President Trump’s Laughable Plan to Cut His Own Taxes – The New York Times

“As a rule, Republican presidents like offering tax cuts, and President Trump is no different. But the skimpy one-page tax proposal his administration released on Wednesday is, by any historical standard, a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s future.

Two of Mr. Trump’s top lieutenants — Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, both multimillionaires and former Goldman Sachs bankers — trotted out a plan that would slash taxes for businesses and wealthy families, including Mr. Trump’s, in the vague hope of propelling economic growth. So as to not seem completely venal, they served up a few goodies for the average wage-earning family, among them fewer and lower tax brackets and a higher standard deduction.”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

What a missed opportunity. I was hoping the new tax plan would include reducing all congress people’s and white house people’s health and other benefits to match the benefits currently allowed to our poorest Americans.
Then we would see repairs to the frayed safety net.

The tax cut plan is a joke, unless it is grounded in a cutting of the swarms of loopholes that benefit businesses. The logic of current conservative economists is that cutting most or all loopholes would allow lowering the corporate tax rate, and the two reforms together could be revenue neutral.

On a Par 5 in Dubai- Good Humor and a Respite From All Things Trump – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

“So a Hindu, a Muslim and a Jew are playing golf together in Dubai …Sounds like the first line of a joke, right? Actually, it’s the first line of one of those serendipitous stories that often happen when you play golf abroad. In my case, I was invited to play at the Emirates Club with a U.A.E. education expert and the famed Indian mystic, poet and yogi Jaggi Vasudev, who goes by his reverential name, Sadhguru.

When I got to the first tee, I realized this was not going to be a normal round. Sadhguru is the founder of Isha, an Indian-based humanitarian and environmental movement with millions of followers (and some critics, too) — several of whom I could tell were at the course, because caddies and staff members kept coming over for selfies with Sadhguru and offering the traditional Hindu greeting, “I bow to the divine in you.””

Donald Trump’s Trade Policy Is in Disarray – The New York Times

“Those tax cuts might increase growth somewhat, but history and many experts tell us it is far more likely that the tax cuts would explode the deficit and drive up interest rates as the federal government is forced to increase borrowing. Investors from around the world would then pour money into Treasury bonds, bidding up the value of the dollar, which would increase the trade deficit — $502 billion last year — as American exports become more expensive in the rest of the world and imports become cheaper. This in turn could cost jobs. Economists say that’s exactly what happened in the 1980s when the Reagan administration and Congress drove up the federal deficit through tax cuts and increased military spending.”

This is well written. Everyone in college should study a little macro and micro economics.

Here is a top comment I recommend:

Christine McM

is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 4 hours ago

“In fact, Mr. Trump’s promise of huge tax cuts might actually increase the trade deficit and hurt the very workers he says he supports.”

Yet another promise bites the dust, and actually worsens the very condition he railed against during the campaign.

“Biggest tax cut ever.” Sure, for the GOP donor class, and for the Trump Organization. What I so marvel at with Donald Trump is how brazen he is in enriching himself and his family. No shame, ever, right?

Supply side economics didn’t work in the 80s, or anytime since. When corporations get big tax breaks, they sure don’t spend their savings on growing their businesses and hiring new workers–if this theory worked, Democrats would have pounced on it. What tax cuts do is reward management and shareholders, at the expense of workers.

Donald Trump got elected because of voters’ belief he was the master of economics, building businesses, and becoming exceedingly rich. What we learned during the campaign was how he got rich by exploiting tax loopholes and letting others hold the bag during bankruptcy.

Now he runs our government. What he proposes will, as the Editorial Board points out, explode the deficit, crush the housing market, and stifle business investments if interest rates soar.

Then, the only thing left in the budget to gut to pay for Trump’s tax cuts will be Social Security and Medicare.

How do you think that will play across Trump’s base?

As Rising Seas Erode Shorelines Tasmania Shows What Can Be Lost – The New York Times

InconvenientNews.Net

“Over the long term, the rise of the sea appears to be accelerating because of runaway growth in greenhouse emissions, and scientists fear much bigger effects this century, perhaps so large they could ultimately force the abandonment of entire coastlines.

Though awareness of the risk to historic sites and natural wonders is growing, the effort to tackle the problem is in its infancy. In most places, discussion and report-writing have yet to give way to concrete action. “We’re a long way from managing this issue well,” said Adam Markham, who is deputy director for climate and energy with the Union of Concerned Scientists, an American group, and who was the lead author of the most recent report on world heritage sites.”

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As Rising Seas Erode Shorelines Tasmania Shows What Can Be Lost – The New York Times

“Over the long term, the rise of the sea appears to be accelerating because of runaway growth in greenhouse emissions, and scientists fear much bigger effects this century, perhaps so large they could ultimately force the abandonment of entire coastlines.

Though awareness of the risk to historic sites and natural wonders is growing, the effort to tackle the problem is in its infancy. In most places, discussion and report-writing have yet to give way to concrete action. “We’re a long way from managing this issue well,” said Adam Markham, who is deputy director for climate and energy with the Union of Concerned Scientists, an American group, and who was the lead author of the most recent report on world heritage sites.”

Does he know? Do they Know? – by David Lindsay

4/24/2017

“Do they know?” is the refrain of a famous song by Gian Carlo Menotti in Amahl and the Night Visitors. The crippled boy’s mother laments: Do the rich have any idea how hard it is it be poor and starving? Amahl is a terrific light opera.

Does he know? This is my question for President Trump, after reading Bill McKibben’s insightful op-ed in the New York Times, 4/23/17, titled, “The Planet Doesn’t Have Time for This.”

McKibben writes, “. . .  we only have a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.” His essay should be required reading for all Americans, especially politicians.

Does he know? Does Donald Trump know that if he slows the fight to mitigate the worst outcomes of global warming , climate change, and increased population growth, there will be billions of people who become climate change refugees. Billions will probably die prematurely due to the dislocations and wars that ensue. Millions of plant and animal species will become extinct. Does he know that this is what he will be remembered for?

Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard entomologist, predicts that if we do not change course on carbon dioxide and other green house gas emissions and human population growth, in the next eighty-five years, the earth will probably lose roughly eighty percent of our species diversity. The Washington Post reported that one scientific study estimated there are roughly 8.7 million species on earth. E.O. Wilson predicts then that we will lose roughly 7 million out of 9  million species. Elizabeth Kolbert, in her book, The Sixth Extinction, reports that many scientists claim that even if we do everything possible immediately to mitigate the human causes of climate change, we will still probably lose 50% of the worlds’  species. 7.5 billion humans and their pollution are crowding out many other forms of life.

Does he know? Do they know? Do Donald Trump and his team understand that if these dire outcomes, which they are currently exacerbating, come to pass,  historians will call these men mass killers of humans and other species, and from at least an environmental perspective, more damaging than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of Germany’s Third Reich.  Trump and his apparently clueless, climate change denying advisors will kill more humans than all of the earth’s famous warlords, dictators, and mass murderers combined. They will exacerbate the Sixth Extinction:  the extinction going on now of 50% to 80% of non-human animal and plant species.  Do they know that this is how they will probably be remembered, if they continue to deny the science and facts that 98% of the scientific community support, and are asking them to pay serious attention to. Does Donald Trump know that this will be his historical legacy?

Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug? – by Farhad Manjoo – NYT

“After the election, Margaret Sullivan, the Washington Post columnist and a former public editor of The Times, called on Facebook to hire an executive editor who would monitor News Feed with an eye to fact-checking, balance and editorial integrity. Jonah Peretti, the founder of BuzzFeed, told me that he wanted Facebook to use its data to create a kind of reputational score for online news, as well as explore ways of strengthening reporting through monetary partnerships.

“At some point, if they really want to address this, they have to say, ‘This is good information’ and ‘This is bad information,’ ” says Emily Bell, the director for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. “They have to say, ‘These are the kinds of information sources that we want to privilege, and these others are not going to be banned from the platform, but they are not going to thrive.’ In other words, they have to create a hierarchy, and they’re going to have to decide how they’re going to transfer wealth into the publishing market.””

Zombies of Voodoo Economics – by Paul Krugman – NYT

“Back in 1980 George H. W. Bush famously described supply-side economics — the claim that cutting taxes on rich people will conjure up an economic miracle, so much so that revenues will actually rise — as “voodoo economic policy.” Yet it soon became the official doctrine of the Republican Party, and still is. That shows an impressive level of commitment. But what makes this commitment even more impressive is that it’s a doctrine that has been tested again and again — and has failed every time.

Yes, the U.S. economy rebounded quickly from the slump of 1979-82. But was that the result of the Reagan tax cuts, or was it, as most economists think, the result of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve? Bill Clinton provided a clear test, by raising taxes on the rich. Republicans predicted disaster, but instead the economy boomed, creating more jobs than under Reagan.”

The Planet Can’t Stand This Presidency – by Bill McKibben

“President Trump’s environmental onslaught will have immediate, dangerous effects. He has vowed to reopen coal mines and moved to keep the dirtiest power plants open for many years into the future. Dirty air, the kind you get around coal-fired power plants, kills people.

It’s much the same as his policies on health care or refugees: Real people (the poorest and most vulnerable people) will be hurt in real time. That’s why the resistance has been so fierce.But there’s an extra dimension to the environmental damage. What Mr. Trump is trying to do to the planet’s climate will play out over geologic time as well. In fact, it’s time itself that he’s stealing from us.

What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.”

Please click on the title in box above to read the entire article at the NYT.

 

Does he know? Do they Know?        By David Lindsay       4/24/2017

“Do they know?” is the refrain of a famous song by Gian Carlo Menotti in Amahl and the Night Visitors. The crippled boy’s mother laments: Do the rich have any idea how hard it is it be poor and starving? Amahl is a terrific light opera.

Does he know? This is my question for President Trump, after reading Bill McKibben’s insightful op-ed in the New York Times, 4/23/17, titled, “The Planet Doesn’t Have Time for This.”

McKibben writes, “. . .  we only have a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.” His essay should be required reading for all Americans, especially politicians.

Does he know? Does Donald Trump know that if he slows the fight to mitigate the worst outcomes of global warming , climate change, and increased population growth, there will be billions of people who become climate change refugees. Billions will probably die prematurely due to the dislocations and wars that ensue. Millions of plant and animal species will become extinct. Does he know that this is what he will be remembered for?

Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard entomologist, predicts that if we do not change course on carbon dioxide and other green house gas emissions and human population growth, in the next eighty-five years, the earth will probably lose roughly eighty percent of our species diversity. The Washington Post reported that one scientific study estimated there are roughly 8.7 million species on earth. E.O. Wilson predicts then that we will lose roughly 7 million out of 9  million species. Elizabeth Kolbert, in her book, The Sixth Extinction, reports that many scientists claim that even if we do everything possible immediately to mitigate the human causes of climate change, we will still probably lose 50% of the worlds’  species. 7.5 billion humans and their pollution are crowding out many other forms of life.

Does he know? Do they know? Do Donald Trump and his team understand that if these dire outcomes, which they are currently exacerbating, come to pass,  historians will call these men mass killers of humans and other species, and from at least an environmental perspective, more damaging than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis of Germany’s Third Reich.  Trump and his apparently clueless, climate change denying advisors will kill more humans than all of the earth’s famous warlords, dictators, and mass murderers combined. They will exacerbate the Sixth Extinction:  the extinction going on now of 50% to 80% of non-human animal and plant species.  Do they know that this is how they will probably be remembered, if they continue to deny the science and facts that 98% of the scientific community support, and are asking them to pay serious attention to. Does Donald Trump know that this will be his historical legacy?

Mark Zuckerberg: The end of smartphones and TVs is coming | World Economic Forum

“It’s no secret Mark Zuckerberg is pinning Facebook’s prospects on augmented reality — technology that overlays digital imagery onto the real world, like Snapchat’s signature camera filters.At this year’s F8 conference, taking place this week, Zuckerberg doubled down on the company’s ambitious 10-year master plan, which was first revealed in 2016. According to this timeline, Facebook expects to turn artificial intelligence, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and virtual and augmented reality into viable parts of its business over the next decade.The Facebook 10-year road map, first revealed in April 2016.Facebook”

Source: Mark Zuckerberg: The end of smartphones and TVs is coming | World Economic Forum

They once said books would disappear too. This would be more threatening, if more of us actually liked Facebook., rather than just finding it too powerful to completely ignore.