Scranton vs. Park Ave: Republicans Fight To Protect 8% Effective Income Tax Rate For Wealthiest Americans

23 Sep

While President Biden and Democrats are leading the charge to make sure billionaires and corporations pay their fair share, Republicans continue to protect Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

President Biden has made his commitment clear: It’s time for the economy to work for everyone, including hardworking middle-class Americans.

A new report from the White House shows that the 400 wealthiest American households — with net worth between $2.1 billion and $160 billion — pay an effective federal income tax rate of 8%. That’s who Republicans are protecting.

New York Times: In Push to Tax the Rich, White House Spotlights Billionaires’ Tax Rates

  • “President Biden is leaning into his push to increase taxes on the rich as he seeks to unify Democrats in the House and Senate behind a $3.5 trillion bill that would expand federal efforts to fight climate change, reduce the cost of child care, expand educational access, reduce poverty and more.”
  • “‘I’m sick and tired of the super-wealthy and giant corporations not paying their fair share in taxes,’ Mr. Biden wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, amplifying an argument that Democratic strategists believe will help sell his economic agenda to the public and potentially lift the party’s candidates in midterm elections. ‘It’s time for it to change.’”
  • “The analysis suggests that the wealthiest 400 households in America — those with net worth ranging between $2.1 billion and $160 billion — pay an effective federal income tax rate of just over 8 percent per year on average. The White House is basing that tax rate on calculations using data on high earners’ income, wealth and taxes paid from the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.”

President Biden’s plan to make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share is wildly popular with the American people.

Morning Consult: The Tax Man Cometh for the Wealthy and Corporations in House Democrats’ Plan. And Voters Are OK With It

  • “Nearly 3 in 5 voters support Democrats’ plan to raise $2 trillion via taxes in 10 years, according to new Morning Consult/Politico polling, with predictably higher backing among Democrats and lower support among Republicans.”
  • “Of the individual provisions included in the House Democrats’ plans, raising taxes on the wealthy was the most popular, garnering 68 percent support from voters. Raising the corporate tax rate came in just 6 percentage points lower at 62 percent.”
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ICYMI: Florida Times-Union – OPINION: Nate Monroe: For Florida’s new surgeon general, DeSantis trades out a ghost for a crackpot

22 Sep

**ICYMI**

Key Point: “Ladapo is, in other words, the very last thing DeSantis needs right now: Another sycophant; another crackpot; one less person who can speak to the governor sincerely and pushback when needed against some of his most warped ideas. This period of intellectual closure began last year, when DeSantis raged against media coverage of his leadership during COVID.”

Florida Times-Union – OPINION: Nate Monroe: For Florida’s new surgeon general, DeSantis trades out a ghost for a crackpot
By Nate Monroe
September 22, 2021

[…]

For DeSantis, who believes masks, vaccines and common courtesy to be the tools of totalitarian oppression, Rivkees’ continued presence in state government could only be tolerated henceforth in spectral form — technically still Florida’s surgeon general until as recently as this week, but cursed to never be seen or heard from again.

And now, even after his long-due departure, DeSantis is so committed to ensuring Rivkees stays out of the daylight the state has tried to stop him from being deposed in a lawsuit over the governor’s failed attempt to ban mask mandates in public schools — an effort Rivkees ostensibly led by “crafting” Department of Health rules putting the ban into effect, and an issue for which one could reasonably assume Rivkees would have valuable knowledge to share in a courtroom.

To replace the renegade Rivkees, DeSantis this week plucked a peculiar figure from out of obscurity: Joseph Ladapo, a physician and researcher at UCLA whose sole claim to notoriety is his willingness to adopt positions on COVID that are conspicuously similar to DeSantis’ own and widely rejected as dangerous and misguided by the vast majority of his peers in healthcare. That is to say, DeSantis will not be squirreling Ladapo away in a maintenance closet like Rivkees; this latest general will play a central role on the battlefield.

Ladapo echoes DeSantis’ worldview that the only way to move past the pandemic is to achieve “herd immunity” — a barbaric view that policymakers should simply allow COVID to burn through the population. He, like DeSantis, is unlikely to ever publicly reckon with the nearly 52,000 Floridians and counting who have lost their lives, a stunning failure of public policy and of the heart.

[…]

Ladapo rejects vaccine mandates and has argued the vaccines themselves may be more dangerous than public-health experts have said. He questions the usefulness of masks. He has promoted the long-debunked hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 elixir. 

He would be a comical figure were lives not at stake.

Ladapo is, in other words, the very last thing DeSantis needs right now: Another sycophant; another crackpot; one less person who can speak to the governor sincerely and pushback when needed against some of his most warped ideas. This period of intellectual closure began last year, when DeSantis raged against media coverage of his leadership during COVID.

Since then, DeSantis shed himself of serious advisers and has surrounded himself instead with cranks and pretenders whose incompetence and unwillingness to speak the truth have, predictably, capsized some of his top priorities and ensnared him in losing legal battles.

Floridians will find in short order having an invisible surgeon general wasn’t so bad after all.

(MORE)

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Scranton vs Park Ave Part 4: Battleground Voters Back Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda

22 Sep

New polling from Future Majority shows that the majority of voters in critical swing states and battleground districts support President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and support corporations and the wealthiest Americans paying their fair share to make it happen. While Republicans protect corporations and billionaires, President Biden is fighting to make sure our economy works for everyone, especially hardworking Americans.

Future Majority Polling:

  • “The $3.5 trillion bill enjoys 56% support in battleground states, 56-42 (+14) support in 37 competitive House districts, 53-43 (+10) support in the seven Trump/Democrat districts, 54-43 (+11) in Arizona, and 48-47 (+1) in West Virginia (GSG).”
  • “56% of voters in battleground states, 57% in the 37 swing congressional districts, 62% in the seven Trump/Democrat congressional districts, and 55% in Arizona support raising the income tax rate on individuals earning more than $400,000.”
  • “57% of voters in battleground states, 59% in the 37 swing congressional districts, and 65% in the seven Trump/Democrat congressional districts support raising the capital gains tax rate for individuals earning at least $1 million annually.”
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IN THE STATES: Republicans Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation Out of Step with American Public

22 Sep
While President Biden and Democrats have pushed a popular, evidence-based plan to defeat the virus and rebuild our economy, Republican elected officials across the country are prolonging the pandemic by spreading misinformation and ignoring science. Just yesterday in Florida, Governor DeSantis appointed a surgeon general who has peddled anti-mask and anti-vaccine rhetoric, once again embracing a pro-COVID strategy that is putting Floridians’ lives at risk as the state surpasses 50,000 deaths from the virus.

Across the country, Republicans are following the same playbook, putting politics ahead of science and prolonging the pandemic in the process. Here’s a look at how Republicans’ lack of leadership when it comes to voters’ number one issue is playing out in the states: 

In New Hampshire: Last week, a GOP lawmaker left the Republican party after New Hampshire House Republicans organized a rally Tuesday opposing President Biden’s new vaccine mandates, saying “It’s not in the interest of the public to allow covid to spread in New Hampshire as it has in Florida. I’m a doctor first, so I stood up for my patients and said, ‘I’m done with this.’ And I left.”

In Michigan: A Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate was permanently banned from YouTube after repeatedly spreading false information on COVID-19.

In Minnesota: The Star Tribune editorial board called out Republican gubernatorial candidate and physician Dr. Scott Jensen for encouraging his supporters to flout COVID-19 guidelines put in place to keep Minnesotans safe. Dr. Jensen, who has already been banned from several social media platforms for spreading misinformation, also spoke at an anti-masking, anti-vaccine mandate rally, where he urged those listening to “be as dangerous as we can be.”

And while Republican lawmakers are on the wrong side of the American people when it comes to defeating the virus, Democratic state parties are holding them responsible: 

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Republicans Vote For Economic Calamity, To Unemploy Millions, Stop Paying Our Troops, And Stop Social Security Payments

22 Sep

Last night, House Republicans voted against suspending the debt ceiling, which could send our recovering economy into a tailspin, cost six million American jobs, wipe out $15 trillion from American households, stop Social Security payments, and block our service members from getting paid. Republican leaders have spent the week putting their hypocrisy on full display and we are here to hold them accountable for their political games. 

Republicans are threatening to cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in household wealth, and send unemployment skyrocketing.

  • Washington Post: “Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, found that a prolonged impasse over the debt ceiling would cost the U.S. economy up to 6 million jobs, wipe out as much as $15 trillion in household wealth, and send the unemployment rate surging to roughly 9 percent from around 5 percent.”

Republicans are threatening to send the American economy and global financial markets into a tailspin. 

  • CNBC: “At the very least, fear of default could rattle the stock market and send shock waves throughout the economy, according to Bankrate’s Hamrick.”
  • Washington Post: “Failure to raise the debt limit would have catastrophic impacts on global financial markets. Interest rates would spike as investors demand a higher rate of return for the risk of taking on U.S. debt given uncertainty about repayment. An increase in interest rates would ripple through the economy, raising costs not only for taxpayers but also for consumers and other borrowers. The value of the U.S. dollar would also decline long term as investors questioned the security of purchasing U.S. treasuries. The cost of auto and home loans would rise.”

Republicans are threatening to stop Social Security and veterans benefits, prevent our troops from getting paid, and delay vital child tax credits.

  • CNBC: “In the worst-case scenario, the federal government would default, at least temporarily, on some of its obligations, including those Social Security payments, veterans’ benefits and salaries for federal workers.”
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: “Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security checks for a time. Troops could go unpaid. Millions of families who rely on the monthly child tax credit could see delays.”

Republicans are threatening to send costs skyrocketing for American families on items like car loans, credit cards, and mortgage rates.

  • CNBC: “In addition, potential downgrades of U.S. credit ratings would hammer Treasurys. Demand for U.S. Treasury bonds could sink if they are no longer considered a reliable, safe-haven investment and bondholders would demand dramatically higher interest rates to compensate for the increased risk. That, in turn, would send other borrowing costs higher, including credit cards, car loans and mortgage rates (which generally are pegged to yields on U.S. Treasury notes).”

Republicans are now playing political games with Americans’ livelihoods after the national debt increased by nearly $8 trillion under Trump.

  • Washington Post: “Lawmakers in both parties agree that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid economic calamity, but their standoff over how to do so has intensified. Despite the national debt increasing by close to $8 trillion under President Donald Trump, Republicans have been adamant that they will refuse to help Democrats increase the debt ceiling, in opposition to President Biden’s spending plans.”
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: “When we raise the debt ceiling, we’re effectively agreeing to raise the country’s credit card balance, and in this case, 97% of that balance was incurred by past congresses and presidential administrations. Even if the Biden administration hadn’t authorized any spending, we would still need to address the debt ceiling now.”

Republicans’ political games with the debt limit are already creating uncertainty that could hurt Americans and the economy.

  • Washington Post: “Even resolving the matter before the debt ceiling is breached could hurt U.S. taxpayers and the American economy in the long term. The budget battles over the debt ceiling of 2011 and 2013 under the Obama administration created financial uncertainty and deflated business investment, costing the U.S. economy as much as $180 billion and 1.2 million jobs by 2015, according to Zandi and Yaros.”
  • CBS News: “Even the threat of default can have financial consequences. In August 2011, the U.S. credit rating was downgraded from AA+ to AAA for the first time in history by Standard & Poor’s, just days after the Obama administration reached a deal with Congressional Republicans.”
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NEW VIDEO: McConnell vs. McConnell

22 Sep

Today, the DNC released a new video highlighting Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy on raising the debt ceiling. In 2019, after adding nearly $8 trillion in debt under President Trump, McConnell was adamantly against the United States defaulting on debt. But now that there’s a Democratic president, he’s using the debt limit as a political football—risking the livelihoods of millions of Americans and threatening to throw our recovering economy into a tailspin.

WATCH HERE:

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Republican Hypocrisy Could Cost American Families Trillions

21 Sep
Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell are playing political football with the debt ceiling despite their support for raising the limit in years past while adding nearly $8 trillion in debt under President Trump. Their games could cost 6 million Americans their jobs and wipe out $15 trillion from American household wealth.

Mitch McConnell is now openly admitting that Republicans are playing political games with the debt ceiling:

Burgess Everett, Politico: “McConnell says GOP will vote to fund government but will not ‘relieve’ Democrats of responsibility to raise debt ceiling

“‘The debt ceiling will be raised as it always should be, but it will be raised by the Democrats’”

Republican lawmakers are willing to put our economic recovery into a tailspin and cost Americans millions of jobs and trillions in household wealth: Washington Post: U.S. default this fall would cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in wealth, study says

  • “Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, found that a prolonged impasse over the debt ceiling would cost the U.S. economy up to 6 million jobs, wipe out as much as $15 trillion in household wealth, and send the unemployment rate surging to roughly 9 percent from around 5 percent.”
  • “Lawmakers in both parties agree that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid economic calamity, but their standoff over how to do so has intensified. Despite increasing the national debt by close to $8 trillion under President Trump, Republicans have been adamant that they will refuse to help Democrats increase the debt ceiling in opposition to President Biden’s spending plans.”
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Ron DeSantis Hires New Surgeon General Who’s Anti-Vaxx and Anti-Mask

21 Sep

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Dr. Joseph Ladapo as Florida’s newest surgeon general and secretary of Florida’s Department of Health, who has a history of going against science when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. DNC spokesperson Adonna Biel released the following statement:

“There has been no governor who has been more pro-COVID than Ron DeSantis and his newest hire, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, is further confirmation of that. Instead of going with a trusted advocate for science, DeSantis is once again playing games with peoples’ lives by appointing someone who has trafficked anti-vaccine and anti-mask rhetoric. The American people are ready to return to normalcy and the DeSantis playbook of prolonging the pandemic is dangerous and wreaking havoc on his own state.”

A look at Ladapo’s history on COVID-19:

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DNC Statement on James Craig’s Extremist Views on Reproductive Freedom

21 Sep

Today, the Metro Times revealed a secret recording where James Craig confirms he’s in favor of upholding Michigan’s 1931 law that criminalizes abortion. This comes after he’s previously dodged questions on his position on abortion. Should Roe be overturned, Michigan would have one of the nation’s most extreme abortion laws. In response, DNC spokesperson Adonna Biel issued the following statement:

“Though he has desperately tried to hide his extreme positions, James Craig finally confirmed he stands by an extreme anti-abortion law that would virtually eliminate the freedom to decide and criminalize doctors for doing their jobs. Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban has no place in the 21st century, and yet Craig is willing to stand by an arcane law in opposition to decades of precedent, and jeopoardize the health of countless people. 

“Republicans’ unrelenting attacks on women’s health and reproductive freedom are a reminder of what’s at stake in elections across the country in 2021 and 2022. You can count on Democrats at every level to hold Republicans accountable for their extreme, wildly out of touch positions.”

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NEW NAVIGATOR POLL: President Biden’s Economic Agenda Remains Popular Across the Board

21 Sep
New polling released this morning from Navigator shows the American people overwhelmingly support President Biden’s economic plan. While Republicans continue to play politics with the livelihoods of hardworking Americans, President Biden and Democrats are delivering results and fighting to move our country forward — and the public sees it.

Navigator Polling

  • “By a 42-point margin, two in three Americans continue to support President Biden and congressional Democrats’ new economic plan.”
  • “66 percent of Americans support President Biden’s proposed economic legislation to ‘provide paid family and medical leave, establish a universal Pre-K program, expand Medicare coverage for seniors to include dental, vision, and hearing coverage, lower health care costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, provide tax breaks for clean energy, and expand the Child Tax Credit for most families with children,’ compared with just 24 percent who oppose it.”
  • “Support includes 61 percent of Independents and nearly two in five Republicans (39 percent).

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