Progressive Breakfast for August 20

Morning Message

Are American Corporations Really Less Competitive Because Of Taxes?

The U.S. companies that have set up foreign subsidiaries complain that these non-U.S. profits are “trapped” outside the country. They say they can’t bring the money home because they would have to pay taxes on it. So is this money really “trapped” and unable to be used by the U.S. parent company? Of course not. Welcome to the next phase of corporate tax scamming. There is a simple way that the U.S. parent company can access that hoard of cash they are “keeping outside of the country” to avoid paying the taxes they owe.

Same Old Paul Ryan

Ryan’s “The Way Forward” doesn’t point the way forward. MSNBC.com: “Ryan doesn’t lay out any major proposals to empower impoverished communities or ease racial tensions. Instead he boasts that he hired a staffer to reach out to Hispanics in his district…”

Still wants to gut regulations that protect the public. The Hill: “Paul Ryan is moving to reframe the debate on regulations, arguing that the nation’s poor are the real victims of the red tape spewing from Washington … some on the political left argue that the plan’s calls for greater congressional control of rule-making under the auspices of protecting the poor is nothing more than a thinly veiled retread of previous GOP proposals … ‘The regulatory component trades on the fallacy that deregulation creates job growth and can alleviate poverty,’ said Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen. ‘The empirical evidence simply doesn’t back this up, and the 2008 financial crash is a strong reminder that deregulation can be disastrous for our economy.’”

African-Americans Losing Decades of Gains

Ferguson follows a decade of income stagnation for African-Americans. NYT’s Thomas Edsall: “While the economic downturns of the last decade-and-a-half have taken their toll on the median income of all races and ethnic groups, blacks have been the hardest hit. By 2012, black median household income had fallen to 58.4 percent of white income, almost back to where it was in 1967 — 7.9 points below its level in 1999 … From 1965 to 2000, the poverty rate among blacks fell from 41.8 percent to 22.5 percent. Since then, it has risen to 27.2 percent. The white poverty rate also rose during this period, but by a more modest 3.2 points …”

Many out of workforce would get back in if they could, finds Reuters poll: “The poll of 7,727 individuals aged 18 and older who said they were unemployed, retired, or declined to provide their employment status, found that 34 percent said they had stopped looking for work because the job market was so bad … Among those who said they had halted a job search, many were ready to resume the hunt if they received the right signals from the market – those signals included more job postings that match their qualifications, evidence of a stronger economic recovery, and word that friends or relatives had landed jobs. For people who identified themselves as retired, 40 percent said they would have preferred to keep working and 30 percent said they would go back to work if the right job came along.”

Breakfast Sides

“Sound and Fury in Bank Settlements, Still Signifying Nothing” argues William D. Cohan in NYT: “…by settling with the big Wall Street banks for billions of dollars — money that comes out of their shareholders’ pockets — [Attorney General Eric] Holder is allowing them to avoid the sunshine that Louis Brandeis wrote 100 years ago was the best disinfectant. Instead of shining the bright light on wrongdoing that took place at the Wall Street banks, Mr. Holder’s settlements allow them to cover it up permanently.”

Proposed EPA climate regs would cut half the emissions of failed 2009 House bill. Roll Call: “Rules for power plants that the EPA proposed in June, as well as three transportation restrictions, would cut carbon levels in 2020 by 2.95 billion metric tons from 2005 levels, about 47 percent of the reduction that had been expected under the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that was passed by the House but not the Senate…”

“Bad week for Common Core” reports Politico: “Two new national polls, released Wednesday and Tuesday, found the public souring on the academic standards, which are meant to elevate math, reading and writing instruction across the nation. One of the polls, conducted by the journal Education Next, also found a steep plunge in support for the standards among public school teachers … Common Core backers did get a bit of good news from Louisiana late Tuesday, when a district judge slapped down Gov. Bobby Jindal’s effort to repeal the standards by executive order. But in Ohio, the Legislature took up a bill to join the five other states that have repealed the standards in recent months … Common Core supporters have vowed to revamp their campaign …”