The Big Tax Problem in Trump’s Budget

There’s already been a huge backlash against the Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal since it was released on Monday, and for good reason. The plan is disastrous for a myriad of reasons, but so far, there hasn’t been much discussion about the way it conceals – and even worsens – the consequences of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Those initial tax cuts are … Continue reading The Big Tax Problem in Trump’s Budget »

What’s in HR 1? Corporate Spending on Elections

This blog is one in a series on HR 1, the For The People Act. Corporate Spending on Elections As their first order of business, House Democrats introduced HR 1 as soon as the new 2019 Congress came into session. An anti-corruption, pro-democracy reform bill, the For The People Act is aimed at improving our democracy for all Americans by limiting the corrupting influence of … Continue reading What’s in HR 1? Corporate Spending on Elections »

House Dems Votes “Yes” on HR 1, the For The People Act

As their first order of business, House Democrats introduced HR 1 as soon as the new 2019 Congress came into session. An anti-corruption, pro-democracy reform bill, the For The People Act is aimed at improving our democracy for all Americans by limiting the corrupting influence of money in politics and making voting easier, not harder. Today, it passed in the House without any Republican support. … Continue reading House Dems Votes “Yes” on HR 1, the For The People Act »

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says No To Private Meetings with Big Donors

This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced she would not attend private fundraisers or one-on-one meetings with big donors. In doing so, she is declining to participate in a traditional avenue of fundraising, potentially crippling her campaign’s ability to raise money from the start. But in doing so, she is making a powerful statement that is likely to reverberate throughout the Democratic primary: the time … Continue reading Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says No To Private Meetings with Big Donors »

$15 Minimum Wage a Win for All Illinoisans

The road to every working American being able to afford their basic needs took a big leap forward last week when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. Illinois now joins the growing number of states who are listening to the concerns of their workers and challenges they face from rising wealth inequality and … Continue reading $15 Minimum Wage a Win for All Illinoisans »

Indexing Capital Gains to Inflation Just Another Tax Cut for the Wealthy

Recently, conservative groups sent a letter to Trump asking him to again consider using his executive powers to index capital gains to inflation. Not only would this ridiculous proposal hand billions more in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, but it’s not even constitutional. The letter argues that individual income tax brackets are adjusted for inflation, so capital gains, which are the profits from an … Continue reading Indexing Capital Gains to Inflation Just Another Tax Cut for the Wealthy »

Closing In on Trump’s Tax Returns

Last week, we inched closer to knowing just what, if any, conflicts or tax evasions our Commander in Chief is hiding from the American people. During a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing, Democratic members made their case for why it is imperative to see President Trump’s tax returns. Since announcing his candidacy, President Trump has refused to release his tax returns, making him the … Continue reading Closing In on Trump’s Tax Returns »

Our Democracy Needs Fixing

In the two months after Republicans introduced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), their massive tax overhaul in 2017, millionaires and billionaires “dramatically boosted” their political donations, contributing over $31 million in 60 days. This is just one the latest examples of the corrupting influence of money in politics. While it makes sense that if a member of Congress shares one’s views, that person … Continue reading Our Democracy Needs Fixing »

Republicans Relying on Lies to Repeal Estate Tax

For the second time in as many years, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is leading the charge in repealing the federal estate tax. With wealth inequality flourishing and public opinion moving in favor of higher taxes on the wealthy, removing this tax on inheritances will only make the gulf between the rich and poor wider. Sen. Thune’s bill is and should be unpopular. However, because of … Continue reading Republicans Relying on Lies to Repeal Estate Tax »

The Shutdown is Hurting Rural Communities

We’re a month into the government shutdown, and many working Americans, small businesses, and local communities are starting to feel the the economic strain from a lack of crucial government services. Contrary to popular belief, Washington, DC isn’t the only city affected – rural communities across the country are feeling the pressure, particularly those that rely on visitors to federal lands that are suffering from … Continue reading The Shutdown is Hurting Rural Communities »

Raising the Top Marginal Tax Rate Isn’t the Answer to Wealth Inequality (We Need to Think Bigger)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes that in order to pay for her Green New Deal, the US government should raise the tax rate on income over $10 million to up to 70 percent. Despite rabid opposition and cries of “socialism!” from conservative pundits and politicians, polls show the American people agree. People are tired of the growing concentration of wealth into the hands of a small … Continue reading Raising the Top Marginal Tax Rate Isn’t the Answer to Wealth Inequality (We Need to Think Bigger) »

HR 1 Is the Campaign Finance Reform We’ve Been Waiting For

This week marks the ninth anniversary of the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) ruling. In the 5-4 decision on January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court drastically altered the influence of money in American politics, and absolutely none of it for the good. (Check out last year’s blog for an in-depth recap of the case.) Ultimately, that ruling in Citizens United’s favor decided that … Continue reading HR 1 Is the Campaign Finance Reform We’ve Been Waiting For »

It’s Time for a $15 Minimum Wage – A Look at the Raise the Wage Act

"March for a $15/hour minimum wage at the University of Minnesota" by Fibonacci Blue is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Today, Democrats in the House and Senate introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2019. If successful, it would be the most important legislative win for workers in decades. The bill would: Raise the federal minimum wage to $8.55 in 2019 and increase it over the next five years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2024; Adjust the minimum wage every year after 2024 to … Continue reading It’s Time for a $15 Minimum Wage – A Look at the Raise the Wage Act »

Underfunding IRS Helps Wealthy Avoid Paying Taxes

Thousands of the Internal Revenue Service’s “essential” workers will be required to work without pay during the ongoing government shutdown. With the IRS already underfunded under normal circumstances, these workers that have been called back in an effort to keep the tax refund season running smoothly will likely be even more overwhelmed. For millionaires and billionaires, this is great news. While most Americans don’t have … Continue reading Underfunding IRS Helps Wealthy Avoid Paying Taxes »

The Difference Between Marginal and Effective Tax Rates

Sunday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was interviewed for 60 Minutes. When her views on our tax code and federal spending were brought up, she suggested we return to a 70% top marginal income tax rate. So-called fiscal conservatives, including supporters of 2017’s $2 trillion tax bill, immediately went on the defensive and put their foot in their mouths. Being disingenuous on Twitter might get conservative … Continue reading The Difference Between Marginal and Effective Tax Rates »

Still No Wage Growth One Year After Tax Cuts

A year ago this week, Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among other things, they promised their legislation would generate jobs and increase wages. Neither has happened. Data suggests that, despite Republicans positioning their tax cuts as a boon for the middle class, the results have been more beneficial to shareholders than people who actually work for a living. Out of 152 corporations … Continue reading Still No Wage Growth One Year After Tax Cuts »

The Republican Witnesses We Would Have Heard Today

While they still control the legislative agenda, Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee planned to use their power to falsely claim that raising the minimum wage would somehow be bad for workers. To do so, they planned a hearing on the federal minimum wage titled “Mandating a $15 Minimum Wage: Consequences for Workers and Small Businesses,” with a full list of biased … Continue reading The Republican Witnesses We Would Have Heard Today »

“Save Our Vote” Campaign Keeps Initiative 77 Fight Alive

This summer, more than half of DC voters supported Initiative 77, which would eliminate the two-tiered wage system and increase the tipped minimum wage to match the rising non-tipped minimum wage at $15/hr. Almost six months later, activists are still working to see the will of voters go into effect. The “Save Our Vote” organizers, who are collecting signatures to overturn the DC City Council … Continue reading “Save Our Vote” Campaign Keeps Initiative 77 Fight Alive »