Tuesday, November 21, 2017
TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH
► In today’s NY Times — After vote on taxes, spotlight shifts to undecided senators — The fate of the tax overhaul now hinges on a handful of undecided senators, and Senate Republican leaders cannot afford to lose more than two of their members.
ALSO at The Stand — House GOP approves tax plan; urge senators to oppose it
► In today’s Washington Post — The Trump tax plan is much worse than you thought. A new analysis confirms it. (by Greg Sargent) — A new nonpartisan analysis of the plan by the Tax Policy Center will make it much, much harder for undecided senators to embrace it — or at least it should, if their stated principles mean anything at all. By 2027, around 50 percent of taxpayers will see a tax hike… Because of its complexities, some people in every income group see a tax hike at each juncture, and some people in every one of them see a tax cut. But come 2027, most of the benefits for lower- and middle-income taxpayers vanish, even as the corporate tax cuts continue delivering a massive reduction to the top.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Ad for GOP’s tax plan leaves out story’s ending (by Shawn Vestal) — Do you know that Cindy’s tax breaks, as depicted (in ads pushed by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers), are liable to last just a year or two? And they’re going to get smaller year by year? And there’s a good chance they’ll turn into tax increases? The tax cuts for regular people expire because of the GOP is gaming the budgetary system to avoid larger deficits. The corporate tax cuts are not temporary, naturally. You reveal your priorities by your choices, not your words.
► In today’s NY Times — CEOs’ deficit fears wane at prospect of corporate tax cuts (by Andrew Ross Sorkin) — In 2012, business leaders warned against the looming debt disaster. Now, with corporate tax cuts on the table, those concerns have been put aside, our columnist writes.
► In today’s Christian Science Monitor — Without needed votes White House may cut health care provision from tax code bill — The White House says it’s willing to strike a health-care provision from Senate legislation to cut taxes and overhaul the tax code if the provision becomes an impediment to passing one of President Trump’s top legislative priorities.
► In today’s NY Times — “Only morons pay the estate tax.” (editorial) — An estate tax repeal would provide a tax windfall of more than $3 million apiece for the top 0.2 percent of earners, and more than $20 million for the wealthiest Americans. It would cost $239 billion in revenue over a decade. It offers nothing for middle-class people, except more evidence of Mr. Trump’s and Republicans’ bad faith.
► From AP — Washington revenues up $319 million — State lawmakers on Monday received updated numbers that show state revenues have increased by nearly $319 million for the current two-year state budget, which is now projected to be about $44.4 billion. The update comes a week after the state Supreme Court ruled that while lawmakers have made progress in a multiyear effort to fully fund basic education, they are not on track to meet next year’s deadline and will remain in contempt of court. Gov. Jay Inslee will release his supplemental budget proposal next month.
► In today’s Seattle Times — State Sen. Christine Rolfes a strong choice to lead powerful Senate budget panel (editorial) — Democrats in the state Senate made a smart choice by making Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) their top budget writer. Her deep knowledge of school finance and education policy is sorely needed.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Landfill group, local officials fear impact of Clean Air Rule on landfill — The garbage industry is butting heads with the state Department of Ecology, and the outcome could determine whether Cowlitz consumers pay $5 million a year to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s attempt to hold landfills accountable for greenhouse gas emissions.
► From AP — One-third of Washington state town’s firefighters resign — The District 1 Fire Department in Lewis County, Washington, is down to 20 members after nine resigned when the chief was fired last week. KOMO-TV reported Monday that internal fighting with fire commissioners led to one-third of the department’s all-volunteer firefighters resigning.
► In today’s Washington Post — 597 days. And still waiting. — In the past two years, 18,701 people have died while waiting for a Social Security administrative law judge to decide whether they deserve a monthly payment and Medicare or Medicaid. The rising death toll coincides with a surge in the length of time people must wait for a disposition, which swelled from a national average of 353 days in 2012 to a record high of 596 this past summer. The simplest explanation is that there isn’t enough money. The Social Security Administration’s budget has been roughly stagnant since 2010, while the number of people receiving retirement and disability benefits has risen by more than 7 million, despite a slight decline in the disability rolls beginning in 2015 as some beneficiaries reached retirement age.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Urge Congress to avoid slashing Social Security Admin funding
► From Politico — Congress speeds toward shutdown over Dreamers — Concern is growing in both parties that a clash over the fate of Dreamers will trigger a government shutdown this December. House conservatives have warned Speaker Paul Ryan against lumping a fix for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors into a year-end spending deal. But many liberal Democrats have already vowed to withhold votes from the spending bill should it not address Dreamers, putting Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in an awkward spot if they don’t go along.
► From The Hill — Federal judge rules Trump defunding sanctuary cities ‘unconstitutional on its face’ — The injunction comes after U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a temporary ruling in late April that blocked Trump’s directive to withhold some federal funding from cities that refuse to comply fully with federal immigration enforcement.
► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. to end temporary residence for nearly 60,000 Haitians — The Trump administration gave Haitians granted provisional legal residency in this country after a 2010 earthquake 18 months to leave after deciding not to renew their Temporary Protected Status.
ALSO at The Stand — UNITE HERE urges Reichert, Congress to save TPS program
► In today’s NY Times — FCC plans repeal of net neutrality rules — The FCC is preparing a full repeal of net neutrality rules that require broadband providers to give consumers equal access to all content on the internet, putting more power in the hands of those companies to dictate people’s online experiences. The rules prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing down or charging more for the delivery of certain internet content.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be open to everyone and that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecom companies can’t block content or intentionally slow down load times for particular websites. This principle is essentially that web access is a human right that should be available for all. If the FCC repeals these rules, ISPs will create a two-tiered system for Internet speeds: a fast lane for them to sell at a premium price and a slow lane for everybody else who doesn’t pay for the fast one.
► In today’s NY Times — Most everything you learned about Thanksgiving is wrong — The holiday wasn’t made official until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared it as a kind of thank you for the Civil War victories in Vicksburg, Miss., and Gettysburg, Pa… As for Plymouth, it was already a village with clear fields and a spring when the Pilgrims found it. “A lovely place to settle,” says one scholar. “Why was it available? Because every single native person who had been living there was a corpse.” Plagues had wiped them out.
► The Entire Staff of The Stand will be out of the office for the remainder of the week, so we will leave you with a gem from our childhood. In this segment from a 1970 episode of The Partridge Family, Keith is accused of “asserting his manhood” by insisting on performing the band’s greatest hit, rather than a set list that’s been pre-approved by organizers of a feminist rally. (Yes, Rep. Manweller, apparently the Libs have been trying to suppress free speech your entire life!) But the song is so swell that even the rally’s right-wing protesters abandon their weak Freedom Foundation-like counter-rally.
It was on this day (Nov. 21) 47 years ago that The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” overtook Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” to begin a three-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. This one goes out to David Cassidy (Keith Partridge), now 67, who is in critical condition and suffering from organ failure.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.