Adults and Breadwinners, Not Teens, Benefit Most from Raising Minimum Wage

For years, opponents of raising the federal minimum wage have argued that we don’t need to raise the minimum wage because most low-wage workers are just teenagers trying to earn a little  spending money. We’ve known that’s not true for years, but as the fight for $15 ramps up across the country, a new study shows just how far from reality that “common knowledge” really … Continue reading Adults and Breadwinners, Not Teens, Benefit Most from Raising Minimum Wage »

Workers Pay While Trust Fund Babies Play

The manner in which taxes are computed vastly favors the wealthy. Workers pay higher taxes on wages than those living on investment income — and workers also have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on their wages but investment income recipients do not. A comparison of taxes due for 2018 for two married couples illustrates the gross inequities: Couple No. 1: Trust Fund Babies. … Continue reading Workers Pay While Trust Fund Babies Play »

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says No To Private Meetings with Big Donors

This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced she would not attend private fundraisers or one-on-one meetings with big donors. In doing so, she is declining to participate in a traditional avenue of fundraising, potentially crippling her campaign’s ability to raise money from the start. But in doing so, she is making a powerful statement that is likely to reverberate throughout the Democratic primary: the time … Continue reading Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says No To Private Meetings with Big Donors »

Homework Is A Lot Like Taxes

Often times, as I look back over the past 40 or so years of my life and what has happened to tax policies across our large and wonderful country, I’m struck by the similarities between taxes for adults and homework for kids. I know, it’s a leap, but then the more you noodle on it the more the likeness becomes clear. From the first day … Continue reading Homework Is A Lot Like Taxes »

$15 Minimum Wage a Win for All Illinoisans

The road to every working American being able to afford their basic needs took a big leap forward last week when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. Illinois now joins the growing number of states who are listening to the concerns of their workers and challenges they face from rising wealth inequality and … Continue reading $15 Minimum Wage a Win for All Illinoisans »

Why Are You Paying More Tax Than Amazon and Netflix?

This tax season, millions of Americans will be receiving smaller refunds from the IRS, or worse, a bill. At the same time, two of the most profitable companies in the country are not only avoiding paying taxes altogether, but one is receiving a federal rebate check of hundreds of millions of dollars. Both corporations and individuals are subject to federal income taxes. For those individuals … Continue reading Why Are You Paying More Tax Than Amazon and Netflix? »

Illinois Becomes Fifth State with $15 Minimum Wage

Across the country, states have taken it into their own hands to raise the minimum wage, with 18 states raising their minimum wage in 2018 alone. Thanks to the voters who elected a new governor in November, Illinois is now one of them. Two years ago, instead of using his office to lift citizens out of poverty, former Gov. Rauner resigned his constituents to subsistence … Continue reading Illinois Becomes Fifth State with $15 Minimum Wage »

Indexing Capital Gains to Inflation Just Another Tax Cut for the Wealthy

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 »

Closing In on Trump’s Tax Returns

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 »

Our Democracy Needs Fixing

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 »

Republicans Relying on Lies to Repeal Estate Tax

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 »

Eliminating Estate Tax Means Yet Another Tax Cut for Millionaires

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 »

Senator Warren is Right: America Needs a Wealth Tax

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 »

Yes, Secretary Ross, the Rich are Different

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 »

Why is Senator Mitch McConnell Against Improving Our Democracy?

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? »

Fund SNAP and Save Local Economies

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 »

The Shutdown is Hurting Rural Communities

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 »

Raising the Top Marginal Tax Rate Isn’t the Answer to Wealth Inequality (We Need to Think Bigger)

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) »

HR 1 Is the Campaign Finance Reform We’ve Been Waiting For

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 »