Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Labor Pushes Tax-the-Rich Measure; Iran Hikers Address Occupy Oakland

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. As the Occupy Wall Street movement spreads around the globe, California labor leaders are proposing a tax-the-rich measure for the November 2012 ballot that would raise taxes on millionaires, the CoCo Times reports. The 100,000-member California Federation of Teachers has already given the go ahead for the measure, although they have yet to decide how much they want to raise taxes on those who make more than $1 million annually. It’s also unclear whether Governor Jerry Brown will sign on to the measure.

2. The three American hikers who were held captive in Iran addressed the Occupy Oakland demonstration yesterday, telling protesters that they connect with those “who don't have enough to eat, who don't have enough money or jobs, and don't enjoy the liberties which they deserve,” the Trib reports. It was the hikers first public appearance together since being released from an Iranian prison. On Saturday, actor Danny Glover addressed Occupy Oakland as well. Occupy Oakland began last week.

Boxer
  • Boxer
3. Congressional Democrats, including California senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, are putting increasing pressure on the Obama administration to do more to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages, the Chron reports. Dems note that millions of Americans can’t take advantage of historically low interest rates and can’t refinance their mortgages because they owe far more on their homes than the homes are worth. Economists say that cash-strapped homeowners, saddled with unaffordable mortgages, are keeping the economy sluggish because they have no money to spend.

4. A natural gas pipeline safety bill, drawn up in the wake of PG&E’s San Bruno disaster, unanimously passed the US Senate after Tea Party Republican Senator Rand Paul dropped his opposition to it, the Chron reports. Paul had single-handedly held up the bill because of his opposition to government regulations. Paul also had complained that the bill exempted older pipelines, such as the one that exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people, from thorough testing. An amendment was then added to the bill that removed the exemption.

5. And Wells Fargo posted record profits last quarter, earning $4.06 billion, the Trib reports. But that wasn’t enough for Wall Street investors, who sold off the bank’s stock yesterday, because Wells Fargo’s $19.63 billion in revenue fell short of their expectations.

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