Monthly Archives: October 2011

Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!


Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy Wall Street movement has gained support in many cities in the U.S. and around the world; however, it appears politicians in the U.S. don’t seem to know how to respond to the demands of the movement. What do you think?

Shockupy Wall Street Fad

Occupy Wall Street protesters have a right to peacefully assemble, and the police have a right to disassemble them into pieces.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Video Glossary: Bicameral Legislature

MPSL VLog: Frontloading to Pick Frontrunner

The national government selects the date of national elections, but states decide how to run elections within each state. There is a trend to set earlier primary dates.  Professor Gaffaney explains the significance of frontloading primary elections.

Warren Buffet’s 2010 Tax Returns

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in the Oval Office, July 14, 2010.

In theory, the federal income tax rate is based on the progressive taxation system.  A progressive tax is a type of tax system in which the tax rate increases based on level of income. In essence, the wealthy pay a larger tax percentage compared to those with lower incomes. However, as Warrant Buffett’s 2010 tax returns revealed, the federal income tax rate in practice actually decreases on those making significantly large incomes. Buffett earned $63 million last year, yet paid around $7 million in federal income tax and a mere $15,300 in payroll taxes. All said Warren Buffett, who is worth around 50 billion dollars, paid 17.4% in total federal taxes (income and payroll taxes) while the average American worker paid around 33%.

Warren Buffett has been championing increased taxes on wealthy Americans for years. Back in 2007, Buffett offered a million dollars on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw to any member of the Forbes 400 that could prove they paid a greater tax burden than their employees.

“I’ll bet a million dollars against any member of the Forbes 400 who challenges me that the average tax rate for the Forbes 400 will be less than the average of their receptionists.”

Not one member of Forbes 400 has taken Mr. Buffett’s million dollar challenge. Greta Van Susteren of FoxNews posted on her blog several ways Warren Buffett could better spend his time by voluntarily paying more taxes.

Meanwhile, the nation is in the middle of a tax debate concerning the exact fairness of the federal tax code. From Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan to Occupy Wall Street, the American people are divided on whether or not the American wealthy is paying too much or too little in taxes. However, the majority of the current debate is based on economic theory and political ideology. Should the debate be placed on hold until more members of the top 1% release their tax returns?


Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!