Surprise, surprise, President Trump's boutique infrastructure plan would include tolls on existing interstate highway lanes and privatizing rest stops on those highways. One more time: the private sector doesn't do things better; it just redistributes income from workers to executives "better." And I bet Congress and the President aren't really "headed for a fight" about this matter -- one Republican Rep says "I don't like paying for a road twice," which, like, hallelujah, but then adds "(e)verything's on the table." Profile in courage!
Dean Baker calls a financial transaction tax (a.k.a. the "Robin Hood tax" or the "Wall Street sales tax") "The Best Solution to Income Inequality." Why? Because the cost will borne entirely by Wall Street, rather than Main Street. Mr. Baker also reminds us that a) folks don't care about the number of trades they make so much as the amount of money they make, and b) banksters can't argue that "more trades makes the market more efficient," as "(s)omeone would be hard pressed to argue that capital was better allocated in the housing bubble years than fifteen or twenty years earlier when volume might have been less than half of its current level."
From the "Nobody Could Have Predicted" file: Oklahoma's state budgeting problems are so awful now that a lot of kids are only going to school four days a week. The good news? Not every kid in Oklahoma likes it -- some of them, for example, don't like all the rushing around you do when you try to cram five days of work into four. Still, I worry that too many of them will remember this as some kind of Golden Age, even after they're grownups and the ill effects of their education take their toll -- how many of them will say "a four-day school week never hurt me" as they suffer through their umpteenth consecutive year without work?
Hoo boy: former Fox News punditoid recalls how that network (among other things!) made the news "like pro wrestling" and "performance art," and how they "fixed" panel debates so that right-wingers always won. Fox News punditoids getting their scripted "last word" 24 hours beforehand, a Fox News "star" telling his guests what to say -- these are, of course, the hallmarks of folks who can't win arguments on the merits. And remember, kids: if we could buy cable channels a la carte, we wouldn't have to put up with this garbage.
Finally, from the "When Do They Feel Shame?" file, gun rights groups contort bill allowing over-the-counter hearing aids into an anti-gun bill, quite likely because Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is one of its sponsors. Go ahead and try to follow their reasoning, if you dare. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is also one of its sponsors, and has rebutted these groups' talking points, but apparently to no avail. What a shame that some gun rights groups make all gun rights supporters look bad.