Inequality, like a malignant tumor, is growing out of control, and the only response from Congress is to make it even worse. Those at the richest end of the nation seem to have lost all capacity for understanding the meaning and values of an interdependent society.
An affordable housing crisis is growing across America, as home ownership prices keep growing at a pace unmatched by incomes and new construction. But disparities in home costs vary greatly, with progressive coastal epicenters being the priciest, while inland metropolitan areas have houses at a fraction of that cost.
Four years ago, Malcolm Sampson says, the ocean changed in a way that terrified him. Now in his 60s, Sampson, an ethnic Tsimshian and a member of the Lax Kwalaams First Nation, has spent his entire life hunting salmon in the open ocean and torturous passages of Canada’s North Coast, just south of the Alaska border. But he had never seen anything like that.
The House tax bill is an all-out attack on the future prosperity of America, not that any of the major news organizations are telling you that in plain English. Lost in the dense bureaucratic language of modern news reports is the simple fact that the House bill takes from striving students so that the already rich and major corporations can have more.
Shortly before last year’s presidential election, Donald Trump Jr. flew to France for lunch at the Hotel Ritz Paris with a Syrian peace activist, who says she meets regularly with Russian officials, and her French husband, who nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for a Nobel Peace Prize last year.
The new Senate tax bill will give those who own or lease private planes breaks on the amount they pay to companies for maintenance, storage, fueling and even when they want to hire pilots and a crew onboard.
The GOP tax plan before Congress has billions in gimmicks and giveaways for corporate interests. But none may be as far-reaching, from a social policy perspective, as language declaring human fetuses are legal persons for federal tax purposes.
The House and Senate Republican tax bills continue the GOP’s war on financially vulnerable Americans, underscoring yet again that the GOP will stop at nothing to take away benefits from any person, in any state, who might vote blue.
The 21st-century Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, the empire of the insanely rich and ultra-conservative Koch brothers. In its current iteration, the party’s only permanent principle is to cut taxes for the nation’s one-percenters.
With the Senate GOP’s unveiling of its tax plan, key differences with the House version became apparent. Among the biggest potential losers in both plans are residents in high-cost states, who rely heavily on itemized deductions for state, local and property taxes.
As anyone who has ever been to any of the many cities that are graced with a Trump hotel, casino, golf resort, etc. likely knows, Donald Trump insists that his name be gaudily displayed in giant letters across every structure he owns — preferably in gold.
If you assume that anything the Trump administration does is bad, you will be right more often than not. But there is the occasional surprising exception. The administration’s proposal to raise entrance fees at 17 popular national parks is proof that even the worst presidents can’t always be wrong.
Bias for the super-rich, at the expense of everyone else, lies at the heart of the tax bill that Republicans hope to rush into law without public hearings. The most outrageous example of this is a plan to make sure that the richest of the rich never have to pay taxes on their investment gains.
“Here we are again with another leak and new revelations,” says Süddeutsche Zeitung correspondent Frederik Obermaier, one of the two reporters who received the Paradise Papers from an anonymous source. The leaks detail the massive sums of money parked in some 25,000 companies headquartered for tax reasons…
In Hawaii, “aloha” also means “goodbye.” President Trump could not have missed the less-than-enthusiastic greeting during his brief touchdown in the U.S. state where — facts are facts — Barack Obama was born. Demonstrators there seemed to be following a new pattern among Trump foes, replacing raw anger with mockery.
The U.S. economy is humming like a bee in clover. Gross domestic product is growing at a solid clip; inflation has stayed down; and unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years. So Republicans have soberly assessed the economic conditions, carefully considered all the options and selected the prescriptions that would do the most to enhance long-run prosperity.
From early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump swore he’d do away with the so-called carried-interest loophole, the notorious tax break that allows highly compensated private-equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists to be taxed at a much lower rate than other professionals.
On Thursday, House Republicans issued a fact sheet about their new tax cut plan that referred to Americans earning $450,000 a year as “low- and middle-income” — even though that income level would put those taxpayers in the top 0.05% of all individual Americans.
Or to put it another way: The nice young couple who just opened their own independent coffee shop around the corner will likely be hit with a huge tax increase—as much as 250%—while the corporation that operates thousands of coffee shops all around the world is getting its taxes cut 43%.
What’s being proposed is a sleight of hand, or a tax unicorn. The child tax credit is there in the law books all right, but not in terms of money actually getting to parents. For people to actually qualify, there would have to be major changes to the tax-credit structure that are not included in the Republican plan. Indeed, without those changes, the full credit may not be collected by a single household.
A rich guy I know really, really dislikes Donald Trump. A member of the 1 percent, Jack (not his real name) thinks the president has sullied the country’s reputation and put democracy in danger. But I had to ask him this: “Aren’t you at least happy with the stock market?” He’s done quite well on that score, as have many investors.
Based on public statements by Trump, his surrogates and top Republican tax writers on Capitol Hill, what is coming is a tax-cut plan for billionaires. The Trump tax plan focuses on cutting the taxes of those who are self-employed or who own businesses while sticking it to wage and salary workers, even those earning quite generous salaries.
One big reason is that corporate boards and CEOs have their heads stuck in a dreamy future. Nearly every economic sector is actually spending vast sums of money on workers — just not human workers. While few Americans are aware of it, bosses are quietly investing in hordes of sophisticated autonomous robots powered by a cognitive technology called artificial intelligence.
America’s closest neighbors, Mexico and Canada, rank high on Donald Trump’s to-do list of allies to offend. The North American Free Trade Agreement, the president insists, is “the worst deal ever.” Actually, it’s been a mostly good deal for all three partners. But even if the U.S. stays in it, Trump’s crazy-man act has already done the dirty deed, damaging America’s ability to compete globally.
Last Monday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he will repeal the Obama administration’s regulation to curb power plant carbon emissions, telling coal miners in Kentucky that “the war on coal is over.” The next day he kept his promise, issuing a proposed rule to eliminate the Clean Power Plan.