Tax Code: America's Next Civil Rights Movement?
Income inequality in the US is at the highest level in our history. How are private interest groups able to control the conversation and when will consumer-advocates show up to the fight?
What's the Latest Development?
On February 13, the deadline for comments on a federal financial regulation known as the Volcker Rule expired. Federal meetings over the rule, which is intended to keep banks from making ultra-risky bets on the market, were attended by only one consumer-advocacy group. The rest of the meetings were negotiations between representatives of big banks, who want to water down the regulation, and the government. This is typical of the American Left when it comes to financial policy, says Jeff Strabone. When will they start showing up to the fight?
What's the Big Idea?
In the last 50 years, civil rights have come a long way in the US. But what about income equality? Under Ronald Reagan, as the highest marginal income tax rate fell from 70 to 28 percent, progressive taxation essentially ended. Since then, capital gains taxes, estate taxes and corporate taxes have all fallen. Lack of government revenue has been felt sharply by schools who have shortened class time and the school year to government judges who had not received a pay raise in 12 years. Does anti-tax ideology have a stranglehold on our politics?
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In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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