Some of the richest people in the US have been at the front of the queue as the government has handed out trillions of dollars to prop up an economy it shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the billionaire class has added $308bn to its wealth in four weeks - even as a record 26 million people lost their jobs.
While the president says he wants to help Americans workers through the coronavirus pandemic, behind the scenes his party is crafting legislation that would leave the least fortunate behind.
Struggling dairy farmers who flocked to an expo in Wisconsin last month hoped to hear some encouragement from one of their own — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a Georgia agri-businessman whose dad had run a small farm.But some came away angry after Perdue — speaking in a state that lost nearly two dairy farms a day last year — remarked that small farms would not likely survive as the “big get bigger and small go out.”
Business leaders and their companies have profited royally off of President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies.Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her family are among the groups that have seen an income boon of millions through their own investments since Trump’s tax reform plan was signed, according to her latest annual financial disclosure report.
The biggest effect of the Trump tax cuts is obvious: People who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth will have a lot more money, and the federal budget will have less. But the advocates of the tax cuts insisted it wasn’t about letting the makers keep their hard-earned money rather than handing it over to the takers. It was about incentivizing business to repatriate funds and ramp up its investments, thereby increasing growth and wages.
AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that "every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year."
Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite repeated White House promises it would help employees, an investigation shows. The 2017 Tax and Jobs Act – the Trump administration’s one major piece of enacted legislation – did deliver the biggest corporate tax cut in US history, but ultimately workers benefited almost not at all.
At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The number is more than twice as many as ITEP found roughly, per year, on average in an earlier, multi-year analysis before the new tax law went into effect.
Trump’s lawsuit in county court argues that the luxurious private club, which he bought in foreclosure for about $8m in the mid-1990s before spending what he claimed at the club’s opening event was another $45m in improvements, has been unfairly assessed and is in fact worth only $1.4m.
Let’s start this column off with a bold assertion. Paying lawmakers good salaries is one of our country’s most important progressive reforms because it means that they don’t have to be wealthy to serve. High congressional pay is a safeguard against corruption, not a sign of it.
America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives.
The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest banking tie-up since the financial crisis, creating what would become the nation’s sixth-largest bank. And it’s a direct result of actions taken by the Trump administration and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who passed a bank deregulation bill in 2018.
Major U.S. banks shaved about $21 billion from their tax bills last year -- almost double the IRS’s annual budget -- as the industry benefited more than many others from the Republican tax overhaul.By year-end, most of the nation’s largest lenders met or exceeded their initial predictions for tax savings.
We’ve hated this market of late and advised investors to sell. Emerging markets in general and China, in particular, did better than US stocks, but that’s small consolation. Today’s ill wind blew nobody good but owners of government bonds. There are lots of political reasons for the market to plunge, but there is also an important vulnerability: Most of the profitability among US corporations is concentrated in a very small number of names.
The $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law late last year has already given the American economy a jolt, at least temporarily. It has fattened the paychecks of most American workers, padded the profits of large corporations and sped economic growth.
With full Democratic control of the federal government, calls came for an investigation into the scandals of the Bush administration, including torture, mass surveillance, and war profiteering. While some called for criminal prosecutions, others wanted hearings or an independent investigation that would — at minimum — put into the public record the details of who did what and when.
With attention fixed on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new $3.1 trillion tax cut on Friday. The vote was 220 to 191, including three Democrats. The down-to-the-wire 2017 tax act passed in late December contained a mix of permanent and temporary changes that had to result in a net increased cost that fell within a structural limit of $1.5 trillion that allowed the Senate to approve the bill with a simple majority.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally moved Friday to scrap a regulation that would have forced for-profit colleges to prove that the students they enroll are able to attain decent-paying jobs, the most dramatic in a series of moves that will free the scandal-scarred, for-profit sector from safeguards put in effect during the Obama era.
The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives.Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed on Wednesday to curtail Obama administration loan forgiveness rules for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, requiring that student borrowers show they have fallen into hopeless financial straits or prove that their colleges knowingly deceived them.
The U.S. Treasury said on Monday that it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups, such as the National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood, to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities. But the move frees labor unions, issue advocacy organizations, veterans groups and other nonprofits that do not receive tax-exempt money from meeting confidential disclosure requirements set in place decades ago.
Global debt has hit another high, climbing to $247 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, according to a report published Wednesday. Of that figure, the non-financial sector accounted for $186 trillion.. “Firms have used artificially low rates to borrow in the capital markets and only buy back stock in the equity market,” LaVorgna said. “The inherent instability of debt over equity financing suggests that the next downturn could hit investment spending unusually hard.”
Starting over Fourth of July weekend, the political network funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is planning to release attack ads targeting seven senators who voted against President Donald Trump's $15.4 billion spending cuts package
In 2018, the lion's share of the benefit — $17.4 billion, or 44.3 percent of the total — will go to roughly 200,000 Americans making $1 million or more who claim the pass-through deduction, the committee said. Another $3.6 billion, or 8.9 percent, will go to a similar number of taxpayers who earn $500,000 to $1 million.
The Republican tax law passed last fall will give the richest 1 percent of Americans an average personal income tax break of about $33,000, while the poorest Americans will receive an average personal income tax break of $40, according to a new study published this week by nonpartisan analysts.
A new analysis has found that political mega-donors Charles and David Koch and/or the business they operate could make between $1 billion and $1.4 billion more money each year, thanks to the tax breaks in legislation passed in December by Republican members of Congress. The two brothers are currently worth a combined $104.4 billion.
In the week that followed, Trump kept giving his members new reasons to celebrate. While cable news fixated on how much he was golfing – his political appointees back in Washington worked overtime to deconstruct the administrative state, eviscerate several of Barack Obama’s signature achievements and roll back significant environmental protections. Like Richard Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell said, watch what they do — not just what they say. Trump campaigned like a populist. Now more than ever, he’s governing like a plutocrat.
President Donald Trump joined his family at their “Winter White House” for the holidays Friday night after signing the GOP tax bill into law, and reportedly told wealthy friends dining at Mar-a-Lago, “You all just got a lot richer.” When Trump signed $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law, ultra-wealthy earners in the 95th to 99th percentile received the biggest tax cuts, even though the top 1 percent already holds about 40 percent of American wealth.
Many U.S. charities are worried the tax overhaul bill signed by President Trump on Friday could spur a landmark shift in philanthropy, speeding along the decline of middle-class donors and transforming charitable gift-giving into a pursuit largely left to the wealthy.
The tax bill soaks some of rich Americans — but it does not soak the richest.It is the “pretty rich” right below that level that may get hit: the W2 employee making several hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars a year with high state and local taxes that will not be fully deductible may see a higher tax bill. So will the chief executives of many large publicly traded companies who often itemize large, unreimbursed business expenses, which will no longer be allowed. Some executives are already calculating that they will be paying additional seven-figure sums in taxes.
Seven Republican super-donors helped bankroll the conservative push for power in the 2016 election cycle, between them pumping more than $350m (£264m) into federal and state races. The seven have their divisions, especially over Donald Trump. Warren Stephens was a major backer of the Stop Trump movement last year, while Geoff Palmer was among the then Republican nominee’s biggest financial backers.
Robert Mercer, the billionaire that has funded Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos, resigned from his role as CEO of the quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to the New York Times. Mercer’s resignation came just two weeks after ThinkProgress revealed 12 nonprofits, universities, and public retirement funds had invested millions of dollars into the hedge fund, noting that their investments were helping fund white nationalism.
“Contrary to their assertions, the Republicans are picking winners and losers,” Jerry Howard, chief executive of the National Association of Homebuilders, said in an interview. “They are picking rich Americans and corporations over small businesses and the middle class.”
During a White House briefing on Thursday, chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn tried to defend President Trump’s claim that his tax plan will not benefit him. It did not go well. “Based on what we know, what little we know about [Trump’s] finances, he’d get a big cut on the AMT [Alternative Minimum Tax], I think he’d save something like $31 million. On pass-through income, he’d save $16.5 million, he’d obviously save a lot not paying the estate tax, his heirs would — so how can you say that this is not a plan that would help him?” a reporter asked.
The billionaire Koch Brothers, and conservative “think tanks” that support them, have spent hundreds of millions trying to convince ordinary Americans that cutting corporate tax rates and repealing the estate tax is a good idea, using the language of “freedom from big government.” But if President Trump’s current tax plan sees the light of day, corporations will get a $2.4 trillion tax break, and the wealthiest two-tenths of one percent of Americans will get a $328 billion tax giveaway, just from one of his plan’s provisions—repealing the estate tax. Getting rid of the estate tax would also give Donald Trump’s own family a $4 billion tax handout, and the Koch Brothers, some $34 billion.
In 2011 Scaramucci celebrated Citizens United for making possible exactly what the Supreme Court said wouldn't happen. Here’s what Scaramucci said about Citizens United, himself and Cooperman: Scaramucci, the organizer of the dinner, told me the next day that the guests had witnessed the “activation” of a “sleeper cell” of hedge-fund managers against Obama. “That’s what you see happening in the hedge-fund community, because they now have the power, because of Citizens United, to aggregate capital into political-action committees and to influence the debate,” he said. “The President has a philosophy of disdain toward wealth creation. That’s just obvious, O.K.? We talked about it all night.” He later said, “If there’s a pope of this movement, it’s Lee Cooperman.”
Barack Obama sharply condemned the healthcare plan unveiled by Senate Republicans on Thursday as a “massive transfer of wealth” to the rich, at the expense of poor and middle-class Americans. “The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a healthcare bill,” Obama wrote. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.”
While we are distracted by (or addicted to) the Donald Trump Show, the quiet, methodical work of redistributing wealth upward proceeds apace. As Milton Friedman wrote long ago, “Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” Survivalists stockpile canned goods and water in preparation for major disasters; these guys stockpile spectacularly anti-democratic ideas.
Rich people do well. Sick people don’t. House Republicans have passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that would greatly reduce funding for Obamacare’s coverage programs, leaving millions fewer people with health insurance. The bill would dramatically remake the American health care system, changing who can afford coverage in the individual market — and who will be left uninsured. It also revealed new fault lines in the Republican Congress, showing who had the power to shift the bill’s priorities and who yielded little influence.
“President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision and his record,” his senior adviser, Eric Schultz, said in a statement issued after the Cantor Fitzgerald speech drew a wave of criticism — including a New York Post headline that dubbed Obama “Wall Street’s new fat cat.”
What Sanders’s remarks about "identity politics" say about the Democratic Party’s future. Having the party embrace both gender and racial diversity is a necessary first step, Sanders said. But if “identity politics” means promoting black and female candidates who don’t have “the guts to take on the oligarchy,” Sanders argued, it’s largely beside the point.
Billionaire donors could get lots of shiny new tools for controlling the American political system. There is really not all that much left to prevent big money from influencing American politics. Donors can already spend as much as they want on “independent” Super PACs that take out millions in political advertisements. Corporations can give as much as they want to these Super PACs, and they’re finding ways to do so entirely in secret.
Dr. Jill Stein is encouraging people to vote Green. A 5% vote for the green party means a $10 million dollar matching fund from Federal government which give the green party the opportunity to grow. Only 1700 shares - they need more
Let’s start with what Hillary Clinton stands for. She is pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Pharma, pro-Monsanto, pro-Fracking, pro-Big Media, pro-globalism, pro-TPP (yes, she is) and pro-military industrial complex. She is funded by the 0.1% and will rule for the 0.1%.