November 21, 2017

FCC on verge of wrecking the Internet

NY Times - The Federal Communications Commission is preparing a full repeal of net neutrality rules that require broadband providers to give consumers equal access to all content on the internet, putting more power in the hands of those companies to dictate people’s online experiences.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the F.C.C., plans to reveal a sweeping proposal to scrap the net neutrality rules on Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the plan, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details are not public. The rules, created during the Obama administration, prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing down or charging more for the delivery of certain internet content. The proposal will be presented in a December meeting of F.C.C. commissioners and is expected to pass in a 3-to-2 vote along party lines.

A rollback of net neutrality regulations would represent a significant victory for broadband and telecom companies like AT&T and Comcast and would amount to a strike against consumers. When the rules were passed in 2015, they underlined the importance of high-speed internet to the lives of Americans and the need to more strongly regulate the communications service like a utility, as essential as electricity and the telephone.

But under a repeal, companies like AT&T and Comcast may be able to charge people higher fees to access certain websites and online services. The companies may also be able to prioritize their own services while disadvantaging websites run by rivals.

November 20, 2017

Republicans in Congress think you're an idiot

The best summary of  the tax bill we've seen

Word: The reality of corporate taxation

Bernie Sanders - In 1952, corporate America paid 32% of all federal taxes. Today, despite record breaking profits, they pay less than 10% and one out of four large profitable corporations pay nothing in federal income taxes.

GOP giving bigger tax cuts to foreign investors than to ordinary Americans

Tax Policy Center -The Trump Administration and congressional Republican leaders (the Big Six) have proposed a $70 billion-a-year tax cut for foreign investors.  It stems from the cut in statutory corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent (and repeal of the corporate AMT), which would reduce corporate taxes by an average of $200 billion a year, or $2 trillion over 10 years.  While economists debate who gains from corporate tax cuts over the long run, they generally agree that owners of U.S. corporate stock would reap the short-term benefits. . . .In the short run, foreigners would reap about 35 percent of the benefits of the cut in corporate taxes, which translates to around $70 billion a year

Word: The addict in politics

Sarah Silverman, Guardian - I look at Trump and the billionaire oligarchs he surrounds himself with as addicts. I do believe they are addicted to wealth, and that wealth addiction is no different from crack addiction. It fills an empty void. They will sell their grandmothers. They’re literally selling our entire country’s health for more. I remember Garry Shandling saying in 2007 that when we put people in office who are addicted to money and power, we might as well be giving a bunch of cokeheads a mountain of cocaine and saying: ‘Divide this equally among your people.’ I see it proven true every day. And we’ve raised an entire generation to worship money at any cost, no matter how it’s made.”

November 19, 2017

How much the GOP plans to rip off college students and their parents

$71 billion: Cost to students and families of provisions that repeal and revise higher-education tax benefits in the bill passed last week by the House.

Just a reminder...