Saturday, November 16, 2019


"The Democrats’ opposition to Trump is not based on his imposition of austerity measures, or his vicious assault on immigrants. While they will not mount a serious challenge to a proposal that will literally take food out of the mouths of school children, they were complicit in passing the Republicans’ $1.3 trillion tax cuts in 2017 and the record $738 billion defense budget agreed to earlier this year."

Repeal and Replace Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut

Tackling wealth inequality is admittedly hard. The rich have access to very good accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists. There are a lot of places for them to stash their wealth. Loopholes are easy to create. Not to mention, they can always move (although they don’t carry out the threat nearly as often as conservatives would have you believe) if they really don’t like or can’t escape the tax bill.
Solving the problem requires a variety of approaches from many different angles: wealth taxes, financial transaction taxes, estate taxes, corporate taxes, loophole elimination, campaign finance changes, tax haven penalties, etc. Any one of them may fail, or be easy for certain classes of individuals to escape. Collectively, however, they can both put a dent in the deficit allowing for greater expenditures on social services and climate change abatement. More importantly, they can reduce the corrosive wealth inequality that is eating away at our democracy. Reducing the amount of the money hoarded by the obscenely wealthy would be a good thing on its own merits, even if it were merely burned in a bonfire rather than added to the Treasury.
That’s why a new proposal from a bevy of progressive lawmakers comes as a welcome and innovative addition to the policy arsenal: increasing the corporate tax rate in accordance with the gap between CEO pay and median worker pay. Here’s the general idea:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) introduced the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, which rewrites the federal tax code to tackle the inequality crisis created by corporate America’s unrestrained greed.
The typical restaurant employee at McDonald’s would have to work for more than 2,000 years to earn what the company’s CEO Chris Kempczinski received last year. A retail worker at Gap Inc. would have to work for more than 3,000 years to receive the annual compensation of Gap’s former CEO Art Peck. Peck’s pay was increased by 33 percent in 2018, even after he presided over years of declines in sales and stock prices.
The Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act would pressure corporations to curb these outrageous pay gaps that are the norm today, by imposing graduated taxes for companies that pay their CEO more than 50 times the pay of the median worker. The tax penalties would begin at 0.5 percentage points and rise to 5 percentage points for firms compensating their chief executives at more than 500 times the rate of their workers. A recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies found that 80 percent of S&P 500 firms paid their CEOs more than 100 times the pay of their median worker.
Many of the firms lavishing multi-million-dollar compensation packages on their top executives rely on taxpayer support—through public housing, nutrition assistance, and Medicaid, for example—to assist full-time workers who struggle with poverty wages.
CEO pay around the world, and especially in the United States, has become outrageous. While the average worker has only seen their compensation grow by 12 percent since 1968, the pay of the average CEO has increased by a whopping 940 percent since 1978. It’s not just an outrageous injustice that so many workers are being laid off, off-shored, and made insecure while the top executives make a killing. It also offends our very sense of how the economy is supposed to work: after all, it’s not as if CEOs are now a thousand times more productive than they were 40 years ago.
In fact, the opposite is true: CEOs used to stick with a company for nearly a lifetime, their own reputation and financial well-being tied to the company’s. Now, they’re migrant mercenaries goosing quarterly profit in the short term while leaving the next guy holding the bag to deal with the consequences of the corners they cut. It breaks our understanding of the social and moral compact that underpins the political economy and the credibility of modern capitalism itself as an economic system. It would be great to pass the money being funneled to CEOs back to workers either in the form of wages or social program redistribution. But failing that, it would serve a valuable social good just to burn that money in a fire rather than continue to deliver it to the undeserving rich to buy another yacht.
Critics will call this a gimmick that doesn’t singlehandedly solve the problem, but ultimately, that isn’t the point.
First, it delivers a key political message: we understand that the economy is broken, that the social fabric is fraying, that the wrong people are being overcompensated for the wrong reasons, and that we intend to do something about that specifically.
Second, it attacks one of the aspects of wealth inequality in a direct, pre-distributive way. Rather than trying to claw back money from the obscenely wealthy after it has already been paid out, it incentivizes corporations not to give it to them in the first place. It puts coolant in the overheating engine that has been sending CEO pay skyrocketing to absurd levels in a chummy bidding war in the hands of a class of executives all too happy to distribute egregious sums to their friends and fellows.
Obviously, unless Democrats can both win the Senate and bypass the filibuster, this policy is dead on arrival against a wall of GOP obstruction. But it’s good to have in the back pocket in the meantime, and it would serve as excellent policy to campaign on as we approach the 2020 election, reminding the American people who is actually on the side of the average worker to build a fairer economy.

Economists: America’s Elite Pay Lower Tax Rate Than All Other Americans

Getty Images
 8 Oct 201918

The wealthiest Americans are paying a lower tax rate than all other Americans, groundbreaking analysis from a pair of economists reveals.

For the first time on record, the wealthiest 400 Americans in 2018 paid a lower tax rate than all of the income groups in the United States, research highlighted by the New York Times from University of California, Berkeley, economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman finds.
The analysis concludes that the country’s top economic elite are paying lower federal, state, and local tax rates than the nation’s working and middle class. Overall, these top 400 wealthy Americans paid just a 23 percent tax rate, which the Times‘ op-ed columnist David Leonhardt notes is a combined tax payment of “less than one-quarter of their total income.”
This 23 percent tax rate for the rich means their rate has been slashed by 47 percentage points since 1950 when their tax rate was 70 percent.
(Screenshot via the New York Times)
The analysis finds that the 23 percent tax rate for the wealthiest Americans is less than every other income group in the U.S. — including those earning working and middle-class incomes, as a Times graphic shows.
Leonhardt writes:
For middle-class and poor families, the picture is different. Federal income taxes have also declined modestly for these families, but they haven’t benefited much if at all from the decline in the corporate tax or estate taxAnd they now pay more in payroll taxes (which finance Medicare and Social Security) than in the past. Over all, their taxes have remained fairly flat. [Emphasis added]
The report comes as Americans increasingly see a growing divide between the rich and working class, as the Pew Research Center has found.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the leading economic nationalist in the Senate, has warned against the Left-Right coalition’s consensus on open trade, open markets, and open borders, a plan that he has called an economy that works solely for the elite.
“The same consensus says that we need to pursue and embrace economic globalization and economic integration at all costs — open markets, open borders, open trade, open everything no matter whether it’s actually good for American national security or for American workers or for American families or for American principles … this is the elite consensus that has governed our politics for too long and what it has produced is a politics of elite ambition,” Hawley said in an August speech in the Senate.
That increasing worry of rapid income inequality is only further justified by economic research showing a rise in servant-class jobs, strong economic recovery for elite zip codes but not for working-class regions, and skyrocketing wage growth for the billionaire class at 15 times the rate of other Americans.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.



Census Says U.S. Income Inequality Grew ‘Significantly’ in 2018

(Bloomberg) -- Income inequality in America widened “significantly” last year, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report published Thursday.
A measure of inequality known as the Gini index rose to 0.485 from 0.482 in 2017, according to the bureau’s survey of household finances. The measure compares incomes at the top and bottom of the distribution, and a score of 0 is perfect equality.
The 2018 reading is the first to incorporate the impact of President Donald Trump’s end-2017 tax bill, which was reckoned by many economists to be skewed in favor of the wealthy.
But the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. has been worsening for decades, making America the most unequal country in the developed world. The trend, which has persisted through recessions and recoveries, and under administrations of both parties, has put inequality at the center of U.S. politics.
Leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, including senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, are promising to rectify the tilt toward the rich with measures such as taxes on wealth or financial transactions.
Just five states -- California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana and New York, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico -- had Gini indexes higher than the national level, while the reading was lower in 36 states.

The Democrats’ opposition to Trump is not based on his imposition of austerity measures, or his vicious assault on immigrants. While they will not mount a serious challenge to a proposal that will literally take food out of the mouths of school children, they were complicit in passing the Republicans’ $1.3 trillion tax cuts in 2017 and the record $738 billion defense budget agreed to earlier this year. 

Trump proposal denies free school meals to half a million children

The Trump administration has provided a new analysis of how proposed changes to eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, will impact children who participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. By the White House’s own admission, these changes mean that about a half-million children would become ineligible for free school meals.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has described the changes as a tightening up of “loopholes” in the SNAP system. But those affected by the changes are not corporate crooks or billionaires, but hundreds of thousands of children who stand to lose access to free meals. For many American children, free school breakfasts and lunches make up the bulk of their nutritional intake, and they stand to suffer permanent physical and psychological damage as a result of the cuts.
Children receive a free lunch at the Phoenix Day Central Park Youth Program in downtown Phoenix. (AP Photo Matt York)
The sheer vindictiveness of the proposed rule change is shown by the minimal savings that would result—about $90 million a year beginning in fiscal year 2021, or a mere 0.012 percent of the estimated $74 billion annual SNAP budget. Put another way, the savings would amount to two-thousandths of a percent of the $4.4 trillion federal budget. But while this $90 million might appear as small change to the oligarchs running and supporting the government, it will be directly felt as hunger in the bellies of America’s poorest children.
SNAP provided benefits to roughly 40 million Americans in 2018 and is the largest nutrition program of the 15 administered by the federal Food and Nutrition Service. Along with programs such as the Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and school breakfast and lunch programs, SNAP has been a major factor in making a dent in the hunger of working-class families. But despite these programs’ successes, the Trump administration is seeking to claw them back, with the ultimate aim of doing away with them altogether.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the food stamp and school meal programs, says that the new analysis presented last week is a more precise estimate of the impact of rule changes in SNAP the USDA first announced in July. The main component of the rule change is an end to “broad-based categorical eligibility” for the food stamp program. Food stamps are cut off for households whose incomes exceed 130 percent of the federal poverty line, or $33,475 per year for a family of four, calculated after exemptions for certain expenses.
Under “broad-based categorical eligibility,” which is currently used by over 40 states, households can be eligible for food stamps based on their receiving assistance from other anti-poverty programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Under this rule, which has been in effect for about 20 years, states are allowed to raise income eligibility and asset limits to promote SNAP eligibility. This prevents many households from falling over the “benefit cliff,” which happens when a small increase in income results in a complete cutoff of benefits, leaving a family worse off than before the rise in income.
According to the USDA, the rule change on broad-based eligibility would throw more than 680,000 households with children off SNAP. About 80 percent of these households have school-age children, amounting to about 982,000 children. Of those, 55 percent, or about 540,000, would no longer be eligible for free school meals, although most would be eligible for reduced-price meals. About 40,000 would be required to pay the full meal rate.
However, this does not paint the full picture. Households thrown off SNAP would be required to apply separately for access to free or reduced-price school meals. The USDA admits that its cost estimates “do not account for potential state and local administrative costs incurred due to collecting and processing household applications … and also do not account for any increased responsibility placed on the households to complete and submit a school meals application.”
While the Trump administration claims that the proposed changes to SNAP eligibility are aimed at closing up “loopholes” and stopping people from claiming benefits they’re not entitled to, the reality is that there is no evidence that broad-based eligibility has allowed significant numbers of people to supposedly “game the system.” A 2012 Government Accountability Office investigation found that only 473,000 recipients, or just 2.6 percent of beneficiaries, received benefits they would not have received without the broad-based eligibility offered by many states.
There is consistent evidence that SNAP contributes to a decrease in food insecurity, a condition defined by the USDA as limited or uncertain access to adequate food. By one estimate, SNAP benefits reduce the likelihood of food insecurity by about 30 percent and the likelihood of being very food insecure by 20 percent. Census data has shown that SNAP also plays a critical role in reducing poverty, with about 3.6 million Americans, including 1.5 million children, being lifted out of poverty in 2016 as a result of the program.
The EconoFact Network reports that SNAP has improved birth outcomes and infant health. When an expectant mother has access to SNAP during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, it decreases the likelihood that her baby will be born with low birth weight. There is also evidence that the benefits of nutrition support can persist well into adulthood when access to SNAP is provided before birth and during early childhood. This can have a long-term impact on an individual’s earnings, health and life expectancy. Conversely, food insecurity in childhood correlates with greater risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease later in life.
The proposed threat to school lunches for half a million children has elicited little response from Democrats in Congress, who are obsessively focused on the Trump impeachment inquiry. Critical issues such as the health and nutrition of school children are of little consequence to the Democratic Party, which instead gives voice to those sections of the military intelligence apparatus that sees Trump’s actions, particularly his sudden pullout from Syria, as endangering the global interests of American imperialism.
The Democrats’ opposition to Trump is not based on his imposition of austerity measures, or his vicious assault on immigrants. While they will not mount a serious challenge to a proposal that will literally take food out of the mouths of school children, they were complicit in passing the Republicans’ $1.3 trillion tax cuts in 2017 and the record $738 billion defense budget agreed to earlier this year. At $94.6 million, the cost of one of the US Air Force’s newest and most technologically advanced fighter jets, the F-35A, would cover the $90 annual savings from depriving half a million US schoolchildren of free meals.

PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP: pathological liar, swindler, con man, huckster, golfing cheat, charity foundation fraudster, tax evader, adulterer, porn whore chaser and servant of the Saudis dictators
VISUALIZE REVOLUTION!.... We know where they live!
“Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.”
 Jared’s BFF, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed (MBZ), refer to Jared as “the clown prince.” Bone-cutter MBS assured those around him that he had Jared “in my pocket.” 

Following meetings at the White House and also with the Kushners over their 666 Fifth Avenue property, former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim reported back to the emir that “the people atop the new administration were heavily motivated by personal financial interest.” 

“Truthfully, It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral Behavior By The President” WASHINGTON POST


Trump's sister quits as a federal judge 10 days into formal probe of her possible role in massive family tax scam that could have ended in her impeachment

·          Trump's older sister resigned as an appellate court judge shortly after a probe opened into her involvement in a family tax scheme

·         10 days ago an investigation into whether Maryanne Trump Barry violated judicial conduct rules launched

·         The case was closed after Barry resigned because retired judges are not subject to the rules

·         Barry had not heard a case in two years after transitioning to inactive shortly after Trump's inauguration 

·         The Trump siblings were probed after an investigation found they were involved in a tax scheme related to the transfer of their father's real estate empire 

President Donald Trump’s older sister Maryanne Trump Barry, 82, retired as a federal judge just days after an investigation opened into her possible role in family tax fraud scheme.
Barry was a federal appellate judge in the third district, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the investigation could have led to her impeachment.
She had not presided over a case in more than two years, but was still listed as an inactive senior judge in the third district – usually the step taken before full retirement.
Barry did not give any reasons for her retirement. 
The probe into the Trumps was first opened last fall, after a New York Times investigation found the Trump siblings engaged in tax schemes in the 1990s, including fraud, that increased their inherited wealth.
Maryanne Trump Barry resigned as a federal appellate judge 10 days into an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules

An investigation into the Trump siblings opened after the New York Times reported that they transferred their father's real estate assets improperly in the 1990s 
The formal investigation into whether Barry violated judicial conduct rules started ten days ago, but was closed after Barry announced her retirement since retired judges are not subject to judicial conduct rules.
These reviews could result in the censure or reprimand of federal judges, but in some more extreme cases, the judge could be referred to the House of Representatives for impeachment.
It appears Barry will receive somewhere between $184,500 and $217,600 annually, the same salary she earned when she last met certain workload requirements before changing her status to inactive.
The Times investigation into the Trump’s alleged that Fred Trump transferred his real estate empire profits and ownership to his four children, including the president, Barry, brother Robert Trump, and their sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, in ways designed to dodge gift and estate taxes. 
Barry, pictured above with sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, was a senior inactive judge, which is the step taken usually before full retirement, and had not heard a case in over two year.

Trump's lawyer Charles Hardner said that the allegations made as a result of the Times' investigation is '100 per cent false' and accused the newspaper of defamation

“The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 per cent false, and highly defamatory,” a lawyer for Trump, Charles Hardner, said last October. 
Barry was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and shortly after Trump’s inauguration, in February 2017, she notified the court she would stop hearing cases without citing a reason.
At this point she became a senior inactive judge and gave up her staff and chambers.

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