Don’t be duped: Trump, Republicans want to raise your taxes

first_imgAt some point, the government will need to pay its bills, through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.Virtually any future deficit-reduction plan — except for a repeal of the Trump tax plan — would hurt most families more than his plan helps them.This chain of events has happened before.The Reagan and Bush tax cuts may have at first seemed to help the middle class and poor.But the deficits led to later cuts in education, medical research, transportation and anti-poverty programs that almost surely erased the benefits of a modest tax cut.Already, today’s congressional leaders are talking about sizable cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.Trump and his allies are feverishly trying to claim their plan really would benefit the middle class. Last week, a precursor bill barely passed the House, receiving 20 no votes from Republicans, many worried about the tax increases.Republican leaders certainly have a path to passing a tax bill, because nothing unites modern Republicans the way a tax cut does.But the opposition to the recent health care bills also started as an underdog and managed to prevail, by relentlessly talking about the bills’ effects.When enough Americans understood the truth, enough members of Congress felt pressure to vote no.The same could happen on taxes. It is starting to.Recent polls suggest the plan’s approval rating is only about 30 percent.To understand the Trump tax increases, you should first acknowledge the most admirable feature of his plan. It doesn’t aspire to be merely a tax cut. Trump’s plan would not actually cut taxes for many middle-class families. It would raise them.These families are in the minority, yes. But there are a lot of them.About 17 percent of households earning between $50,000 and $150,000 would see their taxes rise immediately, according to the only rigorous analysis so far, by the Tax Policy Center.Among households earning between $150,000 and $250,000, the share is about 35 percent.These numbers would grow over time, for reasons I’ll explain.Ultimately, the plan would be likely to hurt the finances of the vast majority of Americans.No wonder it is starting to look politically vulnerable. It aspires to be tax reform — both cuts and increases. Some deductions shrink, while rates fall, in the name of simplifying the tax code.But after this promising start, the plan commits its cardinal sin.It places the highest priority on huge tax cuts for the very wealthy.They get lower rates and get to keep cherished tax breaks, like the “carried interest” loophole.Herbert Hoover’s Republican Party wanted to put a chicken in every pot. Donald Trump’s wants to put a yacht at every private dock.Having lavished so much money on the wealthy, the tax package — or at least the vague framework that the administration has released — doesn’t have much remaining to spend on middle class and poor families.For them, the package is a mix of pluses and minuses. Their latest talking point is the notion that corporate tax cuts will create an indirect windfall for workers.Funny, though, how the wealthy get most of the direct benefits, while everyone else has to hope for indirect ones somehow to materialize.The main lesson of this year’s health care battle was the political power of facts.They don’t always win the day, but it’s better to have them as an ally than an enemy.Right now, facts are the biggest problem for Trump’s tax plan.David Leonhardt is New York Times columnist writing from a liberal progressive perspective. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Many face a lower tax rate, but some face a higher one, and many families lose deductions. The combination creates a lot of losers.Reduced deductions for children, for example, hurt large families, notes NYU’s Lily Batchelder.And the deduction for state and local taxes — also a target for cuts — now benefits 30 percent of households nationwide.It was the main reason for last week’s House defections, and the tensions over it haven’t been resolved.Then there are the long-term problems I mentioned earlier.First, Trump’s plan takes a skimpy approach to inflation adjustments, which will push many families into higher tax brackets over time.Second, the plan would radically increase the federal deficit, and when it comes to the deficit, what goes up must eventually come down. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe old formula for passing a big tax cut for the rich was simple: Package it with a modest tax cut for the middle class — and talk endlessly about the middle-class part.President Donald Trump and Congress are following the formula in some ways.Their plan would deliver an average tax cut of $700,000 to the nation’s 175,000 richest families. That’s enough for each to buy a new 50-foot yacht, annually.Meanwhile, Trump and other Republican leaders keep repeating “middle class,” “middle class,” “middle class.”Yet there is also a major difference between the current plan and George W. Bush’s tax cut or Ronald Reagan’s.last_img read more

Clayton Kershaw gets back on a mound and ‘felt great’

first_img“We just want him to progress properly. Not rush. Have a good progression and be healthy,” Honeycutt said of Kershaw. “We’ve waited this amount of time for the medicine to work. Now it seems to be in a good place. So now today was the first step.“Let’s do it the right way.”Honeycutt said he thought Kershaw’s motion was “free and cleaner” Monday, an indication that his shoulder was feeling better than it had in a while.“With any pitcher when you have a small discomfort, especially in the shoulder, you end up finding a spot where you can throw and that’s what he did last year, I think, a lot,” Honeycutt said. “He pitched with what he had that day and competed and competed very well. But maybe he’s not in the best spot – I’m talking about arm slot, release point to make good pitches – to consistently do what he wanted.Related Articles “Today he just wanted that nice rhythm that he had and have the freedom for the shoulder to work and it looked really good.”Kershaw wouldn’t share his expectations for how his progression will go – “one step at a time,” he said. But he acknowledged that an Opening Day start does have meaning to him.“Yes and no, I guess,” he said. “Yes because I’ve got a little streak going, just the history behind it is pretty cool. But no in the fact that it’s not worth – it’s one game. You have to kind of weigh that back and forth. So – yes and no.”An Opening Day start this year would be Kershaw’s ninth consecutive for the Dodgers, extending his franchise record.SEAGER PLANRehabbing shortstop Corey Seager took three at-bats in a minor-league game Monday. Roberts said the Dodgers are “hopeful” Seager can take the next step in his recovery soon and start playing defense in minor-league games as well.“I would say the end of the week is something we can probably hope for,” Roberts said.ALSOThe Dodgers made a number of cuts Monday, trimming the number of players in major-league camp to 38. Re-assigned or optioned to minor-league camp were right-handers Dennis Santana and Brock Stewart, catchers Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith, infielder Edwin Rios and outfielders Kyle Garlick and Shane Peterson.Additionally, the Dodgers placed outfielder Andrew Toles on the restricted list, freeing up a 40-man roster spot. Toles has not reported for spring training while dealing with “a personal matter.” GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nineteen days since he last threw off a mound and 17 days before Opening Day, Clayton Kershaw got back on a mound to throw on Monday.Kershaw’s first bullpen session since Feb. 20 (when shoulder discomfort put his throwing program on hold) lasted 20 pitches, all fastballs. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Kershaw was throwing at “a clean 80 percent and I think that’s right where he needed to be today.”“Good day. Good step forward for sure,” Kershaw said. “Felt great. It was another good day and I’ll take that right now. Just keep moving forward and start building up.”There doesn’t seem to be time left in spring training for Kershaw to go through a normal building-up process and be at full strength for Opening Day. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged “it’s a possibility” that Kershaw – and Walker Buehler, who has been held back out of caution for the young right-hander’s workload – could start the season in the rotation even if they are only built up to pitch four or five innings in their initial starts. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “Once we get to that point, then we’re going to have to make a decision on are we good with that, seeing how the rest of the roster shapes up as far as the ’pen,” Roberts said Monday. “But it just doesn’t make sense and we’re not going to close a door right now even if that is their buildup. Just to keep the options open, I think that’s where we’re at right now.”Roberts said he would be willing to start Kershaw on Opening Day with a strict pitch count that would limit him and have relievers pitch the majority of the game.“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “But we still have to be on the same page with the two guys, see if it makes sense for them. They’ve got to believe in that, feel good about it, and we as well from a roster standpoint.”Buehler is scheduled to throw to hitters in a live batting practice session on Wednesday but has not pitched in a game situation yet this spring. Left-hander Julio Urias is also being limited and could start the season in a bullpen role to limit his innings this season.Kershaw’s next step will be to throw another bullpen session later this week and possibly introduce breaking balls. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies last_img read more

Cerro Gordo County considering equipment purchase to help prolong life of surgical masks

first_imgMASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors this week heard a proposal by the county’s emergency management agency on possibly purchasing a piece of equipment that would disinfect surgical masks used by front-line long-term care and emergency medical personnel in the area.Brice Ausenhus says it’s still tough to obtain the facemasks and using what’s called the “SterraMist” would allow those masks to be safely used multiple times. He says the University of Iowa has spent two years testing SterraMist and approving its use.   “The SterraMist is a vaporized, hydrogen peroxide gas that’s emitted off a sprayer. What it does is it saturates to a certain extent these masks to kill the coronavirus, SARS, MRSA, and other antibodies in the masks.”Ausenus says when the masks are handed out, a person would get two paper bags, putting a dirty mask in one of the bags and writing their name on the bag and the mask. The bags would then be taken to a cleaning area where it would be cleaned, tallied with how many times it has been cleaned, and then returned.   “My hope is that when we talk with the long-term care facilities and EMS is that the offices and stations will issue staff two masks. As you are using one, we are cleaning the second one, and continue the transfer of the two.”Ausenhus says as it stands currently, each $6 mask has to be discarded after one use.  “As it stands right now, if I put this on you today, I have to throw it away. The University of Iowa…they are saying seven cleanings. I’m a little bit more hesitant until we get used to the process, I’m going to say five or six.  Will that span these out a month, a month-and-a-half? Yes. It also depends on who is using it and how much of an exposure they’ve had to the contagion.”The unit and initial amount of supplies would cost about $26,000. Ausenhus says state funding for the equipment is possible if it’s used on a regional scale. The supervisors asked Ausenhus to continue exploring the regional option with the proposal likely to come back before them in the near future.last_img read more

Porsche shows off gorgeous Taycan production model sketches reveals unique proportions

first_imgPorsche has unveiled the first detailed exterior sketches of its upcoming Taycan electric sports car, giving us another glance at what the production model will look like when it debuts in September. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Porsche shows off gorgeous Taycan production model sketches, reveals ‘unique’ proportions appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img