Michael Meeropol

Michael Meeropol: GOP Tax Plans

Nov 6, 2015

On November 2, 2015 Josh Barro wrote a column in the New York times presenting details from some Republican candidates’ tax proposals.  (See “Republicans’ Talk of Taxes Leaves Much Unsaid,” New York Times, November 2, 2015, P. A 3)   Instead of being satisfied with sound bites, Barro does readers a service by going into some of the details.  The tax plans I want to highlight are those of Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Ted Cruz.  (He also discusses the plans of Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and Governor John Kasich.)

After the Labor Day weekend, both the House and Senate will begin debating a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear agreement between Iran and China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States and the European Union.  Later they will vote on the deal.  Millions of dollars are being spent by various lobbying groups to defeat it.  Much less is being spent by supporters.   (It is important to remember that this is not an agreement just between the US and Iran --- the US had many partners in this negotiation.)

Michael Meeropol: Black Lives Matter

Aug 7, 2015

Recently, at the convention of Netroots Nation Presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were confronted by members of the audience demanding that they address the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement.   Both men missed the opportunity to show that they GOT IT.

Michael Meeropol: Required Reading

Jul 3, 2015

I would like to strongly recommend that everyone listening to this broadcast immediately go out and buy a short book (you can read it in one sitting) called THE COLLAPSE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.  (NY:  Columbia University Press, 2014)  They had previous collaborated on a highly regarded book MERCHANTS OF DOUBT (NY and London:  Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011) in which they investigated the ability of large corporations (initially tobacco companies) to sow doubt about strong scientific findings that would, if followed, cut into their bottom lines.  In the case of tobacco, the companies were able to stave off the day of reckoning for decades.  Their success literally killed people. 

Like many in the Hudson Valley, I took the loss of Pete Seeger personally.  He was a great national and international figure having received over 20 honors and awards including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award, the Harvard Arts Medal, the Kennedy Center Honor and been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame to name a few.   For us who lived in and near Beacon, NY where he had lived for 65 years, he was a local hero.  The sloop Clearwater and the attention it brought to the Hudson River actually led to an actual clean-up of terrible pollution.  Now, the river can be fished and it’s safe for swimming.

If this commentary sounds like a broken record, it’s because the folks who are out to gut Medicare  --- the “let’s have a grand bargain and introduce more austerity” crowd --- have returned with a vengeance.   Because of the current stand-off between the President and House Republicans, the two leaders of the failed Simpson-Bowles Commission are back at it again.   Over the summer, the White House has hosted dinners with Senate Republicans in hopes that a new grand bargain can be reached.   Former Senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton Administration Official Erskine Bowles, in a recent OP

Have you ever heard of Leon Cooperman?  He is a billionaire whose 1500 word letter of complaint to President Obama has made him the darling of the top one tenth of one percent.  In the NEW YORKER’s October 8 issue he is profiled in a fascinating article that quotes from his letter.

I am reprinting the entire letter with my comments interspersed: