Obama’s International Tax Plan Attacks Offshore Tax Havens

Barack Obama
Obama Fights Back Against Tax Havens

In President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget is a reform to the way the United States taxes international and multinational corporations and people. Here’s all you need to known about Obama’s international tax plan:

Global Minimum Tax:

In Obama’s international tax plan is a global minimum tax of 19% on all foreign profits of US-based corporation, which according to the Brookings Institute, would raise $206 billion.

The global minimum tax is exactly what the name means: a minimum tax that every multinational corporation has to pay. For example, if a multinational corporation puts its earnings in a country with a 0% tax rate, they still have to pay the US government a 19% tax rate to make up the difference. Conversely, if a multinational corporation puts its earnings in a country with a 25% tax rate, they wouldn’t have to pay taxes to the US government because they already paid those taxes to the foreign country.

This a sensible solution because in almost all situations, corporations choose to put their profits in countries with a lower tax rate than the US. However, Obama’s plan would make tax havens less attractive because even if these corporations chose to use places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, these corporations would still have to make up the difference between the United States’ global minimum tax and the foreign country’s tax rate.

Transition Tax:

Obama’s plan also has a provision to levy a one-time, mandatory 14% on all the foreign holdings of multinational corporations. Obama wants to use the $268 billion from this transition tax to pay for a bill that would help fix our crumbling infrastructure.

Doing so would obviously create jobs but also would increase productivity. Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress explains:

Investing in infrastructure not only creates jobs; it increases the productivity of businesses small, medium, and large. At the most basic level, infrastructure investments make it possible for firms to rely on well-maintained roads to move their goods, on an electricity grid that is always on to run their factories, and water mains that provide a steady stream of clean water to supply their restaurants.

Changing the Insane Status Quo:

Right now, multinational corporations can defer payment on taxes on their foreign earnings until they bring their profits back to America. Unfortunately, these corporations have no incentive to bring their profits back because they don’t want to pay taxes on them. Therefore, they keep their dollars in these tax havens indefinitely, dodging taxes time and time again. As the Brookings Institute explains:

Under the current deferral system, U.S. multinationals have a powerful tax incentive to construct facilities and buy companies located outside the United States. If deferral were ended, these companies would make locational decisions based on business factors, rather than tax rates. Thus, a substantial portion of foreign profits of U.S. multinationals would likely be brought back to the United States to build plants, buy technologies and pay dividends.

Leading Republican Senator Chuck Grassley on Current Obamacare Challenge: “That’s Ridiculous”

Leading Republican Senator from Iowa Chuck Grassley
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) | AP Photo

Leading Republican Senator Chuck Grassley called Burwell v. King the current challenge to Obamacare before the Supreme Court “ridiculous”. The Supreme Court will rule by June 2015.

Burwell v. King is a challenge to Obamacare’s tax subsidies provision. The plaintiffs in this case say that the law’s subsidies are only for the state-run exchanges while supporters of the law say that the writers of the bill meant for the subsidies to be for both the state-run and the federally-run exchange.

Steven Brill, writer of a book about the Affordable Care Act, outed Grassley’s views on a TV interview on MSNBC.

According to Brill, when he asked Grassley about King, the senator initially “didn’t even know what the suit was about.”
Once Brill explained the suit to Grassley, the senator responded “oh, that’s ridiculous. We obviously meant that the subsidies would go to the federal exchange and not just the state exchange,” according to Brill.
Nor was Grassley alone in this view. Rather, Brill says that when the suit was filed, he asked “all the Republican staffers” who worked on the bill about this suit, and “they laughed at it.”

Think Progress

Grassley was one of the leading obstacles to the passage of Obamacare in 2009 and 2010 and knew the inner details of the legislation. When he, as one of the most ardent opposers of Obamacare, says that this challenge to Obamacare is ridiculous, then it is ridiculous.

However, Grassley isn’t the only Republican who thinks that the plaintiff’s case is ridiculous.

 A short list of Obamacare opponents who previously indicated that the law provides tax credits regardless of who operates a particular state’s exchange includes Republican Governors Dave Heineman (R-NE), Nikki Haley (R-SC), Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Scott Walker (R-WI), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI), and the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Think Progress

But if the court does choose to decide against the opinions of the actual writers of the bill from both sides of the aisle, the effects will be far-reaching and devastating.

Nearly 5 million Americans who chose an insurance plan through the federal exchange using a premium tax credit would lose that credit — and probably their health insurance.

New England Journal of Medicine

The law, facts. and politics on this issue are simple. Obamacare is working and because the even Republicans in Congress have given up on repealing it, an elite group of conservative and corporate “activists” are challenging the law in the courts. However, the plaintiffs have no case. The Affordable Care Act’s subsidies provision were crafted for all exchanges, including and especially the federally-run exchange.

For once, Chuck Grassley and liberal Democrats actually agree on something, that this challenge is simply “ridiculous”.

Obama Executive Immigration Reform Great for Economy

Thanks Obama!

The recent executive action taken by President Barack Obama to allow 4 million undocumented immigrants to stay without fear of deportation in America is great for our economy.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama took executive action on immigration to make sure that undocumented immigrants who are DREAMers and parents of citizens to earn their way to work permits and eventually residency through paying fines, taxes, and passing background checks.

Check out this White House link to see how much your state’s GDP will increase because of Obama’s executive action.

For summary, in my state of Texas, a deep-red state that hates Obama and his executive actions, we will see a $8,200,000,000 increase in GDP because of the Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Overall, the national GDP will grow by .4% or $90 billion dollars over ten years.

According to a November 2014 study from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, these executive actions will increase the average wage for all US-born workers in Texas and around the nation by $170 a year while having no negative impact on the amount of jobs or the availability of jobs. Further from the study, his actions will reduce the deficit by $60 billion over a decade

This presents an interesting paradox. Why aren’t Republicans who say they want to grow the economy, jumping on board for President Obama’s actions? In fact, why aren’t they supportive of congressional action on immigration that will be far more overreaching and create far more economic benefits?

The massive economic benefits of President Obama’s executive action on immigration can be just the beginning if Republicans stop obstructing and start working with Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform.

3 Major Problems the Minimum Wage will Fix

Raising the Minimum Wage

The resilient American middle class has weathered two world wars, a Great Depression that almost took out our economy for good, and the 2008 financial meltdown that caused millions of Americans to be laid off, our national debt to multiply, and social inequity to skyrocket. However, four years after that calamitous crisis, American workers and their families are still struggling to succeed and many are questioning if the fortitude of the American people can still overcome the enormous challenges now facing our nation. It’s time that we restore confidence in our nation by raising the minimum wage which will stimulate our economy, repair our fiscal stature, and last but not least, restore social justice, economic mobility, and the American Dream.

Raising the minimum wage would reinvigorate the American economy by creating jobs. While there is a common misconception started by fear mongering corporatists that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs, but actually, in a study from the Times Magazine on September 21st 2014, the 13 states of both Republican and Democratic legislatures that have raised the minimum wage have experienced an average of .85% job growth while states that have chosen not to raise the minimum wage only saw an average of .61% job growth. These numbers just come from common sense. When people have more wage and thus more money in their wallets, they can buy more from small and local businesses. When business have more money, they can hire more workers that get paid more, and consequently, the economy gets the much awaited jolt it needs to continue its recovery.

Also, raising the minimum wage has historically created jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 1995 to 1996, 2.6 million jobs were created while the unemployment rated dropped by .3%. This was matched by a 50 cents minimum wage increase from $4.25 to $2.75. If job growth coincided with a minimum wage increase, it is clear that raising the minimum wage would not kill jobs, rather create them. Furthermore, the minimum wage was passed as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act by President Franklin Roosevelt in the New Deal. It was implemented during the Great Depression, an era of economic devastation but also of important social reforms. As part of the New Deal package, the minimum wage helped to restore America to the forefront of economic growth and job creation and was a crucial reform that stimulated the economy and created good-paying American jobs.

But secondly, raising the minimum wage would reduce the deficit and act as an effective form of entitlement reform. According to the Center of American Progress on March 5, 2014, raising the minimum wage would “decrease the amount that taxpayers spend on programs such as SNAP”. Specifically, “SNAP benefits decline 30k for every $1 increase in family earnings and phase out entirely at about the federal poverty level”. In that same study, they found that a 10% increase in the minimum wage would reduce the amount of people who rely on food stamps by between 2.5% and 3.2% and decrease the SNAP budget by 4.6 billion. Raising the minimum wage is a less draconian form of entitlement reform that would help lower-income Americans to be able to provide for themselves, rather than traditional forms of entitlement reform that would remove social safety nets and leave millions of Americans in the dust.

Moreover, with a minimum wage increase, workers would pay more in taxes because they have more money. According to the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan group trusted by both parties, “workers with increased earnings would pay more in taxes and receive less in federal benefits of certain types than they would have otherwise”. Also, because raising the minimum wage would give workers more money to spend at retail stores and restaurants, thus increasing the profits of businesses and therefore increasing the stream of revenue through the income tax.

Last but not least, raising the minimum wage would be the first step on the journey to restore the American Dream because today, the system is rigged and the fundamental American principles of social justice and economic mobility are gone.

But after delving into the economics of the mater, let’s talk about the moral question. According to the Washington Post on April 12, 2013, in 2011, more than 10 million American workers spent more than 27 weeks in the labor force but still fell below the federal poverty level in a social class known to many as the working poor. From a March 2014 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, more than 14 million Americans were classified as part of the working poor. As we can see from these statistics, hardworking Americans are working more but earning less and are facing challenges just to put food on the table and put a roof over their families’ heads and that is just wrong because if a middle-class mother works fulltime with 12 hours shifts a day, seven days a week, and 52 weeks a year and still manages to pick up the kids afterschool and send them to piano or ballet, she should be able to provide for her family and give her children a better future and a better life.

And that mother who works so hard to provide for her kids deserves more than just $7.25 an hour, the current federal minimum wage. Right now, she earns, according to the Christian Science Monitor, 558 times less than the CEOs of big corporations like AT&T. But the worst example of income inequality is at McDonald’s, where the CEO earns 1,196 times than what the average worker makes. Is it really fair for the CEO to make so much more than what the average worker who goes to work every day to earn a profit for the CEO’s company makes? Is it fair for the worker who does the grunt work of running a business to earn thousands of times less than a CEO that may not even put in as many hours? There is no question that the CEO should earn more than an average worker, but when the difference in wages is in the thousands of times, there is a problem. The system is rigged against the American worker and the income equality and economic justice that our nation was once known for is gone.

These startling revelations of country whose economy is stagnating, whose fiscal situation is less than stellar, and whose core promise is failing should serve as a wake-up call to all those still asleep in the deep slumbers of the past. No longer are the days when people could work and study really hard and expect to climb the proverbial economic ladder. The days where workers could expect a fair, living wage are in the past. But today, we have a clear solution to almost all the economic, fiscal, and moral challenges our country faces. Raising the minimum wage would stimulate our economy, reduce the deficit, and be the first step on a long journey to restoring the American Dream and the principles of social justice, economic mobility, fiscal prudency, and prosperity that our nation was once known for.

Wendy Davis Won Tonight’s Debate: On Education Cuts, “not liberal, that’s not conservative, that’s just dumb.”

Wendy Davis obviously won tonight’s historic gubernatorial debate. She pushed Greg Abbott to tell the truth and told the Texan people about her plan to restore the Texan dream. Tonight, Greg Abbott was forced to defend his insider dealings and crony politics that have forced Texan schoolchildren to be neglected, victims of rape and incest to suffer, and hard working Texans to left behind. If you’re a Texan who cares about education funding, a woman’s right to her own body, a fair criminal justice system, and a better future for your children, then Wendy Davis is your gal.

Tonight’s debate made the contrast between the two candidates even clearer. Wendy Davis is fighting for every Texan, regardless of race, gender, age, or background, while Greg Abbott is just another insider politician who’s just not working for you.

So-Called “Family Man” Bob McDonnell Convicted After Wife-Bashing Defense

Bob McDonnell, Maureen McDonnell
Bob McDonnell and wife Maureen McDonnell (AP Photos)

After months of court hearings and testimony from 67 witnesses but only two days of jury deliberations, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell were convicted on several charges of corruption, including one for obstruction of justice.

McDonnell was convicted of taking illegal bribes from executives of Star Scientific Inc. in exchange for using his position as governor to promote the company’s products by hosting meetings among founder Jonnie Williams Sr. and state officials. According to the prosecution, Mr. Williams gifted a golf bag, expensive designer clothes, a Rolex watch, and even a Ferrari to the McDonnell family. In total, Williams gave $177,000 in loans and gifts to the McDonnells.

In the trial, the defense tried to paint Maureen McDonnell as the sole perpetrator of the illegal bribes, saying that she was the one who helped convince her husband to help promote Williams’ dietary supplement. But the jury quickly realized the ridiculous of that argument: Why is a broken marriage an excuse for corrupt activities?

Governor McDonnell testified that his marriage was falling apart and since the couple barely spoke, they could never have intentionally conspired to do anything. But, the only reason he became governor and became a national star was because he promoted his family values and characterized his family as close and together. Five years later, $177,000 richer, McDonnell suddenly changes his tune and now says his family is dysfunctional. Huh, how does a man who ran for public office as a family man later describe his marriage as broken?

As the verdict came out, both Bob and Maureen began to cry – probably because both of them face decades in prison. But even worse for the former potential White House contender, Governor McDonnell threw away whatever was left in his political career when he chose to cruelly and unashamedly bash his own wife for nothing. So much for family values, eh?


Republican Greg Abbott Chickens Out of Only Statewide TV Debate with Wendy Davis

Chicken Much?

Update 9/2/2014:

Wendy Davis has agreed to Greg Abbott’s request for a more formal debate hosted by WFAA in Dallas. However, even after concessions were made, Abbott still turned down the invitation because he already committed to one, in the same city and at the same time.

“We have spoken with WFAA this afternoon and expressed our willingness to alter the previously agreed upon debate format to accommodate the Abbott campaign’s concerns about the lack of timed responses,” Petkanas said. “Wendy looks forward to meeting Mr. Abbott in this more structured debate setting at WFAA on September 30th.”


After reading this update, you might think that Abbott still wants to have a debate. While I wish that naïve view were true, its clear from the attitude and reasoning from his campaign that Abbott is still too chicken to debate Davis. Remember that the WFAA debate was already agreed upon in advance, including the location, time and format. Later, Abbott decided not to go to that WFAA debate, and instead agreed to a KERA debate. Then, Davis gave Abbott what he wanted and restructured the debate, but Abbott still refused to honor his prior commitment. Huh?

It’s shameful that a gubernatorial candidate is too afraid to answer questions from the voters he wants to lead. Why flip from the perfectly good WFAA debate to another debate – which is hosted at the same time, place, and location – if you weren’t afraid?

Original Post:

After accepting an invitation to a September 30th debate hosted by WFAA, Greg Abbott, Republican nominee for governor, is now backing out of the only statewide televised debate with his opponent Democrat Wendy Davis. Abbott previously sent a letter accepting the terms of the debate, but now his campaign says they actually disagree with the format. Huh?

Due to our inability to agree on specific details of the format, Attorney General Greg Abbott will regretfully not be participating in the WFAA debate,” said Robert Black, senior campaign adviser on Friday morning. (…)


If this isn’t a flip-flop, I don’t know what is. Abbott is rightly getting criticized about this reversal from both sides of the aisle. Texas Democrats have rightfully called him a coward, one that is too afraid of talking about his record on cutting education, defending a corporations against a rape victim, and “redirecting” cancer research money to his wealthy donors.

This act of cowardice even prompted a Republican to publicly criticize Abbott:

“To cancel one’s appearance in the only scheduled statewide televised debate, given the importance of this particular office, is unconscionable,” wrote Republican State Senator John Carona in an email to WFAA. “Greg Abbott is wrong to do this to the voters of Texas. He should have to defend his record, which is not without blemish. This, as you undoubtedly recognize, is the new strategy of the those relying on the vote of the far right. I’m a staunch Republican, but this is one more embarrassing move by a Republican candidate that either can’t or won’t defend his position on the issues.”


The WFAA hosted debate was planned to be a roundtable debate, a looser style that doesn’t have time restrictions for candidate answers. But in this less narrow format, voters have a better chance to actually see what the two candidates believe – something that the Abbott campaign thinks is a bad idea. The only conceivable reason for ditching a perfectly reasonable debate with perfectly reasonable and previously agreed upon terms is that the Republican is afraid of making a huge gaffe. He currently holds an 8 point lead – down from 12 points earlier this year – and risking a debate debacle isn’t an appealing idea. But Abbott lying about the reasons behind the reversal, and his refusal to answer questions about his record will surely come back to haunt him.

Abbott isn’t ready to become the highest official in Texas and his record certainly proves that. His campaign has a fundamental disrespect for Texan voters because he is unwilling to answer their questions and their concerns. His strategy is to just ignore the facts of his record and fail to address his fair-right bad ideas.

Greg Abbott is a coward and a liar and the Texan people deserve better. Either defend your record to the Texan people, or stop running to be their governor!

Happy Labor Day!!


It’s Labor Day again! Every year, we Americans celebrate today with delicious barbecue and fun picnics to end off the summer fun and kick off the fall holidays. But what does Labor day really mean? We as a nation have gone through so much, whether it be standing together after the Civil War, or coming out of the 2008 financial crisis as a changed nation. However, we’ve seen a dramatic step back these past few years. The Tea Party revolution of 2010 stole progress out from under the noses of the American people and put people like Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell into power. Both of these men have made it their goal to obstruct the president on every issue, even the most mundane and necessary like the debt ceiling.

On Labor Day, we step back to celebrate the working people of our nation and how they have changed our history. Every major reform in our nation came with millions of people protesting in the streets and advocating for what they believed in. But unfortunately, this Labor Day comes as the nation takes a step back instead of a step forward. Hard working middle-class Americans work 12 hour shifts for 7 days a week, yet they still can’t afford to put food on the table. Parents save up money for their child’s college education, but when the time comes, the price of a good education is just too high. College students who spend their days studying and volunteering in their communities can’t get jobs when they graduate and can’t succeed because opportunities are so scarce. Diligent workers and labourers, have run out of options, out of time, and out of energy because our economy is failing the middle class and making the journey to a better life more and more difficult.

This Labour Day, let’s remember what hard work used to mean in America and how we can take back our own futures. Let’s think about the problems of today, and find solutions to them. And finally, with a force of dedicated American workers and hard-working moms and dads, we can restore the American Dream, make hard work count for something again, and make sure that every person, regardless of age or gender, has a pathway to success and to economic stability.

Mitch McConnell Explains His Extremist Senate Agenda for the Koch Brothers


In a recently released audio leak from this summer’s gathering of rich millionaires, Mitch McConnell was caught on tape revealing his extremist Senate agenda that involves more gridlock and more obstructionism. At a conference sponsored by the infamous Koch Brothers, McConnell proudly trumpeted his votes against everything proposed by a Democrat. In fact, McConnell’s extreme agenda includes defunding Obamacare, destroying Dodd-Frank and financial regulation, and slashing the EPA, the only form of protection consumers have against big oil and their polluting factories.

Watch a clip of the tape here:

The timing of these revelations come at an awkward time for McConnell as he battles his toughest reelection campaign yet. His opponent, the young and energetic Alison Lundergan Grimes, was quick to jump on these tapes saying:

McConnell’s Democratic challenger for his Kentucky seat, Alison Lundergan Grimes, couldn’t wait to whack him on it, telling CNN in an exclusive interview that “Mitch McConnell got caught in his 47% Mitt Romney moment.”

“I think it shows the extent and the lengths he will go to to pander to his party millionaires and billionaires at the expense of hurting Kentuckians,” Grimes told CNN.

McConnell has tried to respond to these attacks by saying that the tape reveals nothing new and that the he has said it all publicly before. Indeed that is true, McConnell has voted and stated his opposition to a minimum wage increase, which would actually create more jobs, Obamacare, which has already begun to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, student loan reform, which could have saved students millions, and other policies that have helped Americans or could help the American middle class. But even though his response is true, the facts are still the facts. McConnell has led the GOP obstructionism machine from pit stops at the Koch brother’s gas stations and fundraisers to filibusters on the Senate floor. He is the sole reason that there is gridlock in Washington and why our system is so corrupt. That’s not right.

In America, we expect our leaders to vote for proposals that will help our economy and our nation. McConnell isn’t doing that, publicly or privately. He is only looking out for his wealthy donors and rich allies. His obstructionism and his voting record stands against progress that would move our nation forward and for the Koch brother’s sick corporatist agenda.

Mitt Romney Leads in Iowa for 2016


After being astronomically crushed in the 2008 presidential primaries and letting down his party by losing a general election against a president with the highest historical unemployment rates, Mitt Romney seems like the worst person to lead the Republican Party in 2016, but according to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 35% of caucus voters would vote for him in 2016, even with knowledge of his baggage.

Apparently conservative voters haven’t learned their lesson; nominating a rich millionaire who doesn’t care about 47% of the nation and uses off-shore tax havens to dodge taxes that everyone else has to pay is never a good idea:

The survey comes as rumors have begun to swirl about a potential Romney bid for president in 2016. After months of insisting that he will not run again, the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday acknowledged that “circumstances can change.” (…)

In Wednesday’s survey of 170 likely caucus voters, 9 percent said they would vote for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, putting him in a distant second to Romney. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum both came in third at 6 percent, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tied for fifth with 5 percent.

A June survey reported that Romney also had a double-digit lead over all listed potential Republican presidential contenders in New Hampshire, suggesting he has strong support in each of the first two presidential nominating contests.

Romney has clearly shown the polling data; on an interview on the “The Hugh Hewitt Show”, Romney said that: “Circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there”.

He is clearly thinking about running again, but if he wants to win and if Republicans want a nominee who can win against Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrat, Romney shouldn’t run. Both polls come from relatively small sample sizes, with the poll in Iowa surveying only 170 voters. The polling data is most likely inaccurate and since its so far out from 2016, many voters aren’t focused on 2016, and are more focused on this year’s election.