As the 2020 primaries heat up and candidates search for a way to distinguish themselves in such a large field, one issue has transformed into a key debate of the campaign: how to tax the rich to ensure a more equitable, prosperous society. Many of the candidates have bold tax plans, from Senator Sanders’s bill to expand the estate tax to Senator Booker’s baby bonds … Continue reading 2020 Contenders Embrace the Wealth Tax
In reading about the massive college admissions scandals this week, a truth struck me that I hadn’t consciously been aware of before. Yes, compromising the proctors and cheating on the standardized tests is bad. Bribing the coach to admit your child as an athletic recruit, when they don’t even play sports, is bad. Yes, many of the actual students involved were probably not aware of … Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom: “For college admissions, $50,000 is a scandal, $50 million is a celebration.”
On Monday, President Trump released his 2019 budget proposal, a plan that outlines a series of massive cuts to vital public programs in the ludicrously titled “A Budget for a Better America.” While this is just a list of funding ideas that mean nothing without Congressional approval, it outlines Trump’s vision for our economic future – one that allows us already wealthy people to get … Continue reading Budget for a Nightmare America
For years, opponents of raising the federal minimum wage have argued that we don’t need to raise the minimum wage because most low-wage workers are just teenagers trying to earn a little spending money. We’ve known that’s not true for years, but as the fight for $15 ramps up across the country, a new study shows just how far from reality that “common knowledge” really … Continue reading Adults and Breadwinners, Not Teens, Benefit Most from Raising Minimum Wage
This tax season, millions of Americans will be receiving smaller refunds from the IRS, or worse, a bill. At the same time, two of the most profitable companies in the country are not only avoiding paying taxes altogether, but one is receiving a federal rebate check of hundreds of millions of dollars. Both corporations and individuals are subject to federal income taxes. For those individuals … Continue reading Why Are You Paying More Tax Than Amazon and Netflix?
Recently, Senator John Thune introduced legislation (again) to repeal the estate tax. The estate tax, which is one of the few safeguards left against dynastic wealth in this country, was last adjusted just 13 months ago to make it even more generous to the children of millionaires and billionaires. Now, the introduction of yet another estate tax repeal bill raises the question: can Republicans do … Continue reading Eliminating Estate Tax Means Yet Another Tax Cut for Millionaires
Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed an “ultra-millionaires tax” as part of her 2020 platform. As someone closer than the average American to being affected by the tax should it become a law, I’m eager to see it succeed, and wish it had been presented sooner– for our country’s sake. In Sen. Warren’s plan, net worths over $50 million would be taxed … Continue reading Senator Warren is Right: America Needs a Wealth Tax
Many commentators thought it was hilarious (if a bit scary) that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested that furloughed federal workers should not need to go to food banks and charities, as they could just get loans against their income, knowing that it would would eventually be paid. While this may have made perfect sense to someone with as much money as Secretary Ross, it’s clearly … Continue reading Yes, Secretary Ross, the Rich are Different
This week, Senator Mitch McConnell authored a piece in the Washington Post where he falsely portrayed HR 1, the House Democrat’s sweeping anti-corruption, pro-democracy reform bill, as a partisan attack on political freedom. In the process, McConnell revealed just how little he or his Republican colleagues actually care about the core tenets of our democracy, and how blatantly he’s willing to lie to preserve whatever … Continue reading Why is Senator Mitch McConnell Against Improving Our Democracy?
Starting this year, Frontier Airlines will allow flight attendants to seek tips directly from passengers. Given the problems that tipping brings into any industry it enters, this is a terrible idea, a threat to all parties’ safety, and yet another reminder of the problems of forcing workers to rely on tips in any industry. Allowing workers to solicit tips to subsidize their wages is just … Continue reading Should Flight Attendants Have to Hustle for Tips?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was marketed as a middle class tax cut that would promote higher wages. Exactly one year after its passage, stock buybacks have soared while wage growth has remained stagnant. During the first half of this year, a whopping $384 billion was spent on stock buybacks. Stock buybacks, which happen when a company repurchases its own shares from the … Continue reading Stock Buybacks, not Wages, Surge One Year After Tax Cuts
We’ve all seen the ongoing breakdown in the Wisconsin political system caused by Republicans in the WI statehouse. Rather than respect the outcome of this November’s election, legislators are working to undermine the incoming Democrat governor-elect, Tony Evers. This has earned widespread outrage at the state’s Republican legislators, but what few people know is that they’re not acting alone. Walgreens is financially supporting the power … Continue reading Money in Politics in Wisconsin
This election season has been particularly ugly, exposing many weak spots in our democracy. After being defeated in statewide races, Republican legislators in Wisconsin and Michigan are spending what little time they have left before their new governors take power doing everything possible to subvert the will of their states’ voters. The partisan weakening of incoming governors’ powers, as well as undoing of citizen-supported measures … Continue reading Democracy Suspended in Wisconsin and Michigan
On Monday, General Motors (GM) announced it will be shutting down five factories and cutting almost 14,000 jobs in North America. With this announcement just weeks before the holidays, thousands of American families, along with the communities in Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio that they live in, now face an existential financial crisis. GM’s executives and investors, will have no such problems, however, in large part … Continue reading GM Layoffs Result of Trump Tax Plan
Recently, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times that she was having a hard time finding an apartment in Washington DC, in part because she will not be receiving any salary until she is sworn in as a member of Congress in January. Beyond the issue of Washington rent being, frankly, out of control, this brings up the real issue of how most Americans … Continue reading Public Offices Need to be More Accessible to Working Class Candidates
With more races being decided by ever-slimmer margins, like in Florida’s gubernatorial and senate elections, increasing attention is being paid to who can and cannot vote, and how difficult the voting process has become for certain Americans. This midterm election was decided in part by widespread voter suppression, and it’s time for Americans to acknowledge how much partisan maneuvering is to blame. In this summer’s … Continue reading Because of the Supreme Court’s Complicity, Our Elections Lack Integrity
Last week, in a last ditch effort to persuade voters before Election Day, President Trump made one of his most baffling false claims yet. At a rally in Nevada, Trump announced a new 10% tax cut for the middle class that would be passed by Congress and come into effect before the midterms. This came as news to, well, everyone. Congressional leaders had no idea … Continue reading Vote As I Say, Not As I Do
By now, you’ve read all about the rich people who are now far richer since Republicans passed their tax bill. You might have even come across articles highlighting members of Congress who bought new yachts and properties with their tax savings. For just a moment, though, let’s reflect on the people on the other side of the inequality gap. Members of Congress feign ignorance, … Continue reading Winners and Losers from the Tax Bill
Despite our country’s immense wealth, poverty has been a longstanding challenge to far too many communities, especially immigrant communities. This inequality has persisted for generations, simply because citizenship opens the door to uncountable opportunities, and immigration policy has frequently been racially and economically charged. Instead of policies to ease the path to citizenship for all people regardless of means and background, the current administration is … Continue reading The Criminalization of Poverty and Legal Immigration
Normally, the basic idea of our tax system is that you figure out how much you profit on a transaction, then pay tax as a percentage of that profit. Unfortunately, our tax code is broken, and people like Jared Kushner have taken advantage of that. The simplest explanation for this is that the tax code is very complicated, and it isn’t the responsibility of taxpayers … Continue reading Our Tax Code is Broken When it Comes to Real Estate