This is the Insurgent Radio Kiosk for Tuesday, November 26th
Years ago, a Texas legislator who was known to be bribable explained his ethical framework as opportunistic: “I seen my chances, and I took ‘em,” he said.
Likewise, such hustlers as Dan Gilbert (the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans), Michael Milken (the disgraced Wall Street finagler), and Stephen Ross (the owner of the Miami Dolphins) have seen opportunistic chances in Donald Trump’s program of “Opportunity Zone” tax breaks – and grabbed them. The new law was trumpeted as a channel for funneling new investments into poor communities, but billionaires have jumped on it like chickens on a cricket, devouring the poor people’s tax subsidy to underwrite their own luxury projects.
Consider Kevin Plank’s scam in Baltimore. The billionaire owner of the sports apparel outfit named Under Armour, he wanted to use the subsidy for an upscale project called Port Covington. But, alas, Plank’s section of land was not in a low-income zone, so it didn’t qualify. But – Eureka! – the billionaire found a loophole: If a piece of property was within an old “empowerment zone,” it could get the subsidy. Alas again, though, Port Covington was not inside the qualifying zone, but next to it. However, an old mapping mistake showed that a tiny slice of Plank’s property line ran under a highway overpass, just inside the zone. Based on the map’s error, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Trump’s Treasury Department quickly certified every inch of the Port Covington tract as an Opportunity Zone eligible for the full poverty subsidy.
And that’s how corporate and political elites conspire to rig the system, blatantly ripping off poverty money to make the rich richer and increase inequality in America.
Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced an “Opportunity Zone Reform Act” to stop this immoral scam. For more information go to Finance.Senate.gov/.
“A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina,” https://www.propublica.org/article/superyacht-marina-west-palm-beach-opportunity-zone-trump-tax-break-to-help-the-poor-went-to-a-rich-gop-donor?utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewslette, November 14, 2019.
“Billionaires Keep Benefiting From a Tax Break to Help the Poor. Now, Congress Wants to Investigate.” https://www.propublica.org/article/billionaires-keep-benefiting-from-a-tax-break-to-help-the-poor-now-congress-wants-to-investigate?utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=majorinvestigations
November 8, 2019.
“One Trump Tax Cut Was Meant to Help the Poor. A Billionaire Ended Up Winning Big.” https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-podcast-one-trump-tax-cut-meant-to-help-the-poor-a-billionaire-ended-up-winning-big
Hightower’s commentaries are brought to you by The Hightower Lowdown, the monthly newsletter with Hightower’s take on what Wall Street and Washington are up to. For information, visit hightowerlowdown.org.
It’s today’s Action Calendar!
The Peace and Justice Book Circle will discuss the book “Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity into Prosperity”, by Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne, this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Goodman South Library, 2222 South Park Street. All are welcome. Hosted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. For more information, phone 609-7961.
In recognition of World AIDS Day, the UW Health HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care program will host a a free community gathering this evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Goodman Center’s Brassworks Building, 214 Waubesa Street. Titled “ Pass the Mic”, the event will feature real-life stories told by people impacted by HIV. All are invited. Refreshments will be provided. Phone 241-1574 for information
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for those 55 and older. Volunteers can make a difference at the Henry Vilas Zoo, The River Food Pantry, Prospect Gardens, the Community Action Coalition, the Wisconsin Historical Museum and elsewhere. Phone 441-7891 for information.
The Women, Infants and Children Nutrition program offers a wide variety of services, food and nutrition information to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children healthy and strong. For details call 267-1111.
The Insurgent Radio Kiosk welcomes your commentaries on subjects of interest to the W.O.R.T. listening community. Commentaries are limited to two minutes. If you’d like to do a Kiosk commentary, visit wortfm.org/kioskcommentary.
The Kiosk is available online at wortfm.org/kiosk.
This has been the Insurgent Radio Kiosk heard weekdays at 5:00, 6:30 and 9:00 AM and at 2:00 PM. I’m Greg Geboski. Submit announcements at least ten days in advance of the event at wortfm.org/kiosk/announcements.