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So you think You'll Get a Tax Break, or tax cut? Really?

A letter was sent out recently by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians.

You're not hearing Breitbart News or Common Dreams - right or left - organizations or news sites with a point of view other than that they are committed to healing people.

The American Medical Association, they're committed to their doctors making a good income too because it's kind of a Union. The American Hospital Association, they want their hospitals to work. The American Academy of Family Physicians, I'd really doubt they have much of an axe to grind other than, "hey, we'd like families to be able to get health care."

The Federation of American Hospitals. BlueCross Blue Shield Association - it's a non-profit. The America's Health Insurance Plans - now, that's a lobbying group for the health insurance industry so that's the one that maybe I could discount.

But here's what letter says...

"Repealing the individual mandate without a workable alternative will reduce enrollment, further destabilizing an already fragile individual and small group health insurance market on which more than 10 million Americans rely."

So you know the Republicans - according to the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Federation of American hospitals, BlueCross Blue Shield and America's Health Insurance Plans - the Republicans have a choice: who are you going to help?

Are you going to help people - Americans - who might get sick, or are you going to help the billionaires of America who want to be able to pass along all of the money that they made to their children even though their children didn't do anything to earn it, they just were members of the lucky sperm club?

See, I have no problem if Ivanka Trump is taking a paycheck from Trump enterprises for the work that she's doing, or even, for that matter, just for being a Trump. You take a paycheck, you pay taxes on the money, right? If Ivanka Trump or Don jr. or Eric are working for the Trump Organization and are paid a million bucks a year, they're paying taxes on that money. I got no problem with that.

But when daddy croaks, all of a sudden they're going to get a whole pile of billions and billions of dollars - at least if daddy's not lying about his net worth - for which they didn't work. They just happened to be members of the lucky sperm club. They were just born children of Donald and Ivana. And that's worth billions?

I get it, in the Republican world it is, but that's only a little tiny piece of it Topher Spiro and Al Franken are tweeting about this. Topher Spiro is with the Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog. He says...

"Based on my twitter mentions, I can report that Republicans have awakened a sleeping giant. This is now a health care bill."

What's he talking about? Well, Al Franken tweets out...

"RED ALERT: Senate GOP just added provision to their tax plan that would gut ACA & kick 13M ppl off insurance. Yes, it's same tax plan that would add $1 trillion+ to deficit while giving majority of benefits to corporations & the rich. We need you to make your voices heard again."

I would add the other slick little trick that they're pulling is they're saying, "Oh, those tax breaks for people, those expire in ten years. Tax breaks for corporations, they're there forever." And of course the billionaires who take their money out of the corporations, implicitly.

So, you think you're getting a middle-class tax cut? Well, first of all only, about half the middle class might get even a tiny tax cut. The other half the middle class is going to pay more. There are two pieces in the New York Times about this Republican tax scam.

The first from the Editorial Board of the New York Times - they're not just all liberals, they represent a wide variety of opinions from left to right. But there are some things that just have to do with truth.

So, the Republicans passed a budget recently - both through both the House and the Senate and Trump signed it - that provided for increasing the national debt by 1.5 trillion dollars that they can give to billionaires like Donald Trump, saying your estate will not have to pay an inheritance tax when it hands your money to your undeserving children. Because if they were deserving they would have been paid and they would have paid taxes on that income. There's just simple principles here.

So, first, to pay out of that 1.5 trillion that the Republicans intend to borrow from the Chinese and the Saudis and whatnot, they're going to give a massive tax break to billionaires in the form of ending the estate tax, a massive tax break to in particular big tech companies. It's almost breathtaking, the tax break that these companies are going to get.

A press release from Don Owens of Public Citizen says...

"The tax holiday proposal supported by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans would give eight top technology corporations a $95 billion tax break, a new report from Public Citizen and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) reveals."

Now keep mind, these are among the most profitable companies in the history of human civilization. They are sitting collectively on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. They are not cash strapped. They are not in need of more money to expand or hire new people. All of that is total BS.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said...

"The richest company in history is hardly in need of a nearly $50 billion tax benefit."

And that's the amount of money that will go to Apple - $47.1 billion. The press release continues...

"The eight tech giants collectively hold more than $502 billion offshore, much of which is booked to their 94 tax haven subsidiaries across the globe."

Just Apple is sitting on $252.3 billion overseas. So in exchange for giving Apple and Trump and his billionaire buddies this huge tax break, here's what the editorial board of the New York Times says, the Republicans have to find $200 billion dollars to pay for this.

So, number one: do away with the individual mandate on Obamacare - that'll get you a couple hundred billion, well, we're not sure exactly how much money it'll get you but a lot of people will say, "well, you know, I'm young and healthy - I don't need health insurance" and they'll drop off and so they're no longer paying into the program.

So then the insurance system really starts to crash.

Number two: planning on adopting a child? Republicans are doing away with a $13,000 child adoption tax credit. This is going to give them $3.8 billion that they're stealing from adoptive families that they can give to billionaires.

Have or develop a chronic illness? Nearly nine million taxpayers in 2015 deducted $84 billion from their taxes, a $182 billion over ten years. So if you're sick or anybody in your family is sick, you can no longer deduct your health care expenses.

You need to take care of dependents? Dependent care families you can currently deduct up to $5,000 if you're caring in your house for aging mom or disabled child. Forget that, the Republicans don't want you to be able to deduct that and this is going to raise $6.5 billion that they can give to Ivanka Trump and the Koch brothers.

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So you want to start a progressive podcast? These 10 tips will help you be successful

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Here are a few tips to the up-and-coming crop of progressive podcasters from somebody who's been doing it for around 15 years.