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NORTHWEST NEWS

Judge Tells Attacker to Study Sikhs as Part of Sentence

Andrew Ramsey pleaded guilty to counts of intimidation and assault targeting Harwinder Singh Dodd

Oregon Passes Bill to Keep Guns From Stalkers and Abusers

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature pushed through a gun control bill Thursday after they sacrificed a more sweeping one.

Lillard, Kemba, Lebron Among Noteworthy All-NBA Picks

Lillard receives All-NBA honors for the fourth time in his career.

Workshop Teaches ‘Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs’ Curriculum

Applications open for educators’ workshop on teaching Portland Black history

NEWS BRIEFS

Legislature Passes Youth Criminal Justice Reform

State senate passes SB 1008, which would mitigate mandatory minimums for youth ...

The Portland Clinic Foundation Awards $60,000 to 28 Portland-Area Nonprofits

Recipients include SEI, Coalition of Communities of Color ...

Albina Vision Trust Receives Meyer Memorial Trust Grant

Two-year grant will be used to increase Albina Vision’s capacity ...

Community Celebrates New Evelyn Crowell Center African American Exhibit at Cascade

On Monday, June 3, the PCC Cascade campus will host an official opening ceremony for the Evelyn Crowell Center for African American...

James Bible Seeks Bellevue City Council Seat

Civil rights attorney says he wants to prioritize housing, wages ...

Hate makes a comeback in the Pacific Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Nearly two decades after the Aryan Nations' Idaho compound was demolished, far-right extremists are maintaining a presence in the Pacific Northwest.White nationalism has been on the rise across the U.S., but it has particular resonance along the Idaho-Washington border,...

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley proposes wilderness protections

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is taking another swing at adding wilderness protections to a large mountain above the Painted Hills near Mitchell in Eastern Oregon.The Statesman Journal reports the bill, introduced last week, would establish 58,000 acres of wilderness on...

Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant finds new home at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — By the end of last season, Missouri fans were enjoying quarterback Drew Lock's final days running the Tigers' offense and wondering who would take over this fall.The answer came in a Twitter post the night of Dec. 4 when Kelly Bryant announced he was transferring to...

OPINION

Another Case of Alzheimer’s

When I looked at my email in-box this afternoon, I encountered one of those messages that I dread: yet another person I know has been institutionalized as a result of Alzheimer’s. ...

More Bold Actions Needed to Abate the Nation’s $1.5 Trillion Debt Crisis

When a Black billionaire adopted Morehouse College’s 135th graduating class, paying their student loans, he not only impactedtheir lives, but also the lives of family members who have co-signed on these loans ...

Forget the Adversity Score, Just Dump the SAT

Forget the Adversity Score, Just Dump the SAT ...

On the History of Medical Marijuana

The recent legalization of cannabis medicinally throughout the United States of America has made Cannabis sativa L., colloquially termed marijuana, hemp, or weed, the growing topic of conversation. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ku Klux Klan rally in Ohio; no reported clashes, problems

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A small group of Ku Klux Klan members penned in by fencing, surrounded by police and drowned out by hundreds of protesters, held a rally in Ohio with no reported clashes or problems.The city of Dayton blocked streets with large trucks Saturday and brought in officers from...

FRENCH OPEN '19: A look at younger, less-famous challengers

PARIS (AP) — There's been unprecedented tennis parity so far in 2019, including the clay-court circuit leading to the French Open: A total of 23 players split the 25 WTA and ATP titles on the slow, red surface.That means there are plenty of people who can succeed over the next two weeks at...

'Huge' challenges as Ramaphosa takes oath in South Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday urged the country to pursue "an extraordinary feat of human endeavor" as he was sworn in for a five-year term with a delicate fight against government corruption ahead of him."The challenges our country face...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mexican American sisters of 'Vida' back amid gentrification

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Starz drama "Vida" returns for its second season on Sunday with an even deeper exploration of an issue facing many U.S. Latino communities: gentrification.The show follows Emma and Lyn, played Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera respectively, who have inherited from...

Adam Levine leaving 'The Voice' after 16 seasons

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Levine is leaving NBC's "The Voice" after 16 seasons.Carson Daly made the announcement Friday morning on the "Today" show. Daly said Gwen Stefani will return for season 17 in Levine's chair.The Maroon 5 frontman wrote a length Instagram post Friday, saying the...

Quentin Tarantino wins top dog award at Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France (AP) — Whether or not Quentin Tarantino wins the Palme d'Or this year, at least he's not coming home without a trophy.The director of the Cannes Film Festival entry "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" scooped up the top prize at the Palm Dog Awards. The awards are handed out...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Leonard scores 27, Raptors advance to first NBA Finals

TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry stole the ball and pushed it ahead, then waited for Kawhi Leonard to arrive...

At the spelling bee, the most common sound is the toughest

WASHINGTON (AP) — The word that knocked runner-up Naysa Modi out of last year's Scripps National Spelling...

Nepal's record-setting Everest guide returns hero

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Family, friends and supporters welcomed a veteran Sherpa guide upon his return to...

US sanctions on Iran felt in Iraqi Shiite tourist shops

BAGHDAD (AP) — For years, Karar Hussein has sold sweets in his shop near the entrance to one of Shiite...

Taiwanese same-sex couples wed at vibrant banquet

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — More than 1,000 people attended a mass wedding banquet in Taiwan's capital to...

Iran's president says country could hold vote over nuke deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president has suggested the Islamic Republic could hold a referendum over the...

McMenamins
Stephen Ohlemacher the Associated Press


Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Millions of taxpayers who take advantage of deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes would be targeted for potential tax hikes under a GOP plan to raise taxes by $290 billion over the next decade to help reduce the nation's deficit.

Some workers could also see their employer-provided health benefits taxed for the first time, though aides cautioned that the proposal is still fluid.

The plan by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who serves on the 12-member debt supercommittee, would raise revenue by limiting the tax breaks enjoyed by people who itemize their deductions, in exchange for lower overall tax rates for families at every income level. Taxpayers who already take the standard deduction instead of itemizing - about two-thirds of filers - could see tax cuts. The one-third of taxpayers who itemize their deductions might find themselves paying more.

The top income tax rate would fall from 35 percent to 28 percent, and the bottom rate would drop from 10 percent to 8 percent. The rates between would be reduced as well.

About 50 million households itemized their deductions in 2009, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. About 35 million households claimed the mortgage interest deduction, and 36 million deducted charitable donations. Nearly 41 million claimed deductions for paying state and local taxes.

A GOP congressional aide said the plan is designed to raise taxes on households in the top two tax brackets. That would affect individuals making more than $174,400 and married couples making more than $212,300.

Some Republicans say the plan offers a potential breakthrough in deficit-reduction talks that have stalled over GOP opposition to tax hikes and Democrats' objection to cuts in benefit programs without significant revenue increases.

But Republicans are becoming increasingly divided over the issue of raising taxes. A growing number of Republicans in Congress say they would support a tax reform package that increases revenues, if it is coupled with significant spending cuts, enough to reduce the deficit by about $4 trillion over the next decade.

The so-called "go big" strategy has been endorsed by a bipartisan group of about 150 lawmakers from the House and Senate. A rival group of 72 House Republicans sent a letter to the supercommittee Thursday, urging members to oppose any tax increases.

"We must recognize that increasing the tax burden on American businesses and citizens, especially during a fragile recovery, is irresponsible and dangerous to the health of the United States," said the letter, circulated by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

Democrats, meanwhile, have panned Toomey's plan, saying the rate reductions would cut taxes for the wealthy so much that taxes on the middle class would have to be raised. They also argue that Toomey's plan would generate less revenue than advertised.

They note that Toomey's plan assumes that tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush, and extended through 2012 under President Barack Obama, would continue. Toomey's plan would then cut the tax rates even more.

The supercommittee has a Wednesday deadline to come up with a plan to reduce government borrowing by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. If the panel fails, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to domestic and military programs would take effect in 2013.

Some details of Toomey's plan remain in flux, in part because he is open to changes to help forge an agreement, said the GOP aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations. The aide confirmed that Toomey's plan is closely modeled after a proposal by three experts at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private research organization perhaps best known for deciding when recessions begin and end.

The three experts are Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor who was President Ronald Regan's chief economic adviser; Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; and Daniel Feenberg, a research associate at the bureau.

Under their plan, the tax benefits from itemizing deductions and excluding employer-provided health insurance from taxable income would be limited to 2 percent of taxpayer's adjusted gross income.

That means if a taxpayer has an adjusted gross income of $50,000, deductions and exemptions could reduce his or her tax bill by a maximum of $1,000.

Taxpayers who face limits on their tax breaks could opt to take the standard deduction instead. Currently, about one-third of tax filers itemize their deductions. The rest claim the standard deduction, which in 2011 is $5,800 for individuals and $11,600 for married couples filing jointly.

The plan envisions millions of additional taxpayers switching to the standard deduction, which would simplify their returns, MacGuineas said.

Policymakers across the political spectrum agree the federal tax code is too complicated, and most agree on a basic formula for simplifying it: Reduce tax breaks and use the additional revenue to lower the overall tax rates for everyone.

There is little agreement, however, on which tax breaks to target.

Toomey's plan attempts to sidestep debates over which tax breaks to target and instead proposes to limit taxpayers' overall ability to reduce their tax bills.

"This is a far more practical way to start to scale back the influence and costs of tax expenditures in the code by kind of glopping them together and capping them," MacGuineas said. "You're not picking the winners and losers."

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