LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for the ‘Business/Finance/Taxes’ Category

Walmart drawing water from Sacramento public water supply – report

RT News | May 12, 2015

Walmart is under scrutiny following the revelation that their bottled water is coming from the public water supply of drought-stricken Sacramento, California. Lindsay France has more on the controversy.

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429,000 LGBT Workers in Texas Lack Statewide Protections against Ongoing Employment Discrimination

For Immediate Distribution
May 7, 2015

Lauren Jow,, 310-206-0314310-206-0314

LOS ANGELES — Approximately 429,000 LGBT workers in Texas are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent explicit statewide legal protections, according to a new report co-authored by Christy Mallory, Senior Counsel, and Brad Sears, Executive Director, at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.  Currently, four localities in Texas prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public and private sector employment, and seven localities protect local government workers or employees of local government contractors from such discrimination. Approximately 86% of Texas’ workforce, however, is not covered by these laws.

“A statewide law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would bring new protections to thousands of workers without burdening courts and agencies,” Mallory said. “Most likely, the cost of handling complaints filed under the law could be absorbed into the existing enforcement system with no need for additional staff or resources.”

The report finds evidence of ongoing discrimination against LGBT people in Texas:

• In response to a national 2010 survey, 79% of transgender people from Texas reported having experienced harassment or mistreatment at work, and 45% reported that they were not hired, 26% reported that they were fired, and 22% reported being denied a promotion because of their gender identity or expression.

• Census data show that in Texas, the median income of men in same-sex couples is 9% lower than men in different sex marriages.

• Aggregated data from two large public opinion polls find that 79% of Texas residents think that LGBT people experience a moderate amount to a lot of discrimination in the state.

• Several recent instances of employment discrimination against LGBT people in Texas have been documented in the media and lawsuits; these include reports from teachers, a detective, an architect, and a bank employee.

• Survey data show that, nationally, 21% of LGBT respondents report being treated unfairly by an employer in hiring, pay, or promotions.

Employer policies and public opinion indicate support for non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in Texas:

• At least 40 of the 51 Fortune 500 companies based in Texas have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and at least 22 of them also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

• In response to a national poll conducted in 2011, 73% of respondents from Texas said that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity should be prohibited in the U.S.

A statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would not be burdensome or costly to enforce:

• The law would result in approximately 202 additional complaints being filed each year with the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division.

• The anticipated new complaints could most likely be absorbed into the existing system with no need for additional staff and negligible costs.

Findings from the Texas report are consistent with national data.

Click here for the full report.

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5 Leading Legal Scholars on TPP: We Write Out of Grave Concern

Protesters greet President Obama in Portland, Oregon, with signs in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
(Protesters greet President Obama in Portland, Oregon, with signs in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)


Judith Resnik, Cruz Reynoso, Honorable H. Lee Sarokin, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Laurence H. Tribe | Reader Supported News | May 9, 2015


pril 30, 2015

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, and Minority Leader Pelosi:

We write out of grave concern about a document we have not been able to see. Although it has not been made available publicly, we understand that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement currently being negotiated includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. ISDS allows foreign investors—and only foreign investors—to avoid the courts and instead to argue to a special, private tribunal that they believe certain government actions diminish the value of their investments.

Courts are central institutions in the rule of law. Americans have much to be proud of in the evolution of our court system, which has evolved over the centuries and now provides equal access for all persons. Courts enable the public to observe the processes of development of law and to watch impartial and accountable decision-makers render judgments.

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Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

Katrina Brooker | Bloomberg | Reader Supported News | May 5, 2015

The rollback of financial regulation is stalled. Income inequality is a campaign issue. Americans are still angry about the financial crisis. Things aren’t shaping up the way the big banks expected, and an important reason is one laser-focused senator from Massachusetts.


et’s assume that when he woke up on the morning of Dec. 12, Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, was feeling pretty good. The day before, the House of Representatives had passed a bill that would save his bank and others lots of money and headaches.

The trouble was, Elizabeth Warren, the senior senator from Massachusetts, was getting ready to speak on the Senate floor. She had his bank on her mind.

What Warren wanted to talk about was an item tucked into page 615 of a 1,603-page spending package: the repeal of section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Known as the swaps push-out rule, section 716 required banks to set up separate subsidiaries, not backed by the government, to trade certain derivatives. If the rule stood, it would generate huge administrative costs for the big banks.

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While same-sex spouses can now file jointly, those in civil unions and registered domestic partners are still treated unfairly

Williams Institute | April 15, 2015

Domestic partners cannot file federal income taxes jointly, and they pay more on average for health care benefits.

Just two years ago, married same-sex couples could not file their federal taxes jointly, and their employer based-health insurance benefits were taxed as imputed income, unlike spousal benefits.

Williams Institute research showed that taxing domestic partner benefits cost families and employers $235 million in additional income and payroll taxes. This research was presented to the Congress and courts, helping to spread marriage equality and create fairer tax rules.

With marriage equality on the horizon for the entire United States, it is important to remember that domestic partners still cannot file income taxes jointly at the federal level and that their health care benefits are taxed as imputed income.

Even if the Supreme Court extends marriage equality to the entire country this summer, this means that unmarried couples, whether same-sex or different-sex, potentially will be taxed differently than married couples. This differential treatment will also create administrative hassle and real costs for businesses.


Obama’s Trade Agreements Are a Gift to Corporations


(Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/NurPhoto/Sipa USA) (Sipa via AP Images)

Protesters gathered outside the Smith Center to speak out against the fast-track of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Portland, Oregon, on January 31, 2014. 

Robert Kuttner  | The American Prospect | April 29, 2015

Trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are about dismantling critical regulations on health, safety, labor, and the environment. 

This article originally appeared at The Boston Globe

Late last week, legislation moved forward that would give President Obama authority to negotiate two contentious trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But for the most part, these aren’t trade agreements at all. They’re a gift to corporations, here and in partner countries that view purely domestic regulations as restraints of trade.

If these deals pass, the pharmaceutical industry could get new leverage to undermine regulations requiring the use of generic drugs. The tobacco industry has used similar “trade” provisions to challenge package label warnings.

A provision in both deals, known as Investor State Dispute Settlement, would allow corporations to do end runs around national governments by taking their claims to special tribunals, with none of the due process of normal law. This provision has attracted the most opposition. It’s such a stinker that one of the proposed member nations, Australia, got an exemption for its health and environmental policies.

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Developing Story: Dr. Ron Paul Reveals #1 Step to Prepare for America’s Next Big Crisis

Michael Palmer | Stansberry Research | The Crux | April 8, 2015

Exclusive: Dr. Ron Paul issues alarming presentation on how U.S. Dollar will crash—and how to protect yourself.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This is a fascinating story with implications for every American…

Dr. Ron Paul–the former U.S. Presidential candidate and 22-year Congressional veteran–was briefly back in Washington, D.C., recently.

Dr. Paul was in the nation’s capital to educate Americans on what he believes our country’s next financial crisis will look like.

He says America is on the verge of a real “currency crisis”—the likes of which we have not seen in more than 50 years.

RELATED: Why America is NOT Normal – Dr. Ron Paul’s 8 facts prove how bad things really are

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