Color of Change also helps you tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 1124, the Fairness in Taxation Act, which would raise taxes on millionaire income from 35% to 45%. No, such a tax hike wouldn't affect small businesses -- ABC tried to tell us it would, but even they conceded that letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the top two brackets (which would have raised the top rate from 35% to 39.6%) would have affected two percent of small businesses. And no, such a tax hike wouldn't "kill jobs" -- actually, such a tax hike would more likely help create jobs, since rich folks would rather put their money back into their business (which makes said money an expense) rather than take it themselves (which makes it income). And no, the "47% of people who don't pay any federal taxes" at the low end of the economic spectrum don't need to pay more -- not just because they do pay federal taxes (they pay payroll taxes, in addition to all the state and local and sales taxes they pay) but because they don't make enough money to begin with and they're the ones who need a better shot at a better life. Rich folks don't need us giving them more shots.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Senate passed HB 377, which would essentially gut any state government effort to make buildings more energy-efficient, so the Sierra Club helps you ask Gov. Corbett to veto HB 377. Given what I said about Mr. Corbett yesterday, you probably know that I have as low an opinion of him as I do of Messrs. Walker, Kasich, Snyder, and Christie, but our duty remains our duty. More to the point, so does his -- if the legislature is trampling on the people's will, which it does by exclusively doing the will of building industry CEOs, the Governor has the moral duty to protect the people's will by vetoing the bill. I don't know if it'll do any good to tell that to Mr. Corbett, though I will anyway, or to tell him that stronger energy efficiency standards for buildings would actually create jobs for the engineers and construction workers who will make a building cost less to heat and cool, though I'll tell him that, too. But rigging the process so that the building industry essentially has veto power over whatever the government might do on behalf of its owners, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Er, that's a hell of a thing to run a re-election campaign on.
Speaking of Pennsylvania politics, I'm not going to oppose HB 40/SB 273 (that's two links), which would expand the so-called Castle Doctrine (i.e., "your home is your castle") in re self-defense via violent weaponry. I fervently believe that guns don't kill people, but corporations and bad governments do, so I remain intensely skeptical of any gun control legislation that crosses my filters, and I find a lot of what I'm hearing about these bills is just paranoid. The bills would not "allow people to shoot first and ask questions later" -- you could only "shoot first" if you already know the answer to said "questions," and, presumably, can prove that in a court of law. The bills wouldn't "change the standards of self-defense so deadly force becomes the go-to option even outside of the home, and even when walking away would be perfectly safe" -- the bill explicitly says the opposite in its revision of Title 18, Section 505(b)(2)(ii). And the bills would "(give) a shooter civil immunity even if they kill or injure an innocent bystander," but they wouldn't give criminal immunity, and the shooter would still have to meet the "reasonable belief" standard described earlier in the bill. For all this, I can see former Attorney General Mr. Corbett vetoing the bill, to prove his "independence," and that would be a shame, in part because he wouldn't prove his independence.