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
February 13th is an important day. It’s a symbol of our country’s skewed priorities when it comes to taxes, because today is the day that someone earning one million dollars per year will be done paying into Social Security tax, or FICA, for the rest of the year. The same cannot be said for 90% of Americans whose income will be subject to the tax … Continue reading It’s Scrap the Cap Day
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
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
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
Recently, Senator John Thune introduced legislation (again) to repeal the estate tax. The estate tax, which is one of the few safeguards left against dynastic wealth in this country, was last adjusted just 13 months ago to make it even more generous to the children of millionaires and billionaires. Now, the introduction of yet another estate tax repeal bill raises the question: can Republicans do … Continue reading Eliminating Estate Tax Means Yet Another Tax Cut for Millionaires
Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed an “ultra-millionaires tax” as part of her 2020 platform. As someone closer than the average American to being affected by the tax should it become a law, I’m eager to see it succeed, and wish it had been presented sooner– for our country’s sake. In Sen. Warren’s plan, net worths over $50 million would be taxed … Continue reading Senator Warren is Right: America Needs a Wealth Tax
Many commentators thought it was hilarious (if a bit scary) that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested that furloughed federal workers should not need to go to food banks and charities, as they could just get loans against their income, knowing that it would would eventually be paid. While this may have made perfect sense to someone with as much money as Secretary Ross, it’s clearly … Continue reading Yes, Secretary Ross, the Rich are Different
This week, Senator Mitch McConnell authored a piece in the Washington Post where he falsely portrayed HR 1, the House Democrat’s sweeping anti-corruption, pro-democracy reform bill, as a partisan attack on political freedom. In the process, McConnell revealed just how little he or his Republican colleagues actually care about the core tenets of our democracy, and how blatantly he’s willing to lie to preserve whatever … Continue reading Why is Senator Mitch McConnell Against Improving Our Democracy?
For most Americans, the most painful aspect of the government shutdown has been the prospect of delayed tax returns. But for many of us — 38 million to be exact– starving is a real possibility. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Congress has appropriated funding for food assistance — SNAP, or food stamps– through February. After that, the Trump administration makes no promise that … Continue reading Fund SNAP and Save Local Economies
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
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)
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
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
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), she discussed returning to a top marginal income tax rate of 70%. Many who heard this, including those who would never have incomes reach anywhere near the proposed 70% threshold, were enraged. As a high earner who might see his tax bill go up should anything similar to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal become a reality, I say “go … Continue reading Raise Taxes on Millionaires like Me
Starting this year, Frontier Airlines will allow flight attendants to seek tips directly from passengers. Given the problems that tipping brings into any industry it enters, this is a terrible idea, a threat to all parties’ safety, and yet another reminder of the problems of forcing workers to rely on tips in any industry. Allowing workers to solicit tips to subsidize their wages is just … Continue reading Should Flight Attendants Have to Hustle for Tips?
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
In November, Senator Schumer (D-NY) advertised a full-time press intern position for $0 per hour. If you are thinking, “This is not the America I know,” or “Democrats are better than this,” then we disagree. And we know different Americas. Unpaid internships are in line with the 96% of House Democrats and the 92% of Senate Democrats who also don’t pay their interns. The US … Continue reading Why Are Unpaid Internships Legal?
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
While touring a Shinto temple in Kyoto, Japan on Thanksgiving, six Japanese students approached my family and me. In school uniforms, offering enthusiastic smiles, they bowed before saying, “Hi, we are Japanese students. May we ask you questions?” They were there as part of a school project and were close in age to our kids. Our daughter is eleven and our son, thirteen. “Where are … Continue reading What Do I Like Best About America?