Still time for Congress to sober up on tax reform

first_imgThere is still time for Republican leaders to sober up.BEND ON CORPORATE TAX RATEFirst, they should seize Trump’s offer to bend on his 20 percent corporate tax target.The president mentioned a 22 percent rate, and I bet he would settle for 23 percent or even 24.Any of these would represent a historic reduction from today’s 35 percent nominal rate and would make doing business in the United States attractive compared with our competitors. Each percentage point represents about $100 billion over 10 years. And you know what they say: $100 billion here, $100 billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.Congress should use that money to further reduce the overall price tag of the bill, not as an excuse to dish out pork like it’s the Iowa State Fair.With the tax reform bandwagon pulling away from the station, every grifting special interest in Washington will be trying to hop aboard. Don’t let them. However, between the George W. Bush administration, the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve, government has pumped more than $6 trillion of stimulus into an economy flattened by the Great Recession.Coupled with the hard work of millions of Americans and similar efforts by leading economies around the world, that ocean of money has finally lifted us to the economic high ground of solid growth, near-full employment, abundant capital and surging consumer confidence.A healthy society, at this point in the economic cycle, would pay down public debt and marshal resources for the next rough patch.Instead, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, our leaders are preparing to take us $1.4 trillion deeper into the red over 10 years.It’s even worse if you factor in congressional accounting gimmicks.We don’t need more debt-fueled stimulus. We need a simpler, more globally competitive tax regime.If Congress focuses squarely on those purposes, the goals can be achieved for a lot less than $1.4 trillion. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWhen I started as a reporter many moons ago, I learned of a particularly deadly corner of the journalism business known as the DBI: stories that are dull-but-important.Reconciliation of the House and Senate tax bills is classic DBI.But this particular dull topic is very important indeed. In hashing out the final bill, Republican leaders can improve a law that will touch every American — or make it a whole lot worse.The key is clear thinking about the purpose of this law. KEEP PERSONAL INCOME TAX RATEForget about cutting the top personal income tax rate.As a class, America’s one-percenters are creative, generous and public-spirited, but they get a pretty sweet deal out of living here — driving on our highways, breathing our clean air and building businesses protected by the rule of law and Uncle Sam’s armed forces.Today’s top rate for individual earners is just under 40 percent — neither high nor low in historic terms.Running deeper deficits to cut that number by a point (as the Senate would do) is useless symbolism, while sharply raising the income level at which the top rate kicks in (as both bills propose) is more than we can afford.After all, nearly everyone who pays the top rate will benefit from the corporate cut, as companies distribute their windfall to shareholders.Indeed, wealthy Americans have already banked strong returns from a rocketing stock market fueled, in large measure, by the prospect of the corporate tax cut.DON’T KILL ESTATE TAXForget, too, about killing the estate tax, as the House proposes to do in 2024. I understand the philosophical argument.center_img Much of the wealth accumulated over a lifetime or over generations has already been taxed as income or capital gains and shouldn’t be taxed again.But Congress is running a country, not a philosophy seminar, and the country has doubled its sovereign debt in just a decade. Keep the good stuff, like doubling the standard deduction to simplify the tax returns of millions of working Americans.And choose the Senate approach to the child tax credit, which puts more money in the pockets of people who need it most. Republicans are going to get the tax reform they seek. But it doesn’t have to be a law to be ashamed of.David Von Drehle is an award-winning journalist and columnist.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Not the political purpose, which is obvious to everyone.Republicans control the entire federal government and want desperately to notch an accomplishment (something! anything!).You could stamp TAX REFORM on the owner’s manual of a 2003 Subaru, and Congress would pass it on a party-line vote.Followed by President Donald Trump tweeting a picture of himself on Mount Rushmore.We need clarity on the economic purpose of the law.Those who say tax cuts are necessary to spur growth and create jobs have it wrong.That might have been true in 2010, when tea party tax-cutters roared onto the scene.last_img read more

Italy’s top sports body calls for all events to be cancelled until April 3

first_imgIt added there was a unanimous agreement that sporting activity at every level should be suspended until April 3.However, the statement noted international competitions, for both clubs and national teams, do not fall within CONI’s jurisdiction and so can’t be influenced by its decision.This includes UEFA soccer tournaments such as the Champions League, in which Italy’s Serie A leaders Juventus are set to host France’s Lyon on March 17, and the Europa League, in which Inter Milan and AS Roma have home games scheduled against Spain’s Getafe and Sevilla on March 12 and 19 respectively.The government had already ordered that all sporting events, including Serie A matches, must be played behind closed doors to avoid crowds of people that could boost the contagion. The closed-doors games at the weekend caused chaos, with Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora calling Serie A organizers “irresponsible” after they ignored a late call from the players’ union for the day’s matches to be suspended, which saw Parma’s clash with SPAL delayed by 75 minutes.The previous two rounds of fixtures were heavily disrupted by the spread of the virus as several games were suspended.Cases of coronavirus in Italy have now risen to 7,375, with 366 deaths, the highest number outside of China.  Topics :center_img Italy’s top sports body on Monday called for all sports events to be cancelled until April 3, and asked the government to issue a decree to enforce the measure as the country fights with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe.After a meeting between representatives from all Italian team sports federations, the National Olympic Committee (CONI) said in a statement the government should intensify its measures against the virus.”Health protection is the top priority for everyone,” the statement said.last_img read more

Airbnb backs OECD approach to digital services tax

first_imgHome rental startup Airbnb said on Wednesday it supported the development of a digital services tax regime being discussed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to bridge a divide between the United States and Europe.The OECD talks involve over 100 countries on a major rewrite of global tax rules to bring them up to date for the digital era, but they have so far not produced results as the negotiations have been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.“The almost century-old system we still use today was not designed with today’s increasingly digital economy in mind and it should be improved,” Airbnb said in a statement backing the OECD talks. “We believe that for a global tax system to work effectively and efficiently, it needs to be truly global, consistently applied across borders, and simple to comply with.”The EU and Britain view digital service taxes as a way to raise revenue from the local operations of big tech companies which they say profit enormously from local markets while making only limited contributions to public coffers.But the United States has said that a digital services tax announced last year by France discriminates against US tech firms such as Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Apple Inc.Both the French tax and retaliatory US duties have been deferred, in hope of a breakthrough in the OECD process.In June, the United States said it would pull out of negotiations, citing a lack of progress, though the OECD has said Washington is still committed to the talks.Google boss Sundar Pichai told Reuters last month that the tech giant supports the multilateral solution for taxing digital services being discussed by the OECD, saying its frameworks were the “right approach”.Topics :last_img read more

OPEC laggards called out in Saudi push for cuts compliance

first_img“Full compliance is not an act of charity,” Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said at a video conference of the expanded OPEC+ grouping of crude producing nations.”It is an integral part of our collective effort to maximize the interest and gains of every individual member of this group.”The minister lashed out at members who were not complying, saying they were bringing “harm to our reputation and credibility” but without naming names.”Tactics to over-produce and hide non-compliance have been tried many times in the past, and always end in failure,” said the minister, half-brother of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister on Thursday pressed oil cartel OPEC and its allies to comply fully with production cuts amid falling crude prices, insisting that doing so was “not an act of charity”.Last month, ministers of OPEC nations and other major oil producers stuck to an agreement to lower production, underlining that only strict compliance could restore stability to prices sent plummeting by the coronavirus pandemic.But the cartel has called out laggards, including Nigeria and Iraq, for over-producing and failing to implement their share of the cuts. “They are damaging not only for those who carry them, but for us all.”At a news conference after the ministerial meeting, the Saudi energy chief went on to tell OPEC+ that “work still needs to be done and I urge you all not to relax the efforts of the past three months”.The cartel took up the same theme in a statement noting that despite “some signs of gradually improving market conditions… the pace of recovery appeared to be slower than anticipated with growing risks of a prolonged wave of Covid-19”.Although more countries around the world are gradually moving out of lockdown, crude consumption has not returned to pre-confinement levels, which were already relatively low.Under the terms of an agreement in April, OPEC and the so-called OPEC+ pledged to cut output by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from May 1 until the end of June.The cuts were then to be gradually eased from July, to 7.7 million bpd until December.But crude prices have stubbornly traded in a narrow range for months, with both the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and Europe’s Brent North Sea contracts hovering around $40 per barrel.The ministers agreed to extend to the end of the year the compensation period for countries who bust their production quotas.Brent and WTI crude held on to the two percent jump in market prices seen at the start of the meeting.Topics :last_img read more

LOCAL COVID-19 TRANSMISSION? Cases with no travel history puzzles DOH

first_imgThe four latest COVID-19 positive cases in Region 6 were tested at the Western Visayas Medical Center, says Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, focal person on the coronavirus disease 2019 of the Department of Health Region 6. Western Visayas has 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from the DOH central office. Each test kit can process 22 specimens for a total of 110,000 for the whole region, says Juanico. IAN PAUL CORDERO BY GLENDA TAYONA and IME SORNITO A daughter of the patient said, “Nagalibog ang ulo namon kon diin ‘yanakuha. Wala gid kami recent travel history.” After her check-up, the patient went to asupermarket in the city to buy milk, added the daughter. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 arefever, tiredness and dry cough, according to the World Health Organization(WHO). Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose,sore throat or diarrhea. The four latest positive cases (one of nine positivecases and the latest three announced by DOH Region 6 on March 27 and 28,respectively) were tested at the WVMC. Meanwhile, a total of eight patients under investigation(PUIs) for possible COVID-19 infection in Western Visayas already died. Three were from Iloilo City, two from Capiz,one from Negros Occidental, one from Bacolod City, and one from Romblon province(but hospitalized in the region). ILOILO City – Is there already local orcommunity transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in WesternVisayas?  Two of the 16 persons who testedpositive for the disease did not have a history of travel to areas withconfirmed cases of the illness such as Metro Manila. Three of them tested negative for COVID-19(from Bacolod City, Capiz and Romblon) while one tested positive for thedisease (from Iloilo City). The last time her parents travelled abroad wasin 2018 yet, said the daughter, long before the virus causing COVID-19 emergedin December 2019 in China. A total of 78 PUIshave also been discharged while 109 others remained in hospitals. Most people (about 80 percent) recover fromthe disease without needing special treatment, according to WHO. Around one outof every six people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and developsdifficulty breathing. Juanico said the COVID-19 testing center in theregion, the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Mandurriao district here,already tested more or less 100 specimens since it started operating last week.center_img The region’s positive case No. 10 – a 59-year-oldfemale from Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo – had no history of travel to a COVID-19-hitarea and no known exposure to a COVID-19 patient, DOH Region 6 data showed. But the daughter recalled the patient visitinga private hospital in Iloilo City on the third week of March for a check-up;the patient had asthma and allergy on the first week of March. “We are still going over the investigationreport submitted by local government units so indi pa kita ka siling kon may local transmission. We are stillmaking verifications,” said Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, focal person on COVID-19 of theDepartment of Health (DOH) Region 6. Older people, and those with underlyingmedical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are morelikely to develop serious illness, said WHO. As of March28, the DOH recorded a total of 312 PUIs of which 127 were tested negative fromCOVID-19; results of the 70 remained pending while the 99 others remained to betested. WHO said these symptoms are usually mild andbegin gradually, and that some people become infected but don’t develop anysymptoms and don’t feel unwell. The center can process 44 specimens a day, sheadded. Western Visayas has 5,000 COVID-19 test kits fromthe DOH central office. Each test kit can process 22 specimens for a total of110, 000 for the whole region, said Juanico. The test results of the four others (two fromIloilo City and one each from Capiz and Negros Occidental) were yet to be released. Family members of Patient No. 10 told Panay News in an exclusive interviewthat they were very puzzled as well. Positive case No. 16 – a 70-year-old male fromLambunao, Iloilo – had no history of travel, too, but had underlying medicalconditions (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes). A possible exposureto a COVID-19 positive patient is still being verified. A total of 22,489out of 44,309 persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the region have alreadycompleted their 14-day home quarantine./PNlast_img read more

Keep your eyes out for farm equipment!

first_imgWatch for wide vehicles, especially when approaching curves and hills in the road.Look for a reflective red triangle on the back of any farm equipment on the road. This symbol indicates a slow-moving vehicle, one that travels under 25 mph.Avoid texting and talking on the phone while driving. Be Patient Indianapolis, In. — Harvest season is officially underway, which means more slow-moving farm equipment will be on Indiana’s rural roads. To keep Hoosiers safe this year, state agencies are asking motorists to be alert, patient and responsible, as they share the road with these large vehicles.“With more than 14 million acres of farmland, this is a busy time of the year for Indiana and our rural roadways,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We want to encourage every motorist to be aware and exercise caution around farm equipment this season.”According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, farm equipment vehicles (not including trucks) were involved in 92 fatal crashes across the U.S last year – with six of those incidents occurring in Indiana.While the term “farm equipment” encompasses a wide range of vehicles, the most common types motorists will encounter include combines, tractors pulling grain carts and large trucks hauling agricultural products.“Chances are, you’ll see farmers on the road before they see you, so it’s important to know what to do when approaching these vehicles,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “Patience and allowing extra time for your travels is crucial to keeping everyone safe.”The following list includes several safety tips provided by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.Be Alert Leaving home 10 minutes early during harvest season can help eliminate any potential delays during the commute.Most farmers will pull over when they are able to let you pass, but it may take time for them to get to a safe place to do so.Only pass large, slow-moving farm equipment when in an area that allows for passing. Double yellow lines on a roadway indicate an area in which passing is not permitted. Do not attempt to pass when within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad crossing, bridge or tunnel.center_img Be Responsible Look for hand signals before attempting to pass the vehicle. The size of farm equipment often dictates the necessity for wide turns, both to the left and the right. Just because a tractor veers right does not mean the operator is pulling over to allow someone to pass.Avoid tailgating, as some farm equipment might have to make sudden stops along the road.last_img read more

Mrs. Leola Maxine (Dennis) Brinson

first_imgMrs. Leola Maxine (Dennis) Brinson, age 91, of Benham, Indiana, entered this life on February 2, 1929 in Ohio County, Indiana. She was the loving daughter of, McKinley and Esther C. (Richards) Dennis, both of whom preceded her in death. She was raised in Ohio County, Indiana and was a 1947 graduate of Dillsboro High School. Leola was united in marriage on November 3, 1948 in Ripley County, Indiana to the late, Wilbur Brinson, Jr. This happy union was blessed with five sons, Wendell, Clay, Tim, Kim and Kerry. Leola and Wilbur shared nearly 50 years of marriage together until he passed away on March 30, 1998. Leola was employed as a custodian for the South Ripley School Corporation in Versailles, Indiana, retiring after several years of service. She was a faithful member for 60+ years of the Cross Plains Baptist Church where she held various offices. Leola was a faithful servant of God and her faith was very important to her. Leola enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, gardening and collecting rocks. Leola went to be with her Lord and Savior at 5:45 a.m., Saturday, June 6, 2020, at the Jewel Place in Madison, Indiana.Leola will be lovingly remembered by her sons, Wendell Wade Brinson and his wife, Judy of Benham, IN, Clay Hale Brinson and his wife, Linda of Sebastian, FL, Tim Randall Brinson and his wife, Mariana of Lake Oswego, OR, Kim Randolf Brinson and his wife, Martina of Benham, IN and Kerry Lane Brinson and his wife, Tina of Canaan, IN; her 17-grandchildren; her 21-great-grandchildren; her 2-great-great-grandchildren; her brother, Raymond Dennis and his wife, Donna of Bear Branch, IN; her sister-in-law, Dolly Lipperd of Versailles, IN and her several nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents, McKinley Dennis, died August 13, 1981 and Esther C. (Richards) Dennis, died July 26, 1994; her husband, Wilbur Brinson, Jr., died March 30, 1998; her 3-grandchildren; her sisters, Betty Jean Williams, died December 2, 2011 and Gladys LaVerna Alford, died May 16, 2010 and her brother, Lowell McKinley Dennis, died April 14, 2013.Everyone must wear a mask and social distance and due to COVID-19, family only graveside service and interment will be conducted at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, June 11, 2020, by Pastor John Griffin at the Benham Cemetery, 648 East County Road 650 South, Ripley County, Indiana 47042.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Benham Church Cemetery Fund. Cards are available at the funeral home or online at www.haskellandmorrison.comlast_img read more

Jermain Defoe not happy with substitute role at Sunderland

first_imgJermain Defoe has reminded Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce he did not join the club to sit on the bench. Press Association The 33-year-old striker was used as a second-half substitute in the new manager’s first game in charge, Saturday’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom, as Allardyce attempted to bring a greater defensive solidity to the team he inherited from predecessor Dick Advocaat. Defoe, who joined the club in a swap deal with Toronto-bound United States international Jozy Altidore in January, played much of his football under the Dutchman wide in a three-man front line, something which did not make the most of his proven goalscoring talent. center_img Now he is hoping he can force his way into Allardyce’s plans and get back to what he does best. Defoe told the Journal: “Obviously, I can understand the manager coming in and saying he’s not too sure if he wants to play 4-4-2. He might want to be more solid in midfield so you don’t concede goals, so we’ll just see what happens. “But at the age of 33, you want to play football. I didn’t come here to sit on the bench. You want to play football and score goals. I said that from day one.” That said, Defoe is not looking for an escape route from the Stadium of Light as the January transfer window looms on the horizon. He said: “I don’t think like that, I don’t sit there and think, ‘Well, come January I’m going to go’. “I’ve just got to focus on the games, stay positive and, if I play then, I’ve got to do my best, work hard and hopefully score. “The manager knows. I’m 33, I want to play games. If you speak to any of the boys, everyone wants to play. Yeah, the manager picks the team – you’ve got to respect that – but at the same time, it doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it.” last_img read more

Tennis News Novak Djokovic Crashes Out Of Shanghai Masters With Loss To Stefanos Tsitsipas

first_imgShanghai: World number one Novak Djokovic was stunned in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals by young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets on Friday. He will now play another highly promising talent in his Saturday semi-final match against 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev. The seventh-ranked Tsitsipas recovered from losing the opening three games in just seven minutes to shock the reigning champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. He sealed the deal with a gleeful smash and held both arms aloft. Tsitsipas has now defeated the top-ranked Serbian twice in their three matches — further proof that the 21-year-old is a serious contender at the top of men’s tennis. After a dreadful start, he found his feet in the second set, winning on a tie break, then went 3-1 up in the decider when Djokovic planted his forehand wide on the third break point.It was a double celebration for the young Greek, who has also confirmed his place in the prestigious season-ending ATP Finals. He did so after fourth-ranked Medvedev tamed self-styled “wild horse” Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to canter into the semi-finals. Fognini was vying for a place at the Finals. Djokovic, 32, said that he is fully recovered from a shoulder injury. He did not drop a set in winning the title in Tokyo and had carried that form into Shanghai — until he came across Tsitsipas.Medvedev — another of the next generation — sent down 12 aces to help see off Fognini and said: “I don’t know what happened, my serve was crushing it.” The Russian has a 12-0 record in quarter-finals this year and Djokovic this week described him as “very complete” player.Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, faces young German Alexander Zverev later Friday in his quarter-final. The other match is between Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who beat Tsitsipas to the China Open title on Sunday, and Italy’s Matteo Berrettini. US Open champion Rafael Nadal is not in Shanghai because of a wrist injury. For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Pakistan pacer Irfan suspended in corruption probe

first_img(REUTERS) – Pace bowler Mohammad Irfan was provisionally suspended yesterday as part of an anti-corruption investigation into the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 tournament.The 34-year-old, who has represented Pakistan in all forms of international cricket, has been charged with two violations of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code and has 14 days to respond to the charge.“He has also been provisionally suspended with immediate effect from participating in all forms of cricket,” the PCB said.“The PCB’s investigation will continue with regard to any questionable activity by any player and player-support personnel as it carries on with its mission of eliminating the menace of corruption from cricket.”The PCB said last month it was investigating whether an international betting syndicate was trying to influence matches in the PSL.Irfan is the fourth player to be suspended in relation to this case. Batsmen Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were provisionally suspended in February, while former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed was suspended and arrested in England as part of the same investigation, later being let out on bail.last_img read more