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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 39,087

Journal Archives

Sarah Palin's next speech













I absolutely love this idea: The Bad Boss Tax

http://billmoyers.com/2014/07/21/the-bad-boss-tax/


The Bad Boss Tax
July 21, 2014
by Sarah Jaffe



TakeAction Minnesota, a network that promotes economic and racial justice in the state, wants to make that fee a reality. It’s developing the framework for a bill that it hopes will be introduced in 2015 by state legislators who have worked with the network in the past. As conceived, the “bad business fee” legislation would require companies to disclose how many of their employees are receiving public assistance from the state or federal government. Companies would then pay a fine based on the de facto subsidies they receive by externalizing labor costs onto taxpayers.

TakeAction Minnesota’s plan is one prong of a larger national effort. As progressive organizations grapple with how to turn years of public outrage over income inequality into policies for structural change, a network of labor and community organizing groups has seized upon the bad business fee as a solution that might take off.

...

Just how much money are low-wage businesses draining from local, state and federal coffers? A study released in April by Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of more than 400 organizations that advocate progressive tax reform, estimated that Wal-Mart alone costs taxpayers $6.2 billion annually in public assistance. That report draws from a 2013 study by the Democratic staff of the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which estimated that Wal-Mart cost taxpayers, on average, between $3,015 and $5,815 per worker. For a hypothetical 300-person Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wisconsin, that added up to as much as $1.75 million in public subsidies per year. Those taxpayer dollars come in the form of joint federal-state programs such as Medicaid and the School Breakfast Program, as well as federal ones such as the National School Lunch Program, the Section 8 Housing Program, the Earned Income Tax, Low Income Home Energy Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps).

Americans for Tax Fairness used the House Democrats’ study to extrapolate Wal-Mart’s public-assistance burden on each state. In Minnesota, for example, where Wal-Mart has 20,997 employees, the public burden totaled $92.7 million per year. That’s $92.7 million Wal-Mart isn’t paying in wages or benefits, but that instead is being borne by taxpayers — taxpayers who, of course, include Wal-Mart workers.



Emphasis mine.

How America’s Wild West Gun Policies Are Fueling Central America’s Refugee Problem

Note to hosts: I posted this in GD as the article is about solving the Central America refugee problem.



http://billmoyers.com/2014/07/21/how-americas-wild-west-gun-policies-are-fueling-central-americas-refugee-problem/



It’s been widely reported that loosely regulated gun sales in the US have fueled Mexico’s drug wars. A 2013 study by scholars at the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute and the Igarape Institute — a Brazilian research center — found that 253,000 guns are smuggled into Mexico from the US each year, about 2.2 percent of total American gun sales. Over the weekend, Alec McGillis reported for The New Republic that a similar dynamic is throwing fuel on the fire in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — the three countries that account for a spike in unaccompanied refugee children showing up at our Southern border.

MacGillis writes:

The surge of migrants coming to the U.S. from Central America is being fueled in part by the movement of guns heading in the other direction, from U.S. dealerships doing brisk business with the help of porous guns laws and a powerful gun lobby.

The role of gun trafficking has been oddly absent in the debate over the gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala that, coupled with economic despair, is driving the migrant wave from those three nations, the so-called Northern Triangle. It’s not as if we’re unwilling to consider any U.S. responsibility for the surge—there’s plenty of talk about the fact that several of the gangs terrorizing the Northern Triangle got their start in Los Angeles, and about the role that U.S. drug policy has played in fueling violence south of the border.

Getting less attention, though, has been the U.S. link to the actual weaponry being used in the killings and other crimes that make the three Central American nations among the most dangerous in the world. (Honduras has by far the highest homicide rate in the world; El Salvador and Guatemala are fourth and fifth.) According to data collected by the ATF, nearly half of the guns seized from criminals in El Salvador and submitted for tracing in the ATF’s online system last year originated in the U.S., versus 38 and 24 percent in Honduras and Guatemala, respectively. Many of those guns were imported through legal channels, either to government or law enforcement agencies in the three countries or to firearms dealers there. But a not-insignificant number of the U.S.-sourced guns—more than 20 percent in both Guatemala and Honduras—were traced to retail sales in the U.S. That is, they were sold by U.S. gun dealers and then transported south, typically hidden in vehicles headed across Mexico, though sometimes also stowed in checked airline luggage, air cargo, or even boat shipments. (Similar ratios were found in traces the ATF conducted in 2009 of 6,000 seized guns stored in a Guatemalan military bunker—40 percent of the guns came from the United States, and slightly less than half of those were found to have been legally imported, leaving hundreds that were apparently trafficked.) “It is a problem,” says Jose Miguel Cruz, an expert in Central American gang violence at Florida International University. “The problem is we don’t have any idea how many there are. It’s a big, dark area.”

Detroit: “Let’s Tax Wall Street, Get Our Money Back, and Turn on the Water!”

http://billmoyers.com/2014/07/19/standing-up-to-disaster-capitalism-in-detroit/


Standing Up to Disaster Capitalism in Detroit
by John Nichols

Now, as the Detroit Water and Sewage Department is drawing international criticism for shutting off water service for low-income families, activists are asking why the people are being forced to pay while the Wall Street banks live large. On Friday, members of the National Nurses United union and local, state and national groups marched and rallied in downtown Detroit to say the priorities are out of whack.

Their message is direct: “Let’s Tax Wall Street, Get Our Money Back, and Turn on the Water!”

...

While politicians and pundits have tried to blame pensions, public servants and public services for the city’s financial challenges, the Demos report noted that “Detroit’s financial expenses have increased significantly, and that is a direct result of the complex financial deals Wall Street banks urged on the city over the last several years, even though its precarious cash flow position meant these deals posed a great threat to the city.”

The author of the report, Wallace Turbeville, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, founder of the Kensington Group and well-regarded expert on infrastructure finance and public-private partnerships, was blunt in his assessment of the sources of the city’s challenges and the proper response. “Misguided and irresponsible decisions by politicians over the years, often at the urging of Wall Street, have funneled wealth out of Detroit’s neighborhoods, and enriched financial institutions and corporations in the process,” said Turbeville, a Demos fellow. “If Detroit wants to come back from this and rebuild a strong economy, it needs to reverse that trend and start prioritizing the people who live here over the interests of Wall Street bankers.”



Bolding mine.

Making Jesus Proud

The path we choose, the cost we care about

Domestic Terror

My political views are pretty basic

There's two ways to be fooled.

Taking welfare, but not paying taxes

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