Category Archives: Taxes

Dr. Bradley Hughes Calls for a Progressive New Deal Program to LD 21

AZ LD 21 House Candidate Dr. Bradley Hughes

Over Iced Coffee at Lolas Café in Phoenix (The Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are great), Dr. Bradley Hughes outlined his views to bring a pragmatic problem solving progressive New Deal program to the residents of Arizona LD 21.

Arizona Legislative District 21 includes all or parts of Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown, Surprise, and Sun City. It is the district that Debbie Lesko used as a springboard to run for Congress in the recent special election against Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.

Republicans have dominated the district since 2012 with no elected Democrats. Dr. Hughes hopes to change that in 2018 by focusing on a pragmatic progressive program that addresses issues such as health care costs (especially for those that do not qualify for health care subsidies,) “stagnant wages,” and public education.

Continue reading

Pawlik and Weichert Offer a Progressive Problem Solving Vision for LD 17

AZ LD 17 State House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik

Over iced tea and ice water at the Starbucks in Chandler, LD 17 Democratic House Candidate Jennifer Pawlik and LD 17 Democratic Senate Candidate Steve Weichert enthusiastically discussed their united vision for taking care of children in poverty, who have been largely forgotten by the current Republican LD state representatives and senator.

The LD 17 District in Arizona contains parts of Gilbert, Chandler, and Sun Lakes. No Democrat has ever claimed victory in this district. Two Republicans in the State House currently represent it. This includes the current House Speaker J.D. Mesnard who has decided to run against Weichert for the State Senate Seat being vacated by State Senate President Steven Yarbrough. Pawlik is the only Democrat running for a seat in the State House.

Arizona Legislative District 17

Arizona Legislative District 17

Pawlik and Weichert are not newcomers to the political arena in Legislative District 17. They ran for the same state legislative seats in 2016 that they are running for today. While the results did not turn out as they hoped in 2016, they feel that three trends will propel them to victory in 2018:

  • The marked increase in voter enthusiasm, ignited by the election of Donald Trump.
  • The insensitivity of the Ducey Governorship and his allies in the state legislature.
  • The spark of the Red for Ed Movement.

Like neighboring LD 18, the Democratic candidates and District Chair Jacob Schmitt see their electoral prospects improving with an increasingly bluer (or purple) population receptive to the centrist problem solving progressive ideas and vision that they offer. Both Pawlik and Weichert have united as a team, tailoring their message to all the people in LD 17, especially those ignored and forgotten by the current Republican leadership in the district who has fallen under the influence of anti-democratic, tax cutting, special and Dark Money interests.

Continue reading

GOP sabotage of ‘Obamacare’ now in the courts

The Trump administration in a brief filed Thursday night says that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch’s tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the ACA brought about. Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states:

In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit. They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional — because The GOP Tax Bill Repealed Obamacare’s Individual Mandateand that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law (e.g. preexisting conditions) will not be valid, either.

The three-page letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions begins by saying that Justice adopted its position “with the approval of the President of the United States.” The letter acknowledges that the decision not to defend an existing law deviates from history but contends that it is not unprecedented.

The bold swipe at the ACA, a Republican whipping post since its 2010 passage, does not immediately affect any of its provisions. But it puts the law on far more wobbly legal footing in the case, which is being heard by a GOP-appointed judge [in what was a shameless case of forum shopping] who has in other recent cases ruled against more minor aspects.

Continue reading

Trump’s ‘trickle down’ tax cuts weaken the Medicare Trust Fund

President Donald Trump’s “trickle down” tax cuts for corporations and wealthy plutocrats is not meeting the GOP’s fiscal projections, and is now weakening the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. This is what happens to Medicare when you cut taxes but not spending:

On Tuesday, we learned what happens when Republicans trying to rein in government tackle the tax side of the equation but not the spending side.

The result: a Medicare program that is projected to run out of money just eight years from now, in 2026.

The latest annual report on the financial situation of Medicare’s hospital program (and Social Security), released yesterday by the programs’ trustees, led Democrats to slam the tax overhaul Republicans pushed through Congress mainly on their own last year.

That tax measure’s income tax cuts — combined with reduced payroll tax collections because of lowered wages last year — are the two main reasons for the worsening financial outlook for the part of Medicare that reimburses hospitals for caring for seniors and the disabled, per the report.

And there’s something else, too. The tax bill also ends the Affordable Care Act’s penalty for lacking health insurance (aka individual mandate). So hospitals will see more uninsured patients as some Americans presumably drop their coverage, in turn requiring the Medicare program to pay more for such uncompensated care, a senior government official told my colleague Amy Goldstein and other reporters yesterday.

Continue reading

With AZ Ranked Badly by Many Measures, Democrats Can Beat Governor Ducey

Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley are Democrats running for Governor in Arizona.

Any of the three Democratic candidates — Kelly Fryer, David Garcia and Steve Farley — can beat Doug Ducey in the race for governor.

Most people familiar with moral fairy tales are well versed with the Three Little Pigs fable. In it, the wolf is able to blow down two of the pigs’ houses because they are made of either straw or sticks but is unable to wreck the third one because it is made of bricks.

Apply this tale to conditions in Arizona after three and a half years of Doug Ducey and people will find that the foundations of his house are built on straw and sticks rather than bricks. It would only take a strong problem-solving progressive Democrat one puff to blow this house down and build a new foundation that will better address Arizona’s needs.

Doug Ducey’s Arizona

In Doug Ducey’s Arizona, the state ranks:

  • 33rd overall in the list of best-managed states, according to USA Today. In the Southwest region, only New Mexico ranked worse.
  • 39th overall, according to U.S. News and World report, as the best state in the country. Within that ranking, Arizona received sub-rankings in several areas. These include being ranked:
      • 43rd in Education
      • 24th in Health Care
      • 45th in Providing Opportunity
      • 38th in Crimes and Corrections
      • 34th in Fiscal Stability
      • 39th in Quality of Life
      • 41st in Safety on a separate report.

    Continue reading

The Road to a Democratic State Legislature Runs through Maricopa County  

Democrats can win by focusing on 3 issues: public education, health care, and job creation, according to Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairman Steven Slugocki

Maricopa County in Arizona is the fourth largest populated county in the United States. The fifth largest city in the country, Phoenix is within its boundaries as are 20 of the 30 state legislative districts.

It is also the county that Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairman Steven Slugocki believes has the best chance of shifting the balance of power in the Arizona State Legislature from red to blue.

Slugocki, the county chairperson of the Democratic Party since December 2015, relayed that grassroots enthusiasm for the Democratic Party, fueled by frustrations with both the Governorship of Doug Ducey (and state legislature) and the Presidency of Donald Trump (and Republican Congress), has reached once unimaginable heights. Committing to an all-out voter outreach effort, Slugocki emphasized that the county will prioritize local races from the Governor’s race at the top of the ballot to the local school board elections. The County Democratic organization pledges to “contest and fight for every seat in every area of the county.”

Continue reading