135 results for author: Phil Anderson


Thoughts on Taxes

April 15th is coming up. For many of us, the problem with taxes is not how much we pay, rather it is what we get for our tax dollar. Taxes are the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. Are we getting what we need? Are we getting our money's worth? Are we building a prosperous, healthy, sustainable, and truly civilized society?There is too much sound bite and too little information on this topic in the media. Perhaps the facts below and some perspective will help ease the pain this tax day.How much do we pay?In 2011 Americans paid, as a percentage of income, between 17% and 29% in total taxes. This includes ALL federal, state, and ...

Retirement for All Legislation Introduced

A secure retirement for Wisconsin workers may be coming in the future. Senate Bill 611, introduced by Senator David Hanson (D-Green Bay), creates a board to study creating a private sector program modeled after the highly successful public employee Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once part of the American Dream. But retirement security is declining in America. Many experts say a retirement crisis is developing. Many people will be unable to retire, will have to work longer, or will live in in poverty during their “golden years”. This decline in secure, adequate income for older ...

New Year’s Resolution: Be Involved

Good government requires more than just voting. As any good manager knows, employees have to be supervised and their performance monitored. Our political representatives are no different. They must be held accountable. Citizens have to stay informed on issues. They have to know enough to sort through misleading sound bites and talk show bombast. They have to communicate with their representatives.Yes, politics is dirty. There is too much money and mudslinging. But maybe politics would be more civil if citizens were more involved. Maybe our belief that we can't discuss politics in polite company is part of the problem. Maybe we get the politics, ...

The Nuclear Weapons Vortex

In the weather news a “polar vortex” has brought winter back to much of the country. In other news there have been a number of nuclear weapons related stories suggesting we have a nuclear weapons vortex threatening us.For decades the nuclear weapons industry has purported to keep us free and safe. It is a very expensive, giant whirlpool sucking our tax dollars. Between 1946 and 1996, we spent an estimated $8.66 trillion on them.  But is it necessary? Not according to Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Jr. (US Army Ret.). He works for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and was quoted on the U.S. Labor Against War web site;“Perhaps the ...

Three Solutions to the Federal Budget Deal

The recent federal budget compromise, although representing some minor breaks in the Washington gridlock, is a bad deal for the country. It is bad because it doesn’t address the real budget problems. It is bad because it does not establish needed budget priorities.As widely reported in the media, the budget plan fails to extend unemployment benefits, protect food stamps, and other programs that benefit middle and lower income people. On the plus side it does limit the irrational, automatic sequester cuts. And it doesn’t immediately cut Social Security or Medicare. But what is really bad about the budget deal is that it does not address the ...