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Boeing takes the money and runs, Trumpcare would kill jobs, told you so

Thursday, June 15, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing plans to shift hundreds of jobs to Arizona — Boeing plans to transfer a substantial piece of the work of its Shared Services Group out of the Puget Sound region. Potentially hundreds of jobs will move to Mesa, Ariz… Boeing has transferred work out of Washington state steadily since 2013. That year, it announced the move of 1,500 IT jobs to St. Louis, Missouri, and North Charleston, South Carolina; nearly 700 commercial airplane engineering support jobs to southern California; and 1,000 research engineering jobs to Huntsville, Alabama; St. Louis and North Charleston. In 2014, it announced the transfer of 1,000 more commercial airplane engineering- support jobs to southern California and then 2,000 defense-side jobs to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and St. Louis. Most of the employees affected by those earlier work transfers were SPEEA members. In contrast, most SSG employees are nonunion. About 140 SPEEA members work in facilities for SSG and will not be affected by the latest work transfer.

EDITOR’S NOTE — 2013 was also the year that Washington state legislators approved a multi-billion dollar extension of special tax breaks for Boeing. No job requirements. No accountability. This year, amid massive job cuts locally at Boeing, as legislators struggle to pay for public schools, some state legislators proposed amending the aerospace tax incentives — which have been amended several times since first enacted in 2003 — to add some job retention conditions resembling those required in other states. But alas, so far our elected representatives have lacked the will to hold the Chicago-based aerospace giant accountable. Meanwhile, local Boeing jobs continue disappearing, the company continues saving hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and the responsibility for funding public education continues to shift to individual taxpayers and other businesses that don’t get such a sweetheart deal.

► How They Do It Everywhere Else… from the Chicago Tribune — Sears cuts 400 jobs, no longer qualifies for state tax breaks — The announcement means Sears’ head count has been cut by more than a third since 2011, when it employed 6,200 people at its headquarters and received a package of tax breaks after threatening to leave Illinois. The state plans to review Sears’ records “to ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for an out-of-compliance agreement.”




► In the News Tribune — State Republicans: Quit planning for a shutdown (letter) — I work for the Department of Corrections, and I see every day in Pierce County the trepidation caused by issues such as the growing housing crisis… Senate Republicans need to work with House Democrats on the budget, or they’re not doing their job. It’s that simple.

ALSO at The Stand — Day of Action against state shutdown on June 22

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Light hand needed on tax changes for light rail (editorial) — The problem with providing “relief” from the vehicle tab tax is that it’s only relief in the short-term. It doesn’t change the overall cost of the project, so reducing the amount collected by the MVET increase is likely to delay or significantly change routes for ST3’s light rail trains. If the local tax package for ST3 is significantly reduced, how much later than 2036 should Everett expect to see light rail? And how is that fair to taxpayers here?



► From KUOW — ‘Tax me’: Public hearing shows strong support for proposed income tax — Supporters of a proposed high-earners income tax packed Seattle city hall Wednesday night for a public hearing. “Tax the Rich” was the message that was emblazoned on signs and sprinkled through testimony. Ned Friend, an engineer at a local tech firm, said he’d be one of those taxed if the proposed bill is adopted. And he echoed the message of other supporters, saying yes, tax me.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — They talked about ‘income discrimination.’ What does that mean? — Rising rents and landlords who refuse to rent to low-income applicants emerged as key issues in the area’s housing crisis at a meeting Tuesday night.

ALSO at The Stand — Landlords are taking workers’ pay raises (by Jonathan Rosenblum)



► From NBC News — The Senate’s health care bill remains shrouded in secrecy — The Senate is closing in on a health care bill that could affect coverage for tens of millions of Americans and overhaul an industry that makes up one-sixth of the economy. Only one problem: Almost no one knows what’s in it.

► In today’s Washington Post — The GOP’s fantastically anti-democratic quest to kill health care in the dark (by E.J. Dionne) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act using methods completely at odds with how the law was originally brought to life in the early Obama administration. The ACA was debated for more than a year and went through an elaborate hearing and amendment process that included some changes urged by Republicans. By contrast, the bill Senate Republicans are writing is being held as close as the nuclear codes. Why all the secrecy? McConnell is trying to keep the pressure off the many Republican senators who have offered pledges of varying degrees of specificity to protect Medicaid and other aspects of the ACA that benefit their constituents.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Repeal of Obamacare would be big job-killer (by Jon Talton) — According to a new nonpartisan report, repeal could cost nearly a million lost jobs by 2026. It could also cause an economic downturn in nearly every state. The report estimates Washington state would lose 7,800 jobs — including 5,300 in the health sector — as early as next year if repeal succeeds (it has passed the House and a companion repeal bill is being secretly drafted in the Senate)… And none of this gets at the individual misery of people who couldn’t buy insurance or are thrown off Medicaid. It’s a high price to pay to give more tax cuts to people who least need them.




► In today’s Washington Post — Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

► From Politico — Trump to sign executive order on apprenticeships — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Thursday that will cut back the federal government’s role in creating and monitoring apprenticeship programs. Trump’s aides said the proposal will make it easier for businesses to operate their own unique apprenticeship programs. But it will also hand over tens of millions of public dollars to businesses while reducing the government’s role in setting accountability standards.

► From Reuters — Trump administration amends travel ban date to keep legal battle alive — The Trump administration on Wednesday moved to amend the starting date of its proposed 90-day travel ban on people entering the United States from six Muslim-majority countries in a bid to keep its legal battle alive.

► In today’s NY Times — Regulatory ‘reform’ that is anything but (by William W. Buzbee) — Legislation moving through Congress would sabotage the government’s rule-making process and threaten labor, environmental and consumer protections.

► In today’s NY Times — U.S. halts new rules aimed at abuses by for-profit colleges — The Education Department vowed to protect student borrowers victimized by fraud but said regulations drafted by the Obama administration were flawed.

► From The Hill — Poll: CEOs give Trump a failing grade — Half of CEOs and business executives would give President Trump an “F” for his presidency so far, a new poll finds. Another 21 percent of the leaders surveyed at the Yale CEO summit would give Trump’s performance a “D,” and just one percent would give the president an “A,” according to CNN Money.




► In today’s Washington Post — These are the people who suffered when Kansas’s conservative experiment failed — The combination of deep tax cuts and austere spending that was supposed to ignite economic growth and reduce dependency have hit hard in the southeastern corner of Kansas, where Suzan Emmons lives, a collection of some of the poorest and sickest counties in the state that is sometimes branded the Appalachia of the Midwest.

► From NBC News — Gender wage cap widens to 43 percent by age 45 — It’s no secret that women lag behind men in wages — making about 83 cents to every dollar a man earns. But new research shows that wage gap widens dramatically by the time they reach their 40s.

► From The Onion — Virginia shooting somehow proves what every single American has been saying all along — At press time, every American was dejected at the thought of how soon they would be proven absolutely right once again.


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