In honor of Tax Day, Jared Bernstein offers up five ways to fix our tax system. We should do all five -- especially "stop defunding the IRS," since only petulant whiners defund the IRS -- but I'm not seeing "tax the rich at 91% just like in the old days" on his list. Since Mr. Bernstein used to advise Vice President Biden, I guess I shouldn't have expected that. Still, yay, taxes pay for things! And we can make them pay for better things!
Retro Report covers the Dungeons & Dragons controversy from the late '70s and early '80s. Yes, Virginia, right-wingers saw Satan everywhere then, too, and they manipulated the "liberal" media then, too! And yes, less principled manipulators (like William Dear) also reared their ugly heads back then. Make sure you watch all the way to the end, so you can hear Pulitzer-winning novelist Junot Díaz tell you why D&D did right by him as a youth. Total time of video: 12 minutes, 59 seconds.
Boots Riley instructs us that "rising black-on-black crime" is a myth, and worse, it's a myth bad people use to try to keep blacks from agitating for, you know, not being beaten up and killed by police. No, really: black-on-black crime is actually down over the last 50 years, and crime rates in black neighborhoods are similar to crime rates in those white neighborhoods with similar incomes. (I'll give Spike Lee the benefit of the doubt about the item in paragraph 4, though; his characters say a lot of things you're not necessarily supposed to agree with.)
Dean Baker, writing at TruthOut, notes that deficit "hawks" squeal a lot about budget deficits' "effects" on "the children," without noting that their pet budget cuts do more to hurt children. Deficit-hysteria budget cuts, after all, gave us lead in Flint's drinking water, which has given all of Flint's children permanent brain damage. Mr. Baker also cites other drags on our children's future that don't seem to interest deficit "hawks," like patent and copyright monopolies that keep prices artificially high. But he only alludes to the biggest drag on our children's future, one explained much more thoroughly by Michael Hudson -- the massive amounts of debt taken on by corporations and homeowners, both of which essentially redistribute income from working families to banksters and large shareholders.
Finally, Republican state legislators in Kansas profess outrage that Gov. Brownback's massive tax-cuts-for-the-rich-and-corporations haven't been the "shot of adrenaline" the state needs. They're lying, of course -- they knew this would happen, they knew it wouldn't cost them their jobs in a state where Democrats are even weaker than they are everywhere else, and they're only complaining now because their constituents, who rely on the services the state can't provide anymore, are complaining. Ultimately, they will do nothing, and Democrats won't capitalize on their doing nothing. Still, blaming Kansas's problems on "global issues," as Mr. Brownback does, sure doesn't sound like leadership, does it?