Prisoners Deserve a Fair Wage Too

As wildfires raged across the West Coast this summer, California faced a uniquely American problem: they were short on their usual band of inmate firefighters—who usually work for under $2 a day—after many had been released to limit the spread of COVID-19. In a cruel twist, California would not hire formerly incarcerated individuals with years of firefighting experience due to their prior convictions, despite the … Continue reading Prisoners Deserve a Fair Wage Too »

Be Patient, Democracy Takes Time

Today, November 3, 2020, is Election Day in America. Though this day feels more fraught than many past ones thanks to disturbing remarks from President Trump trying to cast doubt on the election results and the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no reason to be alarmed if the result of the election isn’t immediately clear tonight. We may not know the results of … Continue reading Be Patient, Democracy Takes Time »

The Supreme Court’s Threat to Democracy

After one of the most unconventional processes in American history, Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed and sworn in as the newest justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. This means that a president who received 3 million fewer votes than his opponent and a Republican-led Senate that represents 15 million fewer Americans than the Democratic “minority” have seized a Conservative supermajority on the Court. … Continue reading The Supreme Court’s Threat to Democracy »

Two Pandemics in the White House

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve certainly heard the news that President Trump, along with several high-profile White House staffers and Republican Senators, has been infected with COVID-19. What you probably haven’t heard about are the ordinary working folks in Trump’s orbit that have also been infected with the virus. At least two members of the White House housekeeping … Continue reading Two Pandemics in the White House »

What Happened to the American Dream?

This blog originally appeared on WalkerViewPoints on 9/30/20  Many kids, like me, first-generation college students, with farm and factory parents realized the American Dream. Ours was postwar America, a time of relative prosperity, when a poor kid could afford a decent college, when good jobs were abundant, and when wages were good.’ Introducing the Great Society in 1964 at the University of Michigan, Lyndon Johnson … Continue reading What Happened to the American Dream? »

President Trump’s Tax Returns Are Bad. You Can Thank the Tax Code.

Yesterday morning, the New York Times released a damning report on President Trump’s tax returns, detailing how the President has avoided millions of dollars on his tax bill for the past decade, despite continuing to wrack up millions every year.  Much of the attention garnered by the report has focused on the fact that the meager $750 Trump paid in taxes in each 2016 and … Continue reading President Trump’s Tax Returns Are Bad. You Can Thank the Tax Code. »

Myth Busting: The Millionaire Tax Flight

As the COVID-19 crisis rages on, almost every state is now facing a choice between cutting public services or finding new sources of revenue to meet their sudden budget shortfalls. Most states have responded by enacting severe, harmful austerity measures, like cutting funding for healthcare, education, and other social services that millions of people rely on. But last week, New Jersey became one of the first … Continue reading Myth Busting: The Millionaire Tax Flight »

Re-thinking the ‘purpose’ of capitalism

Capitalism in the United States, as it is right now, is dangerously flawed. Our politicians and policies prioritize corporations, special interests and top income earners over regular American workers and those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis, in particular, has laid bare the vast chasm between socioeconomic classes that have developed over the past decade. It’s exposed the failure of our nation to … Continue reading Re-thinking the ‘purpose’ of capitalism »

The Digital Divide

Last month, I was getting ready to convene yet another meeting by Zoom. I got a message from a wealthy New York lawyer informing me that her second home in East Hampton, a beach area about a two hour drive from New York City, didn’t have reliable enough high-speed internet to handle Zoom. For us, it wasn’t a big problem – we rescheduled our meeting … Continue reading The Digital Divide »

Taxing the Rich: The People’s Choice

As the final sprint to the 2020 election kicks into gear, prepare to hear a lot about the choice at the top of the ticket and the accompanying admonitions not to forget down ballot races. However, just as importantly, voters will weigh in on an array of ballot initiatives and referendums in 26 states and Washington, D.C. Although these are often glossed over for splashy, … Continue reading Taxing the Rich: The People’s Choice »

Instead of taxing the rich, the California legislature jumped ship

California is in crisis. From wildfires, to blackouts, to the deadliest month of the COVID pandemic, disasters of every kind are wreaking havoc across the state. Now with the state facing a $54 billion dollar deficit, due to the economic ramifications of COVID, massive cuts to critical public programs are slated to go into effect come October. That’s only going to make a bad problem … Continue reading Instead of taxing the rich, the California legislature jumped ship »

Biden’s Tax Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough

With both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions behind us, the 2020 election is finally, really, underway, ushering in the final sprint in a race for the White House with profound economic implications. After four years of President Trump, we have a clear sense of what he wants to do with our tax code – cut taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. Considering that the … Continue reading Biden’s Tax Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough »

In Wealth Tax, California Looks Toward the Future

A year ago, in a time before the Coronavirus upended our economy and made taxing the rich more urgent than ever before, the idea of a wealth tax was all the rage in the 2020 Democratic presidential debates. First introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a wealth tax would go miles towards curbing our country’s inequality by laser-targeting extreme wealth held by the likes of … Continue reading In Wealth Tax, California Looks Toward the Future »

Congress Failed State and Local Governments. Here’s How They Can Fix It.

This marks the second week since the tumultuous negotiations between Congress and the White House over a fourth COVID-19 stimulus package fell apart. With the Senate on vacation, there is no end to the stalemate in sight.  We need a bill now. The $600 unemployment boost and a litany of renter protections expired last month, leaving between 30 to 40 million people on a financial … Continue reading Congress Failed State and Local Governments. Here’s How They Can Fix It. »

A Payroll Tax Cut is the Worst Stimulus Yet

After the White House ran out the clock on negotiating the next COVID-19 relief bill last week, President Trump enacted four new executive orders to try to circumvent Democrats’ demands. These new orders are largely unconstitutional, and they amount to nothing more than posturing without meaningful substance. One of the key orders arose from Trump’s oft-touted desire to pass a payroll tax cut, which had … Continue reading A Payroll Tax Cut is the Worst Stimulus Yet »