Republican-led Congress is on a ruinous course

first_imgThese decreases will leave millions without affordable health care and make millions of disabled and low-income Americans even more vulnerable.The budget also projects stunning reductions in what is called non-defense discretionary spending, essentially everything the government does outside of the military, entitlements and interest payments on the national debt.These include programs that contribute to our safety — such as law enforcement, the Coast Guard, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration — as well as services vital to our health — such as environmental protection, water and sewage systems.It also includes public investment vital to our economy and our future — in science and technology, medical research, modern infrastructure, education, advanced training and more. These programs are already projected for deep cuts under the 2011 Budget Control Act, but the Senate bill decimates them.By 2019, it cuts this spending by 10 percent from 2017 levels, and by nearly 20 percent by 2027.As a share of the economy, spending on domestic services will be cut to levels not seen since Herbert Hoover. The resolution is designed to facilitate passage of tax cuts with Republican votes only.The final tax cut package hasn’t been written yet, but Republicans leaders have produced a “framework.”This bill will worsen the extreme inequality that already corrupts our democracy and impedes economic growth.The top 1 percent will pocket more than half of the tax cuts next year and an obscene 80 percent by year 10.This bill will also reward multinationals for booking profits as earned abroad to avoid taxes.The legislation offers a retroactive tax cut for the $2.6 trillion that has evaded taxation and would expand that tax dodge by eliminating taxes altogether on profits that they report as earned abroad.At a time when hedge-fund operators pay a lower tax rate than schoolteachers, this bill would increase the outrage, with a massive tax break for real estate barons, hedge-fund managers and lawyers by taxing “pass-through” income at a reduced rate.  Instead of closing loopholes, the bill adds to them.The spending side has received less attention but may be even worse.The Senate bill proposes $5.8 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.At a time when baby boomers are retiring, it calls for cuts of $473 billion in Medicare, $1 trillion in Medicaid and another $300 billion in Obamacare subsidies to medium- and low-income workers.It cuts more than $650 billion in income security programs for low-income workers.These cuts include primarily food stamps, the earned-income tax credit and child tax credit, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for disabled seniors and others in need.Another $200 billion is cut from Pell grants and student loans that help working families afford college. Categories: Editorial, OpinionPresident Donald Trump’s flailings are ever more terrifying.In the course of a few days, he tossed a grenade into the health-care markets that millions rely on, traduced the Iran nuclear deal, threatened to abandon American citizens ravaged by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, continued to sabotage action on climate change, tweeted about censoring the media, and so undermined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., likened it to “castration.”Yet for all of that, Trump’s grotesqueries are exceeded by a Republican-led Congress intent on a course so ruinous as to be, one hopes, impossible to sustain. This week, Senate Republicans will seek to push through a budget resolution for the current fiscal year.The resolution provides guidelines for spending and tax cuts, with projections for the next 10 years.It has the support of virtually all of the Republican caucus. Its provisions are destructive and absurd. center_img In a society dealing with a growing population, rising global competition and pressing new challenges such as catastrophic climate change, the Republican-led Senate cashes in our future for top-end tax cuts.We will lag rather than lead the industrial world in education and training.We will squander our edge in innovation. We will suffer the rising perils and the costs of a decrepit and outmoded infrastructure.We witness all this already today, but the Senate budget course will accelerate the trends and make them worse. This folly is, one hopes, too extreme to be sustained.Yet this week, all of the Republican senators — with perhaps one or two dissenters — will line up to vote for a budget that is truly a road to ruin.Why? Partly, of course, they will reward the wealthy and special interests that pay for their party.Part comes from fear of even more right-wing challengers if they don’t toe the line.Part may be purblind ideological conviction, although it is hard to imagine that any truly believe these measures would make things better.Part may be desperation — Republicans believe they have to get something done, even if it does more harm than good to most Americans in the long run.If Trump’s increasingly manic careening terrifies, the remorseless suicide mission of the Republican caucus in Congress should horrify. Katrina Vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher of the Nation magazine.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Dems using smear tactics to hide record

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over Bethlehem I’ve been a Niskayuna resident for over 40 years and I’m a former Town Board member. I have never been more ashamed of our town government, especially Supervisor Joe Landry and Councilwoman Murphy McGraw.Over the past few weeks, Supervisor Landry’s retaliatory actions towards Court Clerk Barbara Pidgeon were exposed. The fact that other Town Board members sat idly by while the safety of employees was jeopardized is beyond belief. This situation has been going on for over a year, and it’s an insult that Ms. McGraw knew nothing about it.She bragged that she stepped in to help solve the problem. Really, Ms. McGraw? You, as deputy supervisor and a Democrat committeewoman, and Supervisor Landry as the county Democratic chairman, knew nothing about this? You either don’t spend a lot of time at Town Hall, don’t communicate with your fellow legislators or you aren’t telling the truth. Either way, it’s behavior not worthy of supporting you for re-election. What’s even worse, many Niskayuna residents received a political mail hit-piece from the Niskayuna Democratic Committee trying to paint the Republican town candidates as anti-Muslim and anti-Semite and climate-change deniers by connecting them to national right-wing figures. Mr. Landry, Ms. McGraw and Councilman John Della Ratta are all Niskayuna Democratic Committee people. Will Ms. McGraw again claim she knew nothing about this despicable political trash flyer, as she did about the court safety issue?By one simple phone call, I found out that Republican supervisor candidate Yasmine Syed is a Christian who is of Jewish, Pakistani and Muslim descent. Of her running mates, Tom McGarry is Irish-American whose mother was a glass ceiling-shattering doctor in the 1950s and Anthony Simone is an Italian-American, retired from Golub Corp., and is a local businessman.These are decent people trying to run for office. Obviously Mr. Landry, Ms. McGraw and Mr. Della Ratta have no positive record to run on. So instead, they’re running a personal smear campaign — and a bad one at that.Come on Niskayuna, get with the program and see through the smoke and mirrors the Democrats are using to pull the wool over your eyes.Patricia DonnellyNiskayunacenter_img Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Overage and above

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Safeland buy-in fuels privatisation rumours

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Serviced distribution space gets £1bn US lift

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Arresting development

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Running on empty

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‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’: China thanks international community for support, understanding

first_imgThe countries are the Republic of Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Hungary, Belarus, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.Read also: China sees more patients recover from novel coronavirus infection“The donations speak volumes of their deep compassion. A friend in need is a friend indeed. I’d like to thank them all,” Hua added.She went on to say that China would continue to share information and strengthen cooperation with other countries in an open, transparent and highly responsible manner to safeguard the life and health of the Chinese people and contribute to regional and global public health security.The new coronavirus that appeared late December has claimed 563 lives, infected more than 28,000 people in mainland China and spread to more than 20 countries.Topics : China has responded to the international community’s assistance amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, by saying that while China has “mostly relied on its own strength”, the help it has received enhances its international friendship.“In the face of the epidemic, China mainly relies on its own strength to tackle the challenge. At the same time, we welcome and thank the sincere and friendly understanding, support and help from the international community,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a daily briefing on the ministry’s website.She added that the governments of 21 countries and the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF had donated epidemic prevention and control supplies to China as of Wednesday.last_img read more

PREMIUMEra Mandiri, Agro Yasa make strong debut on local stock market

first_imgGoogle Indonesia stock-market IDX listing Era-Mandiri-Cemerlang Agro-Yasa-Lestari expansion exports capital LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Fishery products producer PT Era Mandiri Cemerlang Tbk and asphalt, geosynthetic and soya beans meal manufacturer PT Agro Yasa Lestari Tbk made a strong debut on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) on Wednesday with share prices rising more than 70 percent.The share price of PT Era Mandiri  (IKAN) rose sharply to Rp 204 (1.5 US cents) per share, a 70 percent increase from Rp 120 during the initial public offering (IPO) just a few minutes after trading started.PT Agro Yasa (AYLS) also received a warm welcome when it debuted on the local stock exchange. Its share price also rose by 70 percent in the morning trading session to Rp 170 per share from its IPO price of Rp 100 per share.However, trading of the two companies’ shares was temporarily suspended as the increase in their prices exceeded the allowable increase limit for a single-day transaction as regulated in th… Facebook Log in with your social account Forgot Password ? Topics : Linkedinlast_img read more

Ecuador city runs out of coffins amid COVID-19 crisis

first_imgLast week, residents posted videos on social media showing abandoned bodies in the streets in the Latin American city worst hit by the pandemic.The government called in troops to pick up 150 corpses from streets and homes earlier this week after mortuary workers in the city were unable to keep up with a backlog of removals.The cardboard coffins “will be a great help in providing a dignified burial for people who died during this health emergency,” the Guayaquil mayor’s office wrote on Twitter. Ecuador reported 3,646 cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, including 180 deaths, the majority of them occurring in Guayaquil and its surrounding province of Guayas. Soaring numbers of COVID-19 deaths in Ecuador’s second city Guayaquil have led to a shortage of coffins, forcing locals to resort to using cardboard boxes, city authorities said Sunday.Authorities in the Pacific port city said they had received a donation of 1,000 pressed cardboard caskets from local producers, and delivered them for use in two local cemeteries.”It’s so they can meet demand,” a city hall spokesman told AFP. “There are either no coffins in the city or they are extremely expensive.” Businessman Santiago Olivares, who owns a chain of funeral homes, said his company was unable to keep up with demand.”I sold the 40 that I had at the downtown branch, and 40 others from my headquarters. I had to order 10 more at the weekend and they’ve run out,” Olivares told AFP.The cheapest coffins currently cost around $400. Olivares said a 15-hour curfew in the city was contributing to the shortage of basic raw materials for coffin makers like wood and metal.center_img Topics :last_img read more