Consumer tax cuts best for economy

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCongress wants to create jobs by cutting taxes. But who should get the biggest cuts?Republicans prefer to stimulate the supply side (investors and corporations), while Democrats favor directing most of the cuts to the demand side (consumers). I suggest that we can choose between these options by examining the current state of the economy.Supply side: The stock market is booming, and investors are buying equities at unusually high price/earnings ratios, which suggests there is lots of hot money out there chasing too few opportunities. Furthermore, corporations are sitting on large piles of cash. So, it would seem that the supply side is not hurting for money.Demand side: It’s reported that consumers have accumulated historically large debts, in credit cards and second mortgages, to maintain their lifestyles. This suggests a lack of resources on the demand side. If consumers were given large tax cuts, they would spend the money rapidly, increasing demand for products and services and providing an impetus for businesses to grow. So, why are Republicans focused on the supply side, as in the Reagan and “W” Bush administrations? Probably because investors and corporations are their biggest donors.Bruce PomeroyDuanesburgMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusLocal movie theater operators react to green lightEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more


New evidence shows work requirements don’t work

first_imgFor example, the combination of work requirements in the 1996 welfare rehaul, the expansion of the earned income credit, additional child-care funding and the uniquely tight latter-90s labor market led to increases in the employment rates of mother-only families.But as the job market weakened, those employment gains faded, even as the work requirements remained in place.Meanwhile, the loss of income supports exacerbated not just poverty but deep poverty (families with income below half the poverty threshold, about $10,000 for a single parent with two children).KANSAS DATA IS REVEALINGCompelling new evidence comes from data on the Kansas TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program, which imposed tough, new work sanctions on some of the state’s most economically vulnerable families.For example, in late 2011, the state began requiring applicants to complete 20 job contacts per week before their application would be considered, along with shorter time limits on recipiency, longer sanction periods and harsh sanctions for missing appointments.The first thing that happened is the Kansas TANF caseload fell sharply, by more than half. But did the leavers join the labor market?In fact, most adults who left TANF were already working, and they worked just as much before they left TANF as they did afterward, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe fundamental conservative law of work incentives goes like this: If you give rich people more money, they will work harder. If you give poor people money, they will work less. Therefore, the rich need tax cuts, and the poor need work requirements.President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress have, of course, passed the regressive tax-cut package.They are actively pursuing adding work requirements to food assistance (SNAP), housing subsidies, Medicaid and the rest of the safety net.Should they succeed, the result of their strategy will not be more work. It will be richer rich people and poorer poor people. It will exacerbate existing inequalities.I will present the evidence in a moment, but, to be clear, requiring work of those who use low-income programs may initially encourage those who would have worked anyway to do so more quickly, at least if they don’t face significant employment barriers and also live in an area where jobs are available.But the reality of the stressors of poverty, the volatility of the low-wage labor market, the lack of decent and affordable child care, discrimination, and more will assert themselves and limit the long-term effect. Punitive measures like work requirements and time limits won’t help them.They need sectoral training (skill building specific to local employers’ needs), adequate minimum wages, work supports such as reliable child care and paid family leave, wage subsidies (e.g., an expanded EITC), health care, and in areas with too few opportunities, direct job-creation programs.The current Republican playbook is to provide tax cuts for the wealthy and offset their cost by cutting benefits for the poor.Seen in this light, work requirements are a thinly veiled tactic to reduce participation in these programs.We know how to help economically vulnerable people, and, unsurprisingly, it does not entail making them worse off.Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, is a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, is a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationcenter_img More than half of able-bodied, working-age SNAP recipients work when on the program, and more than 80 percent work in the year before or after receiving SNAP benefits (that is almost 90 percent for families with kids).About 60 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries work, and among working-age households in the Housing Choice Voucher program, 70 percent have at least one member who is working or recently worked.But work is not the ladder out of poverty it needs to be for these families.Though some falsely claim that sanctioned workers are thriving in Kansas, a full four years after losing TANF benefits, the parents who were kicked off the program because of a work sanction had median earnings of only around $2,000, about 10 percent of the poverty level.Clearly, the labor market problem facing these impoverished parents was not receiving TANF. Thus, work requirements utterly failed to move them out of poverty.The true problem is that too many poor adults face steep labor market barriers, including skill deficits, criminal records, mental health issues and employer discrimination.And/or they live in places where even in good economic times, living-wage jobs are scarce. About 70 percent of these low-income parents worked at some point both in the year before and the year after they left, and 84 percent worked at some point over that full period (before or after leaving the rolls).These relatively high employment rates suggest that their spells on TANF were probably short, with families using the program as it was intended: a temporary support when work is not available or feasible.This is an extremely common finding in the literature on poverty and benefit receipt.FALSE PERCEPTIONSThe notion that working-age, able-bodied poor people with public assistance do not work is wrong.It is true that their connection to the job market is often less stable than that of the nonpoor.About a third of the parents in the Kansas study posted solid labor-market attachment, working at least seven of the nine quarters observed in the study, and about half worked between one and six quarters.Among adults who work and receive some form of assistance to meet their basic needs, just under half work full-time.last_img read more


Trump’s abuses of power may have long-term effects

first_imgIf those had been “ordinary” politicians – social democrats or earnest liberals – they would have been run out of office by disappointed supporters who voted for efficient and effective government.But Chávez remained in power for 14 years before dying in office;his successor is still there.In Austria, the resurgent Freedom Party has just joined a new government coalition.Orban has been Hungary’s prime minister for nearly eight years, and Law and Justice’s support seems to be holding steady in Poland.Some of these stories are really about authoritarianism:Many populist leaders are actually anti-pluralist leaders, and they change the rules of their democracies to make it more difficult for their opponents to win.But another factor is at work as well. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe charges range widely, from relatively trivial abuses of privilege to completely unprecedented breaches of ethical laws and norms.The president and his son-in-law may be using American foreign policy to enrich themselves.Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has broken rules to fly first-class. Foreign delegations routinely book rooms at Trump’s Washington hotel to please and enrich the president.Corruption and nepotism have both reached new levels in this White House, as everyone who knew Donald Trump predicted, and as many who voted for him will ignore.Every time one of these stories breaks, there is a routine response:Is this what working-class Americans really wanted when they voted for an “anti-elitist”?Is this what the Midwest meant when it cheered calls to “drain the swamp”?But if history and precedent are any guide, then these abuses of power won’t matter to them at all.Our hemisphere contains ample precedents. But the spectacular corruption of so-called anti-elitist elites has another effect in the longer term:It makes people cynical about politics altogether.I recently asked one of Orban’s opponents why the endless revelations of crooked contracts don’t create an overwhelming majority for the opposition. Because voters now think everyone is corrupt,” he told me. “They’ve got used to it.”As the nepotism and the cronyism of this White House begin to sink in, Americans may not turn against Trump.They may turn against politics, or even democracy, altogether.Anne Applebaum writes a weekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. Unlike social democrats or earnest liberals, these politicians were never trying to appeal to the good sense of voters, they were never selling efficiency and effectiveness, and their voters don’t expect it from them.In a recent speech, Orban declared that Western Europe had caused the “decline of Christian culture,” and he described Hungary as “the last bastion of Christianity.”If you are emotionally moved by that declaration, why should you care if his son-in-law is getting rich?The political scientist Jan-Werner Muller has also written that corruption and cronyism aren’t a problem for this kind of leader “as long as they look like measures pursued for the sake of a moral, hardworking ‘us’ and not for the immoral or even foreign ‘them.’ “These same instincts might shield Trump from the wrath of some his voters.If you really believe that American civilization is in decline and only the Trump administration can halt it, then you won’t care that Jared Kushner is massaging America’s Middle Eastern policy to suit his business interests.If the “Forgotten Man” of Middle America believes Trump is battling invisible Islamist extremists (or overly visible television talk-show hosts), then they might not care that the Chinese government granted Ivanka Trump some valuable trademarks on the day President Xi Jinping met her father. Latin American history is strewn with “men of the people” who rode anti-elitist sentiments to power and then used that power to enrich themselves and their friends.The former Venezuelan dictator-president Hugo Chávez won office on an “anti-corruption” ticket and then proceeded to rob the state on a massive scale, using government contracts to keep friendly business executives on board, turning the civil service and the state oil company into machines for rewarding supporters, even buying a luxurious plane from the ruling family of Qatar for his own use.Europe contains similar stories.During its previous turn in power, Austria’s “populist” Freedom Party proved far more corrupt than the mainstream politicians it had denounced while out of office.After his death,it emerged that the party’s leader, Joerg Haider – more famous for his nods and winks to Austria’s Nazi legacy – was doing shady deals from Libya to the Balkans and beyond.Viktor Orban, the “populist” Hungarian prime minister who won in 2010 by denouncing the corruption of his opponents, has since directed European Union funding to business executives who support his party (among them a childhood friend), and helped to enrich numerous relatives, above all his son-in-law. (Sound familiar?)Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party also ran an anti-elitist election campaign in 2015 and has spent two years populating the civil service with friends, cousins, nephews and uncles of politicians. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more


Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Feb. 10

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRepublicans also not putting America firstMr. Homan’s Feb. 3 letter should have been entitled “Politicians are not putting America first” and not just single out the Democrats.I’m a registered Republican, and I wonder why is it when a Trump Republican cult member makes an argument such as his, they never present the fact that the Republicans and Mr. Trump had control of both the Senate and the House for the past two years and they didn’t pass a single piece of legislation to give Mr. Trump his precious wall or any immigration reform.He asks why the Democrats all supported border security previously, including a wall, but oppose it now? He conveniently forgets that the bipartisan bill in December that included all these things was not signed by Mr. Trump.He also notes Democrats are importing more low-income persons illegally. And just how are they doing this importing? By not voting for a wall that persons can climb over or tunnel under?And then he goes even further by saying the Democrats can’t stand to see Trump win to fulfill his campaign promise. Are you referring to the promise he made on numerous occasions that Mexico would pay for the wall?Mr. Homan, if you want to put America first, why don’t you write to Mr. Trump and request he use his emergency powers to combat gun violence in Chicago and other parts of America?Mike NorrisDelanson Consider impact of negativity to TrumpYour opinion page is hurting this country. It’s all negative with the Trump administration. You’re not the only newspaper doing this unfortunate reporting. If we put one of these crazy liberals as president, we can kiss this country good-bye. I know this letter is going to be laughed off until it hits you personally. Please think of your children.Joseph ParilloBallston SpaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes I’m appalled that Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed the Reproductive Health Care Act.With this act, you are becoming the killer of thousands of unborn babies. This is truly a genocide against the human life — the weak, the handicapped and the poor —  starting with the womb, where life is created. The RHA was concealed in false propaganda. This act does not help women. It does the opposite. What’s next? Are we going to start selective breeding through involuntary sterilization because you have judged individuals physically or mentally unfit to reproduce? How far are you willing to go, governor? Babies, who are precious and innocent, have now become “undesirables” in New York state. A child in the mother’s womb isn’t even considered a human being anymore. My mother delivered me eight weeks early. Was I not considered a child to you? Are you not going to stand up for the unborn? No one has the right to kill a child in the womb or out of the womb. Just as Abel’s blood cried out to God for revenge (Genesis 4:10), so does the blood of the innocent babies cry out to God and demand justice. The Lord will be the one who will avenge these heinous sins. What you do to one of them is inflicted upon us all. It is truly a sad time for the state. I pray for you because Jesus tells us to pray for those who persecute us. God have mercy on us.Eva LoucksBallston Spa Legal pot. Gambling. Is prostitution next?Now that we are moving forward to legalize recreational marijuana and expanding gambling, the time is right to add the world’s oldest profession to the list: prostitution. Consider the following:The governor has said he isn’t legislating morals or religion; everyone has a fundamental right to decide what they want to do with their own bodies; current laws have a greater impact on minorities; state regulation and rules will make it safer for those involved; and the state will enjoy a new stream of revenue. Who can be against this?Jim VincentNiskayunacenter_img What is the cost of not building the wall?Ken Bress’ Jan. 19 letter illustrates poor calculation in the cost of building “the wall.” But can Ken calculate the cost of one human life affected by opioid addiction or myriad felonies (too heinous to mention here) perpetrated by illegal immigrants?Eric R. AlmondScotia Cuomo endorses the legal killing of babieslast_img read more


Derby – Neck and neck in race to win Derby

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Planning: Metrolink is on the winning line

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Tops buyback change looks like a winner

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MWB celebrates £11.7 m profit

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Tokyo Olympics boss blasts ‘irresponsible rumours’ over virus shutdown

first_imgTokyo governor Yuriko Koike has promised to implement “thorough measures” to protect people from the coronavirus in the run-up to the Olympics.Japan has not seen any deaths from COVID-19 but has 28 cases on its soil, with four in serious condition in hospital.Another 174 people, including a quarantine officer, have been infected on a cruise ship floating off the Japanese coast — the outbreak’s largest single cluster.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has come under fire for its handling of the infection, especially quarantine measures seen as too lax in the early stages of the epidemic.”These struggles in turn have sparked concerns about the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, as Japan prepares for the arrival of millions of international visitors over the summer,” said Tobias Harris from Teneo Consultancy. The mayor of the Olympic Village, Saburo Kawabuchi, told the meeting there was “still no clue as to when the virus will be resolved” and appeared to pin hopes on increased humidity to kill off the disease.”We have the rainy season that could defeat the virus,” he said.In China on Thursday, hard-hit Hubei province where the virus emerged announced 242 more deaths and nearly 15,000 extra patients as authorities changed their threshold for diagnosis.At least 1,355 people have now died nationwide and nearly 60,000 have been infected after Hubei’s health commission reported the new numbers.Topics : “With regards to the coronavirus… there are many irresponsible rumours but I would like to make it clear again that we are not considering postponing or cancelling the Games,” he said.”We would like to coordinate with the national government and act in a calm manner,” he stressed.The virus has already forced the rescheduling of a swathe of sporting events in Asia, including Olympic qualification competitions for boxing and basketball — both in China.Formula One’s Shanghai Grand Prix has been postponed from mid-April, with the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix also under threat as well as the Hong Kong Sevens. Tokyo Olympic organisers stressed Thursday they are not considering scrapping the Games due to the coronavirus and blasted “irresponsible rumours” to the contrary. With only 162 days to go until the opening ceremony, concerns have been raised about Japan’s hosting of the Games with the virus spreading throughout Asia.But Tokyo 2020 CEO Yoshiro Mori slapped down such concerns at a meeting with top International Olympic Committee officials.last_img read more


PREMIUMLocal universities urge level playing field for Monash amid competition concerns

first_imgTopics : Linkedin Google Amid competition concerns, local universities have urged the government to ensure a level playing field following a plan by Australia-based Monash University to establish a campus in Indonesia.Private Universities Association (APTISI) chairman Budi Djatmiko said the presence of foreign universities in general would affect competition among top local universities, both private and state-run, that targeted students from middle to upper income families. This would consequently drive those universities to target lower-income students, further affecting smaller universities, he said.”They [foreign universities] should only offer study programs that aren’t commonly available in Indonesia, so that there won’t be head-to-head competition […] otherwise, there will be [market] shifts and consequently, smaller universities won’t have students anymore. That’s probably … Facebook Log in with your social account LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? university Monash-University Education higher-education private-universities state-universities Competition free-tradelast_img read more