The U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Isn’t a Threat to Business, but Crumbling Infrastructure Is

Our country’s once-robust infrastructure has played a vital role in the success of our economy. Roads, bridges, and transportation systems are the heart and blood of commerce and give consumers easy access to goods and services. Our public schools produce the next generation of workers.

Infrastructure has never been a partisan issue in this country; everyone knows it is essential. Unfortunately, paying for these investments seems to have become a partisan fault line.

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What Portion of Our Collective Wealth Are We Willing to Invest So People Can Succeed?

That is the question President Obama posed at the Georgetown University Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty on May 12. It was a fascinating discussion -- not least because it was a discussion, with the president exchanging views with two scholars and replying to questions by moderator E.J. Dionne of theWashington Post. The president acknowledged the growing awareness of inequality and poverty. He challenged us to see that over decades, we have been disinvesting in shared institutions (like education) that lift people out of poverty. He agreed with the premise of one of the panelists, Robert Putnam, whose new book Our Kids describes the "withdrawing from the commons" occurring across the nation. Where in decades past affluent, working class and poor children might all have attended the same public school, all able to participate in school sports and music programs, today's communities are far more segregated by class as well as race. The well-off are less likely to send their children to a public school, and fewer have the equalizing experience of sports teams and band because strapped school districts now charge hefty fees to participating students, shutting out some struggling families.

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Subsidizing the Idle Rich While Poor Kids Go Hungry

To hear some politicians tell it, America’s welfare system is facing a grave crisis: Millions of poor people, they say, are idling away their time eating lobster and relaxing on cruises.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, for example, recently signed welfare reform rules banning people receiving public assistance from using their $100 a week in benefits to buy steak or seafood, go to swimming pools, or take cruises.

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During Public Service Recognition Week, Remember the Unsung Heroes of Hurricane Sandy: Postal Workers!

In 2013, Hurricane Sandy pushed a wall of water into New York Harbor, turning streets into rivers and basements into lakes. A power station on the lower west side of Manhattan was one of the first buildings to flood; the circuits shorted out immediately, plunging much of the city into darkness. Fifteen blocks north, the whir and bustle inside the U.S. Postal Service’s Morgan Processing and Distribution Facility was replaced by the sound of sloshing water, as employees there worked without power under the dim glow of emergency lighting.

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Proposal Would Block Inverted Companies from Receiving Government Contracts

Corporations that have reclassified themselves as “foreign-owned” received approximately $1 billion in federal contracts over the last five years. These companies profit from American tax dollars despite avoiding U.S. taxes themselves.

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UPDATE: A Seedy Deal for Americans? Monsanto in Deal Talks with Chemical Giant Syngenta

"Monsanto announced that it has resumed possible merger talks with Syngenta, a Swiss-based agricultural chemical giant. The pair explored a merger in early 2014 before deciding against it.

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Public Service Recognition Week

For the last 30 years, the Public Service Roundtable has sponsored Public Service Recognition Week as a way for citizens to learn more about the work of public servants and to create opportunities to honor the work of the federal, state, and local government employees. The Roundtable is made up of nearly two dozen public sector unions and associations representing current and retired government workers.

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House Gives $334 Billion Tax Break to 25 Richest Americans

The House of Representatives gave 25 of the nation’s billionaires a $334 billion tax break on April 16 when it voted 240-179 to repeal the estate tax. The nearly 100-year old tax raises $27 billion a year for the U.S. government. Of the 2,662,000 Americans who died in 2013, just 3,700 of their estates paid any estate tax – one out of every 700 estates.

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Thousands of New Yorkers Take a Direct Role in City’s Budget Process

Last week, thousands of New York City residents completed an eight month-long participatory budget process in which they voted on how to allocate $25 million of their taxes in their communities. The city first experimented with participatory budgeting in 2011 when four City Council members allowed their constituents to decide how to use $1 million in discretionary funds provided by the city on community projects in their wards. This time around, 24 of New York City’s 51 Council members joined in the effort.

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Offshore Tax Dodgers Jeopardize Long-Term Financial Health of American Small Businesses

Every small business would need to pay $3,244 in additional taxes to offset the $110 billion in federal and state revenue lost every year to offshore tax avoidance by multinational corporations, according to a new report from U.S. PIRG.

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