Newswire : Black America benefits from Biden signing Inflation Reduction Act

President Biden signs IRA as members of U.S. Senate and House look on

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the historic $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act into law, a major accomplishment for the administration and a Democratic Party that’s now looking with more optimism toward November’s crucial midterm elections.
The bill represents the most significant climate investment in U.S. history.
It includes strengthening critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act, providing Medicare with authority to negotiate certain prescription drug costs, and administration officials anticipate it will create jobs with family-sustaining wages. 
Additionally, the law will reduce the national deficit.
Biden said new taxes would pay for the bill, including a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and a 1% tax on stock buyback.
Overall, it’s projected that the measure would result in the government raking in more than $700 billion over ten years while spending about $430 billion to help reduce carbon emissions and securing the extension of subsidies in the health care law.
“This legislation is a game changer. It will create jobs, lower costs, increase U.S. competitiveness, reduce air pollution, and, of course, tackle the climate crisis,” former Vice President Al Gore told  The Climate 202.
“We have crossed a major threshold, and it’s going to have significant impacts on international climate action,” said Gore, long a crusader of environmental justice and a Nobel Prize winner for climate activism.
The new law should primarily assist African American families.
According to a study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Black households are more exposed to inflation fluctuations than their white peers. 
Researchers concluded that if prices paid by white households increase by 7 percent over a year, calculations suggest that one may expect them to increase by 7.5 percent for Black families.
“In our research, we examine how this informs the trade-off between inflation and unemployment stabilization for White and Black households,” the study authors explained.
“The result implies that when evaluating trade-offs between inflation and unemployment, one ought to keep in mind that the costs of inflation may be borne disproportionately by the more disadvantaged group.”
With gas, food, and other prices rising, the authors concluded that necessities such as groceries, electricity, and wireless phone service make up a larger share of Black families’ budgets.
The study said that Black households also spend a more significant portion of their income on goods and services with prices that change more often.
The result, according to researchers, isn’t a mystery: “Black families will suffer the worst effects of rising inflation because they lag behind their White counterparts in income, wealth, financial savings and home ownership.”
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr, NNPA President and CEO, emphasized, “Black America will definitely benefit economically and socially from the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act. “President Biden continues to keep his promise to our families and communities across the nation,” Chavis stated.
“We also note that Black owned businesses including the Black Press of America will also have increased opportunities to expand economic development, innovation, advertising, and new workforce advances as a direct result of the Inflation Reduction Act.”
“A large number of Black families live paycheck to paycheck and cannot easily escape the constantly increasing wealth gap between them and the other demographics, especially the white,” said Ellie Walters , CEO of .
“Inflation often makes this dilemma worse, since during inflation, wages are cut, and workers are laid off. These low-income earners, largely made up of Black community members, are trapped by an economic cycle that seems rigged against them.”
Ronda Brunson, an expert in financial planning and credit restoration at  Project Restore Bmore, agreed that Black households would continue to feel the impact of rising inflation.
“Most Black homes with car notes are paying double-digit interest rates, same for credit cards. Yet, we are not conditioned to go for better but to be grateful for whatever approval without contesting,” Brunson asserted.
According to the Brookings Institute, the median wealth of a white household is $188,200, which is 7.8 times more than the average Black household at $24,100.
Two years ago, the homeownership rate for white Americans was about 73% compared to 42% for Black Americans.

Newswire: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare

Supreme Court

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Supreme Court In a significant victory for the Biden-Harris administration and Americans who depend on affordable health care, the Supreme Court rejected the latest challenge to President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. The challenge stemmed from whether the individual mandate could be cut from the rest of the law or whether the justices should strike down the entire law. Former President Trump made it his mission to get rid of the law, which has provided millions of Americans with access to affordable health care, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. The court ruled 7-2, with Justice Stephen Breyer writing for the majority, striking down a lower court ruling and determining that the plaintiffs — Texas and 17 other GOP-led states — did not show that they have the standing to bring the initial suits. “We conclude that the plaintiffs in this suit failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional,” wrote Justice Breyer. “They have failed to show that they have the standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision. Therefore, we reverse the Fifth Circuit’s judgment in respect to standing, vacate the judgment, and remand the case with instructions to dismiss,” the Justice continued. “We do not reach these questions of the Act’s validity … for Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them. Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented. Reportedly, 31 million Americans have health coverage connected to the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. Also, a guarantee of access to continuous insurance coverage is protected for more than 54 million people with preexisting conditions because of the health care law’s provisions that prevent insurance companies from canceling or refusing to establish policies because of pre-existing conditions.

Newswire: Georgia voters will decide fate of Senate and a new South

News Analysis By Rev. Jesse Jackson 

GA Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock

( – On Jan. 5, Georgia voters will decide the runoff for their two U.S. Senate seats. Their votes will determine whether Republicans retain control of the Senate or whether Democrats gain a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Kamala Harris the tiebreaking vote.
The race is a microcosm of America’s struggle to find a way forward and of Georgia and the South’s struggle to build a new South. The two Democratic challengers reflect the new age still waiting to be born. Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is a distinguished heir to the King tradition.
Thirty-three-year-old Jon Ossoff, educated at Georgetown and the London School of Economics, was born and raised in Atlanta, interned for the late Rep. John Lewis and served as a national security staffer to Rep. Hank Johnson. He has been CEO of Insight TWI, a London based documentary maker that focuses on detailing corruption in foreign countries.
Both Rev. Warnock and Ossoff have put forth a moderate platform for change. Both support immediate action to forestall an economic collapse as the pandemic spikes. With Republicans blocking action in the Senate, millions now face an end to unemployment insurance, an end to the eviction moratorium — with one-third of households behind on their rent or mortgages — and an end to the student debt moratorium, with millions of young people still struggling to find jobs. Without assistance, states and localities will be forced to cut services and lay off employees like teachers and firefighters.
Both Warnock and Ossoff support strengthening the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option and reducing prescription drug prices but oppose Medicare for All. Both call for bold action to deal with the reality of catastrophic climate change but oppose the Green New Deal. Both are for lifting the minimum wage, and for assistance to small businesses. Their Republican opponents are the sitting senators — Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Both Loeffler and Perdue are multimillionaires. Both were charged with insider trading, selling stocks after receiving private briefings on the threat posed by the pandemic. Both dubiously claimed that their advisers made the trades without their knowledge.
Both tout themselves as Donald Trump supporters. They oppose the Affordable Care Act, and support alternatives that would leave hundreds of thousands of Georgians without health care. Both, lavishly supported by oil and gas interests, refuse to consider climate change a major threat. Loeffler, the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, a women’s professional basketball team, loudly denounced support given to the Black Lives Matter movement, leading her players to wear T-shirts saying Vote Warnock. Neither Perdue nor Loeffler bother to offer a serious agenda to address the problems that Georgians face. They joined Republican leader Mitch McConnell in blocking the rescue act in the midst of the pandemic.
Neither Loeffler nor Perdue have a clue or a care for working for poor people in Georgia. So how do they hope to get elected? Both have adopted the same strategy: echo Donald Trump’s divisive race-based populism and benefit from systematic suppression of the vote. They’ve booked nearly $200 million in vicious attack ads against their opponents, painting them as a threat to all things American.
Perdue falsely paints Ossoff as a “radical socialist.” In a classic anti-Semitic trope, Perdue’s campaign released an ad that lengthened Ossoff nose. Loeffler paints Warnock as a “radical” who will “change this country forever,” nonsensically promoting herself as the “firewall in stopping socialism in America.” In her stump speech, in less than 45 seconds, she wildly links the distinguished minister to Obama’s minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Fidel Castro, George Soros, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Loeffler and Perdue won’t admit that Joe Biden won the presidential election, nor that he won Georgia. Adopting Donald Trump’s baseless claims of fraud, they wrote a joint letter calling for the resignation of the Georgia secretary of state, a conservative Republican supporter of Donald Trump.
He scorned the demand as “laughable.” What isn’t laughable is the long lines that black voters had to suffer in order to cast a vote in the primaries and November election. For years, Georgia — controlled by Republicans — has passed various measures to suppress the votes of minorities and the young, including gerrymandering districts, requiring photo ID, aggressive purging of voter rolls, and more. Notably, as the electorate has grown by over 2 million in the last seven years, Georgia has reduced the number of voting places by 10 percent. This has had a disproportionate effect on young and nonwhite voters whose registrations have surged. The contrasting campaigns make it clear that a vote for Loeffler or Perdue is a vote for continued dysfunction and obstruction.
A victory by either would further commit Republicans to Donald Trump’s toxic use of race-based division, lies and calumnies to divide working people, gaining victories for those who serve the rich and corporations. Two of the wealthiest senators, Loeffler and Perdue personify the con. Neither America nor Georgia can move forward until the growing majority that is desperate for change overcomes the systematic efforts to divide and suppress.
This country cannot begin to address the threats it faces – the pandemic, the economic collapse, corrosive and extreme inequality, catastrophic climate change, racial inequity, growing insecurity and a declining middle class – until those standing in the way are defeated. Loeffler says the “future of the country is at stake on January 5.” Of her many delusions, that one may be the closest to the truth.

Newswire : Civil rights groups oppose fast-tracked Supreme Court nominee:  Nation’s diversity not represented in its courts

By Charlene Crowell

Supreme Court building in Washington, D. C. and Amy Coney Barrett and her family, including two adopted Black children from Haiti
( – One of the most consequential decisions that presidents make are lifetime federal judicial appointments at every level: circuit, appellate and the U.S. Supreme Court. The independent federal judiciary is charged with ensuring that the nation’s courts are fair to all people. Even the phrase “equal justice under law” is carved in the stone façade of the Supreme Court building.
A recent American Bar Association blog states, “For the nation to continue to have trust in the integrity and independence of the federal judiciary, the process that places judges on the bench must be viewed as fair, unhurried and unbiased.”
But for Black America and other communities of color, throughout our history and continuing even today, ‘justice’ is often far from fair, nor is it unbiased. In recent years, the Supreme Court has declared that corporations should be treated like people, and that voting rights no longer need to be protected. In November, the high court is scheduled to revisit the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Other issues that may reach the Supreme Court could include whether federal agencies can preempt state laws protecting consumers from bad actors in the student loan servicer arena, and in payday, auto-title, and high-cost installment loans.  Even the nation’s half-century old Fair Housing Act could be revisited due to the Trump Administration’s roll-back of an Obama-era fair housing rule known as disparate impact. If allowed to stand, the burden of proving discrimination will be shifted to consumers instead of powerful corporations and others alleged to have violated the law.
“Over the next several years, the Supreme Court will make important and lasting decisions that affect every facet of our lives, including income inequality, the racial wealth gap, access to health care – including reproductive rights – and many other issues,” states a new CRL policy brief.
For these reasons and others, the passing of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg created a significant moment for the future of the court. As the second woman to ever serve as a Supreme Court Justice, the fondly-recalled ‘Notorious RBG’ broke gender barriers throughout her legal career, forging freedom and access for many who were historically marginalized.
And the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill that vacancy has triggered a chorus of civil rights organizations expressing their adamant opposition. As a former clerk to Justice Scalia, 1998-1999, Judge Coney Barrett has frequently lauded him as her mentor, and praised his judicial philosophy both as a law school professor and as a judge.
At the September 26 White House Rose Garden announcement of her nomination, Judge Coney Barrett said, “I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine too: A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”
Despite high praise by conservatives and the Senate Majority’s commitment to ram through her nomination, civil rights organizations and other advocates have expressed strong opposition to Judge Coney Barrett.
“We stand opposed to her confirmation to the Court,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Her confirmation would dramatically alter the Supreme Court in ways that would prove devastating for Black communities and other people of color across the country.”
Similarly, the head of the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization recently advised the Senate Judiciary Committee of the NAACP’s position on the nomination.
“Coming in the middle of a presidential election in which over seven million people have already voted, the Barrett nomination is as illegitimate as it is corrupt,” wrote Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO to the Judiciary Committee. “On issue after issue, we have found her to be stunningly hostile to civil rights.”
“Early and absentee votes are already being cast for the November election –and nominating a candidate for a lifetime appointment to this nation’s highest court during this electoral period undermines the democratic process and is a disservice to the American public”, said Sherilynn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Senators must also respect the clear will of the American people, and honor the precedent they set in 2016, by declining to consider any nominee until the winner of the presidential election is inaugurated.”
“The Senate majority needs to prioritize COVID-19 relief legislation for the rest of this year and not use the remaining time of this session to confirm judicial nominees, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to financial hardship”, said Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).
With less than three weeks before election day, the Senate began the confirmation process on Monday, October 12 with its Judiciary Committee hearings, chaired by Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. The committee is expected to vote on the nomination on October 22. As Senate Majority Leader, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is planning a floor vote for the week of October 26.
The rapid review of Judge Coney Barrett is a stark contrast to the lengthy, Senate-engineered delay of President Obama’s 2016 election year Supreme Court nomination.
On February 13, 2016, Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed. Weeks later on March 16 that year, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit. But the U.S. Senate refused to hold committee hearings or a floor vote for almost a year, and thereby denied President Obama the right to fill the court vacancy.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly boasted in a speech that August, “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.’ “Nearly a year later, the lengthy high court’s vacancy enabled President Trump to nominate Neil Gorsuch on February 1, 2017.The Senate confirmed Gorsuch on Friday, April 7, 2017 and was sworn in the following Monday, April 10. In real time, that nomination process took just two months.
It is also noteworthy that as the nation is increasingly diverse, the federal bench remains dominated by
White judges.
A recent Associated Press analysis of the Trump Administration’s judicial appointments found that White men were nearly 86% of the 206 lifetime appointments made. Similarly, White men were 85% of all Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys.
A court system that does not reflect the people it is sworn to protect is hard-pressed to ensure diverse backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints in judicial deliberations. Continuing the trend of nominating and confirming White, conservative justices strain — if not ignore — the nation’s pledge of equal justice.
In the words of the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, “During this pandemic and amid nationwide calls for racial justice, we cannot allow Trump to select a third justice who he has pledged will devastate our hard-fought civil and human rights — including access to health care for millions of people.”
The approaching electoral decisions include the future of hard-won civil rights, and whether they will continue to be systematically dismantled. It is in the hands of voters to decide. And the choices should be clear: a return to the multiple ills of bygone years or hopeful future with justice and opportunity for all.
Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending.
She can be reached at

Newswire: Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite pandemic

By Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post
President Trump said last Wednesday he will continue trying to toss out all of the Affordable Care Act, even as some in his administration, including Attorney General William P. Barr, have privately argued parts of the law should be preserved amid a pandemic.
“We want to terminate health care under Obamacare,” Trump told reporters Wednesday, the last day for his administration to change its position in a Supreme Court case challenging the law. “Obamacare, we run it really well. . . . But running it great, it’s still lousy health care.”
While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration’s legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions.
Democrats, who view the fight over the Affordable Care Act as a winning election issue for them, denounced the president’s decision.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that “the President’s insistence on doubling down on his senseless and cruel argument in court to destroy the ACA and every last one of its benefits and protections is unconscionable, particularly in the middle of a pandemic.”
Trump’s declaration caps months of debate within his administration about the best course of action, in which the stakes have only become greater now that the nation’s health-care system is struggling to deal with the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 80,000 Americans.
On Monday, Barr attended a meeting of senior officials in which he argued the administration should temper its opposition to Obamacare, leaving some parts of the law intact, according to people familiar with the discussion, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.
The case before the court was brought by a group of Republican states, and as part of that case, the Trump administration is seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, which passed in 2010 and became one of President Barack Obama’s most significant legislative victories.
Barr and others in the administration have argued that killing Obamacare completely could be politically damaging to Republicans in an election year, particularly when there is a national health crisis. In two previous case, the Supreme Court upheld the law, but if the high court were to strike it down, millions of people could find themselves without affordable health care.
The high court plans to hear arguments in the case later this year, and a decision may not come until 2021, well after the November election.
The latest ACA suit was organized by Republican attorneys general in Texas and other states. When the Trump administration declined to defend the law, a coalition of Democratic-led states entered.
The case began after the Republican-led Congress in 2017, unable to secure the votes to abolish the law, reduced to zero the penalty for a person not buying health insurance. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that in doing so, Congress had removed the essential tax element that the Supreme Court had previously ruled made the program constitutional.
A district judge in Texas agreed and said the entire law must fall. Eventually the Trump administration agreed with that assessment.

SOS alerts voters to urgency of Medicaid expansion

Shown above ANSC President John Zippert, Latasha Brown, Shelly Fearson, Senator Hank Sander, Jeanette Thomas, Johnny Ford and Faya Rose Toure


The Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy (SOS) a coalition of forty social justice organizations in the state, held a press conference at the State House in Montgomery, Alabama. State Senator Hank Sanders of Selma said, “We are here today to alert voters, candidates and the press to the importance of healthcare and the expansion of Medicaid in the November General Election. Governor Ivey, as Governor, can take the step of expanding Medicaid for thousands of people.” A study by the Kaiser Foundation indicates that 500 to 700 people each year in Alabama are likely to die without Medicaid expansion – so this is a matter of life and death. The Alabama Hospital Association, a trade association for over 100 hospitals in the state says, “If Alabama expands Medicaid, almost 300,000 uninsured Alabamians would receive health insurance coverage, an estimated 30,000 jobs would be created, and $28 billion in new economic activity would be generated.  Alabama would also save millions of dollars on current state services.  “On average, in Alabama, almost one out of every 10 hospital patients does not have health insurance, resulting in more than $530 million annually in uncompensated care,” said Danne Howard, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Alabama Hospital Association.  “Currently, 75 percent of Alabama’s hospitals are operating in the red, meaning the dollars they receive for caring for patients are not enough to cover the cost of that care.  Expanding Medicaid would be a significant investment in the state’s fragile health care infrastructure and would help maintain access to care for everyone.”

“In Greene County because we are a poor county, one in three patients do not have any insurance, which means we provide an average of $100,000 in uncompensated care per month. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would help people in our county whose earn less than 138% of poverty (approximately $20,000 annual for a family of four) to secure affordable health insurance coverage,” said Dr. Marcia Pugh, Administrator of the Greene County Health System. Former Mayor of Tuskegee, Johnny Ford said “The SOS Health Committee would be remiss if we did not point out that Medicaid expansion is the issue, which must be in the forefront of voter’s minds as they go to the pools in one week. Walt Maddox and the Democratic candidates for statewide office have pledged to expand Medicaid to 300,000 working poor people on their first day in office. Incumbent Governor Kay Ivey has not expanded Medicaid during her tenure. She says that the state cannot afford the costs of expanding Medicaid. She is also supporting a proposed rule change, which will eliminate 70,000 caregivers from Medicaid unless they meet a work requirement, which will also make them financially ineligible for Medicaid coverage. Maddox says that Alabama needs to help its neediest people to receive health insurance coverage to improve healthcare and economic opportunities in the State of Alabama.” John Zippert, SOS Health Committee Co-chair pointed out that since 2010 when Medicaid expansion has been available under the Affordable Care Act, Alabama has lost $7 billion in Federal support under the program. For the first three years of the program, there was no cost to the states to participate. This has increased by 2.5% a year until it reached the maximum 10% this fiscal year. In addition in coming years beginning in 2020, the disproportionate share reimbursement rate payment to rural hospitals will decline because the program assumes coverage for low-income people in the state by Medicaid expansion under the ACA. Rural hospitals in states like Alabama, that have not expanded Medicaid, will begin to take a “double-whammy” for not expanding Medicaid – more patients without insurance coupled with lower reimbursement rates. Danne Howard, with the Alabama Hospital Association, notes that a recent study showed that hospitals in expansion states were 84 percent less likely to close than hospitals in non-expansion states.  “Alabama has had 12 hospitals close since 2011, and more are on the verge of closing if something doesn’t change,” she added. “Plus, the economic impact in other states has been tremendous; Louisiana has added 19,000 jobs; nearly 50 percent of new enrollees in Ohio have been able to receive mental health and substance abuse treatment, and the state has seen a 17-percent drop in emergency department use; Kentucky has seen an increase in state revenues of $300 million.” SOS calls this critical issue to the attention of voters and urges every registered voter to vote on November 6, 2018 with the need for equitable health insurance coverage in mind.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell visits Greene County



Congresswoman Terri Sewell visited the Eutaw City Hall last Monday for a “Congress in Your Community” session serving people who live in Greene County. Sewell who represents the Seventh Congressional District of Alabama that stretches from Birmingham through Tuscaloosa into the western Alabama Black Belt counties came to give a report to her constituents on the status of legislation and projects from the nation’s Capitol. “Things in Washington, D. C. are pretty dysfunctional. We are supposed to be seeking solutions but mostly we see politicians, like President Trump sowing discord,” said Sewell. “ I am watching the 2018 Farm Bill to be sure that this major agricultural legislation serves family farmers, especially African-American farmers, does not slash child nutrition and SNAP (food stamps) too far and helps our catfish farmers, who are endangered by imports of mislabeled fish grown under less than satisfactory environmental conditions,” said Sewell.

Sewell indicated that much of the government, including farm programs, was operating under a Continuing Resolution for budgetary purposes until December 7, 2018. “ We still have to reach some decisions and compromises to fund the government. I hope we will be able to do this work during the lame duck session after the November election,” said Sewell. Sewell said she hopes Congress will take action on raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to a more livable wage in stages up to $15 an hour, depending on local economic conditions. She also said the issue of pay equity for women needs to be addressed. She also said changes and improvements were needed in the Affordable Care Act to make it more effective for people. “We don’t need to tear it apart, like the President and Republicans are doing but we need to fix it,” she said. Sewell said that she was focused on changes in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates that would help rural hospitals in their efforts to survive and continue providing health services in disadvantaged communities. Sewell said she was also concerned about tariffs that President Trump had placed on steel, aluminum and automobile parts. “In Alabama, we are the nation’s third largest producer of automobiles and auto parts and these tariffs may hurt our automobile industry in the long run.” Sewell introduced William Scott of Selma who is working with the upcoming 2020 U. S. Census. Scott said that jobs will be available for people who want to work on the Census. He urged people who were interested to go to the website: or call 1-855-562-2020. Sewell concluded the program by urging everyone in attendance to be sure to vote in the up-coming Midterm elections in November. “Please go and vote and give the Democratic Party a chance to be a check and balance on this President and his party who have controlled the national government for the past two years.”

Editoria: Vote for Walt Maddox for Governor and Straight Democratic Ticket on Nov. 6

In less than two weeks, all Alabama voters will have an important choice to make, on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. We urge you to use your vote for change and progress by voting for Walt Maddox for Governor and the straight Democratic ticket. Walt Maddox is a twelve-year Mayor of Tuscaloosa who has helped rebuild that city in a fair way after the April 2011 tornadoes. He has a positive vision for Alabama that is forward looking and inclusive. His opponent, incumbent Kay Ivey is looking to preserve the Confederate monuments and policies of the past. Walt Maddox says he will extend Medicaid to 300,000 low income Alabamians on the first hour of the first day he is in office. On this one issue, this one promise alone, we need to vote for Maddox and change the backward direction of Alabama. Extending Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will bring health care and jobs to every county in the state. This action will help to save many rural hospitals that are on the brink of closing. Walt Maddox and the other Democratic candidates propose an ‘education lottery’ and other steps to generate new revenues to improve education from pre-k through college. The Democratic candidates also support increasing the minimum wage, reforms to our criminal justice system, an end to voter suppression, a more welcoming approach to immigrants and other changes that will make Alabama a more livable and equitable state for all of its residents. For Greene County in particular, Maddox and Democratic State Attorney General candidate Joe Siegelman will dismiss the current lawsuit against electronic bingo, promoted by the current incumbent AG and Governor. Allowed to continue, this lawsuit could end the benefits of bingo for Greene County in terms of jobs and revenues for government and charitable agencies. Much of the nation’s attention is fixed on the historic Governors and Senate races in neighboring Southern states, like Georgia, Florida and Texas, but we have a chance in Alabama to continue the trend we began with the election of Senator Doug Jones in December 2017. With historic turnouts in the Alabama Black Belt, inner cities and among voters who are disgusted with President Trump, we can change Alabama on November 6 and move it in a positive and progressive direction.

Newswire : The GOP plan is the biggest tax increase in American history, by far

By: Ryan Grim, The Intercept,

The tax bill moving its way through Congress is routinely referred to as a $1.5 trillion tax cut. And, in some ways, that’s true: on net, it would reduce the amount of taxes collected by the federal treasury by about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
But that figure masks the eye-popping scale and audacity of the GOP’s rushed restructuring of the economy. Most immediately, the plan will take a large chunk out of state and local revenue that isn’t factored into that total. But more broadly, the bill cuts taxes by a full $6 trillion over a decade.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Friday afternoon before Senate Republicans voted to pass the plan, which gets referred to as only a $1.5 trillion cut because it raises $4.5 trillion in taxes elsewhere. But the key question is who gets a tax hike and who gets a tax cut. Put simply, the bulk of the tax cut is going toward the rich, while the tax increases go to everybody else.
And so the bill, properly described, is two things: the largest tax cut — and also the biggest tax increase — in American history.
Republicans have spent years describing the Affordable Care Act as the largest tax increase in U.S. history, ignoring the fact that the tax increases were balanced out by subsidies to pay for health coverage. In that respect, the ACA was a significant transfer of wealth from the top to the middle and bottom, which earned it the ire of the GOP. But all told, it raised less than $1 trillion in taxes over 10 years to pay for all that. The relative stinginess, in fact, is what fueled its unpopularity, as premiums and deductibles remained too high. But what Republicans lambasted as a historic tax hike represents just one-fifth of the tax increase of the new GOP bill.


The Tax Policy Center estimated that about 80 percent of the benefit of the tax plan will go to the top 1 percent, who will enjoy the following elements of the tax cut:
A full $1.5 trillion alone is going to slash the corporate tax rate. CEOs have said repeatedly they plan to pocket that money rather than invest it or give workers higher wages.
The alternative minimum tax, paid almost exclusively by the rich, is also eliminated. That’s a $700 billion giveaway.
Another $150 billion goes to repealing the estate tax, which currently exempts the first $11 million of the deceased’s estate, so nobody even remotely middle class pays it. The repeal benefits so few people you can practically list them out.
More than $200 billion in cuts goes to a provision that allows a greater deduction for dividends on foreign earnings. That’s not for you.
Roughly $600 billion goes to reducing taxes on “pass-throughs” and other businesses not set up as corporations, which law firms, lobby shops, and doctors’ offices often benefit from. Poor and middle-class people do not tend to set themselves up as pass-throughs.
Under current law, many tax credits phase out at low-income thresholds. The GOP plan changes that by raising the threshold so richer people can also claim the credit. That provision alone is, by definition, a $200 billion tax cut for the wealthy.
Individual and family tax rates are cut by about $1 trillion, and some regular people will indeed see some of that money as a tax cut — but not much. As the New York Times noted, by 2027, people making between $40,000 and $50,000 would see a combined increase of $5.3 billion in taxes. Where would that money go? Folks earning more than $1 million would see their taxes collectively cut by $5.8 billion a year.
The list above brings the total well close to $5 trillion in tax cuts almost exclusively for the wealthy. The last major element of the bill, the doubling of the standard deduction, would benefit a broader range of people, but it comes at the expense of states, cities, and towns.


While Obamacare was a transfer of wealth from the top to the bottom, this bill sends money back the other way.
Even some of the ways the plan “raises” taxes on the rich wind up being a tax cut. Some $300 billion is raised by allowing companies who stashed profits offshore to repatriate it at a much lower rate. That repatriated cash will go straight to dividends for shareholders and stock buybacks — but it gets counted as a tax increase, which then allows the GOP to give an equal $300 billion cut on the other side of the ledger. It’s neat how that works.
The bill raises $1.6 trillion by repealing the personal exemption everybody gets on their tax returns. Getting rid of it across the board is extraordinarily regressive, since it gives the same benefit to the likes of Jared Kushner as it gives to people who have much less money than he does, so they’re hit much harder.
It raises another $1.3 trillion by going after deductions for state and local taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, interest on student loans, medical expenses, teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses for paper and pencils for students, and a bunch of other nickel-and-diming of the middle class. No change drawer in the car, couch cushion, or plastic piggy bank is going untouched in the hunt for money to pay for the tax cut.
(The state and local deduction is effectively a subsidy for state and local spending on things like schools, roads, and police departments. Removing that will pressure states and cities to cut spending, so future teacher layoffs at your neighborhood school will be used to pay for the tax cuts, but because that happens at the state and local level, it isn’t factored into the Congressional Budget Office or Joint Committee on Taxation analyses.)
The plan gradually raises $128 billion in taxes by changing the way inflation is tabulated, so that your taxes slowly creep up over the years as the brackets come down.
And then, of course, the plan adds about $1.5 trillion to the debt over 10 years. That gets you most of the way to $6 trillion, with a handful of smaller tax hikes thrown in, some of which won’t obviously hurt the middle class. The domestic production deduction, a $96 billion boondoggle, is repealed, for instance, and $54 billion is saved by ending the credit for testing cures for rare diseases.”

EDITORIAL : Alabama voters have a clear choice in December 12 Special Election – Vote for Doug Jones

1200px-Doug_Jones_Flag                                                              Doug Jones

Alabama voters have a clear choice in the December 12 Special Election for U. S. Senator. Doug Jones, Democratic candidate, is the best choice for a future of justice and progress in our state.
Doug Jones has a clear record of service to people in Alabama, including successfully prosecuting two Klu Klux Klansmen who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four little Black girls in 1963; prosecuting Eric Robert Rudolph, for bombing a women’s clinic in Birmingham and representing low income people and their organizations in his legal practice.
Doug Jones supports a legislative agenda that is built around ‘kitchen table’ issues for Alabama. He favors the continuation and expansion of healthcare, raising the minimum wage to a ‘liveable wage’, strengthening public education for all students, making college education more affordable and many other issues that will provide a progressive and prosperous future for Alabama families.
Doug’s extremist right-wing opponent, Republican Roy Moore, is a self appointed and self-anointed religious zealot who was dismissed twice from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for unethical and unconstitutional acts, which undermined the rule of law. Moore opposes civil rights for homosexual people, Muslims and others. Moore fully supports the Trump agenda for America, including ending the Affordable Care Act, tax cuts that favor the rich and opposing immigration. Moore and his family have also received lavish compensation from a foundation established to support their Constitutional views.
We were opposed to Roy Moore before the recent revelations of his sexual misconduct with teenage girls in Gadsden in the 1970’s. However, now that we know of these blemishes on his character, we are more certain that he will be an embarrassment to Alabama in the United States Senate. Alabama needs a Senator we can trust and believe will represent us honestly and with genuine concern for all people, especially those who have been neglected, mistreated and discriminated against.
The decision is clear, Doug Jones is the best choice for the future of Alabama on December 12.