Announcements 


SPECIAL REPORT: "Tortured Logic: McGovern talks about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director"

The Resistance Round Table panel interviews former CIA analyst Ray McGovern about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director who oversaw torture after 9/11. The conversation includes discussion of the U.S. as an 'out law state,' American exceptionalism and the fight to defend net neutrality. Panel: Scott Harris, Ruthanne Baumgartner and Richard Hill (49:08) May 23, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action': Understanding and Resisting Attacks on Immigrants"

Three-part excerpts from Avi Chomsky's presentations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17. Includes a historical perspective as well as a question and answer session with immigrants. Recorded and produced by Chuck Rosina, long-time public affairs and news producer at WMBR FM, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's radio station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 17, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action' Takes On Today's Political, Economic Challenges"

Chuck Rosina's report on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17, where members of the MIT and broader local community were given an opportunity to devote the day to engaging with the political, economic, environmental and social challenges facing us today, through learning, discussion, reflection and planning for action. Includes comments from Avi Chomsky, daughter of the renowned professor Noam Chomsky (12:58) April 17, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "Response to chemical attack in Syria – The priority must be the people"

The Resistance Roundtable panel discusses the U.S. missile strikes on Damascus and interviews Stan Heller from Promoting Enduring Peace (www.pepeace.org)about the situation in Syria and the broader Middle East. Panel: Ruthanne Baumgartner, Scott Harris and Richard Hill. April 14, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "What's next for the youth movement against gun violence?"

Tyler Suarez, lead organizer of the March for Our Lives demo in Hartford, CT on March 24, assesses the event attended by 10,000 and discusses the agenda for the youth movement going forward. Interviewed by Richard Hill.



SPECIAL REPORT: "March for Our Lives - Hartford, Connecticut" March 24, 2018

Selected speeches from the March for Our Lives in Hartford, Connecticut, recorded and produced by Scott Harris




Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24



SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?



SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat



SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018






Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of ConsortiumNews.com, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.



Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.




The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement



SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris





SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018





SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018




SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017






SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven




2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.



Subscribe to our Weekly Summary & receive our FREE Resist Trump window cling


resist (Car window cling)

Email us with your mailing address at contact@btlonline.org to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE...

who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.


Between The Lines on Stitcher

stitcher

Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

inequality
"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.





Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.



JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at www.WPKN.org (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.


Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016


Special Programming Special Programming

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Between The Lines Progressive Resources

A compilation of activist and news sites with a progressive point of view

Share this content:

|


Podcasts Subscribe to BTL

Podcasts:  direct  or  via iTunes

Subscribe to Program Summaries, Interview Transcripts or Counterpoint via email or RSS feed

If you have other questions regarding subscriptions, feeds or podcasts/mp3s go to our Audio Help page.

Between The Lines Blog


Stay connected to BTL

RSS feed  twitter  facebook

donate  Learn how to support our efforts!


Increased Tax Breaks for Wealthy Diverts Money That Could Benefit Americans in Need

Real Audio  RealAudio MP3  MP3

Posted Sept. 18, 2013

Interview with Mattea Kramer, research director with National Priorities Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

wealthytaxbreaks

Each year since 1974, the White House releases an estimate of the cost of all federal tax breaks, also known as subsidies or tax loopholes. The non-partisan, non-profit National Priorities Project has recently completed a ground-breaking analysis of these federal tax breaks over the past 38 years, revealing they have grown in number and size, diverting money that could otherwise be used in to benefit Americans in need.

The study of tax loopholes is in keeping with the National Priorities Project’s mission to make the complex U.S. federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their rights and responsibilities to influence how their tax dollars are spent.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Mattea Kramer, research director with the National Priorities Project, who explains that this year’s tax breaks cost the U.S. government an estimated $1.13 trillion dollars, just slightly less than all discretionary spending, and substantially more than the budget deficit during the same year. In this second third week of September, which marks the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Kramer explains that the richest 1 percent benefit the most from the existing tax code and proposes changes to make the U.S. system of taxation more fair and equitable.

MATTEA KRAMER: Many, many Americans benefit from tax breaks of different kinds. The question is, are we benefiting equally or are certain folks benefiting more than others? And what we found is that many of the top tax breaks – which account for the vast majority of the cost of all tax breaks from the federal government – these top tax breaks are tilted heavily in favor of the wealthy. So there's some egregious examples, for instance, there's a special low tax rate on capital gains and dividend income, and that tax break costs the federal government about $83 billion this year, so it's a huge sum of money. And nearly 70 percent of that total goes to the top 1 percent of income earners, so in other words, this is a huge boon in terms of tax savings for the top-earning, or the wealthiest Americans.

BETWEEN THE LINES: How long have these tax breaks been on the books? How did they get on the books?

MATTEA KRAMER: Well, many of them have been on the books in one form or another for many decades. The largest tax expenditure out there is the exclusion of employer-sponsored health care, and I know that sounds really obscure. In fact, it's a tax break that anybody who gets health care through their employer benefits from. What it means is that we can pay for health care with pre-tax dollars. We don't typically ever see that tax break, but it is the largest one – it costs the federal government about $200 billion a year. That tax break has been on the books for many decades, and it's been intertwined with the history of health care in this country, in which the government wanted to subsidize health insurance and decided to do so by making employer-sponsored health insurance more affordable.

BETWEEN THE LINES: That sounds like it covers a lot of people, so not just the top 1 percent. And many Americans at the lowest income levels would be eligible for Medicaid. So would you consider that a progressive tax break?

MATTEA KRAMER: I don't agree that it's a progressive tax break. It's less regressive – far less regressive – than many of the other tax breaks, but it's not progressive in the sense that the majority of the benefits don't go to those who are the least well-off. So it still heavily benefits wealthy Americans, but it does – far more than many of these other tax breaks – offer benefits to middle and low income folks. I don't think necessarily that this tax break ought to be substantially reformed, but I do think it's important to acknowledge that the federal government is spending $200 billion a year on this type of subsidy and absolutely, it's an important objective to make sure Americans can afford health insurance, but this tax break only reaches folks who already have employer-sponsored health care, so it does nothing for folks who work for themselves or don't have a job.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Can you discuss one or more of the tax subsidies that the National Priorities Project would like to see reformed or eliminated?

MATTEA KRAMER: Oh, absolutely. Well, in speaking of corporate tax breaks, the largest corporate tax break allows corporations to defer paying taxes on income earned abroad. That means a corporation attributes x-millions or billions of dollars in income to their operations in Europe or Asia, they don't have to pay U.S. federal taxes on that money unless they bring it home. And what it does effectively is create an incentive for corporations to keep billions of dollars in some cases, in cash, overseas. We think that could be an opportunity ripe for reform. It doesn't seem to make sense from a number of perspectives and it cost the federal government about $40 billion this year.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Does any other one stand out as especially unfair?

MATTEA KRAMER: Well, I mentioned a bit earlier the special low rate on capital gains and dividend income. So this is a special tax rate for income earned on investments. What it means is that folks who earn their living by investing money pay a lower tax rate than folks who earn their living by working. The purpose behind that tax break is to encourage investors to take the risk of investing, but the upshot is that very wealthy individuals sometimes pay a tax rate that's much, much lower than their middle class peers. And so we heard this sort of famously in the 2012 presidential election, when we heard that Mitt Romney paid a tax rate of something like 13 percent, and that's because he's someone who earns his income from investment income, and so that's another tax break that absolutely could be an opportunity for reform. That cost the federal government about $83 billion this year. That's a lot of money; by way of comparison, the federal government spends this year about $68 billion on all education programs, so that gives you a bit of comparison for scale.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Now that you have all this valuable data, what do you want to see happen?

Related Links: