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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

18 Bucks A Week

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 12/23/17 13:02

by Dave Mindeman

Apparently we are supposed to be grateful. Grateful that the Republican tax bill throws us a bone. Grateful that they actually thought about the rest of us for this Festivus.

Grateful for an average of $18 bucks a week.

When compared to an estate tax break averaging $4.5 million for the privileged class, it doesn't seem like much. When a 2% reduction in taxes brings in millions for the 1% and we get our $18 bucks a week - somehow being grateful seems like a hopeless exercise.

We were not the target of these tax cuts. We were the afterthought. While they gave us that $18 bucks, they cut out the ACA mandate which will raise our insurance premiums. They gave us an increase in the children's tax credit, but then did not renew CHIP - which is causing so much angst in the states.

They slashed the corporate tax rate by 14% and gave international companies an incentive to bring profits home at an even lower rate. But they changed the Roth conversion rules for us little guys so that we have less tools to plan our retirement with.

Some corporations realizing the disparity in treatment decided to give out some paltry bonuses (AT&T's was actually part of a union contract) and some corps raised their base salary rate - which is still not a living wage and could have been done long ago. But that was more of a public relations scheme than any real benefit to workers. The real corporate winners will be the stockholders as bonus dividends, essentially stolen from the US Treasury, are given to them and company buybacks will increase the share price.

But all of that corporate benevolence is temporary. All of that largesse for the 1% and corporations was handed out on the backs of a $1 to $1.5 trillion deficit spending tax bill.

Deficit spending is not inherently wrong. When we are in recession it is a necessity. But what we have done here is used recession type economic tools to increase income disparity. It makes no logical sense.

Yes, we are in an economic expansion. Employment data is good. But we are way overdue for an economic downturn...a recession. We hope it will be light. We hope it will not cause massive layoffs. But we face that prospect without any tools to help. When you increase the deficit in a good economy, all it does is put money into the pockets of people and corporations who are already flush with cash and have no incentive to invest in expansion. When interest rates are at historic lows, the Fed is unable to lower them in response to a recessionary cycle.

In other words, the 1% and corporations have received their cushion for any economic turn - while we are essentially screwed.

But, yeah, I forgot - we did get $18 bucks a week.
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Top 10 Things To Do When Trump Is Gone

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 12/22/17 21:44

by Dave Mindeman

The top ten things that must be done immediately after Trump leaves office. And the sooner the better.

1. Infrastructure package paid for by corporate surtax.

2. Reboot the EPA

3. Hire back all those State Department people who left.

4. Since Corporations got theirs - institute an immediate $15/hr wage.

5. Solve the backlog of disability benefits.

6. Put the national monument boundaries back to where they were.

7. CDC gets back their words.


9. Either fix immigration regs - or get rid of Trump's added mess. And if DACA is not in place - DO IT IMMEDIATELY.

10. Apologize to the world.
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The 16 Crazy Things Trump Promised On Day 1 - But Never Happened

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 12/22/17 21:07

by Dave Mindeman

From a Raw Story article by Sarah Burris

Call it hyperbole. Call it pandering. Call it blatant lies. But here are 16 things that Trump "promised" on the campaign trail that he would do on day one after being sworn in. (None of which has happened in nearly a full year in office). And just for clarification, we are mostly glad it didn't happen.

1. Fire all of the ambassadors

2. Repeal and replace Obamacare

3. Begin deporting all undocumented immigrants

4. "Clean house" and fix the Department of Veterans Affairs

5. Start work on "impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall"

6. Demand the Pentagon and intelligence agencies come up with a plan for ISIS

7. Pull out of NAFTA and renegotiate it

8. Kill gun-free zones

9. Stop Syrian refugee resettlement and build "safe zones" in the region

10. Stop all wasteful spending

11. End the so-called "war on coal"

12. Tell countries who won't take back criminals that they can't ever come to the US

13. Call companies and threaten his 35 percent tariff

14. Fight to end abortion rights and Planned Parenthood

15. End all regulations

16. Learn pretty much everything he doesn't already know

But, doggone it, we got that damn tax bill didn't we.
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