The single largest tax expenditure in the United States is for employer-based health insurance. It’s even more than the mortgage interest deduction. In 2017, this exclusion cost the federal government about $260 billion in lost income and payroll taxes. This is significantly more than the cost of the Affordable Care Act each year.
People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900...That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level... Property-tax exemptions for longtime residents keep older Americans from moving. Zoning rules make it harder to build affordable apartments attractive to senior citizens.
Emissions have been reduced by approximately 1% each year since 2006, when California enacted its landmark law setting a target for cutting pollution that causes climate change. But to reach a newer, more ambitious goal for 2030, cuts will need to happen at about three times that pace.
Not only did its passage [Prop13] gut basic services the state used to excel at, like education, but it also turned real estate into the primary way Californians accrued and preserved personal wealth. If you bought a cheap house in the 1970s in the Bay Area, today it’s a gold mine—and you are disincentivized from doing anything that would reduce its value, like, say, allowing an apartment building to be built anywhere within view.
Last month the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that without concerted intervention, as much as 67 percent of Southern California’s beaches could be lost to rising seas by the end of the century ... More than 42,000 homes in California will be under water—not merely flooded, but with seawater over roofs.
we must turn the nearly 60 million low-wage service jobs in food preparation, retail, and childcare into higher-wage, family-supporting jobs. This is analogous to what we did during the New Deal, when we turned low-wage factory jobs into high-paid middle-class jobs. If we were willing to pay a little more for our cars and appliances to create a middle class in the last century, surely we can afford to pay more in this one to the people who serve us food and care for our kids and aging parents.
a year after Berkeley’s soda tax took effect in 2015, the city saw a nearly 10 percent drop in purchases of sugary drinks and a nearly 16 percent increase in sales of bottled water ... Last year, voters approved a similar soda tax in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, Calif., as well as in Boulder, Colo., Cook County, Ill., and Philadelphia. Santa Fe, N.M., and Seattle are considering soda taxes.
Terrorism has changed dramatically in recent years. Attacks by groups with defined chains of command have become rarer, as the prevalence of terrorist networks, autonomous cells, and, in rare cases, individuals, has grown. This evolution has prompted a search for a new vocabulary, as it should... Lazy talk of “lone wolves” obscures the real nature of the threat against us, and makes us all less safe.
All administrations set enforcement priorities. Should the Justice Department focus on white-collar criminals or old-school mobsters? Should the Securities and Exchange Commission go after penny-stock scammers or hedge fund billionaires? How aggressively should agencies pursue tax cheats, polluters or minimum-wage violators? Somewhat paradoxically, enforcement power is a particularly potent tool for a president such as Trump who wants the government to do less rather than more
half of the United States’ gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities (Want to fix gun violence? Go local). We also found that violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country’s population saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides.