01-28-2023  10:39 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.


Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Krikke scores 30, leads Valparaiso over Evansville 81-69

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Ben Krikke scored 30 points to lead Valparaiso over Evansville 81-69 on Saturday. Krikke added nine rebounds for the Beacons (10-13, 4-8 Missouri Valley Conference). Kobe King added 13 points and Connor Barrett scored nine. Gage Bobe finished...

Russell leads SE Missouri State over Eastern Illinois 79-68

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Phillip Russell scored 19 points and Southeast Missouri State beat Eastern Illinois 79-68 on Saturday. Russell added six assists for the Redhawks (12-11, 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Adam Larson and Israel Barnes scored 11 points apiece. Larson blocked three...


It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...


State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since '97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and...


Review: Joe Henry returns with varied 'kind-word blues' set

“All the Eye Can See,” Joe Henry (earMUSIC) “There goes the sun,” Joe Henry sings, sounding nothing like George Harrison as he contemplates our long, cold, lonely winter. “All the Eye Can See” is the most diverse album of Henry’s career, surrounding his...

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...


Trump opens 2024 run, says he's 'more committed' than ever

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 White House bid with stops Saturday in...

Pence: 'Mistakes were made' in classified records handling

MIAMI (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he takes “full responsibility” after...

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid...

Study: Enough rare earth minerals to fuel green energy shift

The world has enough rare earth minerals and other critical raw materials to switch from fossil fuels to renewable...

Brutality of Russia's Wagner gives it lead in Ukraine war

Fierce battles in eastern Ukraine have thrown a new spotlight on Russia's Wagner Group, a private military company...

Challenge for Tunisian democracy: Getting voters to show up

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia was once the Arab world’s hope for a new era of democracy. Now it’s in the...

Ben Brumfield CNN

(CNN) -- Monday is tax day, and in case you're wondering where your money went last year, President Barack Obama is eager to let you know. He's giving you a detailed receipt.

For the third year, taxpayers can visit the White House website for the nitty-gritty on how the government spends tax dollars from American households.

To see your 2012 contributions to the nation's military, Social Security, health care, community development, agriculture and NASA, among others, visit the site for the year's "taxpayer receipt."

"You deserve to know how your tax dollars are being spent," White House spokeswoman Colleen Curtis said in a statement.

Any politics involved?

The annual public disclosure comes amid a tussle among the president, Democratic legislators and their Republican counterparts over 2014 budget proposals. Legislators from both parties have slammed each other's proposals, as well as that of the president.

In his budget, Obama has taken the red pen to social spending items dear to liberal Democrats in his own base and handed bigger tax invoices to the wealthy and corporations, something Republicans have resisted.

His proposed reductions on Social Security and Medicare spending have caused consternation among some of Obama's supporters, who argue it will leave vulnerable Americans without enough support.

Meanwhile, Republicans have also protested the proposed revenue increases and the fact the budget doesn't balance. The $3.8 trillion proposal aims to cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade.

What do we pay the most for?

Spending on the military and health care programs take up the bulk of federal income tax revenues, according to the White House.

A married couple with one child making $50,000 a year -- roughly the median household income in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau -- paid an average of $995 in federal income taxes in 2012, just 1.99%.

This does not include Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Nearly a quarter of income taxes, $245.17, went to a category labeled "National Defense." A slightly smaller sum, $223.38, or 22.45%, was spent on "health care."

Ongoing military operations, such as the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, swallow the largest sum of defense spending, laying claim to more than 10% of taxpayer dollars, the White House said.

Medicare and Medicaid, programs for the country's seniors and poor respectively, take up nearly all of the "heath care" spending category in the income tax breakdown.

This does not include the separate Medicare Tax of $725, or 1.45%, levied on the family used as an example.

But there is other combined military and social spending included in other parts of taxpayer receipt, such as an entry for "Veterans Benefits" and a separate one for military retirement and disability.

The federal government spends comparatively little on education and the promotion of science and technology. Together, they all receive less than 5% of expenditures. This includes NASA's budget.

A major exception is the development and construction of weapons technology, which weighs in at 7.62% of total federal expenditures.

The biggest tax by far is the workers' contributions to Social Security, which weigh in at $2,100 for a family of three earning a median income of $50,000 per year. That's 4.2% of the family's gross income and is more than its federal income and Medicare taxes taken together.

How big are taxes and deficits?

Over the past 40 years, the federal budget deficit has amounted to 3.1% of gross domestic product per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That was well under the rate of inflation as measured by the labor department's consumer price index for half of those years.

At 3.3%, deficits are predicted to be slightly higher over the next 10 years, as rising health care and retirement costs notch up federal spending, the budget office said.

Budget deficits in the U.S. and much of the West surged with the onset of the world economic crisis in 2008, but began dropping in 2012, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

U.S. tax revenues -- including Social Security and Medicare -- have amounted to 18% of GDP over the past 40 years and are expected to rise slightly to 19% of annual GDP for the next 10 years, the budget office said.

The rate of U.S. income taxes as a percentage of GDP is lower compared to most developed nations, according to the World Bank.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.