Republicans’ haste leading to flawed tax legislation

first_imgLikewise, the House version would stop allowing taxpayers to take a deduction for medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their income.That would hurt middle- and working-class families.On matters small and large, Republican leaders have deliberately left no time for definitive congressional analysis of the economic and social fallout.Then they’ve summarily dismissed research by respected outside groups like the Tax Policy Center, which has found that the legislation decisively tilts to the well-to-do — by 2027, the wealthiest 1 percent would get 60 percent of the benefits, the group says — and that by 2027, tens of millions of middle-class families would pay higher taxes.The Senate bill has a provision for triggering automatic additional corporate tax cuts in the unlikely event that revenues exceed expectations.On Tuesday, Republicans inserted a so-called “backstop” provision that would limit tax cuts years from now if there’s a revenue shortfall.Details weren’t provided and it’s probably more of a vote-getting device than a substantive check on ballooning deficits. Sen. Ron Wyden, the panel’s senior Democrat who was amenable to a bipartisan tax-reform deal. Instead, the seven-term Utah lawmaker, under pressure to retire next year, went small, expensive and partisan.Stephen Shay, a Harvard University law school lecturer, tax lawyer and former Treasury official, has predicted that the rushed legislation “will be rife with undiscovered loopholes that increase the windfalls and scope of the deficit.”The Finance Committee did hold an Oct. 3 hearing, he noted, but it lacked substance and was “irrelevant except to permit the committee majority to say a hearing was held.”Overall, Shay writes, “There is a pervasive failing in the bill to introduce guardrails around substantial rate reductions that would effectively police the many new boundaries between rate differences that the bill creates.”Some provisions are included to score cheap political points. Conservatives targeted higher education, elite liberal institutions in their book, with taxes on the endowments of better-off colleges and on the tuition waivers graduate students receive for working as researchers or teaching assistants.There were no hearings that weighed the effect of these measures.University officials claim they would reduce research and cut financial assistance for middle-income students — at a time the federal government is cutting back in the same areas. Over the summer, Republican leaders brushed aside Sen. John McCain’s call for “regular order” to consider what soon became a failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Regular order involves dozens of hearings in which different views can be ventilated, along with deep analysis in a bipartisan spirit.Politically motivated haste has now produced an equally reckless tax effort.On a macro level, it’s not going to produce the promised economic growth.It can be expected to add at least $1.7 trillion to the deficit in 10 years and worsen income inequality.It’s no surprise the House legislated on a partisan basis; that’s long been the way it does business.But the Senate ought to be a different story.Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who leads the Finance Committee, could have tried to work with Oregon Categories: Editorial, OpinionAny major tax bill has unintended consequences and hidden loopholes.But the current Republican tax effort just bristles with such potential miscues.It’s a slipshod product, legislated with minimal transparency and analysis and with a premium on partisan politics.The Senate is slated to vote very soon on a tax bill that’s similar to the one the House passed on Nov. 16.Both call for huge tax cuts, primarily for corporations and upper-income individuals, with little, sometimes nothing, for many middle-class taxpayers.Both parade as tax reform, but do little to reorganize the tax system as the last real tax reform did in a bipartisan measure passed in 1986.The legislation has been rushed so fast through a short-circuited lawmaking process that if it’s successful, many of the politicians who voted for it may find themselves shocked to discover what they’ve done. Sponsors contend that tax cuts benefiting the middle class that are slated to expire in 10 years actually will be extended by a future Congress.If that’s true, what they don’t acknowledge is that these future cuts would add even more to the deficit, bringing pressure for significant spending reductions.The only big available targets are entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, or military spending.That’s why there should be a clear path for deficit hawks like Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, or defense hawks like McCain, to send this bill back to the Finance Committee for real hearings, review, debate and analysis.That’s called regular order.Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist and former executive editor of Bloomberg News.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

VanLaanen cruises at Thunderhill Raceway

first_imgBy Edward AnschutzSTURGEON BAY, Wis. (Aug. 16) – After taking the lead on lap two and surviving a number of restarts, Jarred VanLaanen’s cruised to victory Sunday in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod main event at Thunderhill Raceway.VanLaanen built a straightaway advantage, only to see it taken away by a caution on lap eight. VanLaanen again set sail on the restart, leaving the battle for second. Jacob Zellner bobbled while running near the front, setting off a chain reaction wreck that collected title contenders Ber­nie Reinhardt and Tom Stark.Stark returned on the lead lap after a trip down pit lane. Several mid-race cautions kept the field tight but no one had anything to challenge VanLaanen, who dominated the remainder of the event with his second feature win of the season. Vince Engebregtsen was second and Cody Rass placed third.Other feature winners were Greg Gretz in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds, Tom Brumlic in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Dave Schmidt in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.last_img read more

Tuzla: Street Race 2014 to be Held in Tuzla on the 10th August

first_imgAMC „Bad Boys“ Živinice in partnership with the team „“ is organizing the second race on 402 meters this season to be scored for the SBIH/OP BIH and for the Cup 2014!Street Race 2014 – Championship of B&H, Styling-Tuning, DB, prize contests, auto show, bike races, great fun and lots of other events is what visitors and drivers can expect this year.The winners will receive valuable money prizes and trophies and three most lucky in classes will have the opportunity to drive in a sport plain for half an hour for free.The promo event “Street Race 2014” will be held at the Pannonian Lake in Tuzla the 10th August at 12:00 o’clock. Visitors will be able to take a look at the sports car exhibition, have fun at the beach and of course take all the information they need as well there. Those who will be most lucky will receive symbolic prizes of the partners of this year’s Street Race.Motorbike races will be held during the pauses of car races.This event will take place at the Canton of Tuzla, Municipality of Živinice, Aeroport Lane in Ciljuge.STlast_img read more

FFWPU USA Outreach initiatives around the country

first_imgFFWPU USA: Outreach initiatives around the country have successfully tapped into the depth and power of the Divine Principle, showing us what it really means to live as Unificationists. From bringing our community closer together to inspiring new guests, these efforts give us hope and ideas for our ongoing mission of tribal messiahship (personal ministry). Read these stories and organize your very own local outreach program!  Then share your story.New Hampshire Workshop Expresses Heart of Divine PrincipleUnificationists and guests in Manchester, New Hampshire, attended a one-day workshop on January 10, 2015, to contemplate God’s heart with the theme “Deeper with God: God’s Heart in the Divine Principle.” Over 40 participants, ranging from college students to state leaders, attended from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island.The inspiration behind the theme came from the Unification Thought Theory of Education, which, as explained by presenter Gerry Servito, “omits much of the immense detail in the Divine Principle and refocuses more on the heart of it all, so that when we go back into the details, there’s more meaningful understanding and appreciation for them.”The workshop organizers, Pastor Heather Thalheimer, Cheryl Roth and Gerry Servito, structured the workshop around 50-minute presentations followed by 30-minute group discussions. The presentations focused on “the Three Hearts of God”: the Heart of God during Creation, the Heart of God at the Fall, and the Heart of God during the History of Restoration.“I already know the content,” said one participant, “but the heart of God became more clear and impressed on my own heart.” Many expressed similar sentiments, saying that they gained a deeper understanding of concepts as well as a determination to apply them to their own life.This approach helped create an emotional connection to God, a key part in understanding the First Great Blessing. “Students were not moved by the massive amount of revelation in the Divine Principle,” said Gerry Servito, “but rather by the emotional narrative of God’s hopes, heartbreaks and lifelong effort to recover our Heavenly Parent’s family.”Longtime Unificationists were able to see and understand the Divine Principle from a new perspective, and a few of the attendees hearing Divine Principle for the first time had powerful experiences as well. Rev. Thalheimer said: “Gerry spoke powerfully to people. As he described the Fall of Man, I noticed one of our first-time guests was crying. Later she shared with me that this new insight about Lucifer helped her understand her life.” Read Morelast_img read more