Corporate Tax Inversions

09/28/2014

inversionCorporate inversions 2

Tax Inversion

Tax inversion, or corporate inversion, is the relocation of a corporation’s headquarters to a lower-tax nation or corporate haven, usually whilst retaining its material operations in its higher-tax country of origin. The term is most frequently used in relation to U.S. corporations. Corporate inversions are a relatively recent phenomenon; although it is difficult to be definitive, the practice first became prevalent in the 1990s with U.S. corporations seeking to relocate to tax havens such as Bermuda; but more recently because of changes in the U.S. law publicity has focused upon corporate inversions conducted by way of merger with companies in lower tax European or Asian countries.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_inversion

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The Cost of Doing This Kind of Business: What Corporate Inversions Mean for America’s Future

Tanya Somanader September 26, 2014 1:00 PM EDT

A good way to build a stronger economy is to create a fairer and more efficient tax code — one that promotes business investment and job creation in the United States. That is why the President has proposed business tax reform that will simplify the tax code by lowering the corporate tax rate and closing wasteful loopholes.

Congress has yet to act on the President’s proposal, and in the meantime, some companies continue to exploit unfair tax loopholes. One such loophole allows U.S. corporations to undertake an “inversion,” whereby a company relocates their tax residence overseas, while changing very little else about its operations or business, in order to avoid paying taxes. With a simple change of paperwork, these companies can dramatically reduce their taxes, leaving other businesses and middle-class taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Dozens of U.S. corporations have taken advantage of the inversions loophole in recent years, and more are looking to follow suit. By renouncing their U.S. citizenship, these companies will cost our country nearly $20 billion over the next decade — critical dollars that could be used to grow and expand the middle class.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/09/26/cost-doing-kind-business-what-corporate-inversions-mean-america-s-future

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What Are “Inversions,” and Why Should You Care?

President Obama is calling for a kind of “economic patriotism” that’s based on investing in the things that we know grow the economy for everyone (like education and job training) — not protecting wasteful loopholes for a few at the top.

And he’s calling attention to one kind of corporate merger deal in particular — called an “inversion” — a word you might be seeing in a lot of news headlines lately.

It’s not the most intuitive name for a corporate tax loophole, so we’re going to break it down for you.

Q: So what exactly is an “inversion”?

A corporate “inversion” is what happens when a U.S.-based multinational with operations in other countries restructures itself so that the U.S. “parent” is replaced by a foreign corporation — and usually one that’s in a country with a lower tax rate than the United States. As a result, on the whole, this means that corporate income tax that would otherwise be paid to the United States ends up going overseas.

In other words, right now, our tax code allows any American company to merge with a foreign company (so long as that company’s shareholders own 20% of the combined firm) — and then “relocate” or “invert” to another country for tax purposes. This maneuver — which changes nothing about the actual operations that continue in the U.S. — allows companies to dramatically reduce the taxes they owe in the U.S. by taking advantage of loopholes in our tax system.

Meanwhile, they would continue enjoying the benefits and protections of the American economy — provided by our tax dollars. It’s a big loophole — and right now, it’s completely legal.

Q: That’s got to be costing us a lot of money, right?

Yes, and it could cost us even more. This is a growing trend among American corporations, and they’re getting increasingly creative and brazen in the ways they’re doing it. What’s more, for decades, countries have been holding “tax competitions” to lure American companies, offering special tax breaks to help them avoid paying their fair share at home.

All told, estimates suggest that it could cost nearly $20 billion over the next 10 years.

Q: OK, but I’m not a corporation. So how does this relate to me?

Simply put: You’re paying for it.

That’s because when corporations pay less, other working Americans have to pay more to help fund the services we all rely on: rebuilding our roads and bridges, equipping our schools with the resources they need, and defending our country at home.

Most Americans don’t have fancy accounting tricks at their disposal — and these businesses shouldn’t, either.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/24/what-are-inversions-and-why-should-you-care

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Lew Says Business-Tax Revamp Best for Limiting Inversions

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said the best way to deal with corporate inversions is through a comprehensive revamp of business taxation, according to a statement from the department.

Lew’s comments came in a meeting with policy specialists today in Washington, including Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institution, Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Treasury said.

Lew’s comments today echo his previous statements on the issue, which emphasized reducing tax rates and making it harder for U.S. companies to shift profits overseas. The Treasury Department is also working on options for regulatory steps to curb inversions or make them less attractive.

During the meeting, Lew “expressed the same view he’s expressed publicly about the problem of inversions,” Bernstein said in an interview after the meeting.

Treasury is developing a plan on inversions and hasn’t made any decisions yet, said another person participating in the meeting. If Congress doesn’t revamp business-tax law, the department wants to find another approach, said the person, who asked not to be named since the meeting was closed.

In a recognition that such initiatives probably won’t become law soon, the administration is advocating retroactive legislation to prevent U.S. companies from changing their tax address by purchasing a smaller foreign company.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-21/lew-says-business-tax-reform-best-for-addressing-inversions.html

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Executive Order 11246 – Affirmative Action, 49th Anniversary

09/23/2014
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr in a meeting at the White House

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr in a meeting at the White House

Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) on September 24, 1965, established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors. It “prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” It also requires contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” The phrase affirmative action had appeared previously in Executive Order 10925 in 1961.

The order was a follow-up to Executive Order 10479 signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 13, 1953 establishing the anti-discrimination Committee on Government Contracts, which itself was based on a similar Executive Order 8802 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. Eisenhower’s Executive Order has been amended and updated by at least six subsequent Executive Orders. It differed significantly from the requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only required organizations to document their practices once there was a preliminary finding of wrongdoing. This Executive Order required the businesses it covered to maintain and furnish documentation of hiring and employment practices upon request.

The Executive Order also required contractors with 51 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace if a workforce analysis demonstrates their under-representation, meaning that there are fewer minorities and women than would be expected given the numbers of minorities and women qualified to hold the positions available. Federal regulations require affirmative action plans to include an equal opportunity policy statement, an analysis of the current work force, identification of under-represented areas, the establishment of reasonable, flexible goals and timetables for increasing employment opportunities, specific action-oriented programs to address problem areas, support for community action programs, and the establishment of an internal audit and reporting system.

The Order assigned the responsibility for enforcing parts of the non-discrimination in contracts with private industry to the Department of Labor. Detailed regulations for compliance with the Order were not issued until 1969, when the Nixon administration made affirmative action part of its civil rights strategy.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_11246

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History of Executive Order 11246 – U.S. Department of Labor

Executive Order 11246 – United States Department of Justice

 

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US Export Import Bank – 80th Anniversary

09/09/2014

US Export Import Bank - Executive Order 6581US Export Import Bank - 80 yrs US Export Import Bank - Solutions

US Export-Import Bank

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) established the Export-Import Bank of Washington by Executive Order on February 2, 1934. Executive Order 6581 created the first Export-Import Bank of Washington to “aid in financing and to facilitate exports and imports and the exchange” of goods between the U.S. and the world during a period of economic distress. The Bank celebrates its anniversary on February 12: As stated in the first Annual Report, “the Bank was completely organized on February 12, 1934″ and the first Board of Trustees meeting was held that day. The Bank continues to operate under the goals outlined by President Roosevelt supporting U.S. manufacturers and exporters in times of economic crisis when limitations on commercial credit arise. While created to support exports and imports, the Bank has focused on it’s role as an export credit agency.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.

Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.

Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. We assume credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. We also help to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters.

Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing). No transaction is too large or too small. On average, more than 85% of our transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses.

With 80 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $567 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide.

For more: http://www.exim.gov/

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.Weekly Address: The Export-Import Bank

Remarks of President Barack Obama The White House
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hi, everybody. Nearly six years after the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 53 months. That’s the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history. And we’re in a six-month streak with our economy creating at least 200,000 new jobs each month — the first time that’s happened since 1997.

Thanks to the decisions we made to rescue and rebuild our economy, and your hard work and resilience, America is leading again. Areas like manufacturing, energy, technology, and autos are all booming. And here’s the thing: we’re selling more goods Made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. American exports are at an all-time high.

Over the past five years, we’ve worked hard to open new markets for our businesses, and to help them compete on a level playing field in those markets. And we’ve broken records for exports four years running. Last year, our exports supported more than 11 million American jobs – about 1.6 million more than when I took office. They’re good jobs that typically pay about 15% more than the national average. And more small businesses are selling their goods abroad than ever before — nearly 300,000 last year alone.

We should be doing everything we can to accelerate this progress, not stall it.

One place to start is by supporting something called the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Its sole mission is to create American jobs. That’s it. It helps many American entrepreneurs take that next step and take their small business global. But next month, its charter will expire — unless Members of Congress do their job and reauthorize it.

Now, past Congresses have done this 16 times, always with support from both parties. Republican and Democratic Presidents have supported the bank, too. This time around shouldn’t be any different. Because the bank works. It’s independent. It pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/23/weekly-address-export-import-bank
http://youtu.be/41iHdxy7Kmg

US Exports 2013 = American Jobs

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Sen. Harry Reid’s Constitutional Amendment Bill to Limit Money in Politics

09/07/2014

Citizens United

Reid schedules vote in September on amending the Constitution

August 01, 2014, 03:12 pm By Ramsey Cox – TheHIll

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has set up a procedural vote for September on a constitutional amendment to limit money in politics.

Before adjourning for a five-week recess on Friday, Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S.J. Res. 19, which is designed to overturn two recent Supreme Court decisions that allowed corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals to spend more money on federal elections.

The procedural vote on the constitutional amendment is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 8.

The amendment is certain to fail in the Senate because Republicans generally support the high court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC, arguing they removed limits on free speech.

“This partisan effort to weaken the First Amendment is the clearest proof yet of how out of touch the Democrat Majority has become from the needs and concerns of ordinary Americans and how ill-equipped they are to lead in these challenging times,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday. “Washington Democrats have forgotten that the First Amendment is meant to empower the people, not the government.”

The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/214089-reid-sets-up-vote-to-reverse-citizens-united-decision
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Senate moves forward with amendment to the Constitution on elections

9/8/14 By Ramsey Cox – theHill

The Senate on Monday advanced a constitutional amendment meant to reverse two recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign spending.

Republicans are likely to vote against the amendment when it comes up for a final vote, but by allowing it to proceed, ensured that it will tie up the Senate for most of the week.

More than 20 Republicans joined Democrats in the 79-18 vote advancing the amendment, well over the 60 votes that were needed.

The amendment is almost certain to fail, as it would need to win two-thirds support to pass the Senate, and then would still need to move through the House and be ratified by two-thirds of the states.

“We should have debate on this important amendment,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said before voting for cloture. “The majority should be made to answer why they want to silence critics.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would gladly debate the issue for as long as Republicans require because the amendment is necessary to keep “dark money” out of politics.

For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/217025-senate-advances-constitutional-amendment-on-campaign-spending
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Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission558 U.S. 50 (2010)

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. The nonprofit corporation Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”). In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission

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July 16, 2012

Statement by President Obama on the DISCLOSE Act

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that big corporations are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence American elections. They can buy millions of dollars’ worth of TV ads with no obligation to reveal who’s actually paying for them.

The consequences of this decision are predictable. If we allow this practice to continue, special interests will have unprecedented influence over politicians. It’s wrong. It’s corrosive to our democracy, and it’s a threat to our future.

Today, Republicans in the Senate had the chance to change it. They had the opportunity to support a bill that would prevent the worst effects of the Citizens United decision and require groups or special interests who are trying to influence elections to reveal their donors so the public will know who’s funding their political ads. This bill should have received broad, bipartisan support.

Unfortunately, Republicans chose to block it. Instead of standing up for the American people, Republicans stood with big banks and oil companies – special interests that certainly don’t need more clout in Washington.

I will continue to do everything I can to repair the deficit of trust between Washington and the American people. I’m disappointed Republicans in Congress failed to take action and hold corporations and special interests accountable to the American people.

BILL MOYERS: Here’s a significant revelation of which you may not be aware. The plutocrats know it and love it, and the rest of us should be forewarned. When the Supreme Court made its infamous Citizens United decision, liberating plutocrats to buy our elections fair and square, the justices may have effectively overturned rules that kept bosses from ordering employees to do political work on company time. Election law expert Trevor Potter told us that now “corporations argue that it is a constitutionally protected use of corporate ‘resources’ to order employees to do political work or attend campaign events—even if the employee opposes the candidate, or is threatened with being fired for failure to do what the corporation asks.”

Reporter Mike Elk at In These Times magazine came across a recording of Governor Mitt Romney on a conference call in June with some business executives. The Governor told them there is quote, “nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.”

And here’s Governor Romney two months later, campaigning at an Ohio coal mine:

MITT ROMNEY: This is a time for truth. I listened to an ad on the way here. I’ll tell you, you got a great boss. He runs a great operation here. And he—Bob? Where are you Bob? There he is.

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Bill Moyers on Citizen’s United Decision

“Look at all those miners around him, steadfastly standing in support, right? They work for a company called Murray Energy and attendance at the rally, without pay, was mandatory. Murray Energy is notorious for violating safety regulations, sometimes resulting in injuries and deaths. And the company has paid millions in fines. The CEO, Bob Murray, a well-known climate change denier and cutthroat businessman, insists that his employees contribute to his favorite anti-regulatory candidates, or else. In one letter uncovered by “The New Republic” magazine, Murray wrote quote, “We have been insulted by every salaried employee who does not support our efforts.” So much for voting rights and the secret ballot at Murray Energy.

Mike Elk discovered that the Koch Brothers, David and Charles – who have pledged to spend $60 million defeating President Obama – have sent a “voter information packet” to the employees of Georgia Pacific, one of their subsidiaries. It includes a list of recommended candidates, pro-Romney and anti-Obama editorials written by the Koch’s and a cover letter from the company president. If we elect the wrong people, Dave Robertson writes, “Many of our more than 50,000 US employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.” Other ills? Like losing your job?

This is snowballing. Timeshare king David Siegel of Westgate Resorts reportedly has threatened to fire employees if Barack Obama is re-elected and Arthur Allen, who runs ASG Software Solutions, e-mailed his employees, “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”

Back in the first Gilded Age, in the 19th century, bosses and company towns lined up their workers and marched them to vote as a block. As we said at the beginning of this broadcast, the Gilded Age is back with a vengeance. Welcome to the plutocracy. The remains of the ol’ USA.”

Source: http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-plutocracy-rising/

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HEADLINES OF GOP Blocking the DISCLOSE ACT

* Senate GOP block campaign spending disclosure bill [AP,7/16/12]

Senate Republicans blocked Democratic-backed legislation requiring organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads to disclose their top donors and the amounts they spend. GOP opposition prevented Democrats from getting the 60 votes needed to bring what is known as the Disclose Act to the Senate floor. The vote was 51-44. Democrats revived the act during a presidential election campaign in which political action committees and nonprofit organizations, funded by deep-pocketed and largely anonymous contributors, are dominating the airwaves with largely negative political ads.

* Senate Republicans block campaign disclosure bill [Reuters,7/16/12]

* Senate Republicans Block Campaign Donor Disclosure Bill [Bloomberg, 7/17/12]

* The Power of Anonymity [NY Times, 7/17/12]

* Senate Democrats Plan ‘Midnight Vigil’ on Campaign Finance Bill [WSJ, 7/16/12]

* Expose the fat cats [Washington Post,7/16/12]

* GOP Kills DISCLOSE Act and Leaves Voters in the Dark [Daily Beast,7/17/12]

* DISCLOSE Campaign Spending Act Blocked By Senate Republicans [Huffington Post, 7/17/12]

* Dems hold ‘midnight vigil’ to protest defeat of DISCLOSE bill – [The Hill, 7/16/12]

*  GOP Unanimously Votes to Block DISCLOSE Act [National Journal, 7/16/12]

* Republicans block bill on transparency [Washington Times, 7/17/12]

* Senate Dems Plan ‘Midnight Vigil’ For Campaign Finance Bill [BuzzFeed, 7/16/12]

* GOP blocks political-ad disclosure bill [Boston Globe,7/16/12]

* GOP Senators block Disclose Act political donation transparency [The Examiner, 7/17/12]

* GOP Senators block Disclose Act political donation transparency [Reid.senate.gov, 9/11/14]

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Labor Day 2014

08/29/2014

Rosie Riveter - Labor Day

WE Americans are the only ones who can grow our economy.

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Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

Source: http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm

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Betting on America - PBO quote_ medObama_backs_American_workers_med

As we seek to strengthen our economy and our middle class, we must secure a better bargain for all — one where everyone who works hard in America has a chance to get ahead. I am committed to boosting economic mobility by empowering our workers and making sure an honest day’s work is rewarded with an honest day’s pay. My Administration is fighting for a fair minimum wage for every employee because nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. We must also eliminate pay discrimination so women receive equal pay for equal work, combat unfair labor practices, and continue to defend the collective bargaining rights our parents and grandparents fought so hard for.

 

As we celebrate Labor Day, we reflect on the efforts of those who came before us to increase opportunity, expand the middle class, and build security for our families, and we rededicate ourselves to moving forward with this work in our time. We stand united behind our great American workforce as we lay the path for economic growth and prosperity.

President Barack Obama 8/31/14

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Monday, September 1, 2014
President Obama delivers remarks at the Wisconsin’s 55th Laborfest
Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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President Obama’s Fight Against Inequality

08/19/2014

Don’t think Obama has reduced inequality? These numbers prove that he has.

 – washingtonpost

Today, the average after-tax income of a member of the top 1 percent of earners is $1.12 million. The average after-tax income of someone in the bottom 20 percent is $13,300. That means the average person at the top takes home 84 times the income that the average person in the bottom takes home.

Now, consider what it would be like if none of President Obama’s tax policy changes had happened: not the upper-income tax hikes negotiated at the beginning of last year, not the upper-income tax increases imposed by the Affordable Care Act, not the low-income tax credits enacted in the 2009 stimulus and later renewed.

In this alternative universe, the average member of the top 1 percent would take home $1.2 million, or 6.5 percent more in income, according to a new analysis. The average member of the bottom 20 percent would bring home $13,100, or 1.2 percent less in income. As a result, the average member of the 1 percent would take home 91 times what the average person in the bottom would bring home.

If you’ve wondered whether Obama has made any headway at reducing income inequality, here’s evidence that he has. Based on tax policy alone, he has slightly increased the income of the poor and more significantly reduced the income of the rich. That’s according to a new, exclusive analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, conducted at the request of The Washington Post, that compared today’s income distribution with what it would look like if President George W. Bush’s tax policies were still in place.

Ratio of Avgerage Income of US Earners Under Bush Policy vs Obama Policy

Ratio of Avgerage Income of US Earners Under Bush Policy vs Obama Policy

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/23/dont-think-obama-has-reduced-inequality-these-numbers-prove-that-he-has/

 

RebuildtheMiddleClass

President Obama’s Agenda

Goodwin College Technician Program

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Vice President Biden attends an event on workforce development and skills initiative
Goodwin College, East Hartford, Connecticut

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Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014

08/12/2014

Patty Murray & lgbt-veterans

“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country. No one should suffer discrimination because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Whether applying for a job, finding a home, eating in a restaurant, serving in our military, or attending school, we must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and equally.”

To learn more about Senator Patty Murray’s priorities for the LGBT community

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Murray bill would force Social Security to pay same-sex spouses survivor benefits

A year after Supreme Court decision, some couples still denied benefits

5/8/14 By Liz Goodwin and Olivier Knox – Yahoo News

Nearly a year ago, the nation’s highest court told the federal government that it could no longer withhold marriage benefits from tens of thousands of same-sex married couples.

But that landmark Supreme Court decision made little difference in the lives of gay couples who live in the 33 states that ban same-sex marriage.

Midori Fujii and Kristie Kay Brittain got married in California, then returned to Indiana, which bans gay marriage. When Brittain died of ovarian cancer in 2011, Fujii found out that she would not be eligible to receive her wife’s Social Security survivor benefits.

For months, the Social Security Administration has put survivor benefit applications from same-sex spouses who live in states that don’t recognize gay marriage on hold. That’s because a portion of the decades-old law says that for a spouse to be eligible for benefits, his or her marriage must be recognized in the state where the couple currently resides.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hopes to change that with a bill she’s introducing Wednesday called the Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014, Yahoo News has learned. The measure would amend the Social Security Act to grant survivor benefits to any individual legally married anywhere in the United States, regardless of whether he or she lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

It would also declare individuals who were legally married in another country eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, according to a summary of the legislation provided by her office.

“Your zip code should not determine whether or not your family will have the means to survive after the death of a spouse,” Murray said in a statement. “While I believe the Social Security Administration can, and should, resolve this inconsistency through administrative action, the SAME Act would provide a road map to ensure equality under our federal laws do not end at state lines.”

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/murray-bill-would-force-social-security-to-pay-same-sex-spouses-survivor-benefits-220923730.html


SS 45th Annv

Social Security Act of 1935

The Social Security Act, Pub.L. 74–271, 49 Stat. 620, enacted August 14, 1935, now codified as 42 U.S.C. ch. 7, was a social welfare legislative act which created the Social Security system in the United States.

Overview
The Social Security Act was drafted during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term by the President’s Committee on Economic Security, under Frances Perkins, and passed by Congress as part of the Second New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what was seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

 

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO GIVE THE LGBT COMMUNITY EQUAL BENEFITS!!

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