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.
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?
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 to be attributed to the following year. By 1918, Tax Day was moved to March 15th, then eventually April 15th in … Continue reading What is Tax Day?
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?
*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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
Our country and all subsequent American generations are sitting on a massive time bomb that will ultimately explode and take the United States of America, as we know it, with it. This time bomb is our National Debt! For some reason, the “fiscally responsible” party, the Republicans, only seem concerned with the debt when a Democrat is in the White House or in control of … Continue reading A Ticking Time Bomb that Boomers are Leaving Behind…..
Are you afraid? I cannot believe that you, members of the NRA, are not shaken to the core by the relentless occurrence of mass murders in this country. Whether you are moved by frustration, anger, or humaneness, isn’t it time for you to do something about it? To be blunt, you have the power! If you really are the five million NRA members who … Continue reading Dear NRA Members
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed a new rule that would allow employers to take their workers’ tips, so long as they pay them the minimum wage. If finalized, this rule could cost workers $5.8 billion annually. For workers who rely on tips to make up the difference on their $2.13/hr wage, this would be an economic disaster. Women would be affected most, as … Continue reading Tip Stealing: the Latest Attack on Low-wage Workers
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the extraordinary achievements and everyday contributions of women across the world and throughout time. When given equal access to education and opportunities, women improve the world around them. Unfortunately, a number of obstacles disproportionately disadvantage women worldwide, and public policy in the U.S. is no exception, particularly given the absence of federally mandated paid family and medical leave. When … Continue reading By the Next International Women’s Day, We Could (and Should) Have Paid Family and Medical Leave
The separation of church and state in our country’s federal and state governments is one of the most appealing aspects of our democracy. Without it, millions of Americans would be forced to follow legislation created with their neighbor’s God in mind, and church donations could be funnelled to candidates, unfettered. The resulting legislation would ultimately infringe on the rights and liberties of many non-believers or … Continue reading The Importance of the Johnson Amendment
Last December, when Republicans passed their tax bill full of perks for their donors and corporations, another loophole dodged scrutiny and remained in the tax code. The stepped-up loophole, sometimes called the stepped-up basis loophole, is a huge advantage for families not quite rich enough to qualify for the estate tax (which has been raised to $10 million for an individual). Even estates which are … Continue reading How the Stepped-up Loophole Creates an Escalator to Riches–For Those Who are Already Wealthy