The Legacy of Poll Taxes and Disenfranchisement

The 24th amendment, ratified in 1964, abolished the poll tax. Unfortunately, over the last 50 years, a policy of another name but similar impact has taken its place. The disenfranchisement policies of 22 states, which are widely considered to be unconstitutional, have continued the American tradition of an exclusionary electorate. It’s a well-known fact that those living in poverty have tougher lives than those who … Continue reading The Legacy of Poll Taxes and Disenfranchisement »

Who Should Run for Office?

With all the talk surrounding money in politics, little attention has been paid to how this issue limits the candidate pool. Essentially, we are seeing now more than ever the devastating results of money in politics in the form of limiting the ability of potential candidates to afford running for office. There have been many reports on how expensive elections have become, but few have … Continue reading Who Should Run for Office? »

Stock Buybacks Instead of Employee Raises

Under the guise of improving and encouraging investments in our economy, federal legislation has made shareholders richer and richer. At the same time, the federal minimum wage and tipped-minimum wage have remained stagnant. The combination of these two policies has resulted in the weakening of American innovation. When Republicans lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, they did so under the promise that … Continue reading Stock Buybacks Instead of Employee Raises »

Tackling Dynastic Wealth will be the Challenge of Our Generation

Since our country’s founding, dynastic wealth has threatened to upend the democratic principles promoted in the constitution. The influence of money in politics was first seen in the three-fifths compromise, and its pervasive nature has not been fully challenged since. Tax Day provides us with a moment to reflect on how our democracy is funded, and with the ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, the … Continue reading Tackling Dynastic Wealth will be the Challenge of Our Generation »

Are You Still Waiting on that $4,000 raise?

Last year, when the GOP passed their $1.5 trillion tax bill, they announced it would put $4,000 back in the average American’s paycheck. If this were true, this Tax Day, which is 15 weeks into the year, the average American should have an extra $1,153.85 of the $4,000. Do you? If your answer is an emphatic no, you’re not alone. Across the country, there has … Continue reading Are You Still Waiting on that $4,000 raise? »

What is Tax Day?

Image source: “Tax the rich” mural by Megan Wilson on Clarion Varion San Francisco.jpg by Megan Wilson, is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 The 16th Amendment, which was ratified in 1913,  granted Congress the power to collect income taxes. About a year later, Congress named March 1st “Tax Day.” This became the deadline to file and pay personal income taxes, as well as make any IRA contributions … Continue reading What is Tax Day? »

Where’s the Economic Boom We Were Promised?

With Tax Day approaching, now is as good a time as any to examine what the results of the GOP tax cuts have been. Thus far, the economic boom supposed to be felt across the country has been delayed, perhaps indefinitely. Here’s the proof: Job growth is achieving the same three-month average the country has been seeing since January 2015. As predicted by the Center … Continue reading Where’s the Economic Boom We Were Promised? »

Label Me, Please.

No Labels

*This post was written in response to the April 8th Wall Street Journal “You Won’t Believe the Names the Left is Calling ‘No Labels’”   Some people want to have no labels applied to themselves, others of us choose to be labeled. I support certain candidates because I believe that certain policies will make our great nation the kind of nation where I want to … Continue reading Label Me, Please. »

Tariffs are a Tax on the Middle and Working Classes

In his feud with yet another country, Trump has jeopardized the quality of life of millions of Americans already living paycheck to paycheck. His trade war with China will not end well, and it doesn’t appear to be wrapping up anytime soon. In the meantime, the working and middle class will suffer. For those who know little about trading and tariffs, Trump’s boisterous approach to … Continue reading Tariffs are a Tax on the Middle and Working Classes »

Best Fringe Benefit: Caregiver Paid Leave

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which enables qualifying employees to take unpaid but protected leaves from their workplace. While this was a good start, in the years since, paid leave legislation at the federal level has stalled and women have paid the price. Luckily, California has decided to do something about this. As of January 1 … Continue reading Best Fringe Benefit: Caregiver Paid Leave »

Elected Officials and Outside Income — Not a Good Match

Elected Officials and Outside Income — Not a Good Match

The mayor of Mount Vernon, NY, a city of around 70,000 citizens just north of New York City,  has been charged with several felonies, essentially for stealing money from his own campaign committee. Mayor Richard Thomas also spent tens of thousands of dollars raised for his inauguration on personal expenses, but that is apparently not illegal. New York State law clearly prohibits using money raised … Continue reading Elected Officials and Outside Income — Not a Good Match »

Florida is being Forced to Reform its Voting Rights Restoration System

Florida is being Forced to Reform its Voting Rights Restoration System

With passage of the 13th and 14th amendments, America created two of the greatest loopholes in the country’s legal code. Immediately following their introduction, the language of the amendments led to Jim Crow, convict leasing, and chain gangs. Over 150 years later, we are seeing further harmful results of these laws in states that disenfranchise felons. Thankfully, some states are beginning to examine their policies … Continue reading Florida is being Forced to Reform its Voting Rights Restoration System »

Do Millionaires Worry About Going to Jail?

There are vast differences between the lives of a rich person and a poor person. As someone who finds himself in the former category, I know that the majority of these differences privilege my experiences and opportunities over the other. In a truly democratic and safe society, these benefits should stop once the criminal justice system enters into the equation, but this is not the … Continue reading Do Millionaires Worry About Going to Jail? »

Trump Wants to Take Even More Power From Congress

With so many contentious aspects of the omnibus being highlighted in the news cycle, it’s easy to ignore the seemingly innocuous touting Trump has done in the aftermath of the legislation’s passage. Unfortunately, the president’s musings over enacting a presidential line item veto is not simply hot air, and while many presidents have called for one before, the proposal has never been as potentially detrimental … Continue reading Trump Wants to Take Even More Power From Congress »

The Alternative Minimum Tax is No Longer as Effective as It was

Many Americans’ first time hearing of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) may have been last March, when a partial tax return showed that it was chiefly responsible for the taxes Trump owed in 2005. Now, only 200,000 filers will be required to pay the tax, which is significantly fewer than the over 5 million who qualified before the Republican tax scam passed in December. So … Continue reading The Alternative Minimum Tax is No Longer as Effective as It was »

Democracy Under Siege in Wisconsin

For far too long, state and congressional districts have been mapped according to party lines. This may no longer be the case in Wisconsin. In 2016, a federal court in the state ruled that the Republican-crafted map was unconstitutional after Democrats received a majority of the statewide votes in 2012 and 2014, but just 39 out of 99 seats in the state legislature. For the … Continue reading Democracy Under Siege in Wisconsin »

New Jersey Might (Finally) Do Something About its Practice of Disenfranchisment

Whether it’s the monied bail system, the corruption of officers and prosecutors, or the financial interests of for-profit prisons, there are economic and institutional powers that require a consistent flow of offenders and non-offenders to be put behind bars and forever marred by the label “convict.” At the moment, a plurality of states disenfranchise citizens, sometimes for life, due to their criminal history. We would … Continue reading New Jersey Might (Finally) Do Something About its Practice of Disenfranchisment »