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Health Care & Environment

07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Print view: Taxes in America: A Long Rightward Lurch
TAXING MATTERS:

Channeling Reagan on Tax Reform

by Gerald E. Scorse
Sunday, 14 November 2010
With his last fiscal legacy, Reagan ended more than six decades of lower taxes on income from wealth than income from work.

The day after the midterms, a conservative columnist and a Democratic senator struck the same fiscal chord. Looking ahead, they looked back with longing at America’s last meaningful tax reform.

Here’s Evan Bayh of Indiana, telling fellow Democrats how to shake it off and get their mojo back: “A good place to start would be tax reform....Reward savings and investment. Simplify the code to reduce compliance costs and broaden the base. In 1986, this approach attracted bipartisan support and fostered growth.”

And here’s Ross Douthat, blogging: “[N]early all the historical models for the kind of big reforms I’d like to see — the Reagan tax overhauls, the budget deals of the Clinton and first Bush presidencies...took place amid divided government...”

Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986 is the bill Bayh praised, and the most sweeping of those hailed by Douthat. Neither Bayh nor Douthat mentioned, but both surely know, that one of the bill’s signature provisions could bring a strong tax-equity case to the debates shaping up on the Hill—first over extending the Bush cuts, then over tax policy in general.

In 1986, taking a step long sought by liberals, Reagan equalized taxes on income from investments and income from wages. With his last fiscal legacy, he ended more than six decades of lower taxes on income from wealth than income from work.

What persuaded him? In a section titled “Fairness,” the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation laid out the case. The opening minces no words:

A primary objective of Congress was to provide a tax system that ensures that individuals with similar incomes pay similar amounts of tax. [Italics added.] The ability of some individuals to reduce their tax liability excessively under prior law eroded the tax base and required tax rates to be higher than otherwise would have been necessary....

Tax breaks on capital gains came roaring back in 1997 under President Clinton and were sweetened again in 2003 by President Bush

Tax breaks on capital gains came roaring back in 1997 under President Clinton and were sweetened again in 2003 by President Bush. The current rate on long-term gains stands at 15 percent, the lowest since FDR’s first term. According to the K Street spin, capital gains deserve lower rates; after all, the spinners claim, buying shares in the market grows businesses, grows jobs and grows the economy.

In their dreams.

In reality, only a trace amount of the billions that change hands on Wall Street every day grows anything. Aside from initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary offerings, not a dime that’s invested in the market goes to companies. In fact, through dividends and stock buybacks, money flows in the opposite direction—out of companies, into the hands of investors. These investors aren’t growing jobs, they’re growing portfolios.

Making money in the market is a wonderful thing. It’s un-wonderful to tax market gains at a lower rate than wages, benefiting only the haves, the have-mores and especially the have-mosts. (Except, that is, for those IPOs and secondary offerings. Gains from those transactions have a strong claim to accrue tax-free.)

President Obama and Congress should create an investor tax break that pays off for everybody—not on stocks, but on corporate bonds.

Finally, in a change as basic as any made by Reagan, President Obama and Congress should create an investor tax break that pays off for everybody—not on stocks, but on corporate bonds. Some bonds simply retire debt, but most raise money to upgrade and expand facilities, open new plants and hire new people. It’s bonds, not aftermarket stock purchases, that really do grow jobs and grow the economy.

Give bond interest a tax break. “Reward investment,” Senator Bayh urged. Back to you, Senator (likewise, every other member of Congress).

An early report from President Obama’s bipartisan national debt commission tilted right, but it did call for equal taxes on capital gains, dividends and other income. The commission’s final report is due December 1, after which it’s up to the President and Congress. From both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Americans deserve the same fairness and boldness that marked Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986.


©2010 Gerald E. Scorse. The author, who writes from New York City, helped pass a bill that tightens the rules for reporting capital gains. His stories are published in the Baltimore Chronicle with his permission.



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This story was published on November 14, 2010.
 

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