Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday News

It is important to outline the Republican deal to pass unfair tax cuts. Donald Trump wants this deal since he believes in the myth of trickled down economics. We learned from Reagan that trickled down economics doesn’t work to establish widespread, massive economic prosperity. The Senate and the House Republicans agreed to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut by next week. It will give billions of dollars into the rich and large corporations. Paul Ryan made it clear that this is just the beginning, because he wants cuts to Medicare and Social Security in the future. It is always a dream of many far right Republican to dismantle many of the blessings from the New Deal and the Great Society. Many activists (inducing socialists and civil rights activists plus labor rights activists) fought long and hard in order for many of the New Deal and Great Society policies to exist in the first place. Even some Democrats believe in slashing the corporate tax rate. Now, we know some details of this bill. It includes the slashing of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and the elimination of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for corporations. The cut in the corporate tax rate will go into effect next year, rather than in 2019 as outlined in the Senate bill. The alternative minimum tax, which was adopted in the 1970's to prevent the wealthy from avoiding taxes through itemized deductions and other loopholes, will be retained for individuals but will apply to a smaller pool of the rich.

The top individual income tax rate is cut from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. In another “compromise,” the conference bill will still place a $10,000 cap on the deduction of state and local taxes, but it will allow for the deduction to be split between property taxes and either income taxes or sales tax paid. The House and Senate bills had eliminated the deduction for state and local income taxes. Billionaires and multimillionaires benefit from this policy. The majority of Americans oppose this Republican tax plan. According to a Quinnipiac poll, a majority of Americans, 53 percent, disapprove of the Republican tax plan. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) think that the tax plan will benefit the wealthy the most, while a similar share of the population (61 percent) believe that the tax cuts favor the rich at the expense of the middle class. An overwhelming 73 percent of the population expects that the Republican plan will either raise their taxes or will not have much impact.

The FCC decided to vote against net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017. Net Neutrality helps to require Internet service providers (or ISPs) to treat all data on the Internet the same (and bans them from limiting or blocking users’ access to web sites and services). Ending net neutrality now harms the free speech of Americans and other democratic rights. Giant internet and technology monopolies have new powers to dominate the Internet from AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast. Now, bright line rules against censorship are gone. The Internet Service providers can now block or degrade the distribution of internet content at will. ISPs and mobile data carriers have more powers. They can theoretically block access among millions of Americans. The supporters of this move say that the free market can handle things, but the Internet is not a free market. About 50 million Americans have only one broadband provide to choose from. Most of the rest have only 2. We witness the digital divide problem where many poorer communities have much lax Internet access than more affluent communities. Many poor areas have to struggle to get wireless Internet access. Internet is meant to be a public utility not a privatized resource.

This policy will cause class discrimination to grow since Internet monopolies can raise taxes, create multiple tiers of service (which can benefit the wealthy or those can afford expensive access), and use economic pressure to use restricted content. The free and open exchange of ideas could be eliminated. We will continue to fight for justice. This policy is supported by Trump. Trump is in league with the financial oligarchy as Wall Street supports Trump’s agenda of deregulation, massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and other reactionaries policies. The NSA and the CIA have worked with ISPs for a long time in enacting surveillance. Much of that surveillance has been illegal as exposed by whistleblowers. Internet censorship is not new, but this end of net neutrality is another pretext for more ISPs to have a further monopolistic influence on internet content, which is wrong. That is why it is always important to unite the poor, the working class, and all freedom loving people (who desire an end to social inequality, poverty, unemployment, war, and any injustice) to fight for the Internet to be free and open.

Today, Omarosa is about to leave the White House by 2018 in January. For a long time, she has made the serious mistake to support Trump (whose views and actions are antithetical to the interests of the black community and other Americans in general). First, Trump is clear that he wants the death penalty for the innocent Central Park Five. He has shown vulgar language against women, especially against black women. Trump has gone out of his way to support a bill that benefits multinational corporations and doesn't help the majority of the poor or middle class . Trump has threatened a war with North Korea and he believes that peaceful protesters should be fired from the NFL (as he doesn't like the social activism of so many heroic anti-police brutality activists). Omarosa (who recently denied being dragged out of the White House by Secret Service) has been disrespectful to not only journalist April Ryan, but to other women like Symone Sanders. Omarosa is incorrect to support Trump's campaign and we won't bow to Trump. Trump is not my God and he isn't my President. April Ryan is a woman is an incredibly compassionate woman to take the high road. Supporting black interests is clear. It is about promoting progressive education, health care, anti-police brutality measures, racial justice, economic justice, civil liberties, advancing freedom. She or Omarosa was paid $187,000 and Trump made a sick moral equivalency among white supremacists plus neo-Confederates and anti-hate protesters. Now, I don't believe that Omarosa should be disrespected in an inappropriate way, but I have every right to disagree with Omarosa on many issues. No one should ally with a racist, sexist bigot like Trump. So, Robin Roberts, Angela Rye, and others talked about this situation too.

By Timothy

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