Archive for November 19th, 2017

This is a Letter to the Editor, written by Roger L. Green of Scottsbluff, NE and published on November 17, 2017 in the Grand Island Independent. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

It is impossible to explain economic policy in soundbites. Many voters hear support or opposition to tax reform based on which party is proposing it. The last big tax reform occurred in 1986 and was bipartisan. Both parties negotiated the terms. Open hearings were held and both parties made concessions.

The current disagreements are based on classical versus Keynesian approaches. Classical economics asserted that the economy was self-correcting and there was no need for government intervention. The Keynesian idea suggested the economy was like an elevator that followed the business cycle up and down, but could get stuck in the basement at low levels of employment, income and output. During the Great Depression the government used tax cuts and infrastructure spending to create jobs. World War II spending jolted the economy into a growth pattern.

Tying Obamacare to tax reform by ending the individual mandate threatens the existing health care system. Taking $320 billion from Medicare and Medicaid to provide tax cuts primarily for the rich and well connected will not create new jobs when unemployment is at 4.1 percent. This approach would ultimately result in 13 million Americans without insurance over the next 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that this will raise insurance premiums by 10 percent per year for the next 10 years. So, the government robs Peter (the little guy) to pay Paul (big campaign donors).

The Tax Reform Plan will increase the national debt by $1.5 trillion and $1 trillion will go to corporate tax cuts, $300 billion to wealthy individual taxpayers and $200 billion to the middle class.

As for tax burdens, American taxes as a percentage of the gross national product is lower than 34 other countries. The corporate tax rate is currently 35 percent. However, loopholes reduce the rate to about 14 percent. Loopholes, such as carried interest, offshore tax havens, shifting intellectual property such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks to overseas subsidiaries, are not being addressed.

The trickle-down idea has not increased purchasing power for the middle class for 40 years. The divide between the top 10 percent and the bottom 90 percent keeps increasing. The trickle down did not have much trickle. Instead, the middle class’ share of the economic pie is constantly shrinking.

When politicians act in the dead of night with the speed of light, ask yourself why they took all those days off during the legislative session. Remember, late-night amendments usually benefit special interests.

What’s killing America’s new mothers?

American hyper-capitalism breeds the lonely, alienated men who become mass killers and Samantha Bee on why “abused women are the canary in the coal mine for mass shootings”

Before Sutherland Springs, the Pulse nightclub and San Bernardino. Before Mother Emanuel church, Sandy Hook, and Aurora. Before Gabby Giffords and Fort Hood, there was Binghamton

A Statistical Companion to “The Vietnam War”

Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit

Walking While Black

Can my child be friends with white people?

“We’re not über-ICE” – Albany, NY mayor Kathy Sheehan, interviewed by Tucker Carlson, discussing Albany’s status as sanctuary city (11/16/2017)

I Forgot My PIN: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin


Apparently, the new Firefox download, Quantum, is a pain. One user wrote: “I had the extensions I needed, the page design I was comfortable with, and working more efficiently and effortlessly than ever. This makeover is terrible.” Also, Finding and fixing a Disqus problem

Economic Development: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

In which John Green is stunned by Kiwi kindness

A five-minute animation about the Dunning-Kruger Effect

10 “Spiritual” Things People Do That Are Total BS

Short film: The journey from underdog to basketball star

Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future

Sitcoms could be better

Now I Know: Pizza It Forward and When the Government Outlawed Love

The Akond of Swat – Edward Lear

Not me: Eighth-grade teacher Roger Green was heading to the press box back in March to announce the varsity baseball game, but he began to feel achy.

THE KAKISTOCRACY

We are reaching Hrench Revolution levels of inequality and injustice

Why billionaires destroy jobs

The Final Victory of JR Ewing

Narco-a-Lago: Making Millions from Panama Development Used to Launder Drug Money

Every scandal plaguing him

“The fish rots from the head”: a historian on unique corruption

Trophies from elephant hunts in Zimbabwe WERE banned in the US

He may be related to 16th-century serial killer ‘Werewolf of Bedburg’

Johnstown Never Believed He Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway

Tweeting Condolences About The Wrong Mass Shooting

John Oliver Delivers Scathing Review Of Year One

Plus, an oldie (October 2016), but goodie: The growing list of women who have stepped forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately

MUSIC

Thunderstruck – AC/DC

On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Disney medley – Voctave

-ly – Tom Lehrer (Electric Company)

Coverville 1193: Cover Stories for Blue Oyster Cult, Petula Clark and Miley Cyrus (!)

K-Chuck Radio: The Monster Soulful Groove

Stringman – Neil Young

#ROCKHALL2018:THE CARS INTERVIEW

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