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Showing posts from April 20, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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BC Liberal candidate: guaranteeing homeless people have homes sounds like communism

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[BC ELECTION 2017!!! Both video clips are short and sweet - be sure to watch the Linda Reimer clip as well! *RON*]
PressProgress, 11 April 2017

A new report this week shows homelessness in Vancouver has risen dramatically under Christy Clark's right-wing BC Liberal government.

But it sounds like investment banker turned BC Liberal candidate Steve Housser won't be doing much to fix the problem – according to Housser, ending homelessness by providing every homeless person with public housing sounds "communistic."

Asked during an interview on a Nanaimo community TV station last week whether it's time to approach BC's homelessness crisis like it's a human rights issue and prioritize spending on public housing, Housser had trouble wrapping his mind around the concept:

"Are there societies where everybody has a guaranteed right to housing? And if so, what is the level of the housing? It sounds, in a way – and I don'…

Austerity is over: after five years of belt tightening, the IMF says the rich world has stopped cutting

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[There are plenty of 'alternative facts' when it comes to something as seemingly objective as economic policy and the results thereof. So, in one day, we have this story, which says "Austerity is over", then this one: IMF Demands More Austerity Despite Greek Surplus. Then we have a story in which the IMF claims the economy is improving thanks to austerity: World Economic Outlook, April 2017: Gaining Momentum? followed by one in which two countries practicing austerity crash and burn: IMF lowers growth expectations for Egypt and Saudi Arabia. *RON*)

Tim Wallace, The Telegraph, 19 April 2017

Austerity is over as governments across the rich world increased spending last year and plan to keep their wallets open for the foreseeable future.

After five years of belt tightening, the International Monetary Fund says the era of spending cuts that followed the financial crisis is now at an end.

“Advanced economies eased their fiscal stance b…

Trump’s Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise

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["...lawmakers do not want to pass an overhaul of the tax code that unwittingly enriches the commander in chief and his progeny. Those who are worried point to the potential repeal of the estate tax or elimination of the alternative minimum tax as provisions that would enrich Mr. Trump. The most consequential concern relates to a House Republican proposal to get rid of a rule that lets companies write off the interest they pay on loans — a move real estate developers and Mr. Trump vehemently oppose. Doing so would raise $1 trillion in revenue and reduce the appeal of one of Mr. Trump’s favorite business tools: debt." *RON*]

Alan Rappeport, New York Times, 17 April 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s promise to enact a sweeping overhaul of the tax code is in serious jeopardy nearly 100 days into his tenure, and his refusal to release his own tax returns is emerging as a central hurdle to another faltering campaign promise.

As procrastin…

Bill O’Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News

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[Not a decade too soon. *RON*]

Emily Steel & Michael S, Schmidt, New York Times, 19 April 2017

Bill O’Reilly has been forced out of his position as a prime-time host on Fox News, the company said on Wednesday, after the disclosure of settlements involving sexual harassment allegations against him. His abrupt and embarrassing ouster ends his two-decade reign as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, said in a statement.

Mr. O’Reilly is departing two and a half weeks after an investigation by The New York Times revealed how Fox News and 21st Century Fox had repeatedly stood by him even as sexual harassment allegations against him mounted. The Times found that the company and Mr. O’Reilly had reached se…

Amazon and eBay sellers accused of £1.5bn VAT dodge

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[It's their overseas sellers that are avoiding taxes, not Amazon/Ebay as such, but these companies act as their agents and Amazon/Ebay seemingly won't lift a finger to do anything about it: "Amazon said it will promptly remove any seller that they inform us is not VAT compliant." *RON*]

Grace Bowden, Retail Week, 20 April 2017

Online marketplaces including Amazon and eBay cost the UK up to £1.5bn last year due to VAT fraud or error, says government auditor.

According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO), overseas sellers on online marketplaces failing to charge the appropriate level of tax on goods sold to British customers resulted in a loss of up to £1.5bn in VAT by the government last year.

According to the report the majority of implicated sellers were based in China and were failing to charge the standard 20% VAT rate applied to retailers outside the EU and pay the cost to the HMRC.

NAO chair Meg Hillier said: “This i…