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Jamelle Bouie — “Republicans would like to offer you some resentment”

• Jamelle Bouie has it right with his Newsletter’s take on the Republican response to student debt cancellation:

“The fact of the matter is the Republican Party does not have anything to offer the millions of working- and middle-class Americans who labor under the burden of student debt. For all the talk of “populism,” the party is still hostile to the social safety net, opposed to raising the minimum wage, hostile to unions and worker power and virtually every economic policy intervention that isn’t tax cuts and upward redistribution from the many to the most fortunate few.

To debate the reality of student debt relief is to make that more than clear to the public at large. Republicans, then, are trying to make this a debate over culture, to try to reduce issues of class to a question of aesthetics, with traditional blue-collar workers on one side and the image of an ungrateful and unproductive young person on the other. And they’re hoping, as always, that you won’t notice.”

2022-08-27T10:49:09-05:00August 27th, 2022|HomeRecommended|

Tax takes

More good stuff from Matt Yglesias,  writing on the peculiar reluctance of law-and-order Republicans to support adequate funding of the IRS (defund the police? horrors!  defund the IRS? they vote yes!):

“…the government collecting the tax revenue it’s owed is unambiguously good, and the Republican Party’s opposition to it is telling and disturbing.

After all, they wrote a tax reform bill in 2017, and even though their bill cut taxes on net, it did raise a bunch of revenue (most famously from curbing the SALT deduction) to partially offset the cost of the tax cut. The GOP could have increased tax enforcement as another offset, and instead of letting Democrats spend the revenue, they could have used it to make the cuts in the Trump tax bill even bigger.

But they didn’t. Because separate from the party’s overall view on the desirable level of taxation, they’ve developed a peculiar soft spot for tax cheats.”

2022-08-24T09:58:29-05:00August 24th, 2022|Home, Musings|

How prophetic…

From Adam Schiff’s closing arguments at DJT’s impeachment trial:

“We must say enough — enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again.

He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again.

Can we be confident that he will not continue to try to cheat in [this] very election? Can we be confident that Americans and not foreign powers will get to decide, and that the president will shun any further foreign interference in our Democratic affairs? The short, plain, sad, incontestable answer is no, you can’t. You can’t trust this president to do the right thing. Not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. You just can’t. He will not change and you know it.

You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.

What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you: 100 percent.

A man without character or ethical compass will never find his way.”

He couldn’t have been more correct.

2022-08-15T12:51:25-05:00August 15th, 2022|Home, Musings|

He lies like he breathes…

DJT just can’t help himself – he lies like he breathes.   From The NYT:

Former President Donald J. Trump claimed on Friday that before leaving office, he declassified all the documents the F.B.I. found in this week’s search of his Florida residence that agents described as classified in a list of what they seized — including several caches apparently marked as “top secret.”

“It was all declassified,” Mr. Trump asserted in a statement.

and:

Seeking to deflect attention from reports that the classified documents he had kept in his Florida home might have contained materials related to nuclear weapons, former President Donald J. Trump claimed on Friday that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had done the same thing.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!”

But the National Archives and Records Administration, or NARA, which preserves and maintains records after a president leaves office, confirmed on Friday afternoon that Mr. Obama had not kept his documents — classified and unclassified — as required under the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

The National Archives “assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act,” the statement said. “NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area, where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, D.C., area.”

“As required by the P.R.A.,” the statement added, referring to the Presidential Records Act, “former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the presidential records of his administration.”

2022-08-12T17:07:32-05:00August 12th, 2022|Home, Musings|

Please, please, get rid of the “carried interest” tax loophole

• It’s really, really, time to get rid of the rather ridiculous carried interest tax loophole used/abused by private equity. If the Senate can manage to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, it’s at least a start. Farhad Manjoo discusses in the NYT, and he includes this priceless quote from Tim Murphy:

“Despite widespread opposition, though, the tax break has somehow endured — as Tim Murphy wrote recently in Mother Jones, it has been “the most unkillable bad idea in a town with no shortage of them, a testament to the unstoppable combination of money and inertia.” (Murphy’s piece was part of an excellent, multipart investigation of the private equity industry published by the magazine.)”

Update:  Bummer, Sinema strikes again and the loophole lives on.  But at least the Inflation Reduction Act has made it through Congress (with no help from Republicans).  From PBS via AP:

“Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat who single-handedly thwarted her party’s longtime goal of raising taxes on wealthy investors, received nearly $1 million over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists whose taxes would have increased under the plan.”

2022-08-15T12:56:25-05:00August 4th, 2022|HomeRecommended|
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