How the GOP tax bill gave us double the carried interest loopholes.

In December, when Congress passed the GOP tax bill, they didn’t close the carried interest loophole like Trump promised. In fact, they took the grey area that the loophole thrived in and made it black and white. Rather than manipulate the tax code, hedge fund managers can now point to specific language in the tax bill that allows them to pay a lower tax rate … Continue reading How the GOP tax bill gave us double the carried interest loopholes. »

Patriotic Millionaires in the Spotlight: Roberta Kaplan

On January 27, Patriotic Millionaire Roberta Kaplan was presented with the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor awarded by the New York State Bar Association. Kaplan is a civil rights lawyer who came to prominence for representing Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor (2013). As counsel, Kaplan argued that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. Her success in the case paved the … Continue reading Patriotic Millionaires in the Spotlight: Roberta Kaplan »

We don’t need or want an underclass to look down on.

One of the ills of American capitalism is the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. At this very moment, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider, and it is only growing. As we are unable to even broach the discussion of maximum wages, we frequently argue over raising the minimum wage. These conversations quickly turn to ad hominems … Continue reading We don’t need or want an underclass to look down on. »

Who was Nancy Pelosi talking about?

A few minutes after ten o’clock yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi started talking about some of the Americans who, as young children, arrived in this country with their families and have been here doing all of the things that make America America ever since: creating businesses, teaching our youth, even curing cancer. She is stumbling over pronunciations of names from Mexico and Thailand, from … Continue reading Who was Nancy Pelosi talking about? »

Why is legislation to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts stalling?

A bill that could increase the wages of 29% of workers in Massachusetts has sat in committee for almost a year. The legislation, which was filed by Senator Ken Donnelly of Arlington, now deceased, and Representative Dan Donahue of Worcester, would increase the state’s minimum wage by $1 a year until it is $15/hr in 2021. At that point, it would be indexed to the … Continue reading Why is legislation to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts stalling? »

Why Connecticut should get onboard with closing the carried interest loophole.

This time last year, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut advised deferring to Trump on the elimination of the egregious carried interest loophole. A year later, it appears the Democratic governor is going to have to take a firm stance on how he will either defend or upend the loophole that benefits hedge fund managers as if they themselves were the investors. The carried interest loophole … Continue reading Why Connecticut should get onboard with closing the carried interest loophole. »

Do Trump’s appointees ask what they can do for their country, or what their country can do for them?

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), resigned yesterday (31 January 2018). Her resignation exposes the real change in philosophy that the government is now going through. Previously, the mission of the CDC, and for the government as a whole for that matter, had been to improve the lives of the people who live in the United States … Continue reading Do Trump’s appointees ask what they can do for their country, or what their country can do for them? »

Trump’s State of the Union address was more of the same narcissism and division.

Last night, Trump gave his first State of the Union (SOTU) address. In it, he congratulated himself on victories achieved in his first year, and listed the various things he plans to do in the future. True to himself, Mr. President did not forget to share a handful of mistruths surrounding statistics in order to improve his record. “Just as I promised the American People … Continue reading Trump’s State of the Union address was more of the same narcissism and division. »

Another instance of higher tax rates for the working poor.

Within the next few weeks, the average millionaire will be done paying into Social Security for the year because the payroll tax is zero on income above $128,400. 10,000 “Baby Boomers” become eligible for Social Security benefits everyday, and if our legislators continue to insist that their social security benefits must be tied to the FICA tax, our tax system can not adequately provide for … Continue reading Another instance of higher tax rates for the working poor. »

Why was an impending missile strike even believable?

Two weeks ago, I checked my phone and believed I had just moments left on this earth. As many of you may have read or heard by now, those of us in Hawaii on January 13 received the following message: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. At the time, I was surrounded by my family, including our … Continue reading Why was an impending missile strike even believable? »

Reframe the Debate

It is important to recognize changes in the seasons. Our country is undergoing a significant metamorphosis, which is likely to last several years, but we have an opportunity to help ensure that what emerges from this turmoil is more beautiful than what preceded. While there are plenty of problems we can dwell on, at the same time there are a number of very positive changes … Continue reading Reframe the Debate »

Does the new tax bill provide more incentives to give workers raises… or less?

Let’s talk about the incentives in the new tax bill for employers to raise workers pay. Here is a concrete example. Say I own a small bar where people come and drink beer after work.  Suppose I gross (on average) $1,000 per day in sales, the bartender gets paid $4,000 per month, I spend $10,000 per month on other fixed costs and $8,000 per month … Continue reading Does the new tax bill provide more incentives to give workers raises… or less? »

The Utter Morass of the Citizens United Decision

Does this decision support a level playing field in the marketplace of ideas? The whole point of the constitutional founders was to keep the marketplace of ideas open to all. Had the Supreme Court drawn a parallel with what actually happens in the marketplace of products and the corresponding promotional budgets among the competing products, they may have reconsidered. A marketplace of products in terms … Continue reading The Utter Morass of the Citizens United Decision »

Statement from the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires on the Passing of Paul Booth

Following the passing of legendary activist and organizer Paul Booth, Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires issued the following statement: Paul Booth is a part of the history that my children studied in school. He organized the first huge protests against the Vietnam war in the early 1960s and helped workers stand up for their rights when Ronald Reagan told America that unionized air … Continue reading Statement from the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires on the Passing of Paul Booth »

Creating a Corporatocracy

After the Supreme Court decided that George W. Bush won the 2000 election in which thousands of Black voters were purged from Florida’s voter registry because of similar names to actual criminals, a reporter named Greg Palast wrote a book titled “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” in which he asserted that the election had been stolen by such shenanigans perpetrated by the Rich and … Continue reading Creating a Corporatocracy »

Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget takes first steps towards closing egregious loophole.

For the first time ever, closing the carried interest loophole has been added to a state budget. Governor Cuomo of New York revealed this egregious aspect of the tax code is on the chopping block in his Tuesday, January 16 address. The carried interest loophole is “a federal tax that allows some hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate on revenue from investments,” … Continue reading Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget takes first steps towards closing egregious loophole. »

We are ALL racially aware, but we don’t have to be racially prejudiced.

A few years back, I travelled to India with a friend from the country but who had become a US citizen. It was a wonderful experience, full of new scenery and exciting tastes, but there was something a little off. No matter where I went, it felt like all eyes were always on me. I caught glances from every person I passed. It was unnerving … Continue reading We are ALL racially aware, but we don’t have to be racially prejudiced. »

MLK Day and Immigration

On this MLK weekend, I hope this message gets past the automated screeners that keeps people from seeing political messages they don’t agree with on Facebook… because the issue of immigration is one that I think should transcend those divides. I simply want to share my story. With everyone. Part of what is being debated right now are two immigration policies the president dislikes. One … Continue reading MLK Day and Immigration »

Americans Do Care About Inequality!

Post originally appeared at WalkerViewPoints on 12/26/17. How do you feel when you walk through the Business Class section of the airplane on your way to crowded and uncomfortable coach seating, while privileged customers are sipping their free champagne? Do you wonder for a moment how their wealth was obtained, whether every one of them gained it fairly, without privilege of birth? I venture to … Continue reading Americans Do Care About Inequality! »

What Citizens United has wrought on US elections

We’re approaching the eighth anniversary of the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) ruling. On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, changed the nature of money in politics, and absolutely none of it for the good. At least the good of 90% of American citizens. Let’s look back on what exactly happened. Citizens United, a conservative non-profit, wanted to air … Continue reading What Citizens United has wrought on US elections »