Desperate billionaires finally getting the help they need

first_imgOh, wait, that’s exactly what’s happening!Trump understands, for example, that health insurance isn’t all that important for the riffraff. So he and the Senate GOP have again targeted Obamacare, this time by trying to repeal the insurance mandate.The Congressional Budget Office says this will result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance.But what’s the big deal?The United States already has an infant mortality rate twice that of Austria and South Korea.American women are already five times as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as women in Britain.So who’ll notice if things get a bit worse? Categories: Editorial, OpinionIt is so hard to be a billionaire these days!A new yacht can cost $300 million. And you wouldn’t believe what a pastry chef earns — and if you hire just one, to work weekdays, how can you possibly survive on weekends?The investment income on, say, a $4 billion fortune is a mere $1 million a day, which makes it tough to scrounge by with today’s rising prices.Why, some wealthy folks don’t even have a home in the Caribbean and on vacation are stuck brooding in hotel suites: They’re practically homeless!Fortunately, President Donald Trump and the Republicans are coming along with some desperately needed tax relief for billionaires.Thank God for this lifeline to struggling tycoons.And it’s carefully crafted to focus the benefits on the truly deserving — the affluent who earn their tax breaks with savvy investments in politicians. Perhaps that sounds harsh. But the blunt reality is that we risk soul-sucking dependency if we’re always setting kids’ broken arms.Maybe that’s why congressional Republicans haven’t bothered to renew funding for CHIP, the child health insurance program serving almost 9 million American kids.Ditto for the maternal and home visiting programs that are the gold standard for breaking cycles of poverty and that also haven’t been renewed.We mustn’t coddle American toddlers.Hey, if American infants really want health care, they’ll pick themselves up by their bootee straps and Uber over to an emergency room.Congressional Republicans understand that we can’t do everything for everybody. We have to make hard choices.Congress understands that kids are resilient and can look after themselves, so we must focus on the most urgent needs, such as those of hand-to-mouth billionaires. For example, eliminating the estate tax would help the roughly 5,500 Americans who now owe this tax each year, one-fifth of 1 percent of all Americans who die annually.Ending the tax would help upstanding people like the Trumps who owe their financial success to brilliant life choices, such as picking the uterus in which they were conceived.Now it’s fair to complain that the tax plan overall doesn’t give needy billionaires quite as much as they deserve.For example, the top 1 percent receive only a bit more than 25 percent of the total tax cuts in the Senate bill, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.Really? Only 25 times their share of the population?After all those dreary $5,000-a-plate dinners supporting politicians?If politicians had any guts, they’d just slash services for low-income families so as to finance tax breaks for billionaires.center_img In fairness, Congress has historically understood this mission.The tax code subsidizes moguls with private jets while the carried interest tax break gives a huge tax discount to striving private equity zillionaires.Meanwhile, a $13 billion annual subsidy for corporate meals and entertainment gives ditch diggers the satisfaction of buying Champagne for financiers.Our political leaders are so understanding because we appear to have the wealthiest Congress we’ve ever had, with a majority of members now millionaires, so they understand the importance of cutting health for the poor to show support for the crème de la crème.Granted, the GOP tax plan will add to the deficit, forcing additional borrowing.But if the tax cut passes, automatic “pay as you go” rules may helpfully cut $25 billion from Medicare spending next year, thus saving money on elderly people who are practically dead anyway.If poor kids have to suffer, we may as well make poor seniors suffer as well. That’s called a balanced policy. More broadly, you have to look at the reason for deficits. Yes, it’s problematic to borrow to pay for, say, higher education or cancer screenings.But what’s the problem with borrowing $1.5 trillion to invest in urgent tax relief for billionaires?Anyway, at some point down the road we’ll find a way to pay back the debt by cutting a wasteful program for runny-nose kids who aren’t smart enough to hire lobbyists.There must be some kids’ program that still isn’t on the chopping block.The tax bill underscores a political truth: There’s nothing wrong with redistribution when it’s done right.Nicholas Kristof is a columnist for The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Just 34% of Indonesia’s stimulus budget spent six months into pandemic

first_imgThe government has only spent around Rp 237 trillion (US$15.92 billion) of the funds earmarked for economic stimulus during the COVID-19 outbreak, representing just 34.1 percent of the allocated budget, six months into the crisis.Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto said Monday that the government would expand its aid programs until December and push to expedite spending. The government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion for stimulus programs, focusing on health care, social safety net programs and economic recovery. “From the first half of the year until September, budget disbursement has increased significantly,” he told reporters, adding that the government had seen a 30.9 percent month-to-month (mtm) increase in stimulus spending. However, he did not go into details. The government was currently reviewing a plan to provide aid for honorary workers, he added, explaining that it would extend the cash aid program for workers until March next year and extend the cash aid program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) until June next year to bolster domestic consumption.The government is struggling to revive the economy, which shrank 5.32 percent in the second quarter this year and is widely expected to shrink further in the third quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract 1.1 percent this year under a worst-case projection.The Jakarta administration’s reimposition of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on Monday is expected to deal a further blow to the economy, with ministers saying assessments would be made on its implications for GDP.The capital makes the highest contribution to the national economy among all regions of the country, with Jakarta’s regional domestic product accounting for 17.17 percent of the country’s GDP in the second quarter, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show. The capital is followed by East Java (14.6 percent) and West Java (13.45 percent), which are both also virus epicenters.Topics :last_img read more

Look up and see the sky in this open-roof home

first_imgThe central atrium at 93 Muir St, Cannon HillMrs Wilbrink said her family had enjoyed the location as much as the home.“Everything we’ve ever needed is so close by,” she said.“It’s a very well connected suburb to live in.” The open-roof atrium at 93 Muir St, Cannon HillMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoThe contemporary, Asian-inspired home has been designed around an open-roof atrium which Mrs Wilbrink said had been the most enjoyable aspect of the home. “It lets in so much light, and there’s always a beautiful flow of air,” she said. Inside 93 Muir St, Cannon HillOn the ground floor there is two bedrooms, media room, bathroom, laundry, deck and two-car garage. Mrs Wilbrink said it was the view that buyers would fall in love with. The main bedroom of 93 Muir St, Cannon Hill“We love to sit out on the deck and watch the sunset each night,” she said.“We look out to the city and watch the sun set right behind it.“The deck has the most incredible view of the skyline.” The views from 93 Muir St, Cannon Hill“At night, you can look up and see the moon straight above you. “It can be very exciting when it rains or storms.”On the top level, there is a master suite with walk-in-robe and ensuite, additional bedroom, separate toilet, kitchen, living, dining and large outdoor deck area. The home at 93 Muir St, Cannon HillOwners Helen and Helmut Wilbrink bought the two-level home at 93 Muir St, Cannon Hill, at auction in 2013 after viewing the property for the first time that day.“We thought it was an open home, so we went and checked it out,” she said. “Twenty minutes later, we were walking away with the contract.”Mrs Wilbrink said the purchase was an “impulse buy” they’d “never regret.” 93 Muir St, Cannon HillWith uninterrupted views of the city, Glasshouse Mountains and Bay Islands, ‘Atrium House’ is a one-of-a-kind home.last_img read more