* There’s a handy chart over at the Nevada View showing how the lowest income earners in the state of Nevada are paying about 10% of their income in taxes while the top 1% pay about 1.6%. Drilling down into the Nevada Fact Sheet (pdf) yields further interesting information like the poorest among us pay 6.2% in sales taxes (the most regressive form) while that upper 1% pays about 0.7%. There’s more information from other states at the ITEP website.
Meanwhile, it could be asked are some people unethical because they are rich, or rich because they are unethical?
“It’s not clear from the study if being rich increases unethical behavior or if such behavior is what allows people to become rich in the first place. The researchers suggest a number of reasons why upper-class individuals are more prone to unethical behavior, citing their relative independence from others and increased privacy in their professions, and the availability of resources to deal with the costs of unethical behavior. Previous research has found that feelings of entitlement, inattention to the consequences of one’s actions on others, and an increased focus on achieving goals also play a role.” [Atlantic]
* The President ask us to do a bit of soul searching concerning the Trayvon Martin case, and The Sin City Siren offers a sentient perspective from Las Vegas.
* The Gleaner/City Life comments on the Nevada District Three race: “But the plutocrats, who exploit the Tea Party’s useful idiots to win policies that favor corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working Americans, know exactly what the race is about. They couldn’t care less whether the winner is Joe Heck or a potted hydrangea, so long as the winner’s name is followed by an “R” and the radicals keep control of the House.” Amen.
* Want to take a quick look at just how radical the House Republicans have become? Nevada Rural Democratic Caucus prints out a table of the 49 bills introduced in the 112th Congress that would repeal or decimate health care reform. Oh, and by the way, that Individual Mandate thing that the GOP has now decided is unconstitutional? It was originally a Republican idea, circa the George H.W. Bush Administration as a way to counter Democratic calls for a single payer system. [NPR] The Gavel also provides a retrospective to the bad old days when health care corporations had the final say on whether the policies they sold to employers and individuals would cover real medical expenses. Kyle Leighton has a good piece on “How To Run On Healthcare” that’s well worth the click and read.
* So, what IS the debate about contraception all about? The GOP tried very hard to make this a “religious freedom” argument, albeit with the disclaimer that it was only the freedom of ultra-conservative denominations with which they were concerned, but the Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers) convention in Milwaukee featured brochures handed out to delegates that were explicitly anti-contraception. [TP for more]
* Matt Taibbi asks why “gangster banks” keep getting public business? There’s more at Huffington Post in “JP Morgan and the Largest U.S. Municipal Bankruptcy.” Dealbreaker asks: Why can’t California find any underwriters who haven’t already defrauded the state? And, it seems as though Greg Smith isn’t the only former Goldman Sachs employee who thinks of the firm as a giant vampire squid, now Marc Cohodes is blowing his whistle. [BusInsider]
* CBPP provides this graph of where the Ryan Budget makes its “savings:”
Ryan shaves some $2.4 trillion from Medicaid and other health care programs for low and moderate income Americans, $134 billion from SNAP food assistance, and $166 billion in cuts to education, training, and employment services, among other deep cuts. The Good News? Millionaires and Billionaires would get at least a $187,000 tax cut. [TP]
* Evidently not content to merely take over women’s bodies, Republicans in the Arizona Legislature would now like to assume control over all federal public lands. Governor Brewer has decided that forests in AZ need “trimming?” [AZ Republic]
* Oh my, “out of state operatives” are promoting a candidate in Wisconsin [MJS] including some education and union groups which spent $1.6 million on radio ad buys. And, we should note the Koch Brothers gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 for his campaign, poured in $700,000 for anti-recall advertising, gave the RGA $1 million ($65,000 of which was immediately handed over to Walker), while the RGA spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV advertising and mailers attacking Walker’s opponent in the last election. [MJ]