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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
Channeling Reagan on Tax Reform
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:
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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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 14, 2010.