Donald Trump for president!
Yes, Trump is a blowhard, but he is not blowing smoke about taxes in his 2016 campaign for the presidency. Violating Republican orthodoxy, Trump would raise taxes on billionaires like himself.
He also told Alan Rappeport, reporter for the New York Times, he would lift taxes by such a hefty margin that his populist tone has alarmed the GOP. But that is precisely what the nation needs. It long has passed the time that Congress revised the tax code to benefit the 99 percent rather than the one percent.
Trump, a billionaire developer, cites corporations that get away with tax murder. American companies put their factories in other countries. He would impose tariffs on this outsourcing, which means cheap labor and cheap products.
Trump calls for much higher taxes on hedge-fund managers and others who use the carried-interest loophole to pay a fraction of the rate paid by wage earners. In the 2012 presidential campaign it was revealed that Republican candidate Mitt Romney paid a low tax rate because he was earning income from a private equity firm. Trump would stop such giveaways.
He would make companies like Ford and other auto firms “pay a price” for shifting its car production abroad. He calls hedge-fund managers “paper pushers” who get lucky “on the road to riches.”
Trump would simplify the tax code. He points out that taxpayers spend too much time and money for tax preparers like H&R Block.
Trump, moreover, has so much money he can’t be bought by bankers for corporate lobbyists.
He may appear ridiculous to political pundits, but no other candidate looks as good on taxes.
The fight for fairness and equality in all endeavors in society never ends.
The latest victims of injustice are cheerleaders for professional football teams. They are paid with prestige rather than money by an NFL organization wallowing in billions of dollars.
The NFL doles out $44 million a year to its incompetent commissioner, Roger Goodell. Yet it doesn’t even pay its professional cheerleaders a minimum wage.
The New York Times sports section tells the grim story of Lacy Thibodeaux, cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders:
“She took long drives to Napa Valley for the calendar photo shoot. She invested, as directed, in expensive hair coverings. Practices stretched for hours. She made 12 required appearances at sponsor events.
“After a few weeks her husband asked: ‘Lacy, where is your paycheck?’
“The team told me we get paid at the end of the season, $125 per game,” Thibodeaux replied. “They pay nothing for travel expenses, mandatory promo events and calendar shoots.”
Such a contract is illegal. It is also gross mistreatment of professionals. Thibodeaux and cheerleaders for other NFL teams have filed lawsuits over failure to pay minimum wages.
Even non-professional workers make $15 an hour in some American cities.
The courts have been overturning flawed arbitrations by the commissioner, but Goodell shrugs and persists in his wrong-doing.
“The cheerleaders are treated like lumpen proletariat,” Michael Powell writes for the Times. “In the world beyond the NFL castle this is known as wage theft.”
In California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill designating cheerleaders as employees rather than independent contractors. This entitles them to be paid sick leave and the minimum wage.
Women make up 45 percent of the NFL fan base. NFL cheerleaders need to be released from slavery.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)