10-16-2019  7:11 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Judge grants compassionate release for man serving life

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ordered the release of a 76-year-old man who was sentenced to life for running a large Portland cocaine distribution ring, finding he meets the "extraordinary and compelling" reasons for compassionate release.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports despite...

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used fans to clear the air when the fluorescent lights caught fire or smoked with noxious fumes. When black oil dripped onto desks and floors, they caught leaks with a bucket and duct-taped...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bulgaria arrests 6 soccer fans following racist acts

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian police arrested six soccer fans Wednesday and identified 15 people linked to making racist gestures, including Nazi salutes, during a European Championship qualifying match against England.Bulgarian fans also directed monkey noises at England's black players...

UEFA punishes Lazio for fans' racism at Europa League game

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has punished Lazio for fans' racist behavior by closing one end of Stadio Olimpico for its Europa League game against Celtic.UEFA says its disciplinary panel also threatened Lazio with a one-game full stadium closure, suspended for a one-year probationary...

Some decry Gov. Cuomo for using racial slur during interview

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Some criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday for using a racial slur for African Americans while discussing historical discrimination toward darker-skinned Italian immigrants.The Democrat used the slur in an interview on WAMC radio while speaking about Columbus Day...

ENTERTAINMENT

Only 3 returning big network shows see rise in live viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC's sophomore drama "A Million Little Things," reality show "Shark Tank" and the Fox first-responders drama "9-1-1" have something in common that they can take pride in.Over the first three weeks of the television season, they are the only three of 49 prime-time shows...

AP Exclusive: Julie Andrews reflects on her Hollywood years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Everyone is on their best behavior when Julie Andrews is around.It's early June in Los Angeles and Andrews is coming to film segments for a night of guest programming on Turner Classic Movies and speak about her new book, "Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years," which...

Gina Rodriguez apologizes for singing N-word lyric

NEW YORK (AP) — Gina Rodriguez has apologized for singing along on her Instagram story to a Fugees verse that includes the N-word.The "Jane the Virgin" actress deleted the short video she posted Tuesday and replaced it with her apology, but not before memes and other backlash ensued....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals...

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used...

Kim rides horse on sacred peak, vows to fight US sanctions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea released a series of photos Wednesday showing leader Kim Jong Un...

Probe uncovers high-level unease over Trump, Giuliani moves

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment inquiry is exposing new details about unease in the State...

Tensions high as South Sudan faces unity government deadline

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's fragile peace deal is faltering less than a month before the...

Chinese snooping tech spreads to nations vulnerable to abuse

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals...

McMenamins
Stephen Ohlemacher the Associated Press

The president is taking a risky gamble by proposing a rollback on tax breaks for corporations that buy their own business jets



WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is renewing an old fight with the business community by insisting that $400 billion in tax increases be part of a deficit-reduction package. His proposals have languished on Capitol Hill, repeatedly blocked by Republicans, often with help from Democrats.

Some would raise big money. Limiting tax deductions for high-income families and small business owners could raise more than $200 billion over the next decade. Others are more symbolic, such as scaling back a tax break for companies that buy corporate jets.

The corporate jet proposal would raise $3 billion over the next decade, according to GOP congressional aides. That's a relatively small sum in the big scheme of Washington budgets, but Obama and Democrats call attention to it repeatedly in their effort to portray Republicans as defenders of corporate fat cats.

No matter how Democrats characterize their proposals as revenue raisers or plugging tax loopholes, GOP leaders oppose them all, arguing that raising taxes in a bad economy would only make matters worse.

"If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars," Obama said this week, "then that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship, that means we've got to stop funding certain grants for medical research, that means that food safety may be compromised, that means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden."

The White House has identified about $600 billion in tax increases it wants over the next decade. About $400 billion of them were offered as part of deficit-reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden. That would be paired with more than $1 trillion in spending cuts.

Some of the tax proposals are vague and budget experts have yet to calculate just how much they would raise. For example, limiting deductions for high-income families and small businesses could raise anywhere between $210 billion and $290 billion, depending on what threshold is established as high income.

Obama is proposing to eliminate $41 billion in tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies, raise taxes on investment fund managers by $21 billion and change the way many businesses value their inventories for tax purposes. The change in inventory accounting would raise an estimated $70 billion over the next decade, hitting manufacturers and energy companies, among others.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has given Congress an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the current debt ceiling, currently $14.3 trillion, to avoid defaulting on the government's financial obligations for the first time in the nation's history. He warns that a default could trigger potentially dire consequences for an already anemic economy, including higher interest rates, tighter credit and new rounds of job layoffs. The government hit the debt ceiling in May and has been juggling accounts since then to make all its payments.

Obama says he is proposing a balanced approach that spreads the pain among people who rely on government services and those most able to finance them.

While Republican leaders argue that raising taxes is bad policy, bad politics and too unpopular to pass the Republican-controlled House, several GOP senators have said they are willing to consider eliminating unspecified tax breaks to reduce the deficit.

Two weeks ago, 33 Republican senators joined a 73-27 majority to repeal a $5 billion annual tax subsidy for ethanol gasoline blends. On Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said, "I would like to do away with special tax breaks but not legitimate business deductions."

But GOP leaders insist there is no support among Republicans to impose the kind of tax increases Obama is proposing.

"The president is sorely mistaken if he believes a bill to raise the debt ceiling and raise taxes would pass the House," Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "The votes simply aren't there, and they aren't going to be there because the American people know tax hikes destroy jobs."

Among the tax increases proposed by the White House and the amount they'd raise over the next decade:

- Limit itemized deductions, including those for charitable contributions and mortgage interest, for families and small business owners with high incomes. Under current law, if a taxpayer's top income tax rate is 35 percent - the highest rate - a $100 deduction is worth $35 in tax savings. For several years, Obama has proposed limiting itemized deductions for people making above $250,000 to 28 percent, meaning a $100 deduction would be worth only $28 in tax savings at most. That would raise $293 billion, according to congressional estimates.

A similar proposal would gradually phase out itemized deductions for people making more than $500,000, raising "in the ballpark of $210 billion," said Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, one of the House Democratic negotiators in the Biden talks.

- Change the way businesses value their inventory, raising an estimated $70 billion. Current law allows businesses to lower their taxable profits - and their tax bills - by using an accounting method that can inflate the cost of goods sold. Obama proposes to phase out the practice, known as last-in, first out, or LIFO.

- Increase taxes on investment fund managers, mainly hedge funds and private equity firms, raising about $21 billion. Investment managers typically pay capital gains taxes on their fees, with a top rate of 15 percent. Obama wants to tax the fees as regular income, with a top tax rate of 35 percent.

- Eliminate about $41 billion in tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies. Obama has called for eliminating tax breaks for all oil and gas companies every year since he took office in 2009. The biggest is a deduction for production expenses that is available to all manufacturers. In May, the Senate rejected a smaller proposal that targeted the five biggest companies: Shell Oil Co., ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP America and Chevron Corp.

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Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn, Andrew Taylor and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

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