Billionaire loses bid to shut off access to public beach and surprise! It’s not Bullyboy Arkley

This guy sounds just like our own local bully Robin P. Arkley  

Silicon Valley billionaire loses bid to prevent access to public beach

Court decision is blow to Vinod Khosla and other wealthy landowners seeking to buy renowned beaches, making public land private

 Martins Beach must be opened to the public, according to a California court order.

A California court has ordered a Silicon Valley billionaire to restore access to a beloved beach that he closed off for his private use, a major victory for public lands advocates who have been fighting the venture capitalist for years.

An appeals court ruled on Thursday that Vinod Khosla, who runs the venture capital firm Khosla Ventures and co-founded the tech company Sun Microsystems, must unlock the gates to Martins Beach in northern California by his property.

The decision is a major blow to Khosla and other wealthy landowners who have increasingly tried to buy up the internationally celebrated beaches along the California coast and turn public lands into private property.

The beach was a popular destination for fishing, surfing and other recreational activities for nearly a century, and the previous owners provided a general store and public restroom. But Khosla eventually bought the property and in 2010 closed public access, putting up signs warning against trespassing.

Khosla, who has a net worth of $1.55bn and does not live on the property, has faced multiple lawsuits and legislative efforts to get him to open up the gate to the beach near Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The law in California states that all beaches should be open to the public up to the “mean high tide line”.

The decision this week, affirming a lower court ruling, stems from a lawsuit filed by the Surfrider Foundation, a not-for-profit group that says the case could have broader implications for beach access across the US.

“Vinod Khosla, with his billions of dollars, bought this piece of property and said, ‘No, no, the public isn’t going to use this anymore. End of story,’” the Surfrider attorney Joe Cotchett said by phone on Thursday. “He got away with it for many years … This is probably one of the most important public right-of-access cases in the country.”

Khosla’s refusal to restore access has made him something of a symbol of the immense wealth in the tech industry and rising income inequality in the region.

Last year, his attorneys claimed that he would open the gate to the beach only if the government paid him $30m, an amount that state officials said was unreasonably high. In October, Khosla also sued two state agencies, accusing the government of using “coercion and harassment” to infringe on his private property rights.

The California coastal commission, established by voters in 1972 to protect public use of the coast, has reported that beachgoers have increasingly complained about private security guards telling them they are trespassing on private property and forcing them to leave the public beaches.

“The issue here is, can wealthy private individuals buy up our beautiful beaches for their own use?” said Cotchett, adding that he expects Khosla to appeal the decision and attempt to bring the case to the US supreme court.

Khosla’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Khosla recently made headlines when he downplayed the problem of sexual harassment in the venture capital industry, which has recently been exposed as a major concern among female founders. “I did not know that there was any discrimination,” Khosla said at a recent event, adding that it was “rarer than in most other businesses”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/10/martins-beach-california-public-vinod-khosla

 

Racist Rob: “I don’t have anything against the Indians”…..“I don’t get it,”….NO SHIT

Trump protege Robin Percival Arkley

WannbeKing Rob would be such a good steward of the land.  Just look how well he’s done with his other properties, like the balloon tract in Old Town or the “dog ranch” in Somoa and several others that don’t have nicknames.   If you look past the repeated arson, crossbow murder, robberies, drug use and transient encampments it’s almost as if the areas are pristine!!!!  Imagine what he could do with the ancient village Tuluwat??? (gasp)

Rob Arkley said he doesn’t understand why there’s been so much backlash against his proposal to buy Indian Island from the city of Eureka instead of allowing the property to transfer to the Wiyot Tribe.

“I am stunned by this whole thing. I don’t get it,” he said, when reached by phone Tuesday at his Security National office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Arkley said in the wake of his proposal, first made public during a morning talk radio spot on July 31, he, his family and his business have received threats.

“I don’t have anything against the Indians, the issue is access for the people and fair price,” he said.

Arkley said he’s mainly concerned about what public access to the island will be like if the land transfer goes through and about Eureka giving away valuable land when the city faces “limitless financial issues.”

“I want to know why they’re declaring it surplus land to begin with,” he said.

Indian Island, which the Wiyot people call Tuluwat, is the location of the ancient villages Tuluwat and Etpidolh. For generations, the yearly World Renewal Ceremony was held on the island until the massacre of Wiyot men, women, elders and children in 1860. The ceremony was held on the island again in 2014 after a 154-year hiatus.

“This is absolutely the equivalent of paying reparations, which is foolish,” Arkley said about the transfer.

He disagreed when asked if giving the island back would help right a historical wrong, calling it a “bogus argument.”

Since 2000 the tribe has been buying back private parcels of the island and in 2004 the city of Eureka transferred about 45 acres of the island to the tribe. In June, the Eureka City Council committed to moving forward negotiating an agreement to transfer the remaining 200 acres of land the city owns on the island to the Wiyot Tribe.

City manager Greg Sparks previously said the land is appraised at $200,000 and that the council hasn’t discussed Arkley’s offer.

“They’re talking about giving it away, you’ve got to be kidding me!” Arkley said. “That’s why I offered $500,000.”

He said that if his offer is taken up he will set up a charity, similar to how Friends of the Dunes operates, to provide stewardship to the land. Arkley also said it will remain open for public use like it is today. He said he doubted that the tribe would keep the island for public use outside of tribal members and that the tribe hasn’t conducted as much environmental and habitat restoration as they say.

“They’ve done a fraction of what they said they would do,” Arkley said.

According to the tribe’s website, over 60 tons of scrap metal and additional tons of garbage has been removed from the island, a brownsfield assessment and remediation plan was completed, erosion control was implemented and native plants have been planted.

“The tribe has invested more than $3 million in the direct cleanup and restoration project,” Wiyot tribal administrator Michelle Vassel wrote in an email to the Times-Standard on Wednesday. “That number does not include the blood, sweat and tears of countless volunteers who have lent their hands to the project, and the countless hours of fundraisers, grant writing and administrative work managing the project.”

She said the tribe’s plan for the island has remained the same over the past 50 years.

“This includes clean up of environmental hazards, restoration of wildlife habitat. It also includes protection of grave sites, cultural resources, return of ceremony and living Wiyot cultural practices to the Island,” Vassel wrote.

She added that is not about exclusionary practices.

“The Wiyot Tribe is a government which by nature is a public not private entity,” she wrote. “The tribe has no intention of excluding people, we have worked long and hard with the city of Eureka and other government agencies local native and non-native, people and organizations in this community to come together to work toward these goals.”

Vassel asserts that what the tribe is doing benefits everyone.

“The work the tribe has done and plans to do on the island benefits the whole community,” she wrote. “In ceremony, we do not pray only for Wiyot people we pay for all people, really the whole world.”

Times standard

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20170809/arkley-responds-to-backlash-over-offer-to-buy-indian-island

F–k Rob Arkley!

“Our own local racist bully boy version of Trump doesn’t want the Wiyot’s stolen home returned to them.”TE

Tuluwat Village

Allen McCloskey sets the record straight:

Indian Island is and always has been of great cultural and historical value to the Wiyot People. I support the City of Eureka City Council (Austin Allison and Kim Walford-Bergel) and City Leadership in their efforts to restore Indian Island to its original inhabitants/stewards. The Wiyot People as the original inhabitants and stewards of Indian Island have what I equate to a genetic-historical-connection to Indian Island. The cultural connection of the Tribe to Indian Island goes back countless generations and their people are intrinsically tied to the Island. In fact I would argue that their individual and collective well-being and prosperity and the healing of the Tribe’s genetic memory with regards to the historical trauma and deliberate attack by Eureka’s great businessmen of the time, to commit genocide of the Wiyot people, is truly contingent upon the environmental health and return of this land to its original inhabitants/stewards.

The Tribe and the City of Eureka in recent years have worked together collectively to mitigate years of pollution and contamination and have engaged in meaningful dialogue with regards to transitioning Indian Island back to the Tribe. The collective work of the Tribe and the City should not be tarnished and/or in any way delayed or derailed by the intentional and ignorant intervention by the likes of Robin Arkely, merely on the premise that he feels that the Island belongs to him and his family, because, in his words they “like it.” Indian Island was stolen from the Wiyot people at the hands of “prominent Eureka businessmen” of that time who murdered and viciously killed the Wiyot people.

The current City leadership is now in the process of contributing to the healing of the Wiyot people by returning the Island to its original inhabitants. The City’s efforts to return the Island to the Wiyot people is clearly an act of restoring to the indigenous peoples what very obviously they’re entitled to and they have a legitimate claim to, and a claim I might add that on the Tribe’s part is in no way divisive but rather restorative. That’s the idea behind reconciliation. I commend the City of Eureka Council for their recent actions and their commitment to the Wiyot People and the return of Indian Island.

In Solidarity,

Allen McCloskey

 

Homeless numbers down 43% (wtf?) and more locally spun “alternative facts”

In 2015 we posted a number of stories about the attempts to down play the seriousness of the homeless crisis in Eureka. Particularly, we tried to emphasize “who benefits from the systematic under count of homeless/houseless”.
Check out what we said back then and read today’s story in the Times-Standard and other sources we included.
Despite what you can see with your own eyes, you’re supposed to believe that homelessness is dramatically down in Humboldt?
Shake your head laughable!

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/who-benefits-from-the-systematic-under-count-of-the-houseless/

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/eureka-declares-victory-over-homelessness/

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/housing-plan-will-never-amount-to-more-than-a-piss-into-the-ocean/

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/crime-the-homeless-and-the-andrew-mills-conundrum/

 

Times-Standard story: Homeless survey scrutinized

County, organizations state lack of volunteers, housing efforts led to lower count

Humboldt County has seen a large reduction in its homeless population, according to preliminary data released this week, with county officials attributing the drop to collaborative rehousing efforts, but also a reduction in volunteers who participated in the survey.

“We know this isn’t a scientifically accurate count of every homeless person in the county. It’s never been intended to be,” Humboldt County Housing Coalition co-Chairwoman and county Department of Health and Human Services Senior Program Manager Sally Hewitt said Friday. “It gives us a brief picture of a point in time with what is going on in our homeless population.”

This year’s Point-in-Time survey counted 668 homeless individuals on Feb. 28 compared to the 1,180 in the last count in 2015 and the 864 in 2013. The survey is conducted on a single day every two years and is a requirement to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Hewitt said part of the reduction is due to 217 chronically homeless individuals having found permanent housing since Eureka and the county began implementing a Housing First approach to homelessness in early 2016 with the help of local landlords. Hewitt said the preliminary data also showed the number of homeless families have continued to decline as they had in the previous three counts.

However, this year’s count did not include any of the homeless population in the Garberville area after a group of regular survey volunteers refused to participate based on concerns that the funding was not helping the southern Humboldt County homeless population.

Debra Carey, vice president of Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, or AHHA, said she had been one of the volunteers who coordinated the Garberville-area county for several years. But this year, Carey said she felt that the county lacked the necessary preparation. She said she and many of the homeless individuals she had spoken to had become disgruntled that the government funding that these counts were supposed to generate were not reaching their community.

“What is this count all about if it’s not about getting the numbers to get the funds to assist this group of people?” Carey said.

Hewitt said the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires counties to deliver their counts in order to access funding available through Continuums of Care, like the county’s housing coalition. The coalition formed in 2004 and is composed of local government agencies and other entities that seek to reduce homelessness.

The amount of federal funding a community receives is not determined by the number of homeless individuals counted, but rather by “an extremely complicated process” involving reviewing data of available jobs and population sizes, according to Hewitt. However, Hewitt said the Point-in-Time count can be used by organizations to try and leverage funding from the state.

As to why southern Humboldt County communities are not receiving the federal funding, Hewitt said that the funding is only available for ongoing programs such as Redwood Community Action Agency, Arcata House Partnership, the county and Humboldt Bay Housing. The majority of the federal funding must be used for subsidizing rent and only a small portion can be used for administrative costs, which Hewitt said can be a limiting factor for small grassroots organizations.

“If there was a group in some of the outlying areas that had the infrastructure to handle the amount of funding, it would be wonderful for them to apply,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt said that county volunteers did attempt to survey Garberville homeless residents, but said that none were willing to be surveyed.

AHHA President Nezzie Wade did participate in this year’s count in Eureka, but said she did so not in her capacity with her organization. Like Carey, Wade said she felt that the federal funds were only being used to help a small number of people in the homeless communities. She and Carey also expressed concerns about the size of the survey and the lack of planning by the coalition for this year’s count, which is why AHHA did not associate itself with it.

“The month before it was supposed to happen, they started talking about it,” Wade said of the count. “… We talked about it and said this is not an organized effort. This is not something we would not want to subscribe to.” Hewitt said that AHHA’s concerns were valid, but that they did not tell the full story.

She said they had been planning this count a year earlier and were planning to use a new approach. Rather than having every homeless individual take surveys in order to be counted, Hewitt said they were planning on doing a head count and then scientifically selecting a sample of the homeless population to take the survey. They would then apply that data to entire homeless population. The coalition was proceeding with this plan until the last two months of 2016 when the Housing and Urban Development Department told them that they could not use that method, Hewitt said.

The department gave them the options of doing the count as they had in years past or doing an observation count. The latter option would take place from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. in January and would involve volunteers counting homeless individuals as they sleep.

“Well, in a city where they tend to sleep out in the open, it’s relatively easy to count people,” Hewitt said. “If you’re talking about going into the woods in Humboldt County in the dark and wandering around with a flashlight and trying to get homeless people awake enough to see how many there are in their tent or having to open their tent flaps to count them, it just got more and more ridiculous.”

After back and forth disputes, Hewitt said the coalition decided in January to perform the count as they had done since 2009.

“We were scrambling and we were looking for every volunteer we could,” Hewitt said. “I’m glad some of [the AHHA members] decided to participate because we count on them.”

Hewitt said more than 100 volunteers participated, with about 80 acting as surveyors.

Wade also stated that police enforcement on homeless individuals may have led to reduced numbers in this year’s report. Wade said she had contacted many of the homeless individuals living along Broadway in Eureka and nearby cross streets to let them know about the count. But Wade said these streets were near empty by the time they surveyed the area on Feb. 28, and said that many of the homeless were told by police that they could not stay there for the next three days.

“That was quite a coincidence,” Wade said.

Eureka Police Department Public Information Officer Brittany Powell said that Chief Andrew Mills had heard from the county that there was a rumor that a law enforcement agency — but not the EPD — had cleared out the homeless individuals.(sounds like a Mills tactic to the Examiner)

“We have not heard anything more about this and there is nothing to substantiate the allegation,” Powell wrote in an email to the Times-Standard. “EPD and the (Mobile Intervention & Services Team) assisted in the Point-in-Time count prior to the actual count by providing training, resources, and identifying locations to check.”

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20170519/humboldt-county-homeless-survey-scrutinized

more local spin:

https://www.northcoastjournal.com/NewsBlog/archives/2017/05/19/no-homeless-people-in-southern-humboldt

http://kiem-tv.com/video/annual-homeless-count-decreases

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/may/18/humboldts-homeless-numbers-down-43-percent-two-yea/

 

Dutch TV documentary links Traitor Trump to criminal racketeering

There is a Dutch TV documentary alleges that Donald Trump has extensive connections to Russia’s ruling oligarchs and a history of illegal racketeering.

No wonder why he won’t release his taxes or financial information

“Donald Trump’s business partners have included Russian oligarchs and convicted mobsters, which could make the president guilty of criminal racketeering charges,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet on Friday.

He continued, “That’s only one of the eyebrow-raising takeaways from a 45-minute Dutch documentary that first aired last week, ‘The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part 1: The Russians.’”

The 45-minute documentary was produced by Zembla TV (an investigative series from the VARA Broadcasting Association, is a Dutch public broadcasting association that operates within the framework of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system) They examine Trump’s alleged relationship with Russian mobster Felix Sater — which Trump reportedly took pains to hide from regulators.

It also looks at Trump’s arrangements with wealthy Russians that apparently allow them to move their money outside Russia and details the elaborate financial networks these families use as a “pyramid scheme for money laundering,” Rosenfeld said. “The financial trail exposed raises questions about whether Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because the FBI’s investigation of his campaign’s collusion with Russia was encroaching into Trump’s world of dark money and dubious business partners.”

Zembla promoted the documentary by saying, “For months, the FBI have been investigating Russian interference in the American presidential elections. ZEMBLA is investigating another explosive dossier concerning Trump’s involvement with the Russians: Trump’s business and personal ties to oligarchs from the former Soviet Union. Powerful billionaires suspected of money laundering and fraud, and of having contacts in Moscow and with the mafia. What do these relationships say about Trump and why does he deny them? How compromising are these dubious business relationships for the 45th president of the United States? And are there connections with the Netherlands? ZEMBLA meets with one of Trump’s controversial cronies and speaks with a former CIA agent, fraud investigators, attorneys, and an American senator among others.”

Zembla has also released Part Two of the series, “The King of Diamonds,” which explores Trump’s relationship with Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who is suspected of trading in blood diamonds.

Watch the English language version of “The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump,” embedded below:

Long time trend in Eureka has spread nationwide

More Americans than ever before are experiencing mental health problems, yet access to treatment for those issues is becoming more difficult to receive, a new study has found.

A new analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey shows that serious psychological distress, or SPD, defined as severe sadness and depressive symptoms that interfere with a person’s physical wellbeing, is on the rise just as resources for mental health treatment are declining.

Researchers from NYU’s Langone Medical Center analyzed almost a decade’s worth of data and found that more than 8.3 million Americans ― or an estimated 3.4 percent of the adult population ― suffers from a serious mental health issue. The latest data is a departure from previous reports on the CDC’s survey, which estimated that fewer than 3 percent of American adults experienced serious psychological distress, according to the study’s authors.

The statistics were pulled from surveys collected between 2006 and 2014. The report included more than 200,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. Individuals were represented from all states and across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, according to the study authors.

One of the more dismal discoveries from the report is that access to professional help for mental health issues is deteriorating. The study found the 9.5 percent of people surveyed in 2014 did not have health insurance that provided access to a psychiatrist or counselor, a rise from 9 percent in 2006.

Approximately 10.5 percent of people experienced delays in getting treatment due to insufficient mental health coverage ― a 1 percent increase from 2006. And almost 10 percent of individuals in 2014 could not afford to pay for necessary psychiatric medications, which went up from 8.7 percent in 2006.

The findings indicate there’s a growing problem when it comes to mental health services. This could especially affect smaller communities. A 2016 report published by Mental Health America found there’s a glaring shortage of mental health professionals in the United States, specifically in rural areas. Alabama, for example, has one worker per every 1,200 people. Nevada, another rural state, was ranked last in MHA’s report, largely in part because of the state’s lack of available mental health professionals.

What this means

There’s a clear need for more emphasis on mental health in primary care facilities and hospitals across the country, according to Judith Weissman, lead study investigator of the CDC data and a research manager in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

“Among people with any type of illness, people with SPD are the ones experiencing the most disparities in terms of utilizing health care,” Weissman told The Huffington Post. “It leaves people with SPD just spinning through the system and makes you wonder what’s going on. Why isn’t the health care system addressing people with mental illness?”

Why isn’t the health care system addressing people with mental illness?

Weissman and her fellow researchers hypothesize that poor treatment or care rates could have to do with the limited number of mental health providers across the country.

“A lot of people with mental illness don’t have coverage, but even if they do and even if there was the ability to pay for it, the number of providers out there to treat it is limited,” Weissman said. “It’s just a huge disconnect between the number of illnesses that really affect this population and the number of people who are able to treat it.”

Weissman believes that the success of managing mental health in America won’t come unless the treatment gap is closed.

“Until we begin to provide the resources and the mental health care providers, as well as screening and treatment, we won’t curtail the tide of mental illness,” she said.

Attitudes about mental health are a powerful factor

Studies indicate that prejudicial outlooks on mental health often stand in the way of people getting the help they need. Weissman says that also is apparent in this analysis and, because of that, they found people may self-medicate with substances as a way to manage problems.

Addressing the stereotypes surrounding psychological health is vital to increasing the number of people who get care, she added. And increasing care availability means encouraging insurance providers, physicians and even other people in society to take mental health as seriously as physical illnesses.

One of the easiest ways to do this, Weissman says, is for primary care physicians to start implementing behavioral health checks into their practice. This could be done by the doctor themselves or, if it’s outside of their scope, having mental health specialists on site.

“Mental illness doesn’t have parity with physical illness,” she explained. “When a person goes in to get their blood pressure checked, they need to be screened for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Mental illness needs to be viewed as something as serious as having a stroke or cancer.”

Mental illness needs to be viewed as something as serious as having a stroke or cancer.

Above all, she stresses that people with mental health issues are not alone in their experience and that treatment does help with managing the condition. Anyone who feels like they’re experiencing chronic sadness, anxiety or other psychological health problems should talk to a physician about what they’re experiencing.

Because as complicated as getting treatment seems, as NYU’s recent data implies, there are still ways to get help and it’s worth it, Weissman said. (You can check out this list for a few free or low-cost resources as a place to start.)

“There’s a lot of hope,” she stressed. “When you feel like there’s no hope, just understand that’s the mental illness speaking. You can feel better.”

 

A sneak preview of the Trump administration’s economic future

kochtopia

 Brownback created a Kochtopia in Kansas.

An ambitious effort by a Republican governor to drastically cut his state’s taxes is crumbling—and that’s a bad omen for Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress who are hoping to slash tax rates at the national level.

Shortly after he became governor of Kansas in 2011, Sam Brownback went to work on rewriting the state’s tax code. Together with the Republican-dominated legislature, he eliminated the top income tax bracket, lowered everyone else’s income tax rate, and created a loophole that allowed some business owners to pay no state income taxes at all.

Brownback sold the cuts as a way to jolt the Kansas economy to life, promising major job growth thanks to the lower tax rates. To pass these tax measures, Brownback worked to replace moderate Republicans in the legislature who opposed his ideas with true-believer conservatives. He helped knock off nine moderate Republican incumbents, and the effort paid off when his tax reform passed in 2012.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/sam-brownback-kansas-paul-davis

But instead of the miracle growth that Brownback promised, the tax cuts have left a widening crater in the state budget. State economic growth has lagged behind the national pace, and job growth has stagnated. Lawmakers have been left scrambling each year to pass unpleasant spending cuts when tax revenue comes in below expected levels, leading to contentious fights in the legislature and state courts over reduced public school funding. When the state legislature convened last month, it faced a $320 million budget shortfall that needed to be closed before the end of the current fiscal year in June—and a projected additional $500 million shortfall for the next fiscal year.

After more moderate Republicans joined the GOP-dominated legislature following last November’s election, the party has appeared more willing to concede defeat and ditch Brownback’s tax experiment. Last week, the state House and Senate passed a bill that would generate more than $1 billion by eradicating most of Brownback’s reforms. It would raise personal income tax rates (though still not as high as the pre-Brownback rates) and end the loophole that has allowed 330,000 business owners—including subsidiaries of Wichita-based Koch Industries—to avoid paying income taxes.

The fate of that bill is still in doubt. Brownback vetoed the measure on Wednesday morning, after explaining, “I am vetoing it because the legislature failed to fulfill my request that they find savings and efficiencies before asking the people of Kansas for more taxes.” But the House quickly fought back, voting 85-40 to override the veto. But late Wednesday afternoon, the Senate fell three votes short of the the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the law without Brownback’s approval, leaving the fate of the state’s tax system uncertain.

So what’s all of this got to do with Trump? Brownback’s failures could complicate national tax-reform efforts, which have been high on the Trump administration’s agenda. “Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league,” Trump told airline executives earlier this month. “That’s coming along very well. We’re way ahead of schedule, I believe. And we’re going to announce something I would say over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.”

trump

Like many of Trump’s policy plans, his tax agenda remains largely a mystery. But the proposal he outlined during the presidential campaign shared many features with Brownback’s experiment. It would slash personal income tax rates and reduce the number of brackets. It wouldn’t eliminate business income taxes, but it would lower them to 15 percent, allowing many super-wealthy Americans to avoid paying high tax rates by funneling their income through their businesses.

That’s not entirely coincidental. Trump and Brownback share a tax guide: Reaganomics guru Art Laffer. Laffer is best known for the Laffer curve, a diagram of his hypothesis that lowering tax rates could increase tax revenue by boosting economic output. Kansas paid $75,000 for Laffer to spend three days consulting with lawmakers on the state’s tax plans. Laffer also visited Trump Tower to consult on tax reform last year, and in December he called Trump’s campaign tax plans “terrific.” When Trump’s treasury secretary nominee went before the Senate last month, Trump’s transition press office emailed reporters a list of endorsements that started with glowing praise from Laffer. “Steven Mnuchin is a wonderful choice for Treasury Secretary,” Laffer said. “He has a great understanding of finance, markets, and housing. He is committed to tax reform that will get our economy growing, create jobs, and make America the best place to do business.”

By now, it’s clear that Brownback’s tax experiment hasn’t produced the growth he promised. But that hasn’t put an end to Republican efforts to replicate it on the national level. In December, Brownback suggested to the Wall Street Journal that Kansas’ tax reforms could offer a model for Trump. And on Thursday morning, Brownback is scheduled to speak—almost certainly about his taxation model—at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, on a panel titled “How Governors are Reclaiming America’s Promise.”

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/sam-brownback-kansas-tax-cuts-donald-trump