Progressive Breakfast for December 14

Morning Message

The GOP Tax Bill Is Creating Jobs – Just Not in the U.S.

The Republican tax law encourages outsourcing because it charges corporations just half the tax rate on foreign profits that it charges on domestic earnings. It’s hard to imagine a stronger lure for corporations to pack up their plant and equipment and ship them offshore. It’s right there in another part of the law: The more U.S. corporations shift factories and other sources of production overseas, the lower the U.S. taxes are on their foreign profits. It’s almost as if the GOP law was designed to promote outsourcing.

7-Year-Old Migrant Girl Dies From Neglect In ICE Custody

7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion. WaPo: “A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday. The child’s death is likely to intensify scrutiny of detention conditions at Border Patrol stations and CBP facilities that are increasingly overwhelmed by large numbers of families seeking asylum in the United States. According to CBP records, the girl and her father were taken into custody about 10 p.m. Dec. 6 south of Lordsburg, N.M., as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in. More than eight hours later, the child began having seizures at 6:25 a.m., CBP records show. Emergency responders, who arrived soon after, measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, and according to a statement from CBP, she ‘reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.'”

Court Forces DOE To Cancel $150m Student Debts

DOE to cancel $150 million in student loan debt. NBC: “The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday it would automatically cancel $150 million in student loans connected to for-profit colleges that closed in recent years. The move was made under an Obama-era policy that a federal judge in October essentially forced U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to implement. The story was first reported by Politico. The discharge of loans applies automatically to about 15,000 students who attended now-defunct colleges that closed between Nov. 1, 2013, and Dec. 4, 2018, according to the department’s announcement. About half of those affected attended Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a chain that closed on April 27, 2015, the department stated. Other students who attended recently closed campuses or who believe they were otherwise defrauded can still apply to have their loans canceled, the department said. ‘It’s disappointing that it took a court order to get Secretary DeVos to begin providing debt relief to students left in the lurch by predatory for-profit colleges,’ Murray said, ‘but I am pleased the Department has finally started implementing this rule and that some of the borrowers who attended schools like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech are finally getting their loans cancelled. This is a good first step, but it’s not good enough.'”

Trump’s Universe Of Alternate Facts

Trump offers new alternative facts to explain his problems. CNN: “In Trump’s universe, Mexico is already paying for the wall. And the crimes for which Michael Cohen is going to jail aren’t crimes after all; they were added to his rap sheet by prosecutors as a dig at Trump. But alternative facts go only so far, as Trump learned Thursday afternoon when Republican senators lobbed at him a resolution condemning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Someone in Washington will have to blink over the $5 billion the President has demanded and Republicans who control the House for less than a month can’t deliver. Democrats, measuring the drapes in House leadership offices they’ll soon occupy, aren’t in a giving mood since Trump wants the money to declare victory on a border wall they have vowed to fight. The issue is the $5 billion Trump wants to beef up border security and start building his long-promised wall on the Mexico border. His tweet that Mexico would pay through the USMCA wasn’t an entirely new argument, but — timed immediately after he promised a shutdown — it felt like the beginning of an out before parts of the government run out of money December 21 — the same day Trump could get out of the White House and travel down to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas.”

2020 Dems Pitch ‘Outside The Box’ Ideas

Here are the ‘outside the box’ progressive ideas 2020 Democrats are pitching. NPR: “Democrats have been moving left for years — but Sen. Sanders has hit on a clear trend that’s emerging among Democrats’ top presumptive 2020 contenders: they’ve been putting forward a steady stream of uber-progressive economic policies — some of which would have been unthinkable for mainstream candidates a few presidential cycles ago. ‘I think it’s pretty clear that Democrats are swinging for the fences right now,’ said Stephanie Kelton, an economist who served as an economic adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. Consider, for example, that when Sanders introduced a single-payer bill in 2013, he had zero cosponsors. When he introduced it in 2017, there were 16, as NPR’s Scott Detrow has noted. ‘There’s a kind of a nuance or a specificity to the signaling in this round that looks kind of different to me,’ said Jared Bernstein, who served as chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden. ‘I think there’s more kind of checking a box by progressive candidates that they’re willing to get outside the box.'”