The House of Representatives gave 25 of the nation’s billionaires a $334 billion tax break on April 16 when it voted 240-179 to repeal the estate tax. The nearly 100-year old tax raises $27 billion a year for the U.S. government. Of the 2,662,000 Americans who died in 2013, just 3,700 of their estates paid any estate tax – one out of every 700 estates.
Last week, thousands of New York City residents completed an eight month-long participatory budget process in which they voted on how to allocate $25 million of their taxes in their communities. The city first experimented with participatory budgeting in 2011 when four City Council members allowed their constituents to decide how to use $1 million in discretionary funds provided by the city on community projects in their wards. This time around, 24 of New York City’s 51 Council members joined in the effort.
Five years ago, an offshore oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The BP oil spill fouled the Gulf with over 172 million gallons of crude oil. The aftermath of the spill is still visible on certain coastlines, and a toxic chemical that BP used to "clean up" the oil is still injuring people and wildlife in the region.
Every day, we are exposed to chemicals in our shampoo, body wash, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, lotion, and much more. We expect our government to ensure that the chemicals in products have been tested and are safe for us and our families.
Every small business would need to pay $3,244 in additional taxes to offset the $110 billion in federal and state revenue lost every year to offshore tax avoidance by multinational corporations, according to a new report from U.S. PIRG.
In a dramatic move, General Electric (GE) announced on Friday that it would be selling off its financial service businesses. GE expects to shed $200 billion of assets in the restructuring, returning $90 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends, stock buybacks, and new shares in a company to be spun-off.