Three giveaways stand out: the alternative minimum tax repeal, the estate tax repeal and the reduced rates for pass through incomes. Repealing the alternative minimum tax costs $440 billion over the next decade. Repeal of the estate and gifts tax adds an additional $239 billion to the deficit over the first ten years and $443 billion over the next decade. The pass through tax rate of 25% costs $770 billion. All are designed to help President Trump, his donors and friends and his family members. Let’s discuss them in reverse order.

The GOP Senate tax proposal is Robin Hood in Reverse. It steals from the poor to give to the very rich. At a time when three people own half our nation’s wealth, the depth of the theft envisaged in this proposal is simply inexcusable. This analysis does not include the GOP budget proposal’s efforts to cut a trillion from Medicaid and $500 billion from Medicare to balance these tax cuts.

We grew up next to a local school and spent the better parts of nearly every summer playing baseball with all the neighborhood kids and friends on the school’s ball fields. Our neighborhood was filled with large catholic families and so with the neighborhood and friends we had enough for nearly two full teams.

The House and Senate GOP tax reform plans propose to restrict and eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). This deduction has been in existence since 1913 and about 1/3rd of all taxpayers use this deduction. Its purpose is to avoid double taxation – i.e. you do not have to pay federal taxes on income you do not actually have because you paid it in taxes to the state or local government.

Separatism, autonomy and nationalism have seemed like excellent ideas at various times in history, too often they have also gone in some very bad directions. Everywhere we look today, an important group wants their separate state: the Kurds, the Scots, the Catalans, the Ukrainians, the Palestinians, the Irish, the Flemish and the Walloons, the Quebecois, the Tamils, the Northern League of Italy and the different components of the ex-Yugoslavia to name a few. It is partly related to language, religious and cultural differences, partly due to economics, resources and financial disputes, and partly rooted in long histories of political, religious and linguistic oppression. These conflicts can and do get out of control and can lead to terribly destructive civil wars with long tails.

Open Enrollment for Covered California starts 11/1/17 and ends 1/31/2018. https://www.coveredca.com/apply/ Despite Republican efforts to repeal and replace, they have not succeeded. Despite President Trump’s efforts to sabotage ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act), California has developed workarounds to continue California’s remarkable progress in covered our state’s uninsured.

In thinking about the United States response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, I began to wonder why they cannot vote in Presidential elections, and why their representatives cannot vote in the House of Representatives or the Senate. These policies appear to be vestiges of our short imperial quest to acquire colonies during the late 19th and early 20th century, keeping up with the Europeans.

The Romans built great roads and bridges to transport commerce and armies, and great aqueducts and arches to transport water and baths and sewers for hygiene; they were so well built that they remain today throughout Europe. This is/was the eternal city. What will be the American legacy in 2000 years?

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center reports that the Republican tax plan will increase the federal deficit by $2.4 billion over the next ten years and then another $3.2 billion over the following decade. Over the first decade, it would reduce business taxes by $2.6 trillion, eliminate estate and gift taxes for the extremely wealthy by $240 billion and increase individual income taxes by $470 billion.