Progressive Breakfast for November 25

Morning Message

No Justice In Ferguson

“The system worked” quite well for those for whom it is designed to work. We should refuse, however, to call that “justice,” even if the process had resulted in an indictment. It would not amount to the kind of justice necessary to prevent the next city that’s “one dead black teenager away” from exploding into the next Ferguson. We must change the way our communities are policed ... We must demand an end to programs that give military weapons to police departments ... We must demand an end to racial profiling ... We must demand economic justice ... We must demand investment in education, jobs, and training for young people, instead of surplus military weapons for police departments.

GOP Leaders Try To Avoid Shutdown Debacle

Republicans float plan to confront Obama without shutdown. Politico: “The likely proposal would fund nearly the entire government through September 2015, but immigration enforcement related funding would be renewed on a short-term basis … The short-term portion would most likely expire sometime in the first quarter of 2015, sources said. The delay would give Republican leaders more options to counter Obama’s executive order without inducing a government shutdown … GOP aides and lawmakers say they expect the leadership to consider additional legislation to address the executive order, but there have been no decisions made on what those bills would look like.”

Obama to tout economic benefits of immigration action. The Hill: “The president will tout a new analysis by his Council of Economic Advisers estimating that the steps will boost GDP between $90 billion and $210 billion over the next decade. The White House also estimates that because of improvements to the economy stemming from the immigration action, native workers will see an average wage increase of 0.3 percent over that period.”

GOP legal strategy likely to fail. Bloomberg: “Legal scholars say the president has strong arguments to deploy in defense of his executive order lifting the threat of deportation from millions of immigrants. And any lawsuits aimed at overturning it may not be resolved until after he leaves office.”

WH Seeks Help For Middle-Class Workers

White House weighs in on tax break debate. Roll Call: “White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday the president would ‘strongly oppose’ a package of corporate tax cut extenders without doing something for the middle class. ‘I can tell you that the reports are not promising,’ Earnest said. ‘The reports suggest that there may be some in Congress who want to provide tax relief to businesses and to corporate insiders but not ensuring that … those benefits are shared by middle-class families. So certainly the administration would not be supportive of a package that provided relief to corporations without providing relief to middle-class families.’ … The tax cuts range from the research and development tax credit and credits for renewable energy to depreciation breaks for NASCAR and racehorses.”

IRS data shows low effective tax rate for the wealthy. NYT: “Newly released data from the Internal Revenue Service show that in 2010, the top 400 taxpayers had an average income of $265 million. That was $63 million more than in 2009, the depths of the downturn, and almost back to the group’s average in 2008. Recovery, in other words, was well underway for the 0.001 percent of the population … The data also show that the top 400 paid an average tax rate of 18 percent in 2010 … the top income tax rate that year for wages and salaries [was] 35 percent. The main reason they paid so much less on average than their top rate would imply is that the wealthiest taxpayers make most of their money from investments, which are taxed at a lower rate than income from a job…”

“U.S. Moves to Impose Tariffs on Chinese Tires” reports WSJ: “The U.S. took a step Monday toward imposing tariffs on Chinese-made tires in response to efforts by workers in the American tire industry to prevent jobs from moving to China. The U.S. Commerce Department issued a preliminary finding that typical Chinese-made tires for passenger cars and light trucks were unfairly subsidized and should be subject to punitive tariffs ranging from 17.7% to 81.3%, depending on the manufacturer … The United Steelworkers, which represents about 28,000 tire workers, initiated the trade case…”