06-18-2019  9:48 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Progressive Climate Policy Poised to Pass in Oregon

Oregon is on the precipice of becoming the second state after California to adopt a cap-and-trade program, a market-based approach to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions behind global warming.

Photos: Oregon Welcomes Shakespeare Festival’s Newly Appointed Artistic Director

On Wednesday, June 12, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hosted a reception at the Froelick Gallery to welcome newly appointed artistic director Nataki Garret.

Juneteenth Celebrations Expand Across Metro Area, State

Gresham, Vancouver events join decades-old Portland celebration of the effective end of slavery

Portland Black Pride in June

Midway through Pride Month, there are still a number of events throughout Portland that celebrate LGBTQ community members of color.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Winter Light Festival 2020 Now Accepting Art Submissions

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National African American Reparations Commission, ACLU to Host Forum on Reparations

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Must-See Shows Open in OSF Outdoor Theatre

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Roosevelt High School Students Earn National Recognition for Resiliency

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Seattle Art Museum Appoints Amada Cruz as New Director and CEO

The Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) announced today that Amada Cruz has been chosen as the museum’s new Illsley...

3 cougar sightings reported by residents in Oregon county

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Oregon removes assisted suicide wait for gravely ill people

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House sent the governor a measure Tuesday amending the state's assisted suicide law by removing the waiting period for people who have less than 15 days to live.It's a move that opponents say amounts to an expansion of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, arguing...

OPINION

U.S. Attempt to Erase Harriet Tubman

Traitors like Jefferson Davis and other Confederates are memorialized while a woman who risked her life time and again to free enslaved people is simply dismissed. ...

Watching a Father and Son

You must have seen this video of a father speaking with his pre-verbal son about the season finale of Empire. ...

The Congressional Black Caucus Must Oppose HR 246

If every tactic that was used by African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement and/or in the fight against apartheid South Africa was either criminalized or attacked by the US Congress, how would you respond? ...

Jamestown to Jamestown: Commemorating 400 Years of the African Diaspora Experience

We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democratic panel to open debate on reparations for slavery

WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a decade's absence, the case for reparations is returning to Capitol Hill, this time amid a growing discussion in the Democratic Party about what the country might owe to the descendants of slaves in the United States.Actor and activist Danny Glover and...

Prosecutors: Suspect made album art with church arson photos

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — The suspect in three Louisiana church arsons took photos and videos of the fires while they were burning and shared them with his friends, federal prosecutors said Monday.Prosecutors presented the images during a detention hearing for Holden Matthews, 21, saying they...

John Cusack apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet

Actor John Cusack is apologizing for tweeting an anti-Semitic cartoon and quotation after defending the post, then deleting it.The image showed a blue Star of David above a hand pushing down on a group of people accompanied by a quote frequently misattributed to the philosopher Voltaire: "To learn...

ENTERTAINMENT

Final 2 competitive games help NBA Finals in ratings

NEW YORK (AP) — The two top winter sports crowned their champions as summer neared, separated by exactly 10 million viewers.The sixth game of the NBA Finals, where the Toronto Raptors dethroned the depleted Golden State Warriors, was seen by 18.76 million viewers in the United States,...

Jenni Rivera biopic in the works with her family's support

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The late Mexican-American singer and activist Jenni Rivera always dreamed of a biopic about her turbulent and inspirational life. Now, seven years after her untimely death, that dream is coming true.A feature film based on Rivera's life is officially in the works from...

John Cusack apologizes for anti-Semitic tweet

Actor John Cusack is apologizing for tweeting an anti-Semitic cartoon and quotation after defending the post, then deleting it.The image showed a blue Star of David above a hand pushing down on a group of people accompanied by a quote frequently misattributed to the philosopher Voltaire: "To learn...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Prosecutor: Navy SEAL bragged about killing captive in Iraq

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A decorated Navy SEAL stabbed to death a wounded and captive teenage Islamic State fighter...

Democratic panel to open debate on reparations for slavery

WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a decade's absence, the case for reparations is returning to Capitol...

Lawmakers will hear from pilots who have criticized Boeing

The president of the pilots' union at American Airlines says Boeing made mistakes in its design of the 737 Max and...

Porous border could hinder efforts to stem spread of Ebola

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Russia, China block UN from saying NKorea violated sanctions

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Facebook's currency Libra faces financial, privacy pushback

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is getting a taste of the regulatory pushback it will face as it creates a...

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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