Category Archives: Taxes

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress offers Progressive Ideas and Solutions to Meet the Needs of the State

In January 2016, the progressive oriented Arizona Center for Economic Progress formed under the umbrella of the Children’s Action Alliance. Located in central Phoenix, this organization, with ties to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Ford, Anne E. Casey and Arizona Foundations, has already impacted the public policy arena with Democrats (and some Republicans) like Senate Minority Leader Steve Farley and other Legislative District Candidates drawing on the progressive ideas and solutions championed by the Center’s 15 member staff.

The founding and current Director of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress is attorney, child advocate, educator (he was a founding principal for ASU Preparatory Academy), former State House Democratic Leader and State Senator David Lujan. On December 18, Mr. Lujan sat down with Blog for Arizona to discuss the purpose of the Center, its accomplishments and impact, and what projects it would like to pursue over the next two years.

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The GOP has weaponized the courts in undermining our democratic institutions

20 GOP attorneys general hand-picked a conservative activist judge known for his political activism from the bench to conspire to overturn the Affordable Care Act. One can fairly say that the process was “rigged” to produce the desired result. Judge Reed O’Connor should be impeached, and the 20 GOP attorneys general held to account for their unethical professional misconduct.

The New York Times reports, In Weaponized Courts, Judge Who Halted Affordable Care Act Is a Conservative Favorite:

In the 11 years Judge Reed O’Connor has been on the federal bench, he has become a favorite of Republican leaders in Texas, reliably tossing out Democratic policies they have challenged.

The state’s Republican attorney general appears to strategically file key lawsuits in Judge O’Connor’s jurisdiction, the Northern District of Texas, so that he will hear them. And on Friday, the judge handed Republicans another victory by striking down the Affordable Care Act, the signature health law of the Obama era.

Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has been at the center of some of the most contentious and partisan cases involving federal power and states’ rights, and has sided with conservative leaders in previous challenges to the health law and against efforts to expand transgender rights.

No one questions his expertise on the law. But his rulings illustrate the ways in which the federal district courts have become politically weaponized, as Republicans and Democrats alike try to handpick judges they see as ideologically friendly to their cases.

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Republicans Christmas gift to the nation: blowing up America’s health care system

I warned you about The evil GOP bastards’ scheme for a back door repeal of ‘Obamacare’ in the courts when the case was filed back in February:

A part of the GOP’s “tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats” bill back in December was the under-reported repeal of the individual mandate, which didn’t actually repeal the coverage requirement — it only repealed the tax penalty provision.

This was part of the long game the evil GOP bastards play to deny Americans access to affordable health care. By removing the tax penalty, it allowed the state Attorneys General from 20 red states, including Arizona, to file a lawsuit (.pdf) attempting a back door repeal of ‘Obamacare” through the courts, rather than through Congress.

These evil GOP bastards assert the legal sophistry that the individual mandate is now unconstitutional — after the GOP’s malicious sabotage of “Obamacare” in the tax bill – and now the rest of the ACA should fall as part of the GOP’s legal sophistry in court.

These Republican attorneys general went forum shopping to file their lawsuit in a district with a conservative activist judge with a history of  “intensely political” opinions, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas.

During the litigation, the Trump administration abandoned the defense of the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states, leading to a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general to intervene to defend the Affordable Care Act.

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New Maricopa County Democratic Party Executive Board ready to make Arizona Blue in 2020

The new Maricopa County Democratic Party Executive Board. They are (from left to right): Treasurer: Tom Krepitch, 1st Vice Chair: Carol Maas, Secretary: Roberta Neil Miller, Chair: Steven Slugocki, Sergeant-at-Arms: Patrick Seifter, and 2nd Vice Chair: Lynsey Robinson

A jubilant crowd of Precinct Committeepersons and County Democratic superstars and candidates attended the Maricopa County Democratic Winter Convention at Central High School in Phoenix on December 8, 2018. Speaker after speaker vowed to work together with everyone in the audience and those who could not attend to continue the trend started in this year’s election of turning Arizona to a blue state. Delegates to the convention also voted for a new Maricopa County Democratic Executive Board to help pave the way to victory in 2020.

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The Trump Slump: ‘Tariff Man’ roils the markets with false claims of trade war ceasefire (Updated)

The stock market surged on Monday after a 90-day ceasefire of the trade war between the U.S. and China was announced after the G20 Summit, with the hope that it would ratchet down tensions between the two nations in the long term and provide relief for companies that have been feeling the pain from tariffs.

Then investors came to the realization that President Trump’s claims of Chinese concessions in his trade war with China were not actually agreed upon. “We don’t yet have a specific agreement on that”: White House backtracks on China deal:

President Donald Trump’s victory lap on a temporary detente in the trade war with China might be a little premature — and misleading.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, the president celebrated the modest compromise on trade he reached with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on Saturday in which Trump agreed to temporarily hold off on increasing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in exchange for China purchasing a still-to-be-defined amount of American-made products.

Trump declared that China had agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the US, and he wrote that China intends to “start purchasing agricultural product immediately” from the US.

“Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward!” he tweeted.

It’s not clear, however, how much Trump’s declarations line up with reality. White House aides and China have told different stories than the one Trump is offering on what exactly was agreed to, and what’s going to happen and when.

“It doesn’t seem like anything was actually agreed to at the dinner and White House officials are contorting themselves into pretzels to reconcile Trump’s tweets (which seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated) with reality,” one JPMorgan analyst wrote in a note to clients reported by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla.

“This is a situation that’s played out over and over again throughout Trump’s presidency — he makes a declaration, only to leave aides, his counterparts, and reporters scrambling to figure out what the truth actually is.”

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