The Stand

From bad to worse | Spokane bans the box | Farmworkers win

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

 


TAX REFORM SCAM

 

► In today’s NY Times — Senators scramble to advance tax bill that increasingly rewards wealthy — Senators are contemplating changes that would exacerbate the tax bill’s divide between the rich and the middle class. Those include efforts to further reward certain high-income business owners who are already receiving a tax break in the Senate bill but who are at the center of a concerted push by conservative lawmakers and trade groups to sweeten those benefits. As Republican leaders pressed for a Senate floor vote this week, there appeared to be little momentum for amendments that would help low-income Americans, which some Republican and many Democratic senators had sought.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Call U.S. Senators to stop job-killing tax plan

► In the (Everett) Herald — Local foes of federal tax plan raise their voices in protest

► From CNBC — Lowest-income Americans would take bigger hit than first thought under Senate GOP tax bill, CBO says — The lowest-income American households would take a hit while higher-earning taxpayers would see their burden reduced under the Senate Republican tax plan, according to the latest analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

► From CNN — Poor Americans would lose billions under Senate GOP tax bill

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump could personally benefit from last-minute change to Senate tax bill — Last-minute changes to the Senate tax bill could personally benefit President Trump, who has investment stakes in roughly 500 entities that could be affected by the planned adjustments.

► In today’s Washington Post — The GOP tax bill just keeps looking worse (editorial) — The GOP would saddle future generations with ever-rising interest payments, even though decades of profligacy already have run up a huge bill for them to pay. And budget documents cannot depict the misery that would result from millions of Americans once again unable to afford health care. And for what? To lower business taxes and offer wealthy people a range of unnecessary giveaways, such as phasing down the estate tax… Passing this bill would be more of a confirmation that Republicans are incapable of governing than passing no bill at all.

► In the Washington Post — Wages really are rising too slowly. But corporate tax cuts won’t help. (by Josh Givens) — In the end, a strategy of increasing workers’ leverage and bargaining power has a much higher likelihood of success in boosting wages. Ironically, corporate tax cuts aren’t just useless as a wage-booster, they’re likely even worse at spurring business investment than measures to boost typical workers’ leverage and bargaining power. Why? Because if wages finally do start rising reliably, that could lead firms to worry about higher salaries eating into profit margins and start to make productivity-enhancing investments to cut labor costs.

► In today’s Seattle Times — What’s wrong with the GOP tax plan, from 30,000 feet (by Jon Talton) — Most benefits have gone to the elite in our new Gilded Age. Perhaps the worst casualty of 37 years of Republican tax voodoo is the destruction of the commons, the public interest, the idea that as Americans we’re all in this together. And unless the current tax bill implodes, things are about to get worse.

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane City Council votes to ‘ban the box’ for private employers, fines delayed one year — Spokane’s private employers face fines for asking about an applicant’s criminal history before an interview, starting in 2019. After roughly two hours of testimony from felons who had difficulty finding work and social justice groups arguing the policy would lift the initial barrier for those hoping to avoid relapses into crime, the Spokane City Council voted 5 to 2 on Monday night to “ban the box” within city limits.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle-area homebuyers needed $11,000 pay raise in past year to keep up with rising prices — The Puget Sound region led the nation in home-price increases again, the 13th straight month that’s happened. In practical terms, buyers need to be making a lot more money to afford a mortgage.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Jenny Durkan to be sworn in as Seattle mayor today

EDITOR’S NOTE — And so will Teresa Mosqueda as member of the Seattle City Council!

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s LA Times — On children’s health coverage, congressional inaction has brought us to the ‘nightmare scenario’ (by Michael Hiltzik) — Child healthcare advocates have been warning, and warning, and warning that Congress’ delay on reauthorizing funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program places health coverage for as many as 9 million children and pregnant women at risk. But since the funding expired Sept. 30, there has been no action by Congress. Now, as the state-federal program runs out of federal money, state officials have started sending letters to families on CHIP, warning them that their kids’ health insurance could run out Jan. 30. If Congress doesn’t vote within two weeks to resume the program’s $15 billion in annual funding, the state officials said, they would send out official notification of the program’s cancellation.

► In today’s News Tribune — Dream big, pass clean DACA law (editorial) — Only a bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation will provide a lasting solution. Enter the Dream Act, a bill currently before Congress that would grant permanent residency and a path to citizenship via higher education, military service or employment… Rep. Dave Reichert and his Republican colleagues should do all they can to pass clean Dream legislation before year’s end, and keep pressure on Trump to join them.

ALSO at The Stand — UNITE HERE urges Reichert, Congress to save TPS program

► In today’s NY Times — Calling Wall Street ‘devastated,’Trump pushes deregulation — Bank regulators are starting to ease up and lawmakers are considering paring back on restrictions as the president casts Wall Street as a victim.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Motley Fool reports that, in the past year, shares for the 20 biggest banks in the country are up by a devastating average of 33%: “Bank of America has led the way, with a 58% rally. Even the worst performing big-bank stocks have done pretty well, with Bank of New York Mellon’s performance coming in last on the KBW Bank Index, but nevertheless up by 17%.”

► In today’s NY Times — What congressmen are hiding (editorial) — A system for settling sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers puts the burden on victims, and taxpayers.

► In today’s NY Times — On trade, Trump puts corporate America first (by Dani Rodrik) — The biggest flaw of this administration’s trade policy is that it falls squarely within the pervasive established mercantilist tradition… Mercantilism no longer has much of a silver lining (for workers). It now translates simply into investors and corporations getting their wish list fulfilled with the removal of any and all impediments to their cross-border activities… A truly fairer globalization would start at home, with a reconstruction of the social compact that binds the corporate elite and the wealthy to labor and the middle class.

► From NBC News — Trump calls Warren ‘Pocahontas’ at event honoring Native Americans — Trump told the veterans: “You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” After making the crack, Trump turned to one of the Navajo code talkers, who served in World War II, and said: “But you know what? I like you. Because you are special. You are special people, you are really incredible people.”

► In today’s Washington Post — A woman approached The Post with a dramatic, false tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of a sting. — Jaime Phillips, who claimed to The Post that the Republican Senate nominee impregnated her as a teenager, was seen on Monday walking into the headquarters of Project Veritas, a group that uses false cover stories and covert video recordings to expose what it says is media bias. The Post did not publish a story based on her account.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From AP — California farmworker unions win battle to ensure contracts — The California Supreme Court handed a victory to organized farm labor Monday in a lawsuit that pitted the union launched by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez against one of the largest U.S. fruit farms. In a unanimous ruling, the high court in the nation’s leading agricultural state upheld a law that aims to get labor contracts for farmworkers whose unions and employers do not agree on wages and other working conditions.

► In today’s NY Times — As Walmart buys online retailers, their health benefits suffer — In little more than a year, Walmart has spent nearly $4 billion acquiring e-commerce companies with thousands of workers. Last month, many learned that their potential out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses would increase in 2018 at a rate far exceeding the overall rise in health care costs — reaching thousands of dollars in many cases.

► From The Guardian — U.S. nail salons: the challenge to protect workers from toxic chemicals — Each time Van Nguyen got pregnant, her doctor advised her either to stop working at the San Francisco nail salon she owns – or have an abortion. But Nguyen wanted to keep her babies and couldn’t afford to stop working. So she avoided seeing doctors throughout her four pregnancies, despite experiencing significant bleeding during all four, and miscarriages during two. “It’s not their fault, it’s my fault,” the 46-year-old said through a translator of the doctors whose advice she didn’t want to take. “This is what I chose to do for a living, so I have to live with it.” Nguyen is one of thousands of Vietnamese immigrants in California, most of them women, who work 12-hour days in storefront salons providing customers with the quintessential “affordable luxury” – manicures and pedicures.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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