Robert Reich

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ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock”, “The Work of Nations,” and"Beyond Outrage,“ and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.
Updated: 59 min 53 sec ago

THE CASE FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICEObstruction of justice was...

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 22:41


Obstruction of justice was among the articles of impeachment drafted against both Presidents Nixon and Clinton. The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. White House tapes revealed Nixon giving instructions to pressure the acting FBI director into halting the Watergate investigation.

Two weeks after Trump told Comey privately “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,” he had another private meeting with Comey in the Oval Office. After shooing out his advisers – all of whom had top security clearance – Trump said to Comey, according to Comey’s memo written shortly after the meeting, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

Then on May 9, Trump fired Comey. In a subsequent interview with NBC Trump said he planned to fire Comey “regardless of [the] recommendation” of the Attorney and Deputy Attorney General, partly because of “this Russia thing.” Trump also revealed in the interview that he had had several conversations with Comey about the Russia investigation, and had asked Comey if he was under investigation.

The federal crime of obstruction of justice applies to “[w]hoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law” in a proceeding or investigation by a government department or agency or Congress.

As in Nixon’s case, a decision to support an “inquiry of impeachment” resolution in the House—to start an impeachment investigation—doesn’t depend on sufficient evidence to convict a person of obstruction of justice, but simply probable cause to believe a president may have obstructed justice.

There’s already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin that impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump.

Talking With My Friend About Trump

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 22:58
My friend Tom phoned this morning:“I can’t take any more Trump. It’s summer. I’m taking a vacation...

Government By and For Trump

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:09
Last Monday, the White House invited reporters in to watch what was billed as a meeting of Trump’s...

Trump’s Infrastructure Scam

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 19:24
At a roundtable discussion with state transportation officials on Friday, Donald Trump said...

Impeach Him Now

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 14:12
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) is already drafting articles of impeachment related to Trump’s firing of FBI...

The Real Leaky Problem

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 18:02
The arrest of Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old federal contractor from Atlanta, Georgia, for...

The World According to Trump

Sun, 06/04/2017 - 19:52
To Donald Trump, the world is made up of only two sorts of people, or nations: strong winners whom...

The Art of the Trump-Putin Deal

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 10:47
Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. I’m not suggesting there was any...

The Art of the Putin-Trump Deal

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 16:21
Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. I’m not suggesting there was any...

7 Reasons Why Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut is Completely NutsDonald...

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 13:22

7 Reasons Why Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut is Completely Nuts

Donald Trump wants to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, in order to “make the United States more competitive.”

This is nonsense, for 7 reasons:

1. Profitable U.S. corporations already pay on average of only 14% according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s less than a lot of middle-class families pay. (And that’s less than half the official 35% corporate tax rate.) What’s more, some giant corporations pay little (if any) U.S. taxes because of loopholes or because they shift their profits offshore to tax havens.

2. Trump’s corporate tax cut will bust the federal budget. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center projects it will reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. This will either require huge cuts in services for all of us, or additional taxes paid by us to pick up the corporate tab.

3. It’s based on supply-side, trickle-down nonsense. The White House says the tax cuts will create a jump in economic growth that will generate enough new revenue to wipe out any increase in the budget deficit. Rubbish. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both cut taxes mostly for the rich, and both ended their presidencies with huge budget deficits.

4. It will create a new special loophole for hedge fund managers, big law firms and real estate moguls like Donald Trump. They could slash the  tax rate they pay on their business income from 40 percent to 15 percent. 15 percent is what a middle-class person pays. Do you think people like Trump should pay a tax rate that someone making $60,000 a year pays?

5. It creates an international race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax rates that the U.S. cannot possibly win. One of its supposed attractions is it makes U.S. corporate taxes more “competitive” internationally. But we can’t match the rates in tax havens, which are often ZERO. And other countries will just lower their taxes in response. That’s what happened after 1986, the last time the U.S. cut corporate tax rates.

6. American corporations don’t need a tax cut to be competitive. They’re already hugely competitive as measured by their profits – which are near record highs– while the share of taxes they pay are at record lows. Corporations should be doing more to pay their fair share, not getting a giant tax cut!

7. Corporations won’t use the extra profits they get from the tax cut to invest in more capacity and jobs. That’s the White House line, but it’s baloney.  Corporations are now using a large portion of their profits to pay their CEOs’ hefty pay packages and to buy other companies in order to raise their stock prices. There’s no reason to suppose they’ll do any different even with more profits.

So don’t fall for Trump’s corporate tax plan. It will be a huge windfall for corporations and billionaires – like many of Trump’s own cabinet members, family members, and likely even Trump himself (although because he won’t release his taxes, we can’t tell how much he’ll enrich himself from his own tax plan).

We do know who will lose out: The rest of us.

Trump’s Rollback of Civil Rights

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 16:22
Trump’s budget isn’t just about massive tax cuts for rich and major cuts in assistance...

How Not to Balance the Budget on the Backs of the Poor Donald...

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 12:56

How Not to Balance the Budget on the Backs of the Poor

Donald Trump wants to slash Medicaid, Social Security disability, and food stamps in order to expand the military and give the rich and corporations big tax cuts.

There’s a far better way to help balance the federal budget – cap tax expenditures.

The federal government is diverting hundreds of billions of tax dollars every year to help the wealthiest Americans become even wealthier through tax expenditures that are the equivalent of government handouts – allowing the wealthy to deduct or exclude from their taxable incomes large amounts of employer-provided health care, retirement savings, and mortgage interest.

These tax expenditures demand reform for three big reasons:

1. First, they are unfair. Middle and low-income workers don’t get from their employers nearly as much health insurance and retirement income as do corporate executives. Many get none at all. And their mortgages– if they have any– are usually much smaller, because they live in homes that don’t cost as much.

2. Second. these deductions and exclusions are nonsensical. Originally, they were put into the tax code to give people financial incentives to get health insurance, to save for retirement, and to buy a home. But the rich don’t need financial incentives to do these things because they’re … rich.

3. Finally these deductions and exclusions are hugely expensive. They cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year– $348 billion in 2015 alone– the lion’s share going to high income families.

Instead of wasting these billions on making the wealthy even wealthier, we should be using these resources to provide better healthcare, retirement security and affordable housing to low and middle-income households, including households of color, who are currently losing out.

There’s no reason why America’s wealthy should be able to deduct or exclude from their taxable incomes more than, say, $25,000 a year for employer-provided health care, retirement, and mortgage interest.

Limiting those deductions and exclusions would be rational, fiscally responsible, and fair. Unlike Trump and Republican budgets that want to slash Medicaid, Social Security disability, and food stamps.

Making America Meaner

Mon, 05/29/2017 - 07:56
Last Wednesday, on the eve of his election to the House of Representatives, Montana Republican Greg...

Making America Meaner

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 09:16
Last Wednesday, on the eve of his election to the House of Representatives, Montana Republican Greg...

Senate Republicans are Screwed on Trumpcare and They Know It.

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:02
Very soon Senate Republicans will have to decide what to do about Trumpcare. Their choice is...

Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 12:42
For years, conservatives warned that liberals were “defining deviancy downward.” They said that by...

Europe’s View of Trump

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 06:04
European governments, preparing for a round of major summits with Donald Trump, are wary. I spent...

The End of Trump

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 01:56
The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Donald Trump. It is when enough...

Are There 22 Patriotic House Republicans?

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 15:53
Trump warning to former FBI Director James Comey against leaking anything negative about him –...

The Moral Travesty of Trumpcare

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 11:45
Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who last Thursday voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act,...