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Small Business Owner Destroys Trump On Taxes And Business Practices

Small Business Owner to Undecided Voters: Donald Trump is a Recession Waiting to Happen

Washington, D.C.-  Today Main Street Alliance (MSA) released its first political web ad, featuring MSA Executive Committee member and small business owner Kelly Conklin. Polling suggests Donald Trump’s path to the presidency must include winning New Hampshire. That is why it is so important to Kelly and Main Street Alliance that voters in the Granite State hear the voice of real small business owners before casting their ballots. 

Check out Kelly’s video appeal to New Hampshire’s undecided voters. View the full 75-second version HERE and the shortened 30-second version HERE.

A poll conducted in September found nearly 60 percent of small business owners siding with Donald Trump. With less than two weeks until Election Day, Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite LLC, a woodworking company in Kenilworth, New Jersey, makes his case against a Trump presidency.

“Donald Trump is a recession waiting to happen,” Kelly says. “And on November 8th you have a choice, whether we are going to go ahead on a steady course or whether we are going to plunge the country into one of its darkest eras ever. The master of disaster or a proven entity who can do the job.”

Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of MSA, said Trump’s behavior and business practices inspired the group to speak up.

“Donald Trump’s rhetoric throughout the election has been toxic and dangerous. His almost glib explanations for his tax avoidance and bad business practices, and shirking small business owners he works with shows a misunderstanding of what it takes to make our economy thrive,” said Ballantyne. “For that reason, we can no longer sit on the sidelines. We worked with our members to produce this video expressing the concerns of real small business owners who have earned their success by doing business the right way.”

Full 75 sec video below.

[Leo W Gerard] Donald Trump: Valueless

Warren Buffett threw down the gauntlet to Donald Trump again last week. It happened after Trump lied about Buffett’s federal income tax payments on national TV.

During the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, Trump said Buffett “took a massive deduction,” suggesting it was the kind that the Republican nominee used for years to dodge income taxes.

The next morning, Buffett reported to the world that he paid federal taxes every year since 1944 when he was 13. He owed $7 then. Last year, he paid $1.8 million, about 16 percent of his $11.6 million income. He gave $2.858 billion to charity that year. Yes, that’s billion with a b.

By contrast, Trump’s “charitable” foundation is under investigation for self-dealing, and he is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse to disclose any federal income tax information.

In August, Buffett, who is six times richer than Trump, challenged the Republican nominee to a tax throw down. The point of honor in that duel would be revealing their returns. Buffet pointed out that both men are under audit, so that would be no excuse to chicken out. Still, Trump begged off.

Image By DonkeyHotey on FLIKR

Image By DonkeyHotey on FLIKR

It’s not enough for a presidential candidate to boast before adoring crowds. It’s crucial that candidates both embody and demonstrate American values. Those standards don’t include lying or shirking taxes or bragging about sexual assault or creating a charity to pay a candidate’s own bills. Buffett demonstrates American values in both words and actions. Trump displays utter obliviousness to those values.

Trump claims he’s going to be the law-and-order president. But in the second presidential debate, he admitted he used a nearly $1 billion business loss to avoid paying federal income taxes for years.

That means he didn’t contribute to uniforms or cars or guns for FBI agents or offices for federal prosecutors or salaries for federal judges. He’s a $10 billionaire. But he didn’t participate. He didn’t help pay for law and order. Or for veterans’ hospitals or protective gear for military personnel, for that matter. Or border patrols. He’s all bluster, but no action when the dollars count.

Trump said “that’s smart,” when confronted with his tax shirking. To mill workers and waitresses and school teachers, whose federal taxes are deducted from every paycheck, it’s not smart. It’s cheating. It’s dishonorable. It’s unethical.

Like virtually all wealthy people, Warren Buffett paid less than half the highest marginal rate of 39.6 percent. His was lower because of deductions for charitable contributions and state income taxes.

Buffett has said repeatedly, however, that such a low rate for the wealthy is inappropriate. He thinks it should be 30 percent, no matter the deductions, for anyone earning more than $5 million. That’s called the Buffett Rule because he has so strongly espoused it.

By contrast, Trump wants to lower taxes on the wealthy.

Despite Buffett’s billions, he believes in a very basic American value, the meritocracy. He plans to give 99 percent of his $65 billion fortune to philanthropic causes during his lifetime. That means his three children will inherit precious little. He explained the philosophy behind that to Fortune magazine, saying he would give them, “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything but not so much that they could do nothing.”

Giving any child, as he put it, “a lifetime supply of food stamps just because they came out of the right womb” was harmful and an antisocial act. That is a man who opposes aristocracy.

By contrast, Trump would slash the current inheritance tax by more than half, an act that would sustain aristocracy in America, like the one Trump’s own fortune arose from.

Buffett started giving his money away in 2006. He pledged most of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Not long afterward, the three billionaires asked other wealthy Americans to pledge at least half of their fortunes to charity.

In a letter making that request, Buffett wrote, “The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.”

He said living in America, luck and compound interest had brought him wealth, and he and his family felt gratitude for that. If they were to spend more than 1 percent of their fortune on themselves, he said, their happiness and well-being would not be enhanced. “In contrast, that remaining 99 percent can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others. That reality sets an obvious course for me and my family. Keep all we can conceivably need and distribute the rest to society, for its needs.”

That is an American value: help others pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Donald Trump did not pledge 50 percent of his fortune to charity. In fact, his relationship with charity is truly suspect. His namesake foundation is under investigation. A new report by the New York Daily News raises doubts about whether Trump ever paid the $10,000 he pledged to 9/11 funds. And it took public badgering on Twitter late in May by Washington Post investigative reporter David A. Fahrenthold to get Trump to finally pay to veterans’ groups the $1 million Trump had promised at a Jan. 28 nationally televised fundraiser.

Fahrenthold also found that what appears on its face to be Trump’s charitable group, the Donald Trump Foundation, may not really be much of a charity. It gave money improperly to a political candidate, then lied about it on an IRS document. It may have violated laws against self-dealing by using $258,000 in foundation money to settle lawsuits against Trump and to purchase two massive portraits of Trump and a Tim Tebow football helmet. And Trump failed to properly register the foundation after he stopped giving his own money to it in 2008 and used other people’s money to fund it.

That’s not very charitable.

After Trump boasted during the campaign that he donated millions, the Washington Post made a concerted effort to track down those gifts. It couldn’t find millions. It discovered that between 2006 and May of 2016 Trump gave less than $800,000. That would be less than $80,000 a year. From a guy who claims to be a billionaire.

That does not appear to be much of an effort to help Americans who were born with no spoon in their mouths.

Buffett urged the wealthy to join him in giving to charity to aid those who drew short straws in life. Donald Trump urged the wealthy to give to his charity to aid his ability to buy portraits of himself.

America expects more in its presidents.

Powerful New Coalition Aims To Advance Bold Wall Street Reform Agenda

Labor organizations and community groups representing 25 million Americans unite behind tough agenda: closing Wall Street tax loopholes, making banks smaller and simpler, curbing predatory lending, and more 

Senator Elizabeth Warren (image by Ninian Reid FLIKR)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (image by Ninian Reid FLIKR)

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today headlined an event in Washington, DC, where membership organizations, policy experts and elected leaders launched a new campaign for bold reforms to overhaul the country’s broken financial system. The Take on Wall Street coalition represents approximately 25 million Americans, including members of labor organizations like the AFL-CIO, AFT and CWA; grassroots community organizing networks like People’s Action and the Center for Popular Democracy; and others, including faith based organizations, MoveOn.org and the Working Families Party.  

As the 2016 campaign season has demonstrated, Americans across the political spectrum remain angry and frustrated with Wall Street and the Big Banks, which they see as both drivers and beneficiaries of a rigged system.  Wall Street billionaires continue to rake in outrageous profits through business practices that hurt working families—families that are still struggling to recover from the crisis Wall Street greed and recklessness precipitated eight years ago. Poll after poll demonstrates that most Americans strongly favor financial reform to support a fair economy.  

The Take on Wall Street campaign will advance a set of ambitious policy goals for a more equitable and inclusive economy.  The coalition members aim to convert the anger about Wall Street’s growing political and economic dominance into concrete, bold and lasting legislative gains at the state, local, and federal levels. 

“Hardworking men and women across the country want a fighting chance to build a real future for themselves and for their children,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said. “I’m glad to stand alongside the Take on Wall Street coalition to push for changes to make our financial markets safer and to create an economy that works for all our families. These are tough fights, but I know that if we get out there and stand together, we can win.” 

At the launch event, Take on Wall Street unveiled a five-point agenda to rebalance the economy so it is no longer rigged against working Americans: 

1.    Close the carried interest loophole which permits private equity and hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than most working Americans.

2.    Introduce a Wall Street speculation tax on sales of derivatives, stocks, bonds, and other financial products that would raise billions of dollars, bring banks closer to paying their fair of taxes, and stop some forms of destructive high-frequency trading outright.

3.    Make banks simpler, smaller and safer. End ‘too big to fail,’ and reinstitute the Glass Stegall separation between commercial and investment banks.

4.    Close the CEO bonus loophole, which permits corporations to pay less in taxes the more they pay their executives.

5.    End Predatory Lending and expand access to fair safe financial services by supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and expanding access to fair and equitable banking through Postal Banking. 

This is a rare moment in history to achieve fundamental change. This campaign is about rewriting the economic rules. The proposals at the heart of this campaign will drastically improve the way financial services function and mean more money in the pockets of working families, and hundreds of billions of dollars to boost our economy,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 

“Finance has become the master of the economy, rather than a tool to serve it. And the outsized influence of the financial industry defends and extends rules that reward the already extremely wealthy but leave everyone else behind,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform, a broad-based coalition that was formed to work for financial reform and create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “This campaign is about moving people into action to demand change that will unrig the game and build a financial system that works for working people.” 

“Predatory lenders and tax-avoiding corporations work in concert to extract wealth from my community, leaving my customers, the lifeblood of my business, trapped in a perpetual cycle of debt and absorbing a larger share of our mutual tax responsibility. We must usher in a set of rules that reins in predatory lending, holds corporations accountable to pay their fair share in taxes, and returns the wealth of communities to the hands of local consumers,” said David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Chicago and member of the Main Street Alliance Executive Committee.   

In coming weeks, the campaign will host a tele-town hall with leading champions of reform, and launch a wave of direct actions and media events to call attention to some of the worst Wall Street practices that call out for reform, with particular emphasis on closing the carried interest loophole, which campaign leaders describe as a particularly glaring example of the corrupting influence of Wall Street campaign and lobbying dollars.  

Campaign partner organizations say that they will continue to press elected officials, regulators, and candidates at all levels of government throughout the summer and into the fall. The coalition will focus on naming the executives, legislators, and big banks and financial companies who continue to put our economy in jeopardy – while also shining a light on those champions who are taking action to make Wall Street accountable to working families.  

Current partners in the campaign include:  

  • AFL-CIO
  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action
  • American Family Voices
  • American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Postal Workers Union
  • Americans Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
  • Americans for Financial Reform
  • Campaign for America’s Future
  • Catholic Alliance for the Common Good
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Citizen Action NY
  • Communications Workers of America
  • Consumer Action
  • Courage Campaign
  • Daily Kos
  • Democracy for America
  • Economic Policy Institute
  • Friends of the Earth
  • HedgeClippers
  • Institute for Policy Studies, Global Economy Project
  • International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Media Voices for Children
  • MoveOn
  • National Education Association
  • NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
  • NYC Communities for Change
  • The Other 98%
  • People for the American Way
  • People’s Action Institute
  • Presente
  • Public Citizen
  • Rootsaction
  • Service Employees International Union
  • Strong Economy for All Coalition
  • The Nation
  • The Rootstrikers at Demand Progress
  • UNITE-HERE
  • Working America
  • Working Families Party

Sanders Singles Out Top-10 Corporate Tax Dodgers

Taxes Cartoon

Major Profitable Corporations Are Collection Tax Refunds While Avoid Paying Their Fair Share

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa – Taking aim at how corporate America has rigged the economy, Bernie Sanders on Friday pledged to close tax loopholes like a law that lets profitable corporations exploit offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes.

“Three major profitable corporations not only pay nothing in federal income taxes, they actually got a rebate from the IRS,” Sanders told a town meeting in a student center at Iowa Wesleyan University.

Overall, General Electric, Boeing and Verizon paid no federal income taxes during the combined 2008 through 2013 tax years. During that period, those three corporate giants racked up combined profits totaling more than $102 billion. In fact, they received income tax rebates from the Internal Revenue Service totaling more than $4.1 billion, according to a report from Citizens for Tax Justice.

“In America today we are losing $100 billion in revenue every single year because large corporations are stashing their profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens,” Sanders said.

Sanders’ tax plan would close loopholes those and other corporations have exploited and use the revenue to create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, railways, airports and more.

Sanders singled out GE, Boeing, Verizon and others on his Top 10 list of corporate tax dodgers during a swing through eastern Iowa three days before Iowa’s precinct caucuses. The senator from Vermont also has detailed a plan to reform the tax system.

To crack down on corporate tax avoiders, Sanders would:

  • End a rule allowing American corporations to defer paying federal income taxes on profits of offshore subsidiaries. Under current law, U.S. corporations are allowed to defer or delay U.S. income taxes on overseas profits until the money is brought back into the United States.
  • Prevent corporations from avoiding U.S. taxes by claiming to be a foreign company through the establishment of a post office box in a tax-haven country.
  • Eliminate tax breaks for big oil, gas, and coal companies.
  • Stop American companies from avoiding U.S. taxes through corporate inversions.
  • Close loopholes that allow U.S. corporations to artificially inflate or accelerate foreign tax credits.

To see the list of the Top-10 corporate tax avoiders, click here.

To read more about Sanders’ plan to reform the corporate tax code, click here.

Clinton Unveils New ‘Fair Share Surcharge’ on Multi-Millionaires, Sanders Responds

 

Today at an organizing event in Waterloo, Iowa, Hillary Clinton unveiled a new surcharge on multi-millionaires to ensure these taxpayers pay their fair share so we can invest in creating good-paying jobs and raising wages for the middle class, not just those at the top.

Expanding on the central idea of the “Buffett Rule,” she called for imposing a four-percent “Fair Share Surcharge” on Americans who make more than $5 million per year – a measure that would only affect the top 0.02 percent of taxpayers. That breaks down to about 64,000 people who would see an increase. The remaining 99.98 percent of taxpayers would be unaffected.

“It’s outrageous that multi-millionaires and billionaires are allowed to play by a different set of rules than hard-working families, especially when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes,” said Hillary Clinton. “I disagree with Republicans who say that America needs yet another massive tax cut for the very rich. That’s the exact opposite of what we should do. Instead, let’s make sure the rich pay their fair share. That’s what my proposal would do. It would let us make the investments we need to create more good-paying jobs and make college more affordable. That’s what American families need – not another giveaway to the super wealthy.”

Clinton has pledged that she will not raise taxes on middle-class families and has already proposed tax relief for college and health care costs.

In the United Stated the middle class is defined as the middle three quintiles (20% brackets) of the income distribution. In 2012 you would be considered middle class if you made between $21,000 and $104,000 a vast majority of the population. The true middle 20% is between $30,000 and $65,000 with a true median wage of $52,000 a year (per household).

To be true to her word, Clinton would not be raising taxes on the middle class if she increased taxes on those making $105,000 (in 2012) a year.

Clinton’s “Fair Share Surcharge” is a direct way to guarantee that effective tax rates rise for the taxpayers most likely to avoid paying their fair share through tax gimmicks and exploiting loopholes.

Clinton’s proposal would force Americans making more than $5 million per year to pay an effective rate higher than middle-class families, along with other measures she has proposed to close loopholes such as the “Buffett Rule.”

Michael Briggs, spokesperson for the Bernie Sanders campaign, quickly responded to Sec. Clinton’s proposal to put a surcharge on .02% of the wealthiest Americans.

“At a time of grotesque income and wealth inequality and when trillions of dollars have been transferred from the middle class to the top one-tenth of 1 percent over the last 30 years, Secretary Clinton’s proposal is too little too late. In fact, it would raise less than half of what we need just to pay for paid family and medical leave. We need real tax reform which demands that Wall Street, corporate America and the top 2 percent start paying their fair share.”

The Sanders campaign is suggesting that we raise taxes on people who are currently making $290,000 (household) a year versus Clinton’s proposal to raise taxes on those making $5 million a year.

Leo W Gerard: Burn The TPP

Middle America is smoldering. For too long, average citizens worked harder and produced more, yet corporations cut pay and benefits, off-shored community-sustaining factories, killed family-supporting jobs and crushed opportunity.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stokes that fire by urging Americans to blame anyone but corporations and corporate honchos like himself. One-percenter Trump and his fellow GOP candidates exhort average Americans to hate and fear Muslims, Syrian refugees, Black Lives Matter activists and undocumented immigrants.

This is a divisionary tactic. The intent is to split workers into small sub-groups so they lose strength in numbers. And it’s a diversionary tactic. The ungodly wealthy like Trump, who have taken for themselves all the economic gains from increased worker productivity, finger someone other than one-percenters as the culprit for middle-class wage stagnation and provoke workers to fight among themselves.

Division and diversion help the one percent capture government, securing policies that further enrich the rich, like trickle-down economics under which no benefits ever actually descend, bailouts for Wall Street but not Main Street and job-destroying trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a real democracy, one where government serves the 99 percent, the smoldering in America would be piles of discarded TPP texts.

2015-12-13-1450024427-5268664-BurntheTPPgraphic.jpg

Burning it was advised last week by the Labor Advisory Committee on the TPP, a group established by Congress that includes representatives of every major labor union and labor coalition in America, among them mine, the United Steelworkers (USW). In a 120-page report, the committee detailed exactly how the proposed TPP would injure working Americans and foster the closing and off-shoring of vital American industry, such as steel, aluminum and vehicle manufacturing.

TPP negotiators should start over, the Labor Advisory Committee said. They should produce a deal that puts workers first, not corporations and the one percent.

Unlike labor groups, giant multinational corporations, especially those like Nike andWalmart that exploit slave-wage labor overseas, love the TPP proposal. They hype it using diversion. Look, the U.S. Coalition (of massive corporations) for the TPP says,here’s a map showing how much each U.S. state exports to the 11 other Pacific Rim countries in the proposed deal.

It’s classic hocus-pocus. What the map fails to show is how much each state imports from the 11 countries. And that’s the problem.

When imports exceed exports, creating a trade deficit, Americans lose jobs. That’s exactly what happened under NAFTA. That deal cost more than 845,000 U.S. workers their jobs as their factories closed or moved south of the border and consumers then bought goods manufactured in Mexico rather than in the United States.

The same thing happened after the United States agreed in 2001 to allow China into the World Trade Organization. The resulting trade deficit eliminated or displaced 3.2 million American jobs.

Every time one of these trade deals is proposed, corporations eager to replace American factory workers with long-hour, low-wage foreign laborers promise exports will rise. And often they do. But imports rise much more. And as more stuff is shipped to the United States, American factories close. American workers lose their jobs. And the American middle class shrinks.

The Labor Advisory Committee urged TPP negotiators to include strong, enforceable measures in the deal to prevent this pattern from recurring. They didn’t.

In fact, under the TPP, American workers would lose protections. For example, as it is now, the U.S. government can specify that tax dollars go to create jobs in the United States under the Buy America and Buy American programs. When the federal government builds a new highway or helps fund a sewage treatment plant, it has the right to specify that the steel and concrete be made by American workers in the United States.

The TPP would limit that. Under the TPP, American tax dollars spent on public projects could go to create jobs in Vietnam or Malaysia or Brunei. That means more American jobs lost. But look away, multinational corporations say. Don’t think about those disappearing opportunities.

The TPP also would thrust middle-class American into a wage race to the bottom by pitting them against foreign workers paid pennies per hour and against child and forced laborers. The TPP would, for example, allow Vietnam to do absolutely nothing for five years about violations of workers’ rights in certain areas while the country immediately receives the benefits of tariff cuts on its products exported to the United States. That would put American workers in competition with those in Vietnam earning an average of $150 a month.

But look away, stateless multinational corporations say. Don’t think about the fact that, after inflation, the vast majority of American workers’ wages have flat-lined or fallen since 1979, and the TPP would, clearly, worsen that terrible trend. Don’t worry, multinational corporations say, the TPP would require nations to establish and enforce minimum wages. Don’t think about the fact that the TPP fails to set any sort of standard, enabling a country to institute a minimum wage of 5 cents an hour. Or less.

The Labor Advisory Committee sought to protect American workers by asking the TPP negotiators to include strong measures to stop currency manipulation and to require a high percentage of a product to be manufactured within a TPP country for it to be exempt from tariffs when exported to the United States.

The negotiators did neither. That’s no surprise since they were formally advised by 500 corporate lobbyists. Instead of increasing the percentage of a product that must be manufactured in a TPP country, the deal would lower it when compared to the standards in previous trade pacts.

Rather than penalizing currency manipulation, the TPP would do nothing more than evaluate the practice that countries like Japan and Vietnam use to artificially lower the price of their products while raising the price of American-made exports.

The multinational corporations that want to manufacture in low-wage, low-environmental-protection foreign countries say: Look, there’s something about currency manipulation glommed onto the bottom of the TPP.  It’s not part of the main deal, doesn’t include strong language and isn’t enforceable. But, look away. Check out that guy who speaks broken English standing on the street corner trying desperately to get work as a day laborer.

The Labor Advisory Committee wants average Americans to look directly at this bad trade scheme and the self-dealing corporations pushing it. The measure of trade success should be improving broadly shared prosperity, increasing family-supporting jobs and raising middle-class wages. Corporate profits should rise as well. But the first priority, in a democracy, should be people, not corporations.

The proposed TPP fails this test. Americans’ anger should be directed where it’s deserved. Not at Muslims or Hispanics. But at any politician who would vote to approve this proposal to further lower their wages, destroy their jobs and diminish their economic opportunity.

This Info-Graphic Dispels The Myth That Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes

Nevada is a key state in the 2016 election and thanks to Donald Trump insulting immigrants he has pushed immigration reform to one of the top three issues in this election.

Tonight, Democrats will face off in Las Vegas in the first Democratic debate and there is no doubt that immigration will be one of the questions candidates will be forced to discuss.  The American Immigration Council posted this info-graphic about how much immigrants contribute to the Nevada (and US) economy.

From the American Immigration Council

There are few states where the growing political and economic clout of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians is as apparent as in Nevada. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up roughly 1 in 5 Nevadans, and 47.4% of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. Immigrants and the children of immigrants account for just over 20.8% of all registered voters in the state. Immigrants are not only essential to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield over $24.9 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $7 billion and employed more than 45,000 people at last count. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs are integral to Nevada’s economy and tax base—and they are an electoral force with which every politician must reckon.

We all know that evicting 11 million aspiring Americans is not feasible but it would also do massive damage to our economy and how we fund our government.

  • “If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Nevada, the state would lose $9.7 billion in economic activity, $4.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 45,533 jobs.”
  • “Latinos in Nevada paid $1.7 billion in federal taxes and $627 million in state/local taxes in 2013.”

Full details and citations from the AIC are below the image.

Nevada immigrants 2015

 

Nearly 1 in 5 Nevadans are immigrants.

  • The foreign-born share of Nevada’s population rose from 8.7% in 1990, to 15.8% in 2000, to 19% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevada was home to 529,164 immigrants in 2013, which greater than the total population of Tucson, Arizona.
  • 47.4% of immigrants in Nevada (or 250,949 people) were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 7.6% of the state’s population (or 210,000 people) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • 20.8% (or 244,551) of all registered voters in Nevada are “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2012 Census Bureau data by the American Immigration Council.

Latinos and Asians make up one-third of all Nevadans—and they vote.

  • The Latino share of Nevada’s population grew from 10.4% in 1990, to 19.7% in 2000, to 27.5% (or 767,054 people) in 2013. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.9% in 1990, to 4.5% in 2000, to 7.7% (or 215,121 people) in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos comprised 14.9% (or 157,000) of Nevada voters in the 2012 elections, and Asians 6.4% (or 67,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Nevada, 86.8% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 90.6% of children in Asian families in Nevada were U.S. citizens, as were 90.2% of children in Latino families.

Immigrant, Latino, and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Nevada’s economy.

  • The 2014 purchasing power of Nevada’s Latinos totaled $15.7 billion—an increase of 1,076% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $9.3 billion—an increase of 1,575% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Immigration boosts housing values in communities. From 2000 to 2010, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, the value added by immigration to the price of the average home was $19,800 in Clark County.
  • Nevada’s 18,035 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.2 billion and employed 21,922 peoplein 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 17,542 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.8 billion and employed 23,862 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 20,000 new immigrant business owners in Nevada, and they had total net business income of $1.1 billion, which makes up 16.8% of all net business income in the state, according to Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • In 2010, 20.2% of all business owners in Nevada were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. In 2013, 25.9% of business owners in the Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. Furthermore, 37.4% of “Main Street” business owners—owners of businesses in the retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services sectors—in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area were foreign-born in 2013. 

Immigrants are essential to Nevada’s economy as workers and taxpayers.

  • Immigrants comprised 24.4% of the state’s workforce in 2013 (or 347,008 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos in Nevada paid $1.7 billion in federal taxes and $627 million in state/local taxes in 2013, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. In particular, foreign-born Latinos paid $914 million in federal taxes and $358 million in state/local taxes.
    • The federal tax contribution of Illinois’ Latino population included $1.3 billion to Social Security and $302 million to Medicare in 2013. Foreign-born Latinos contributed $723 million to Social Security and $169 million to Medicare that year.
  • Latino immigrants comprised about 16% of the state’s entire workforce in 2005, and an even higher share in select industries: 81% of the agricultural workforce, 47% of the construction and mining workforce, and 22% of the entertainment and tourist services workforce, according to a 2007 report from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Unauthorized immigrants are integral to Nevada’s economy as workers and consumers.

  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 10.2% of the state’s workforce in 2012 (or 150,000 workers), according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Nevada, the state would lose $9.7 billion in economic activity, $4.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 45,533 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group. 

Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.

  • Unauthorized immigrants in Nevada paid $93.9 million in state and local taxes in 2012, according to data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes $71.9 million in sales taxes and $22 million in property taxes.
  • Were unauthorized immigrants in Nevada to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay almost $103.3 millionin state and local taxes, including $79 million in sales taxes and $24.2 million in property taxes.

Immigrants are important to Nevada’s economy as students.

  • Nevada’s 2,336 foreign students contributed over $60 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
  • Foreign students contribute to Nevada’s metropolitan areas. From 2008 to 2012, according to the Brookings Institution, 2,850 foreign students paid $48 million in tuition and $41 million in living costs in the Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area.
  • Foreign students also contribute to innovation in Illinois. In 2009, “non-resident aliens” comprised 29.1% of master’s degrees and 44.4% of doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. 

Naturalized citizens excel educationally. 

  • In Nevada, 24.7% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 12.2% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 23.5% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 46.7% of noncitizens.
  • The number of immigrants in Nevada with a college degree increased by 140.9% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Nevada, 79.8% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Nevada was 90.6%, while for Latino children it was 81.3%, as of 2009.

What You Should Know About That Completed TPP “Trade” Deal

global deal free tradeSpecial Guest Post from Dave Johnson of Campaign For America’s Future.  

Countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) say they have reached a deal. So here it comes.

Monday morning it was announced that a “Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Is Reached,” presented as much as a foreign policy success as a “trade” deal.

“The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific basin nations on Monday agreed after years of negotiations to the largest regional trade accord in history, an economic pact envisioned as a bulwark against China’s power and a standard-setter for global commerce, worker rights and environmental protection.

… The trade initiative, dating to the start of his administration, is a centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s economic program to expand exports. It also stands as a capstone for his foreign policy “pivot” toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia, after years of American preoccupation with the Middle East and North Africa.

The effect the deal will have on actual “trade” is unclear, since the U.S. already has trade agreements with many of the participating countries. Also much of the deal appears to be about things people would not usually consider “trade”, like investor rights and limits on the ability of countries to regulate.

Though the deal remains secret, here is some of what is known about the agreement deal.

● Currency manipulation is not addressed in TPP, even though Congress’ “fast track” legislation said it must be. To get around this, a “side agreement” supposedly sets up a “forum” on currency. Past side agreements have proven unenforceable. For this reason Ford Motor Company has already publicly announced opposition to TPP.

● A “tobacco carve-out” is in the deal, in some form. This was added because the agreement contains investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that will allow corporations to sue governments that use laws or regulations to try to restrict what the companies do. These provisions restrict the ability of governments to protect their citizens so thoroughly that tobacco companies have used ISDS provisions in similar agreements to sue governments that try to help smokers quit or prevent children from starting smoking. TPP proponents felt that this carve-out will help TPP to pass, while the ability to limit other laws and regulations remains.

● President Obama has said TPP includes the “strongest labor provisions of any free trade agreement in history.” Previous “trade” agreements do not even stop labor organizers from being murdered, so even if TPP has “stronger” labor provisions, that is an extremely low bar.

● TPP reduces or eliminates many tariffs, further encouraging companies to move factories out of the U.S. to low-wage countries like Vietnam. An example of the effect TPP will have on U.S. manufacturing is Nike vs. New Balance. Nike already outsources its manufacturing to take advantage of low wages, while New Balance is trying to continue to manufacture in the U.S. When tariffs on imported shoes are eliminated Nike will gain an even greater advantage over New Balance. New Balance has said that the tariff reductions in TPP will force it to stop manufacturing inside the US.

● The reduction and elimination of tariffs reduces revenues for the governments involved.

What Next?

Here is a brief rundown on what to expect as TPP begins to make its way toward a Congressional vote:

● The TPP is still secret and according to the terms in this year’s fast-track legislation it will remain secret for 30 days after the president formally notifies Congress that he will sign it. That could be a while still, as the agreement’s details need to be “ironed out.” After that 30-day wait the full text has to be public for 60 days before Congress can vote. The full timeline is yet to unfold and will be reported here as it does.

● Expect a massive and massively funded corporate PR push. The biggest corporations very much want TPP. It massively benefits the interests of giant corporations and the “investor” class, even as it incentivizes moving jobs and production out of the U.S.

● While only a small portion of TPP is about what people would normally consider to be “trade,” TPP will be heavily pushed as a “trade” deal. Many people believe that “expanding trade” increases jobs. Note that closing a U.S. factory and importing the same goods “expands trade” because those goods cross a border.

Also see the American Prospect, “What’s Next for the TPP: Clyde Prestowitz in Conversation with David Dayen.”

Questions To Ask About TPP

When the still-secret TPP becomes public, these are some of the questions the public will want answered:

● What do regular, non-wealthy people in the U.S. get from TPP? Will it increase American wages? Will it have provisions that force wage increases in countries that currently pay very little, thereby helping those workers (and helping them buy American-made products, too) and reducing downward pressure on American wages? Or will there be NAFTA-style provisions encouraging outsourcing to low-wage countries like Vietnam, creating further downward pressure on wages and increasing inequality?

● What do people in the U.S. lose? For example, the Los Angeles Times explains, “U.S. industries such as auto, textiles and dairy, however, could experience some losses as they are likely to face greater competitive pressures from Vietnam, Japan and New Zealand.”

● Does the TPP contain badly needed provisions to require member countries to jointly fight global climate change?

● Will provisions on state-owned enterprises force further privatization of publicly owned and publicly operated infrastructure like the U.S. Postal Service, highways, water systems and other public utilities – even services like municipal parking operations?

● Will TPP enable the U.S. to continue using tax dollars to help American companies, like our “Buy America” procurement policies?

● Will TPP expand imports from countries where food is often found to contain banned toxic chemicals? If so, will TPP require increases in food and product safety standards and inspections?

● Does the TPP increase oversight of financial companies like banks, insurance companies and hedge funds?

TPP Pits Obama, Republicans, Wall Street And Big Corporations Against Democrats, Labor, Progressives

While still secret, the agreement is likely to have many of the same proponents and opponents as the fast-track trade promotion authority battle had. As the Los Angeles Times words ittoday, it “pits the White House, many Republicans and supporters of free trade against organized labor, civic groups and many lawmakers from Obama’s own party, who fear the deal will hurt workers and the environment.”

In a Monday morning call Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said the TPP text Congress is allowed to see has not been updated for some time, so even they don’t know what is in it. Saying Congress has had to rely on leaks and hasn’t seen the supposed “side agreements” at all, DeLauro asked the administration to “have the courage” to show Congress and the public the text now.

DeLauro complained that leaked drafts show U.S. negotiators negotiating hard for pharmaceutical companies, but not for the interests of American workers. “The administration has put big corporations first, workers last.”

She said rules-of-origin requirements allow less than half to be made in U.S. and TPP countries, the rest can come from countries like China. “None of us can think of a clearer mechanism for taking American jobs”

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) said, “we’ve seen the nightmare NAFTA brought to our manufacturing sector and hard-working American families; this deal is NAFTA on steroids” because this is much broader. Multinational corporations will benefit from increased drug prices and access to cheaper labor.

Rep. Dan “Rock Star” Kildee (D-Mich.) said “what’s not there is there is a lack of any enforceable currency provision. This ties American manufacturer’s hands behind their back as they try to compete. Worse, new rules of origin allow the Chinese to provide more than half the content of a car and it will be treated as domestic. Combined with no currency rules, this will have a devastating effect.”

He added, “I would ask members who voted for fast track to look at the details. When they see specific details and impact on their businesses I think they will vote no.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said, “I’m a car girl … we are only operating on early reports but already Ford and Chrysler are opposed, joining the UAW, and those companies have strongly supported previous deals.”

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) called TPP a “huge win for China because of currency, rules of origin; we get zero access to the Chinese market.”

On the ability to ensure even these ow rules of origin, Sherman said, “What about de facto rules? How does anyone police it? Are Chinese going to report companies that are mislabeling?”

Petitions

The Teamsters are asking people to sign this petition:” Tell Congress: Show Me the Text on Reported TPP Deal.”

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has released this petition and is asking people for signatures: “Sign my petition to join our fight against the disastrous Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. We cannot afford to let this trade deal hurt consumers and cost America jobs.”

The U.S. Trade Representative office has released this summary

New Report Shows Ways To Help Small Businesses And Economy Include Raising The Minimum Wage

“Economic Agenda for America’s Future” includes set of short and long-term policy recommendations Washington can act on now and in the future that will drive economic growth, job creation and competitiveness 

(Image Sam Howzit FLIKR CC)

(Image Sam Howzit FLIKR CC)

Washington D.C.–Today, Small Business Majority released its updated Economic Agenda for America’s Future, a set of short and long-term policy recommendations government leaders can follow to ensure an environment where entrepreneurs, and our economy, can thrive. The Agenda outlines things Washington can do to bolster small business – including simple actions that can be taken during the next few months.

The recommendations range from action on access to capital, taxes, infrastructure, healthcare, immigration and freelance economy to minimum wage, workforce training, clean energy and exports, and are all tied to creating economic opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“There is no denying the impact our 28 million small businesses have on our economy,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “Yet, small businesses too often find their needs being subordinated to those of big business, and sometimes even hijacked to support ideologically driven polices that don’t benefit them. Moreover, policymakers fail to recognize the rapid expansion of our new Internet-driven freelance economy, where much of the dynamic and innovative entrepreneurial activity happens today.”

Small businesses represent 99 percent of employer firms, employ half of all private sector employees and pay around 40 percent of U.S. private sector payroll. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have long been America’s engine for job growth and today more jobs are created by small businesses and the self-employed than any other way in America.

“Until we recognize and support the vital role of small businesses, we’re not giving our economy the best chance to flourish,” Arensmeyer said. “We must have a clear economic agenda that ensures we’re creating an environment where small businesses thrive, that provides the resources for small businesses to succeed and that ensures an economy that works for everyone. Focusing on small businesses and entrepreneurs is the surest way to drive the nation’s growth, job creation and competitiveness.”

The Agenda outlines things Washington can do over the next couple months that will create greater opportunity for entrepreneurs, which include:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission can release final rules for crowdfunding to provide more opportunities for small business to access capital.
  • Congress can expand support for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which funds new and existing state programs that support lending to and investment in small businesses.
  • Congress can pass long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank to ensure small businesses have access to global markets.
  • The Administration can facilitate the sharing of online tax data between the IRS and lenders, which will streamline the lending process for small businesses.
  • Congress can permanently raise the small business expensing (sometimes called Section 179 expensing) level to $500,000, and allow small businesses to deduct up-front the cost of purchasing new equipment, software and property.
  • Increasing the national minimum wage to $12 per hour.
  • Passing a comprehensive immigration law guaranteeing eventual citizenship for those who play by the rules and contribute to our economic success, coupled with appropriate and reasonable employment verification provisions

The list of things Washington can do to help small business over the next two years is even greater. To read the full agenda visit: http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/economic-agenda

For an executive summary of the report, visit: http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/economic-agenda/downloads/Economic-Agenda-2015-Executive-Summary.pdf

Chris Christie Flees To New Hampshire To Avoid His Major Problems In New Jersey

Chris Christie (Gage Skidmore on Flickr)

Chris Christie (Gage Skidmore on Flickr)

This week, Chris Christie announced his candidacy for President. Unfortunately, with a historic nine credit downgrades, and near last in the nation for job growth, things aren’t going so great back home in New Jersey and his constituents are not so happy about it. Let’s recap: 

And let’s not leave out Christie’s local papers blasting him with scathing editorials that detail his failed leadership and question why he’s running at all.

“Christie wants to expand economic opportunity to all? Then why did he increase taxes on the working poor, kill the state’s affordable housing efforts, and veto a minimum wage hike? He believes in compromise? Then why is Trenton locked in the same kind of partisan stalemate we see in Washington? He believes in leadership? Then why isn’t he doing something about the crumbling bridges, the worsening fiscal crisis, or the sputtering economy?…

And it’s not all Bridgegate, either. That started the descent, and exposed the dark underbelly of his brash style, and the craven culture of this administration. Christie’s collapse, at its core, is about more than all that. It is about the failure of governing in New Jersey.” Star-Ledger Editorial Board

“The greater problem, however, is his record: Even if Christie can outrun the opposition and the scandal, it’s difficult to grasp what he would run on.

While styling himself a pragmatic decider who gets stuff done, Christie has presided over a period of fiscal deterioration and economic stagnation. The budget he just signed required his lawyers to extricate him from the pension reforms he touted as a signature bipartisan achievement. The reversal was at stark odds with his proclamation Tuesday: ‘I mean what I say and I say what I mean.’” Philly Inquirer Editorial Board

NJ Advance Media commentator Brian Donohue explains why Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential bid is nothing but bad news for the state of New Jersey.
(Five ways Christie’s presidential run stinks for New Jersey Video by Brian Donohue and Bumper DeJesus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

The people at YouGotSchooled2016 are back talking about how this years round of Presidential hopefuls faired in their home states especially on issues of education.

  • Public schools: It’s kind of weird that Chris Christie chose to announce he is running for president at a public school when he has slashed education funding by a billion dollars.
  • Higher education: New Jersey’s higher education funding fell from its peak of $2.33 billion in 2006 (pre Gov. Christie) to $1.93 billion in 2013, a 17 percent decline. Thanks, Gov. Christie.
  • Teachers: Aside from the cuts to public education, if you’re a teacher you better avoid Chris Christie all together, unless you want to get yelled at.

But of course, Christie blames the media instead of taking responsibility for his own failed leadership. 

“As Chris Christie continues his tour through New Hampshire, he’s abandoned his own state after years of failed leadership in pursuit of his political ambitions. Granite Staters won’t be fooled by his excuses. Chris Christie’s reckless abuse of power and helping his allies have done nothing but left middle class families in the dust,” said Lizzy Price, Communications Director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

The biggest warning of all came from one of the largest newspapers in New Jersey. “After 14 years of watching Christie, a warning: He lies,” wrote Tom Moran editorial board of the Star Ledger.

“Most Americans don’t know Chris Christie like I do, so it’s only natural to wonder what testimony I might offer after covering his every move for the last 14 years.”

‘…Don’t misunderstand me. They all lie, and I get that. But Christie does it with such audacity, and such frequency, that he stands out.”

“…But let’s start with my personal favorite. It dates back to the 2009 campaign, when the public workers unions asked him if he intended to cut their benefits. He told them their pensions were “sacred” to him.”

Chris Christie is a smooth politician that knows how to say what the people in the room want to hear. He is also a brash, overbearing, jerk who continually demeans reporters and people who challenge him on issues.  Christie’s failed leadership doesn’t make him fit to be president of my local PTA, never mind the President of the United States.

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