10-28-2020  4:07 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Vote like your life depends on it
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Paris Train Attack Hero Makes Bid for Congress From Oregon

Over 60% of Alek Skarlatos' campaign funding comes from out of state, Democratic incumbent Peter DeFazio said during their debate. Some came from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

President of Portland NAACP Resigns Ahead of November Election

Rev. Mondainé denies allegations of abuse

Candidate Iannarone Welcomes Ruling on Complaint Against Mayor Wheeler

Mayoral challenger Sarah Iannarone has welcomed the Multnomah County Circuit court ruling requiring City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero to look into a complaint against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for loaning his own re-election campaign 0,000

Some Hospitals in Crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

The global surge in coronavirus infections is hitting the United States hard and overwhelming hospitals across the nation

NEWS BRIEFS

Confederate Flag Not Welcome in Oregon Historic Cemeteries

Oregon’s Commission on Historic Cemeteries recommends Confederate flags not be allowed in historic cemeteries, but cemeteries that...

The Last Day to Safely Mail Your Ballot is Tuesday, October 27

Ballot envelopes must be signed and ballots received by the elections office by Election Day, Tuesday, November 3 at 8:00 PM. Postmark...

iPhone Users: Beware of the 'Apple Support' Scam

Oregonians to hang up on unsolicited phone calls that sound like they are from Apple. ...

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Give Virtual Lecture Nov. 9 at Oregon State University

Gates is a Harvard University professor and host of a groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning PBS genealogy series “The African...

New Crisis Line will Serve BIPOC Community

Lines for Life have launched a new crisis line dedicated to and staffed by Black, Indigenous and People of Color ...

Governor extends Oregon's state of emergency due to COVID-19

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday extended Oregon's declaration of a state of emergency until Jan. 2 as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.The Oregon Health Authority reported 391 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the state total to...

Eugene man charged with murder, bias crime in man's death

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene man has been charged with murder and bias crime in connection with the fatal shooting of a man Monday in east Salem, police said. Salem police detectives arrested and charged 46-year-old Manuel North with second-degree murder, first-degree bias crime, and unlawful...

Missouri wide receiver arrested, dismissed from team

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri wide receiver Maurice Massey has been dismissed from the team after being arrested, school officials said Monday.Massey, 20, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of third-degree domestic assault, fourth-degree assault and first-degree property damage, according to...

Missouri grinds out 1st victory over Kentucky in five years

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri kept handing the ball to Larry Rountree, and Kentucky barely got a chance to take a turn. Rountree carried 37 times for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers dominated the clock and the Wildcats in a 20-10 victory on Saturday.Missouri (2-2 Southeastern...

OPINION

Open Letter to the Community on the Multnomah County Circuit Court Judicial Election

History has shown us that judges impact systemic change and have the opportunity to include the voices of our communities in the process. ...

Squaring Away the Cube

When I first heard that entertainer Ice Cube is supporting Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid, I did not believe it. ...

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

The Skanner News Statewide Election 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Portland Mayor, Portland City Council, and more ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Philadelphia victim's family sought ambulance, not police

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The family of a Black man killed by Philadelphia police officers in a shooting caught on video had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said.Police said Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was wielding a knife...

Tennessee Senate nominee connects activism to election

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — When the Rev. Tondala Hayward learned about plans to build a landfill next to her church in a predominantly Black, working-class neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, she called Marquita Bradshaw.Bradshaw spoke out against the landfill and helped Hayward mobilize...

Philadelphia victim's family sought ambulance, not police

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The family of a Black man killed by Philadelphia police officers in a shooting caught on video had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday.Police said Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was wielding...

ENTERTAINMENT

If Trump wanted people to avoid '60 Minutes,' it didn't work

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump can still be a potent television draw, although in the case of “60 Minutes” this past week, it probably wasn't what he intended.The 17.4 million people who watched the CBS newsmagazine, featuring interviews with Trump and Democratic...

Jon Stewart will be back in the host's chair for Apple TV+

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jon Stewart is returning to TV, more than five years after bowing out as host of “The Daily Show” and with a new home at Apple TV+.Stewart will host an hour-long, current affairs series that will explore topics of national interest as well as his advocacy...

Chrissy Teigen delivers heartfelt essay on miscarriage

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chrissy Teigen wrote a heartfelt message about the recent loss of her third child with husband John Legend.Teigen delivered the essay in a Medium post Tuesday. It was her first public response since she and Legend announced the loss of their son, Jack, in a heart-wrenching...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: UN: Over 2 million virus cases in just 1 week

LONDON — The World Health Organization said countries globally reported more than 2 million confirmed...

Election 2020 Today: Anxious voters, candidates look west

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday in Election 2020, six days until Election Day: HOW TO VOTE:...

Israel looks to far-right figure to head Holocaust memorial

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel plans to nominate a far-right former general and Cabinet minister who once called...

Cake Lady helps wounded soldiers heal, one treat at a time

LONDON (AP) — David Wiseman heard Kath Ryan before he met her.He was at the far end of Ward S-4 at Selly...

Heathrow loses claim to being Europe's biggest airport

LONDON (AP) — London’s Heathrow Airport says it has lost its place as Europe’s busiest air...

Qatar apologizes, investigates forced airport examinations

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar apologized Wednesday after authorities forcibly examined female...

Vote like your life depends on it
Charles Babington the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- News flash: Congressional Republicans want to raise your taxes.

Impossible, right? GOP lawmakers are so virulently anti-tax, surely they will fight to prevent a payroll tax increase on virtually every wage-earner starting Jan. 1, right?

Apparently not.

Many of the same Republicans who fought hammer-and-tong to keep the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts from expiring on schedule are now saying a different "temporary" tax cut should end as planned. By their own definition, that amounts to a tax increase.

The tax break extension they oppose is sought by President Barack Obama. Unlike proposed changes in the income tax, this policy helps the 46 percent of all Americans who owe no federal income taxes but who pay a "payroll tax" on practically every dime they earn.

There are other differences as well, and Republicans say their stand is consistent with their goal of long-term tax policies that will spur employment and lend greater certainty to the economy.

"It's always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, "but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again." The Texas lawmaker is on the House GOP leadership team.

The debate is likely to boil up in coming weeks as a special bipartisan committee seeks big deficit reductions and weighs which tax cuts are sacrosanct.

At issue is a tax that the vast majority of workers pay, but many don't recognize because they don't read, or don't understand their pay stubs. Workers normally pay 6.2 percent of their wages toward a tax designated for Social Security. Their employer pays an equal amount, for a total of 12.4 percent per worker.

As part of a bipartisan spending deal last December, Congress approved Obama's request to reduce the workers' share to 4.2 percent for one year; employers' rate did not change. Obama wants Congress to extend the reduction for an additional year. If not, the rate will return to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1.

Obama cited the payroll tax in his weekend radio and Internet address Saturday, when he urged Congress to work together on measures that help the economy and create jobs. "There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend," he said.

Social Security payroll taxes apply only to the first $106,800 of a worker's wages. Therefore, $2,136 is the biggest benefit anyone can gain from the one-year reduction.

The great majority of Americans make less than $106,800 a year. Millions of workers pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes.

The 12-month tax reduction will cost the government about $120 billion this year, and a similar amount next year if it's renewed.

That worries Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, and a member of the House-Senate supercommittee tasked with finding new deficit cuts. Tax reductions, "no matter how well-intended," will push the deficit higher, making the panel's task that much harder, Camp's office said.

But Republican lawmakers haven't always worried about tax cuts increasing the deficit. They led the fight to extend the life of a much bigger tax break: the major 2001 income tax reduction enacted under Bush. It was scheduled to expire at the start of this year. Obama campaigned on a pledge to end the tax break only for the richest Americans, but solid GOP opposition forced him to back down.

Many Republicans are adamant about not raising taxes but largely silent on what it would mean to let the payroll tax break expire.

Republicans cite key differences between the two "temporary" taxes, starting with the fact that the Bush measure had a 10-year life from the start. To stimulate job growth, these lawmakers say, it's better to reduce income tax rates for people and for companies than to extend the payroll tax break.

"We don't need short-term gestures. We need long-term fundamental changes in our tax structure and our regulatory structure that people who create jobs can rely on," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., when asked about the payroll tax matter.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., "has never believed that this type of temporary tax relief is the best way to grow the economy," said spokesman Brad Dayspring.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says payroll tax reductions give the economy a short-term boost. But it says the benefit is bigger if employers get the tax break instead of, or along with, workers.

Some top Republicans have taken a wait-and-see approach, expecting the payroll tax issue to be a bargaining chip in the upcoming debt reduction talks.

Neither House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, nor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has taken a firm stand on whether to extend the one-year tax cut.

Most GOP presidential candidates also are treading lightly.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did not flatly rule out an extra year for the payroll tax cut, but he "would prefer to see the payroll tax cut on the employer side" to spur job growth, his campaign said.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich said Republicans will fall under increasing pressure to extend the payroll tax cut. If they refuse, he said in a recent speech, "we're going to end up in a position where we're going to raise taxes on the lowest-income Americans the day they go to work."

Many Democrats also are ambivalent about Obama's proposed tax cut extension. They are more focused on protecting social programs from deep spending cuts. Some worry that a multiyear reduction in the tax designated for Social Security could undermine that program's health and stature.

For decades the payroll tax generated more revenue than the Social Security paid out in benefits. The excess was used to fund other government operations. Last year, however, Social Security benefits began outstripping revenue from its designated sources, forcing the program to start tapping its "trust fund" of government obligations.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Mingus Mapps 2020
Port of Seattle S King County Fund 2020
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Make a Plan to Vote

Kevin Saddler