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

Coronavirus carrier faces jail in Singapore for lying over movements

first_imgThe husband had been confirmed to be infected with the virus in late January, and has since recovered, while his wife had been quarantined due to her close contact with him.The health ministry said “detailed investigations” had established their true movements and they were charged “in view of the potentially serious repercussions of the false information…and the risk they could have posed to public health”.Charges under the Infectious Diseases Act are rare and this is the first case during the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore. First time offenders under the Act can be fined up to S$10,000 ($7,147) or imprisoned for six months, or both.Also on Wednesday, Singapore said a 45-year-old man lost his residency status after failing to comply with an order to stay at home for 14 days when he returned from China. The city-state – known for its tough laws – has also cancelled work passes and cut employers’ rights to hire foreigners for breaches of other virus prevention measures.Topics : A Chinese national who contracted coronavirus has been charged by Singaporean authorities for allegedly giving false information about his whereabouts in the city-state and could face up to six months in jail.Singapore has won international praise for its fastidious approach in tackling the virus – which has included using police investigators and security cameras to help track suspect carriers. The wealthy island state, an important regional financial center and transport hub, has confirmed 91 cases so far.The health ministry on Wednesday said it had charged a 38-year-old man from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first surfaced late last year, and his wife who resides in Singapore for allegedly providing false information to authorities about their movements for contact tracing.last_img read more

Holocaust memorial sites fight new threat from far right

first_img“There have always been incidents at memorial sites, but we have noticed an escalation due to the far right’s breaching of language taboos,” he said. At Buchenwald, where 56,000 people died between 1937 and 1945, the number of reported incidents has doubled since 2015.Right-wing extremists have also been known to take smiling selfies in front of furnaces used to cremate victims and leave stickers glorifying their fellow revisionists, Knigge said.More recently, a growing number of tour guides have been interrupted by extremists propagating revisionist theories.  Topics : Remembrance culture This year marks 75 years since the liberation of most of the Nazi death camps in Europe.The rise in incidents at memorial sites also comes as the generation of Germans who lived through World War II is beginning to die out and attention is shifting to making sure that the horrors of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were systematically murdered, are not forgotten.But recent years have seen the anti-immigrant AfD party establish itself as the most electorally successful far-right movement in Germany’s post-war history.Founded in 2013, the AfD is now the largest opposition party in Germany’s parliament, and many of its key figures have attacked the long-standing culture of atonement for Nazi crimes. Regional leader Bjoern Hoecke has called for a “180 degree reversal” in German remembrance culture, and labeled the Berlin Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame”.Former AfD chairman Alexander Gauland has dismissed the Nazi dictatorship as a “speck of bird shit” in German history, and called on citizens to be proud of soldiers who fought for the Nazi Wehrmacht, or army. “The far right and the AfD always adopt a strategy of pushing boundaries in order to normalize their thought,” said Bianca Klose, of the Berlin-based organization Mobile Counseling against Right-wing Extremism (MBR).Since the party won seats in all of Germany’s regional parliaments, several AfD MPs have also tried to influence the cultural-historical programs of memorial sites, she added.”They question the pedagogical choices and attempt to erase certain historical aspects. Even worse, they intimidate people by demanding information about their private life or political orientation,” Klose told AFP. From swastikas sprayed on the walls to Hitler salute selfies, far-right provocations are a growing problem at the sites of former Nazi concentration camps in Germany.Museum directors have sounded the alarm over a spike in incidents, which include visitors writing messages of Holocaust denial in the guestbook and challenging tour guides on the facts of the genocide.”Messages glorifying Nazism or demanding the camps be reopened for foreigners have become more common,” Volkhard Knigge, museum director at the former Buchenwald concentration camp in eastern Germany, told AFP.center_img Security measures There are 15 former concentration camps on German soil, which have been turned into memorial sites.The most well-known among them, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Neuengamme, Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrueck and Buchenwald, received almost three million visitors in 2018.But faced with the new challenge from the far right, many of the sites have been forced to adapt. In Berlin, Neumaerker allows his tour guides to choose themselves whether or not to accept groups from the AfD, and has provided staff with special training in how to react to provocations. Like his colleague Knigge at Buchenwald, he has blacklisted certain members of the AfD. At Neuengamme, any delegations from the AfD are accompanied by extra tour guides.Certain sites have also introduced a so-called “extremist clause”, prohibiting access to anyone wearing clothes, which reference the Third Reich. Yet financing CCTV cameras and security personnel diverts funds, which “would be more useful in education… especially for younger people,” said Knigge. The Buchenwald director also said he regretted that schools had cut back on lessons dedicated solely to teaching the history of Nazism in their busy timetables, an issue that has provoked concern in Germany and a parliamentary study two years ago. “The memorials can’t compensate for what schools are no longer doing,” he said. Uwe Neumaerker, director of Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, said that his museum faced similar problems. “Visitors are questioning the truth of the genocide. That is something which we didn’t experience even a few years ago.”last_img read more

Family First appeals against deregistration

first_imgNZ Herald 27 May 2013Family First has lodged a High Court appeal against the removal of its charitable status – a decision the group has blamed on a single complaint which coincided with the same-sex marriage debate.The Charities Registration Board earlier this month ruled Family First’s main purpose was political, rather than charitable, and that it would lose its charitable status unless it appealed by today.An appeal was lodged in the High Court at Wellington this afternoon, which means the group can remain on the charities register until the outcome of the appeal.Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the group had been de-registered because of its views on gay marriage, which was legalised by Parliament last month.He said the “highly politicised” decision to remove its charitable status followed an investigation sparked by a single complaint on August 28 last year – the day before same-sex marriage legislation was given its first reading in Parliament.The two-sentence complaint, released to Family First under the Official Information Act, said the group was “a religious based pressure group” with the sole purpose of preventing human rights for non-heterosexual people.Mr McCoskrie said the board’s decision was an abuse of power which showed government groups were being used to enforce an ideology.He said the board had investigated only one charity which opposed Family First’s views, and that group was still registered.“The Charities Registration Board should be consistent – but it’s quite evident that it’s not, and is using isolated complaints by disgruntled people to muzzle groups who challenge the prevailing politically correct view.” First fights for charity status3 News 27 May 2013 First to appeal deregistrationONE News 27 May 2013Family First New Zealand says it will appeal a decision that will soon see it deregistered as a charity. read more

NCAA Tourney

first_imgDo you wonder what the deciding factor is in picking the “at large” teams for the NCAA tournament?  The conference tournament championships and league champions are automatics.  You make it as one or the other but not for both.  So how do the others get in?  The factors are: Power Ranking (wins over rated teams) Total wins plus being in a major conference Your coach’s reputation and your fan baseBeing in the top 50, no bad losses, name recognitionThe Committee bias (look good for TV ratings)You probably don’t agree with all of these, and if you ask the committee who picks the remaining teams, they will deny any of those factors that I listed that can not be quantitatively backed up.  How many times have you seen Duke or North Carolina left out of the NCAA?  Case closed.last_img read more

St. Louis students receive gold at ISSMA contest

first_imgBATESVILLE, Ind. — Seven students from St. Louis school recently participated in the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest.The students competed in nine contests, and the students received Gold rankings in each.Participating in vocal solos and earning gold medals were Martha Hillenbrand, Evelyn Storms, Alyssa Wanstrath, and Anna Wanstrath.Participating in piano solos and earning gold medals were Elizabeth Harmeyer, Kayla Stone, Alyssa Wanstrath, Anna Wanstrath, and Teresa Wanstrath.Gold is the highest ranking the judges can award.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

New Albany native to lead Indianapolis investigative unit

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter has announced the promotion of Trooper Joshua Graves to the rank of Sergeant to serve as an investigative supervisor for Field Investigations at the Indianapolis Post.Sergeant Graves is a native of New Albany Indiana and a 2002 graduate of New Albany High School. Upon graduation from high school, Graves furthered his education with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Fitness from Purdue University. After graduating college, he worked as a strength and conditioning coach, then as a middle school teacher. In the fall of 2011 he was selected to attend the 71st  Indiana State Police recruit academy, which he successfully completed in March of 2012. Graves’ first assignment was the SellersburgDistrict where he patrolled Floyd and Clark County until April of 2013, when he transferred to the Indianapolis District. In 2016 Graves was promoted to Detective to serve as an investigator for the Indianapolis District.During his career with the Indiana State Police, Graves has been a field training officer, a Standardized Field Sobriety Instructor and has attended the Reid School for Interrogation. He is also a certified instructor in Control Tactics.Sergeant Graves’ new leadership role will include the supervision of the Indianapolis District Detectives, reviewing case reports submitted by troopers and assisting other agencies with investigations.Detective Graves currently resides in Hamilton County with his wife, and two children.last_img read more

President dubs Upper Mazaruni Games 2016 an ‘Olympic Affair’

first_img… Finals to be held under lightsTHE 2016 edition of the Upper Mazaruni District Games opened on Sunday to the words of President David Granger dubbing the one-week event a local version of the Olympic Games.“We have the Olympics right here only the fireworks are missing,” were the words of the Head of State as he spoke to more than four hundred athletes from twelve villages who converged on Kamarang/Warawatta village.“Whenever I go to the other regions I always tell them about the Upper Mazaruni games, where villages come, where people walk sometimes for one or two days sometimes even longer to reach their destination,” the President said.Director of Sport Christopher Jones takes part of a meet-and-greet session with the participants of the Upper Mazaruni Games 2016. Director of Sport Christopher Jones takes part of a meet-and-greet session with the participants of the Upper Mazaruni Games 2016.He continued, “They come on foot they come by canoe. There is no other part of Guyana where we can see ten or twelve villages coming together voluntarily with their own resources to have fun to have games like Upper Mazaruni.”The President expounded on his pride to see the community-based involvement throughout the hinterland region, adding, “Sometimes I see nursing mothers just set aside their babies to go and play football, win the match, come back and continue nursing their babies, smiling.”The Head of State added that he and his government will continue to contribute to that happiness “by helping you to make the games bigger and better every year” while also throwing out a challenge to other communities like Bartica, to pick up and run with the initiative.The President was accompanied by First Lady Sandra Granger, Vice-President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock, Minister within the Ministry of Education Nicolette Henry, Minister within the Ministry of Communities Dawn Hastings-Williams, Director of Sport Christopher Jones, Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford, Regional Executive Officer Roderick Edinboro and Ministerial Adviser to the Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Mervin Williams.The day’s activities began with a joint religious service where members from the various denominations gathered for praise and worship.However, on the stroke of noon, the teams all decked out in their respective club uniforms began a colourful parade approximately a quarter of a mile from the airstrip and converged on the centre of attention – the Kamarang Playfield.There, Vice-President Allicock, Minister Hastings-Williams, Regional Chairman Bradford and Regional Executive Officer, Toshao Norma Thomas all took the salute.Vice-President Allicock, in acknowledging the leading role Upper Mazaruni District continues to play in sport, urged them to continue in this vein which can serve as a springboard for attaining international status.After officially declaring the Games open, Director of Sport Christopher Jones said the Ministry of Education and the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport had contributed fuel for the games to the tune of $400 000, trophies for male and female champions as well as gear for a number of sport disciplines.However, what was monumental was the donation of floodlights for the Kamarang Playground which will ensure this year’s games and future games are played under floodlights – the first of such developments in sport for the region.Also adding to the excitement was a cultural dance that showcased the talents of the indigenous people as well as a parade by the Master Guide Club from Paruima.The Mini Totem Pole, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs and Cell Phone giant Digicel, was also on display and persons were allowed photo opportunities with the sculpture.When the action got going Kamarang’s Male Tigers walloped Waramadong, while the encounter between the female teams saw a reverse in the results at the final whistle.last_img read more

NBA Draft experts weigh in on Elijah Hughes’ status

first_img Published on March 10, 2020 at 9:48 pm Contact Michael: | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+ Early Monday morning, Elijah Hughes became the third Syracuse basketball player in the last seven years to be named to the All-Atlantic Coast first team. That’s a feat accomplished by neither Tyus Battle nor Oshae Brissett, the two players who Hughes played a secondary role to in his first season as a contributor for the Orange.Hughes recently scored his 1000th point at Syracuse and has come a long way from the overlooked prospect who spent much of his career as an under-the-radar role player.Hughes still has the option to return to SU for his redshirt senior season, but NBA Draft experts have kept close attention to Hughes’ quick rise. The Daily Orange interviewed three NBA Draft experts on how real that attention is. Here is a breakdown of Hughes’ status as an NBA Draft prospect.The Daily Orange: What is the first thing that stands out about Hughes?Paul Biancardi, ESPN: “He has NBA (3-point) range right now. And that’s attractive to the NBA. The shot at that distance is not a problem. Now, there needs to be a consistency behind that long range that will come over the course of time. But the hard part, he already has down. He’s a very good straight-line driver with a lot of speed. So if you take that 3-point shot away — a lot of teams like to run him off the line — his ability to shot-fake or his ability just to grab it, sweep it across his body and go with a straight-line drive. Excellent speed. And then he has that athleticism to punch it down and finish.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatt Babcock, Babcock Hoops: “I did not have high expectations for this year’s Syracuse team prior to the season. They have done well, and I think a lot of credit needs to be given to Hughes. He has been impressive all season.”Lorenzo Neri, L’Ultimo Uomo (Italy): Note from Writer — Neri had watched Hughes play live when the Orange took their preseason trip to Italy. “Back to last summer, the first thing that jumped about Elijah was the combination of power, agility and skills. He has this linebacker body type, strong with low center of gravity that allows him to play through contact and against bigger players.”D.O.: What is his best and worst trait?P.B.: “He’s actually best off the ball. I like him coming off screens. Coming from dribble penetration and kick to him. So, I think he’s best moving, cutting, coming off screens. He’d be fantastic at what they call a simple wide pin-down where he’ll just curl into the lane, catch it and shoot it. With all that said, his middle game needs work. The dribble pull-up. And then obviously the ability to get in the lane and shoot a floater off of one foot. That’s probably the next part that needs to step up. Because you’re going to be in the NBA. Because they’re going to take away what you do best, so you have to counter it.”M.B.: “Hughes is an aggressive, well-rounded scorer. He has a strong, sturdy build, handles the ball well, and has deep range. He tends to have a quick trigger, which is something that often times comes along with being an assertive scorer. I do think he could improve his shot selection. However, it’s not overly concerning, as the role he is playing for Syracuse is to be ‘the guy’; they clearly want and need him to aggressively pursue scoring opportunities.”L.N.: “(His body) is a truly valuable skill for the NBA level, especially if you think of his skillset. What concerns me about his NBA future are two things: shooting (technique and selection) and defense. He has touch but his catch point and his release point are really low, and he’s not the tallest guy for a wing position.”D.O.: Anything that he needs to show more of?P.B.: “Especially in the NBA, you’re not going to get to the rim very often. That pull-up jump shot, it’s important to get into that rhythm and the practice habits of taking that shot. And the only way you take it is by practicing it. So that you get comfortable in it.”M.B.: “Aside from his shot selection and just some basic decision-making, which can be said of just about any player at this stage in their career, there isn’t really one specific thing that I’d like to see from him. I think he has room for growth all around as any player does, but for the most part he is a pretty well-rounded player without any glaring weaknesses.”L.N.: “He too often settles for the contested mid- and long-range jumper instead of attacking from the dribble, using his strength. I think that the shot selection and the defense adaptability certainly has something to do with (SU head coach Jim) Boeheim’s style of play on both ends of the floor.”D.O.: Where would you expect to see him picked?M.B.: “It’s an interesting time of the year in regards to projecting draft picks, as we are not certain exactly which players will return to school. Hughes is a player that we have not included in our mock draft up to this point, but if he does decide to be in this year’s draft, I would say that he would have a very good chance of being a second-round draft pick.”L.N.: “In the end, I think he has the potential to be a good rotation player in the NBA. Maybe some team could spend a second-round pick on him… maybe he’s going to fight for a spot on an NBA team through Summer League, Training Camps and GLeague.”More notes:Biancardi noted that Hughes’ passing is an “underrated” aspect of the Syracuse forward’s game: “I think when you watch his shot, you don’t think about him passing, but he’s a guy who can really pass the ball.”Biancardi also addressed the size question: Whether or not Hughes’ 6-foot-6 height causes concern over what position he will play at the next level. He said that won’t be an issue: “They draft you based on what you do, not what you can’t do. And they figure out how to plug you into their system.This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Commentslast_img read more