A little bit of the hideous GOP tax “cut” bill: Graduate students are frequently given free tuition and a living stipend, which is never generous. In exchange, these students teach undergrad courses and conduct (or assist in) research. The stipend has been counted as taxable income. The tax bill wants the tuition to be taxable income as well. That could quadruple the tax bill and leave a lot less money for things such as … food.
That means a lot fewer students could afford to get graduate degrees. Only the rich kids could afford them. Which is another way of saying this is another way to prevent us lowly people from challenging the rich in their position of top dog.
At a Senate Finance Committee meeting Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio talked about the tax “cut” bill.
I just think it would be nice, just tonight, before we go home, to just acknowledge, well, this tax cut really is not for the middle class; it's for the rich. And that whole thing about higher wages, well, it's a good selling point, but we know companies don't just give away higher wages. They don't just give away higher wages, just 'cause they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money now; they're sitting on a lot of profits now. I don't see wages going up. So, just spare us, spare us the bank shots, spare us the sarcasm and the satire—Which brought hot sputtering denials from Senator Orrin Hatch.
Melissa McEwan of Shakesville thinks Brown struck a nerve – and Hatch hates the truth.
Catherine Rampell is an opinion writer for The Washington Post. She asks an important question of the GOP tax bill:
Nearly every claim Republicans are using to market their tax plan is at best a distortion, at worst a deliberate falsehood.Rampell debunks the GOP talking points (see her article for details):
Which raises the question: If their plan is really so great, why not sell it on the merits?
Presumably because Trump and Republican lawmakers know they’re offering a plan the public doesn’t want. Ergo, they need to promise things the tax plan doesn’t do.
* The bill is so pro-growth it will reduce the federal debt.
* The plan primarily helps the middle class. Nope, it primarily helps the rich. And hurts the poor.
* The plan will hurt the nasty guy.
* This will be the biggest tax cut in history. Not even the biggest in the last five years.
* The economy desperately needs a tax cut.
Rupert Neate, writing for The Guardian reports that the dollar millionaires (0.7% of all adults, about 36 million) now own half the world’s wealth, or about $140 trillion dollars. 3.5 billion (more than half) of the world’s poorest adults individually have assets less than $10,000 and together have just 2.7% of the global wealth.
Talking Points Memo has a longform piece discussing how Millennials are leaving religion. I didn’t read it because most of it is behind a subscriber button. However, what caught my attention is a couple of the comments showing on that intro page. This is from marty110:
Several months back, Christians were frantic over the thought that their wives and daughters would be groped in a bathroom by a trans or gay person - now they overwhelmingly voted for a man who brags about groping women? I fear we are in the minority in the church who saw what was in front of our faces on TV during the campaign and were repulsed. A sweet, kind, and sensitive woman in my church (almost in tears) said to me after election - "Didn't they see? Didn't they hear what he said"?
Commenter drtv noted they supported Trump for one reason: the seat on the Supremes.