My last post lamented the messaging woes of progressives in combating the right’s attacks on Big Government and all that entails for the middle and working class who depends on it. Here, I will attempt to provide a solution in order to begin making headway in the midterms. First, we must take responsibility for our struggles with messaging. Rather than rolling over, we should … Continue reading The Rich Kid’s Tax… Let’s Call it What it is
While it is important that we always speak clearly, concisely, and accurately, it is far more important that we be heard. That we are listened to and that people pay attention, and maybe, just maybe, they see and agree to our points. This might rub some the wrong way, but if a message does not have an audience, then what is the value in delivering … Continue reading Big Government is NOT bad, Big Government is Essential!
On February 24th, 2018 Chair Morris Pearl spoke at the Working People’s Day of Action rally in New York City. Below are his thoughts. I’m standing on the podium at the Working People’s Day of Action. It’s twenty minutes before call time and there are already at least a thousand people here. Hospital workers from local 1199. Teachers from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). … Continue reading Working People’s Day of Action
A careful read of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission would appear to indicate that the only way to preserve our democracy is to avoid any means of disproportionate influence — which the Supreme Court (SC) has failed to do. My first blog on the Citizens United decision argued that a gross imbalance of money on one side of two … Continue reading Is it Time For the Public Financing of Elections?
It seems like every other day a new threat to our democracy is uncovered and overwhelms the news cycle. Gerrymandering, however, is one such threat that has done damage for decades. Finally, it might be nearing its end, at least in Pennsylvania. Gerrymandering is the practice of trying to garner a political advantage through the outlining and reshaping of voting districts. The practice gets its … Continue reading Gerrymandering: Some Promising News from Pennsylvania on Strategies to Take Back the House in 2018
Since the Citizens United vs Federal Elections Committee ruling over 8 years ago, the amount of money in politics has grown exponentially. Contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA) are no exception. With the alarming number of mass shootings taking place in this country, it’s time we take a closer look at what we are sacrificing as a country by allowing these contributions to continue … Continue reading Money, politics, and the NRA
In his second year as president, Trump has unveiled an infrastructure plan that heavily relies on public-private partnerships. The president plans to invest just $200 billion in federal spending, expecting the rest of the $1.5 trillion he invisions for the project to come from state and local governments, as well as the private sector. In order to engage the private sector in infrastructure spending, the … Continue reading Nickel and Diming the Working Class
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
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
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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
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
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?
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
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?
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