It remains to be seen what the Build Back Better Act of 2021 will ultimately look like if Democrats are able to get it passed by Congress and onto President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law. But liberal economist Paul Krugman, in his October 25 column for the New York Times, expresses optimism that Democrats are about to pass legislation that will "invest in America's future" — even if the bill that is passed is smaller than what some progressives have been pushing for.
"Democrats may — may — finally be about to agree on a revenue and spending plan," Krugman explains. "It will clearly be smaller than President Biden's original proposal, and much smaller than what progressives wanted. It will, however, be infinitely bigger than what Republicans would have done, because if the GOP-controlled Congress, we would be doing nothing at all to invest in America's future…. Far too much reporting has focused mainly on the headline spending number — $3.5 trillion, no, $1.5 trillion, whatever — without saying much about the policies this spending would support."
Krugman goes on to say that the Biden Administration "could have done a better job of summarizing its plans in pithy slogans."
"So let me propose a one-liner: Tax the rich, help America's children," Krugman writes. "This gets at much of what the legislation is likely to do. Reporting suggests that the final bill will include taxes on billionaires' incomes and minimum taxes for corporations, along with a number of child-oriented programs. And action on climate change can, reasonably, be considered another way of helping future generations."
Krugman adds that "taxing the rich and helping children" are "very much in the American tradition," citing some examples.
The economist notes, "Remember, we are the nation that basically invented universal education. Thomas Jefferson called for publicly funded schools even in the midst of the Revolutionary War…. We are also, arguably, the nation that invented progressive taxation…. In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt argued that it was essential to prevent the 'inheritance or transmission in their entirety' of 'fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits,' and in 1907, he called for a 'heavy progressive tax' on estates to achieve this goal…. Progressive taxation is as American as apple pie."
Krugman continues, "So, if Democrats finally do agree on a fiscal plan, they should go all-out in promoting it. Economics, politics and America's historical traditions are on their side."
‘When do we get to use the guns?’: TP USA audience member asks Charlie Kirk when can ‘we kill’ Democrats? (Video)
An audience member asked a disturbing and stunning question at a speech given by close Trump family ally and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk in Idaho on Monday, but instead of denouncing and disavowing the question itself as being anti-democratic, morally repugnant, illegal, based on falsehoods, and against his repeatedly avowed Christian values, Kirk offered an equally disturbing response.
"At this point, we're living under corporate and medical fascism. This is tyranny," claimed the unidentified man, as Media Matters reports. "When do we get to use the guns? No, and I'm not — that's not a joke. I'm not saying it like that. I mean, literally, where's the line? How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?"
The TP USA founder and executive director has strong ties to the Trump family and heads the far right wing organization that professes to exist to support conservative college students. It has "generated support from anti-Muslim bigots and alt lite activists, and from some corners of the white supremacist alt right," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote several years ago.
Kirk "denounced" the audience member's remarks because, he told the man, "you're playing into all their plans and they're trying to make you do this."
"So, no, I – no, hold on. I – no – stop, hold on," Kirk told him. "Now, I'm going to denounce that and I'm going to tell you why. Because you're playing into all their plans and they're trying to make you do this. That's OK. Just hear me out," he urged.
"They are trying to provoke you and everyone here. They are trying to make you do something that will be violent that will justify a takeover of your freedoms and liberties, the likes of which we have never seen," Kirk fear-mongered.
"We are close to have momentum to be able to get this country back on a trajectory using the peaceful means that we have at us," Kirk insisted. "So to answer your question, and I just think it's, you know, overly blunt, we have to be the ones that do not play into the violent aims and ambitions of the other side. They fear – let me say this very clearly – they fear us holding the line with self-control and discipline, taking over school board meetings. They are the ones that are willing to use federal force against us."
Donald Trump literally used federal force against innocent Americans and peaceful protestors.
"We are living under fascism," Kirk continued, which is false, currently. "We are living under this tyranny," he claimed, not referring to anything in particular. "But if you think for a second that they're not wanting you to all of a sudden get that next level where they're going to say, 'OK, we need Patriot Act 2.0.' If you think that, you know, Waco is bad, wait until you see what they want to do next. What I'm saying is that we have a very fragile balance right now at our current time where we must exhaust every single peaceful mean possible."
Pushing election lies, TPUSA audience member asks Charlie Kirk when they can "use the guns" and "kill these people" https://t.co/jZafRI6KO6 pic.twitter.com/IUsnsz24XC
— Media Matters (@mmfa) October 26, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse judge won’t let prosecutors call two people he killed victims — but defense can call them rioters
A Wisconsin imposed new restrictions on prosecutors but granted Kyle Rittenhouse's defense lawyers a bit more latitude in describing the murder case case to jurors.
The 18-year-old Rittenhouse is set to go on trial Nov. 1 in the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during an Aug. 25, 2020, protest against the Kenosha police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, but a judge barred prosecutors from using the word "Victim" to describe those two men and a third, Gaige Grosskreutz, who was wounded in the incident, reported the Associated Press.
"The word 'victim' is a loaded, loaded word," said Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder. "'Alleged victim' is a cousin to it."
The judge denied a prosecution request to bar defense attorneys from using similarly loaded language in reference to Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz, saying Rittenhouse's lawyers may present evidence suggesting the men were engaged in crimes at the time of the shootings.
"If more than one of them were engaged in arson, rioting, looting, I'm not going to tell the defense you can't call them that," the judge said.
Schroeder also ruled that use-of-force expert John Black, who defense attorneys want to call as a witness, may not testify about Rittenhouse's state of mind but rejected a prosecution request to block his testimony, saying jurors didn't need an expert to understand what happened.
Assistant district attorney Thomas Binger said he wouldn't call his own expert witness if Schroeder testified only about the timeline of events in the fatal shootings, and defense attorney Mark Richards agreed to that arrangement.
Schroeder will allow prosecutors to show a video of police telling Rittenhouse and other armed militia members they appreciated their presence and tossed the teen a bottle of water, which defense attorneys argued would show that officers didn't believe he was acting recklessly, but the judge disagreed with prosecutors that the evidence was irrelevant.
"If the jury is being told, if the defendant is walking down the sidewalk and doing what he claims he was hired to do and police say good thing you're here, is that something influencing the defendant and emboldening him in his behavior?" Schroeder said. "That would be an argument for relevance."
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