Tuesday September 16, 2014
March 12th, 2014
Gov. Chris Christie, beleaguered back in New Jersey and in the national media over the scandal of contrived traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge, unveiled his strategy for putting his 2016 presidential aspirations back on track the other day before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Most people, if pressed on the subject, would probably agree that extreme income inequality is a bad thing, although a fair number of conservatives believe that the whole subject of income distribution should be banned from public discourse. (Rick Santorum, the former senator and presidential candidate, wants to ban the term "middle class," which he says is "class-envy, leftist language." Who knew?) But what can be done about it?
In today's bitterly polarized environment, the Internal Revenue Service has become even more of a whipping boy for politicians as it struggles with deep budget cuts and accusations of incompetence and, some say, illegal actions.
That makes the tax-collection agency an ideal situation for John Koskinen.
Put aside for a moment the geopolitical issues and cries of "Munich" and "Sudetenland" that surround Russia's ongoing annexation of Crimea: In human terms, Crimea's Tatars are the reason to care.
The Muslim Tatars have suffered repeated persecution since the Ottomans ceded their peninsula to the Russian Empire, including an attempted genocide under Stalin. In 1944, the entire population was deported to central Asia and Siberia, and as many as half were killed.
Are conservatives interested in new ideas, or are they merely infatuated with the idea of new ideas? Are they really reappraising their approach, or are they trying to adjust their image just enough to win elections?
We who applaud the boldness of Rep. Dave Camp's tax reform plan need not like everything in it. The part that would repeal the deduction for state and local taxes is an abomination, to put it mildly.
The Michigan Republican, head of the House Ways and Means Committee, largely delivers on his vow to simplify the tax code, cut marginal rates and close loopholes.
When the new Ukrainian prime minister visits the White House this week, President Obama should offer continued support -- but also ask pointedly why several far-right ultra-nationalists have such prominent roles in Ukraine's new government.
I don't know of any reason to doubt Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's commitment to democracy and pluralism. The same cannot be said for some other members of the provisional regime that is trying to reverse Russia's grab of the Crimean Peninsula.
NATO members in emergency talks pledged "solidarity" in the Ukrainian crisis on Tuesday, but there are signs of division in the West over how to respond to Russia President Vladimir Putin.
Among the biggest obstacles to consensus: a Europe where old Cold War fears are running up against the economic clout of the new Russia.
Rex W. Tillerson, a resident of Bartonville, Texas, like many of his neighbors was upset with his city council. That’s not unusual. Many residents get upset at their local governing boards. And so they went to a city council meeting to express their concerns that the council was about to award a construction permit.
Remember the "death tax"? The estate tax is quite literally a millionaire's tax - a tax that affects only a tiny minority of the population, and is mostly paid by a handful of very wealthy heirs. Nonetheless, right-wingers have successfully convinced many voters that the tax is a cruel burden on ordinary Americans - that all across the nation small businesses and family farms are being broken up to pay crushing estate tax liabilities.