Trump Tax Code Reform Favors the Rich and Big Corporations – Surprised?

From seven brackets to three

The White House and Congressional Republicans announced their plans for a tax code reform bill. There is a bit of something positive in it. It would simplify the tax code into three brackets, instead of the current seven. But that’s about all that is positive in it for the middle class.

“We’re going to cut taxes for the middle class, make the tax code simpler and more fair for everyday Americans,” Trump said while speaking about the plan. “We are going to bring back the jobs and wealth that have left our country — and most people thought left our country for good.”

The plan would raise the bottom rate to 12 percent from today’s 10 percent. According to the blueprint of the plan, average families “are expected to be better off” under all the changes it proposes. An analysis by the Americans for Tax Fairness found that the plan would provide a “modest middle-class tax cut,” mainly by doubling the standard deduction. However, the analysis also found that if the tax plan repeals the personal exemption and the head of household filing status, “much of that could be taken away.” Continue reading “Trump Tax Code Reform Favors the Rich and Big Corporations – Surprised?”

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt’s Failed Leadership Mangles Environmental Protection, Endangers Millions Devastated by Extreme Weather

Scott Pruitt is Damaging Hurricane Recovery and Preparedness

Sierra Club press release Friday, September 21: 

Despite his dogged efforts to dismantle the agency he leads and refocus it on protecting corporate polluters instead of the American people, somehow Polluting Pruitt just can’t seem to catch a break with the press outside Breitbartlandia.

Why? Well, for the past few weeks at least, it’s because his policies are undermining the long and

Well, for the past few weeks at least, it’s because his policies are undermining the long and short-term recovery from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Heckuva job, Pruitt.

It’s hard to put it more succinctly than Thomas Friedman in the NYT:

“Trump has recently fired various knuckle-headed aides whose behavior was causing him short-term embarrassment. The person he needs to fire is Scott Pruitt. Pruitt is going to cause Trump long-term embarrassment.”

What’s Pruitt screwing up? Let’s count the ways… Continue reading “EPA Chief Scott Pruitt’s Failed Leadership Mangles Environmental Protection, Endangers Millions Devastated by Extreme Weather”

Climate Refugees and the Delusion of Isolation

One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic

Forced MigrationBe it from social unrest, economic upheaval, or environmental collapse, forced human migration is at unprecedented levels. According to the UNHCR, there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today. Of those, more than 22 million are forced refugees. Over half are under 18 years old. Nearly 20 people are displaced from their homes every minute.

Sixty-five million people forced to flee their homes?

However disquieting, it almost doesn’t matter. As awful as that sounds, our emotional and mental resources aren’t naturally up to the task of finding empathy for so many. What researchers call “compassion fade” creates “psychic numbing.” Our minds are desensitized by numbers like these. It is, as research psychologist Paul Slovic calls it, the “arithmetic of compassion.”

Continue reading “Climate Refugees and the Delusion of Isolation”