Inequality and the Estate Tax: What You Need to Know

Beginning this evening, the House is expected to vote to repeal the estate tax – one of our nation’s key checks on tremendous accumulations of wealth by a handful of the richest Americans.

read in full

General Electric Restructuring Surprise: Company to Pay 20 Times More in Taxes Than It Paid in the Last Decade

In a dramatic move, General Electric (GE) announced on Friday that it would be selling off its financial service businesses. GE expects to shed $200 billion of assets in the restructuring, returning $90 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends, stock buybacks, and new shares in a company to be spun-off.

read in full

Budget Cuts at the IRS Leave Phones Ringing and Hurt the Middle Class

As Tax Day approaches, the news is filled with stories of unanswered phone calls at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The stories will spark an eye-roll or a sarcastic mumble about our “unresponsive government.” But most will fail to mention that the IRS is an agency dealing with a 17 percent cut to its budget since 2010. These cuts have meant there are 26 percent fewer IRS workers answering questions than there were five years ago, even though the number of people filing returns has grown by seven million.

read in full

Six Charts Explain How Workers’ Compensation Is Deteriorating

Workers’ compensation is a state-based government program that has protected American workers for close to a century. Throughout the early part of U.S. history, injured workers were taken care of by the communities they were a part of: churches, worker’s benevolence associations, neighbors, or extended family. But when workplace deaths and injuries soared during the industrial revolution, government stepped in to help.

read in full

Reject Government Contractors Who Draw the Blinds on Sunshine

Once a year, Sunshine Week rolls around and presents us with an opportunity to assess how open and transparent our government is. But with more and more public services being contracted out to private companies, sunlight’s “disinfectant” effects are being lost, according to a new report by In the Public Interest – Closing the Books: How Government Contractors Hide Public Records. The report shows how government contractors are hiding the data needed to evaluate whether contracting out to private companies is a better deal for taxpayers than leaving services in the hands of public employees.

read in full

Progressives Present Alternative Budget: A Raise for America

Investing in our nation’s future requires funding. This week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) revealed its vision of a public investment agenda that will get Americans working and give more people the opportunity to succeed. It pays for these investments through a series of progressive tax proposals, in which wealthy Americans and prosperous corporations would pay a fair share toward building the nation’s economic strength. 

read in full

It's Baa-aack: What to Expect from the Budget Season this Year

The budget season starts in the U.S. Congress this week. The Republican majority in the House will go first – releasing its budget late this afternoon. The Senate Republican majority will unveil its budget on Wednesday. Each chamber’s budget committee will review and approve their respective budgets in a mark-up session the day after each is released.

read in full

General Electric Lets a Little Democracy into its Boardroom

In a surprising move last month, General Electric (GE) announced that it would give large shareholders a role in nominating an alternative slate of directors for board elections. GE is not the first large company to adopt such measures, but it is the most prominent. Even more remarkable is the fact that the company put forth this measure voluntarily.

read in full

A Tale of Two Cases

It is the best of times if you're a crook at a mega-bank. It is the worst of times if you're in debt and dare to omit information on your bankruptcy declaration. Consider two federal cases dealing with perjury during bankruptcy.

read in full

Walmart Workers to Earn $10 an Hour; Walmart Heirs “Earn” $445,776 an Hour

Thanks to three years of organizing, 500,000 Walmart workers will soon get a raise.

Over the last three years, strikes and pickets by Walmart’s low-wage employees have steadily expanded. Last Black Friday, protests were staged at more than 1,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Dozens of employees were arrested.

read in full