The New York Times describes the nearly $900 million in tax breaks he's collected from the city over the years to build his various projects. If Hillary Clinton wants to hit Mr. Trump hard again, she could do worse than call him "Donald Trump: Welfare Queen." Paragraph 11 -- which describes how Mr. Trump took advantage of a post-9.11 federal grant intended for small businesses to "rebuild" a property that he even said on 9.11 "wasn't affected" by the attack -- should be its own ad, if not an ad campaign.
Dean Baker at TruthOut marks the eighth anniversary of the Lehmann Brothers collapse to puncture various myths about the subsequent bailouts. Like that claim you heard that we'd have suffered a decade of double-digit unemployment without the financial services bailout? Actually, the claim was that we'd suffer a decade of double-digit unemployment without any stimulus actions whatsoever. And the bailout -- still the greatest humiliation George W. Bush visited upon the American people, and that's saying something -- doesn't even qualify as stimulus, really; after all, who got stimulated by that, except bankster executives dependent on their unearned bonuses?
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism tells us "How the SEC Enabled the Gross Under-Reporing of CEO Pay." Long story short: the SEC does actually try to measure money made from stock options (which constitute the bulk of CEO pay), but their measuring tool doesn't capture the inside information CEOs typically have about stock value, which means it doesn't capture what CEOs really make from executing those options -- and which ultimately means that CEOs at America's 500 biggest corporations don't actually make a "mere" 373 times what average workers make, but more like 949 times. That's right, for every buck you and I make, they make $949, and for contributing what to society, exactly, that someone else couldn't do? Recall that most Americans think the ratio is actually more like 30:1 -- and would prefer that it were seven to one.
Ho hum, 21 of the 27 states suing the Obama Administration over the EPA's Clean Power Plan are on track to meet the Plan's 2024 emissions reduction requirements. Several state Attorneys General retort that their lawsuit isn't about clean air so much as it's about state "sovereignty" and federal "coercion and commandeering." The Plan that allows states to figure out how to meet the standards on their own is "coercive"? Next time, a Democratic President should just tell them what to do and how to do it and make federal funding for all kinds of unrelated things contingent upon it, and maybe then they'll understand what "coercion" actually is. Right now, they just sound like a bunch of spoiled brats who never want to do anything they're supposed to do. Good readers, please let me know if you feel like I'm holding back about this.
You could almost imagine why Jim Newell at Slate would tell you "Gary Johnson Is Not Worth Any Liberal's Protest Vote," but it's still good to be reminded. Mr. Johnson would balance the budget solely by cutting spending, would replace income and payroll taxes with a national sales tax, and would vastly cut the kind of regulations that actually protect us from harm -- but, actually, it's not difficult to see why young folks flock to him. Sure, he's a genuine fellow, and the major party choices are uninspiring to say the least -- but young people all think they're going to live forever, and haven't faced that fact that their old age is going to be tough if Medicare and Social Security aren't there.
Finally, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence thinks Dick Cheney is a terrific role model for his own Vice Presidency. Because Tha Dicksta was "very active," you see, never mind that what Dick Cheney was very active about was the destruction of the country we love. Of course, where you and I see destruction, bold thinkers like Mike Pence see freedom -- and if that only means freedom for their corporate paymasters, well, too bad for us little people.