Bad Deeds for 2-15-2012

Romney’s Tax Plan Helps Millionaires and Hurts the Middle Class – Closer scrutiny of Romney’s actual proposal reveals that it’s very good for the wealthy—and very bad for everyone else. Turning his back on the American middle class at a critical time, Romney would rather reward millionaires like himself with generous tax breaks they don’t need. Meanwhile, taxes for people making less than $40, 000 would increase on his watch., Here’s a point-by-point look at what the Romney plan would do for the wealthiest Americans:

  • The richest 1 percent of American households would get a tax cut worth more than $80, 000. Those with income in the top 0.1 percent would get a cut of nearly half a million dollars.
  • Families who make more than $1 million would see their taxes cut by an average of about $145, 000, making them 6.9 percent richer and reducing their federal tax rate by more than 15 percent.
  • Romney would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent tax on investment income that goes into effect in 2013—saving himself about $800, 000 a year.
  • And here’s what Romney’s tax plan would do to the middle class and lower-income households:
  • Married couples making between $30, 000 and $40, 000 would see their taxes increase by $236.
  • Middle class tax provisions from the American Recovery Act would expire—including higher education tax credits and expansion of the earned income tax credit.

Romney also opposes the Buffett Rule, President Obama’s proposal to require millionaires to pay the same tax rates as the wage-earners who work for them. And he refused to support closing the carried interest tax loophole—choosing to allow private-equity managers to pay a lower tax rate than middle-income Americans., Mitt Romney’s tax plan is undoubtedly good—for millionaires like him, not the middle class.

Republicans Wasted Millions of State Taxpayer Money on Illegal Redistricting – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Republicans spent millions of dollars trying to eliminate the voting rights of Tarrant County citizens. In an attempt to destroy Senate District 10, the state of Texas removed large African American neighborhoods in the southeastern part of the district and attached them to an Anglo Republican district extending one hundred miles to the south. The state then removed Latino neighborhoods in the northern part of the district and attached them to a Denton County Republican district.

Senator Wendy Davis and other key leaders like Commissioner Roy Brooks, State Representative Marc Veasey and Constable Sergio De Leon had the guts and the smarts to stand up to Greg Abbott. Their courage paid off. Just a short time ago, the state Attorney General’s office agreed to drop its efforts to dismantle Senate District 10. Under an agreement made with state Senator Wendy Davis and other plaintiffs, Senate District 10 will remain completely unchanged in its configuration. The agreement represents an enormous victory for Tarrant County voters and minority citizens in Fort Worth.

New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bill To Eliminate Workers’ Lunch Breaks – New Hampshire’s Republican legislature has come up with all manner of absurd bills recently, including a proposal making public school curriculum optional, another to prevent police from protecting domestic abuse victims, and even a measure mandating that new laws be based on the Magna Carta. Some of the Granite State’s Republican lawmakers have even proposed doing away with the law that requires employers to give their workers time off for lunch.

Arizona Republicans Want To Protect Doctors Who Lie To Women – Arizona is following Kansas’ lead in trying to shield doctors for malpractice lawsuits that can arise when a doctor does inform pregnant women of prenatal problems that could lead to the decision to have an abortion. This malpractice shield is the latest in attacks on a woman’s right to access reliable, unbiased health care information and represents yet another effort by Republican legislators to interfere in doctor-patient relationship.

Republican state Sen. Nancy Barto introduced the proposal and is important to protect doctors from lawsuits that endorse the idea that if a child is born with a disability someone is to blame.

These kinds of “wrongful birth” lawsuits usually involve a doctor failing to share or properly communicate the results of prenatal screenings or risk factors to parents. Proponents of the law want to encourage doctors to fail to fully inform women of the risks associated with their pregnancies and any other information that would be relevant in a decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Like other efforts at tort reform, this law is a solution in search of a problem. But even worse, the law presumes that it is the state’s role to dictate what information a woman should have access to and what information she needs to be “protected” from in accessing routine health care services. It’s made all the more offensive by dressing the proposal up as some kind of concern over the value society places on the life of a disabled person.

Fox News’ Liz Trotta On Women Raped In Military: ‘What Did They Expect? – Fox News pundit Liz Trotta made a series of incendiary statements about rape in the military during a Sunday appearance on the network.

Trotta was reacting to news that the military will allow women to work closer to the front lines. Speaking to Fox News host Eric Shawn, she alleged that feminists wanted “to be warriors and victims at the same time.” She said, “I think they have actually discovered there is a difference between men and women. And the sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect?”

Trotta also alleged that “feminists” have demanded too much money to fund programs for sexual abuse victims. “You have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much,” she said.
(My questions for Liz Trotta: How much rape is too much? How much is too little? How much is just right? – JLV)

House Republicans Release “Uniquely Terrible” Transportation Bill That Hurts Low-Income Families – House Republicans have released a transportation bill that would eliminate the government’s dedicated funding stream for mass transit, instead counting on a plan that the Congressional Budget Office found would cover just 5 percent of transit costs. The New York Times called the bill “uniquely terrible,” while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican, called it “the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public service.” Cuts to mass transit fall hard on low-income people who count on public transportation to get to work, go to school, and go about their lives. And they fall hardest on low-income minorities, who, as the research organization PolicyLink noted, as disproportionately likely to not own an automobile.

Cooper Tire Locks Out Employees While Giving Bonuses to Executives – Thanks to the workers’ sacrifices and productivity, Cooper Tire has made more than $300 million in profits since 2009. Cooper paid its executives millions of dollars in bonuses and bought a new corporate jet. What did its employees get? Locked out on Thanksgiving weekend.

Despite soaring profits, Cooper pushed a new contract on its employees with higher healthcare premiums and undisclosed wage terms. Cooper’s employees were more than willing to keep working through negotiations to reach a fair deal after their contract expired last fall. But Cooper refused to budge—leaving 1,050 workers out in the cold since November 28.

Cooper can easily afford to set things straight and still turn a profit. Cooper CEO Roy Armes received $4.7 million in compensation in 2010. And the company has purchased a plant in Serbia for $17.3 million! Cooper wants to cry broke, but greed—not need—is driving this lockout. As Chico Ramirez, who’s logged 25 years with the company, explains, “The thing that bothers us is that we gave them concessions to help them get back on their feet, and they are paying out bonuses instead of paying back the backbone of the company.”

Tell Cooper Tire that its bullying and greed must end now by clicking the link above.

Medical Device Industry Likes Loopholes in Testing – In the past decade, tens of thousands of automated external defibrillators (those electric paddles used to help victims of heart attacks) have been recalled. The corporations that make and sell medical devices are already using loopholes to avoid properly testing new devices before they’re used on patients. The result has been predictable. Patients who were treated with inadequately tested, high-risk devices have been subject to risky, painful corrective surgeries — procedures that are costly to patients and contribute to rising health care costs, including billions in taxpayer dollars.

This, in itself, is an outrage. But the fact that hundreds of lobbyists representing this $350 billion industry have been working to weaken this already weak system is abhorrent in the highest degree.

Tell your representative: Don’t let industry risk our health in order to pad its profits. Improve testing of high-risk medical devices to reduce unnecessary harm to patients.

Regards,

Jim

 

 

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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