding in the face of their threats. ...
Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.
It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.
In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.
Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

March 03 2010

02mydafsoup-01
Play fullscreen

// Haushaltsdebatte 2010 im Deutschen Bundestag

Gregor Gysi

- bis Min 03.20 - Afghanistaneinsatz
- bis Min 13.30 - Billiglohnsektor, Prekariat
- bis Min 16.00 - Lobbyismus, Parteienspenden und Gesetzesinitiativen
- bis Schluss - Steuergerechtigkeit - Banken -

(Inhaltsangabe: oanth) //
Reposted fromreturn13 return13 viakrekk krekk

February 08 2010

02mydafsoup-01

Die Steuersünder-CD

@krekk, ich kann mir kaum ausmalen, durch wen, wann und wie sich die ausgelöste CD-Flut jemals wieder eindämmen lassen wird. Denunziation ist sicherlich ein nicht unpassender Begriff für den Umgang mit Steuerflüchtling-CDs, wenn dieser auch in fraglicher Sache nicht wirklich die eigentlichen Übeltäter meinen kann, denn es wird kein 'In-die-Ecke-Besen-bist -gewesen!' geben, wo man sich doch zum einen von der permanenten Bedrohung die reuige Selbstanzeige vieler verspricht, es andererseits aber bei der Menge an CD-Angeboten sicherlich zu soviel persönlichen Abrechnungen und Erpressungen übelster Sorte kommen wird, dass dieser geöffnenten Pandorenbüchse nur eine ins unermessliche Aufstockung der Steuer- und Kriminalbehörden oder eine öffentlich angekündigte Vernichtung der CDs Einhalt gebieten könnte - das ganze Unternehmen droht zu einem immerwährenden Geiseldrama auszuarten, bei dem sich der Hauptakteur, der Staat selbst, ein traditionellerweise der organisierten Kriminalität zugewiesenes Terrain mit zynischem Kalkül zueigen macht.


oanth - muc 20100208

February 26 2009

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