07-15-2018  12:31 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Mark Christopher Lawrence to Perform at Harvey’s Comedy Club July 13-15

Former Big Mike of “Chuck” will perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday ...

Dragon Fest 2018

Lions, dragons and breakdancers descend on Seattle’s Chinatown-International District for the Pacific Northwest’s largest...

Hiker falls 100 feet to death in Skamania County

CARSON, Wash. (AP) — Search crews have recovered the body of a 23-year-old woman who was killed in a 100-foot fall while hiking in Skamania County.The Columbian newspaper reports that Leslie Mar, of Vancouver, was hiking with a partner on Friday evening when she slipped from a ledge at...

Deadly fire shuts down key route to Yosemite National Park

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire that killed a California firefighter grew quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park as crews contended with sweltering conditions Sunday, authorities said.The blaze that broke out Friday scorched more than 6 square miles (16...

Hiker falls 100 feet to death in Skamania County

CARSON, Wash. (AP) — Search crews have recovered the body of a 23-year-old woman who was killed in a 100-foot fall while hiking in Skamania County.The Columbian newspaper reports that Leslie Mar, of Vancouver, was hiking with a partner on Friday evening when she slipped from a ledge at...

3 family members killed in southwest Washington crash

KALAMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a rollover crash on Interstate 5 in southwest Washington killed a child and two grandparents.The Daily News reports that the crash happened Saturday afternoon when a northbound sport-utility vehicle struck a median near Kalama. The Washington State Patrol...

OPINION

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

NAACP Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

NAACP opposes Kavanaugh's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Fountain, wing-like benches anchor memorial

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on plans for a memorial at a South Carolina church where nine African-American worshippers were slain in 2015 (all times local):12:50 p.m.The historic South Carolina church where nine African-American worshippers were slain has released plans for a memorial...

Trump's remarks about changing European culture draw ire

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's lament this week that immigration is "changing the culture" of Europe echoed rising anti-immigrant feelings on both sides of the Atlantic, where Europe and the United States are going through a demographic transformation that makes some of the white...

Judge dismisses suit filed by family of man killed by police

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal judge's ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed black man fatally shot by an Ohio police officer says the man's civil rights were not violated.Cleveland.com reports U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled Friday it was a "close and difficult...

ENTERTAINMENT

Rapper buys every seat in house, takes strangers to movies

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine rapper surprised moviegoers with free tickets to a sci-fi satire movie.Rory Ferreira, who goes by the stage name Milo, bought all 129 seats to the 4:20 p.m. showing of the movie "Sorry to Bother You" at the Nickelodeon in Portland, Maine, on Saturday. The...

Baron Cohen pranks 2 more celebrity politicians for show

Some politicians are going through the several stages of panic associated with an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen: remorse, damage control, anger and regret for being duped.One of the comedian's latest targets, defeated Senate candidate Roy Moore, is threatening a defamation lawsuit over an...

Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nancy Sinatra Sr., the childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra who became the first of his four wives and the mother of his three children, has died. She was 101.Her daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr., tweeted that her mother died Friday and a posting on her web page said she died...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police: Suspect in shooting of 3 Kansas City cops holed up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A suspect in the non-fatal shooting of two Kansas City police officers shot a third...

The Latest: Croatia PM says fans rejoice despite Cup loss

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):9:45 p.m.Croatia's Prime Minister...

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO (AP) — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and...

Politics guide Syrians backing Croatia in World Cup final

AIN TERMA, Syria (AP) — Most of the Syrian troops and residents of Ain Terma, just outside the capital...

Russian women push back at shaming over World Cup dating

MOSCOW (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of foreign men have flooded into Russia for the monthlong World Cup,...

Reports detail Mossad raid on Iranian nuclear documents

JERUSALEM (AP) — Some U.S. media reported new details on Sunday from a Mossad operation that smuggled...

Alan Fram the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's proposal to impose a "Buffett rule" tax on the rich is generating enormous political wattage, but the plan itself would directly affect only a tiny fraction of Americans.

Only around 210,000 taxpayers - a bit over 1 of every 1,000 - would face higher federal taxes if the measure were enacted, according to an estimate by one respected bipartisan research group.

In addition, while Republicans say the plan would be a job killer, only a small proportion of businesses would potentially be subject to the tax, according to data from a 2011 Treasury Department study. These firms make disproportionately large amounts of money, but many of them don't employ any workers.

Republicans, calling the Buffett rule a political sideshow designed to distract voters from the economy's problems, seem certain to round up enough votes to block the bill when the Democratic-run Senate votes on it Monday. But Democrats are eager to hold repeated votes on it this election year to demonstrate that they favor economic equality while Republicans prefer coddling the wealthy, so it's unlikely to disappear soon.

Following are some questions and answers about the proposal and its potential impact:

Q: What would the Buffett rule do?

A: Citing complaints from billionaire Warren Buffett that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, Obama says everyone earning at $1 million a year or more should pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. He has been vague on details.

Monday's Senate vote will be on legislation by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who would impose the 30 percent tax on people making at least $2 million annually and phase it in gradually for those earning at least $1 million.

Q: Isn't the top income tax rate already 35 percent?

A: Yes, that is the rate owed this year on salaries over $388,350. Yet very few people pay that rate because they get to subtract credits and deductions. In addition, some sources of income like certain dividends and capital gains - more common among upscale earners - are taxed at a lower, 15 percent rate.

As a result, households making more than $1 million in 2011 owed an average of around 25 percent of their earnings in federal income taxes and payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group in Washington that studies federal taxes.

Q: How does that compare to lower earners?

A: On average - and that is the key - the rich pay higher rates. The center computes that families earning $30,000 to $40,000 owed an average 6 percent of it in income and payroll taxes last year. People making $50,000 to $75,000 owed an average 12 percent, while those making $75,000 to $100,000 paid an average 13 percent.

Q: Then what's the problem?

A: The White House says it's not the averages that bother them. It's that thousands of individual million-dollar earners pay lower rates than millions of middle-income workers.

Citing Internal Revenue Service data, the White House says 22,000 households making more than $1 million paid less than 15 percent of their earnings in federal income and payroll taxes. That includes 1,470 such families who paid nothing in federal income taxes.

Q: So where does Obama's 30 percent figure come from?

A: White House officials said last week that they want no household earning more than $1 million a year paying a smaller portion of its income in taxes than the middle class. While the term "middle class" is imprecise, IRS data show that the administration would come very close to that target by imposing a 30 percent tax on the highest earners. Out of around 27 million taxpayers who earned $50,000 to $100,000 in 2009, only around 2,000 ended up paying income tax rates of 30 percent or more.

Q: Overall, how many taxpayers would have to pay more if the Buffett rule becomes law?

A: The Tax Policy Center projects that there will be 438,000 households earning $1 million or more annually in 2015, the year they examined to give presidential candidates' tax plans time to be enacted and take effect. Of those taxpayers, the center expects around 210,000 to face higher taxes if legislation like the Senate Democratic bill becomes law. That is just over one-tenth of one percent of all 169 million taxpayers.

Q: What impact would the Buffett rule have on businesses?

A: The Buffett rule would apply to individual income tax rates. It would not apply to the taxes that corporations pay, although Obama has separately proposed to increase taxes on some corporations including some that do work abroad.

Yet the proposal would still affect thousands of companies, from the local bakery to hugely profitable law firms, whose owners pay individual income taxes on the earnings, not corporate taxes. Republicans say taxing these companies would snatch away money they could otherwise use to create jobs - a damaging move with the economy still laboring to recover from the recession.

Q: Are there many of these companies?

A: In a paper last August, Treasury researchers analyzing tax data found that around 35 million individual tax returns reported some business income but just 331,000 of them - about 1 percent - were for earners making $1 million and up.

Out of those 331,000 business taxpayers earning at least $1 million, just 200,000 were employers, the study found.

Those 200,000 high-income employers accounted for just 5 percent of all employers filing business earnings on their individual returns. But they reported $189 billion in business income - a disproportionately huge 50 percent of all business earnings reported by such employers.

Republicans say it would inhibit job creation to tax away those large firms' earnings. Democrats argue the figures show how few high-earning taxpayers actually hire people.

The Treasury figures were for the 2007 tax year, the most recent available.

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