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40 NEW Tax Increases In Dem Bill

Here are six things to know about the plan.

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40 NEW Tax Increases In Dem Bill

House Democrats this week are moving forward with their long-awaited plan to raise taxes to help pay for their next big spending package. With more than 40 separate tax increases, collectively worth $2 trillion, it would be the largest package of tax increases in decades — and a test of Democrats’ willingness to raise rates.

Lawmakers want the money to fund plans to greatly boost government benefits, from expanding access to pre-K programs to beefing up Medicare — though Democrats remain at odds over the plan’s total size, with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia balking at designs to spend $3.5 trillion.

Democrats are now racing to move the plan though the House, with the Ways and Means Committee taking it up Monday and Tuesday. Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to have it approved and out of the House by the end of this month.

Here are six things to know about the plan.

No wealth tax

The U.S. has an income tax system, and not a wealth tax system like the one Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) advocates, and that’s not going to change under House Democrats’ proposal. With only a tiny majority in the chamber, and at the mercy of their moderates, Democrats are focused on raising existing income taxes on the rich rather than more controversial proposals to go after accumulated wealth.

Their plan would raise the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 percent, from 37 percent; impose a new 3 percent surtax on people making more than $5 million; and raise the capital gains rate to 28.3 percent from 23.8 percent, among other changes.

Out are proposals like one by the Biden administration targeting the ability of the rich to pass assets on to heirs tax-free. Few defend the “stepped up basis at death” provisions the administration wants to restrict, but it has politically powerful advocates, such as farmers, and curbing the tax break was always a long shot.

All of that is good news for the uber rich like Jeff Bezos, who make their money not from fat salaries but because they own businesses that become extremely valuable. Democrats are proposing to toughen one type of wealth tax: the estate tax, by reducing its exemption rate by almost half, to $6 million for couples, and making other changes.

Corporations would pay big, reversing their 2017 gains

Republicans famously slashed the corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But they also simultaneously created new taxes on big companies’ overseas earnings. The net effect was that big business received a projected $330 billion tax cut, according to Congress’ nonpartisan scorekeepers.

Democrats are not proposing to completely reverse that corporate rate cut — they’d push it back up to 26.5 percent. But they are also tightening those taxes Republicans created on multinationals’ foreign profits and adding a few others. The combined result is a $963 billion tax increase on corporations, according to official estimates — which businesses complain is almost three times the tax cuts they received in 2017.

That would come as corporate tax receipts, which plunged after the TCJA, are now rebounding thanks to higher profits. Corporate payments are projected this year to total $268 billion, not that far off from the $297 billion they paid the year before Republicans’ tax cuts took effect.

Democrats would say those official estimates understated how much companies got out of the TCJA because it included tax increases that were likely to be reversed later by Congress. And many don’t think corporations were paying their fair share even before the GOP cuts.

Democrats are also cutting taxes

Their tax increases get all the attention, but Democrats want to cut lots of taxes as well. They want to extend their new monthly Child Tax Credit payment program and make permanent a recent expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (though some of those increases technically count as spending, not tax cuts).

They have a long list of clean energy tax breaks, including big new subsidies for buying electric cars, trucks and bikes, along with a host of provisions to do things like promote affordable housing, aid state governments and subsidize the wages of child care workers.

Some of the cuts they’ve proposed are surprising. Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) wants to create a new deduction for union members by allowing them to write off up to $250 in dues. And he has a proposal to help underwrite the wages of local news reporters, with a special payroll tax break for their publishers.

SALT debate left to higher-ups

Neal’s plan does not address the question of what to do about the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deductions Republicans imposed in 2017, and his committee has no plans to tackle it either. Instead, he’s punting the issue up to Pelosi, who will deal with it after Ways and Means approves the rest of the legislation.

The issue has deeply divided Democrats, with lawmakers from high-tax states demanding its repeal, and others blanching at cutting a tax that would mostly benefit the wealthy — and muddle Democrats’ soak-the-rich message.

Pelosi probably won’t unveil a plan to address the cap until shortly before the entire spending and tax plan heads to the House floor, leaving little time for debate. That could also mean there will be some surprise pay-fors added at the last minute to defray the cost of whatever she decides.

Source: Politico

Economy

CNN Uses “Before Times” Rhetoric to Justify Empty Shelves

“They are laying narrative groundwork to prepare you for a world of shortages, scarcity, and incompetence.”

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CNN Uses “Before Times” Rhetoric to Justify Empty Shelves

Questions are being asked of CNN after the network used the creepy dystopian phrase “Before Times” to describe a time pre-COVID when grocery shelves weren’t empty.

The phrase appears in a report about how grocery shelves “are not going back to normal this year” as a result of labor shortages and transportation restrictions.

“If you hoped grocery stores this fall and winter would look like they did in the Before Times, with limitless options stretching out before you in the snack, drink, candy and frozen foods aisles, get ready for some disappointing news,” states the article.

Note how “Before Times” is emphasized by its seemingly otherwise unnecessary capitalization.

The dystopian language appears to be another way of socially engineering Americans to accept “the new normal,” which will include rolling lockdowns, energy crises and food shortages.

Twitter users accused the network of weaponizing language to induce fearmongering.

“They say ‘The Before Times’ like COVID is equivalent to Jesus. Absolute lunatics,” tweeted Robby Starbuck.

“Interesting way of saying that we will have food shortages in Joe Biden’s America,” remarked Harrison Krank.

Read more on Summit News

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Economy

Gas prices hit $5 in Manhattan

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Gas prices hit  in Manhattan

Gas prices are on the rise and they have hit nearly $5 for regular and are now about $5.40 a gallon for supreme in Manhattan.

A Mobil station on 11th Ave. on the West Side had the eye-popping prices on Monday evening.

Gas prices have jumped across the nation as oil prices reach a 7-year high.

The average price of gas across the country is about $3.25 per gallon according to GasBuddy and $3.31 according to the Lundberg Survey.

Average prices are up more than $1 from a year ago, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 150,000 gas stations across the country.    

Just eight states have average prices under $3 per gallon — Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Alabama, and Missouri, according to GasBuddy.

Read more on Fox New York

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Business

No college degree? More employers than ever just don’t care

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No college degree? More employers than ever just don’t care

If you don’t have a four-year college degree, you’re hardly alone. The majority of US working age adults do not.

You may assume you have little chance of developing a well-paying career with benefits and growth potential at a Fortune 500 company. After all, so many jobs require a Bachelor’s degree.

But your chances may be better than you think, thanks to a growing network of white-collar apprenticeship programs that lead to jobs at blue chip employers, including big tech players like Google, Amazon and Salesforce.

Such programs result in paid, on-the-job training, benefits, coaching and access to employee and alumni networks.

Facing reality

Over the past five years, employers have been trying to solve for two things:

One is a long-predicted skilled labor shortage — especially in technology. The other is the need to actively address systemic inequities and unconscious bias in their hiring and promotions practices.

To stay competitive, they’ve realized they have to broaden their search for high-potential candidates, since there is now greater recognition that no race, ethnicity, gender, zip code or diploma has a monopoly on talent.

“We’re a talent-based company. It’s our only asset. So we widened the aperture,” said Pallavi Verma, a senior managing director at consulting firm Accenture, which created its first apprenticeship program in Chicago in 2016 and has since brought on 1,200 apprentices across 35 cities. “[The program] is part of our talent strategy.”

Year Up is an organization that provides tuition-free, college-credit-eligible job training in 29 US locations. And like many nonprofits and community colleges around the country, it partners with employers, like Accenture, to find high-potential apprentices.

Read more on CNN

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