Like many of you, weíve been dismayed by the scant coverage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the completely insufficient emergency response. Weíre hopeful the island will get the help they so desperately need, including cancellation of their public debt, much of which is held by predatory hedge funds.

One story the media has spared no expense to cover is the rollout of Trumpís tax plan. Check out our co-editors Sarah Anderson, Chuck Collins, and Josh Hoxie, and contributor Bob Lord in this viral video produced by Bernie Sanders explaining exactly who will benefit from the plan (now over a million views!). And donít miss Chuck sitting down with Bernie for a Facebook Live interview on Tuesday, October 3rd at 11:30 Eastern!


Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
A Fighter for the Formerly Incarcerated
Itís been 30 years since Kimberly Hart was convicted of a felon. But to the folks who hold power over her ability get a job, it may as well have been yesterday. Hart, a Hartford Connecticut-based community advocate and mother, is using her personal story to help make change for people like her. Sheís involved with grassroots organizations including Mothers For Justice, a grass-roots women's advocacy group that focuses on welfare reform, prison re-entry, and affordable housing, as well as Witnesses to Hunger. We caught up with Hart to hear her experience of trying to get ahead in an economy stacked heavily against the formerly incarcerated.
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Trump Cabinet Flying High on the Public Dime

Goodbye and good riddance to Tom Price, now former Secretary of Health and Human Services. The disgraced former congressman was forced to resign last week after the public caught wind of his $1 million luxury travel habit. It remains to be seen how much Price will reimburse tax-payers for his private jet soirees, but itís clear he was not the only one.

Axios reports that several members of Trumpís cabinet have spent tax-payer dollars for private planes on a number of self-indulgent journeys. One has to wonder if Price was the scapegoat or the first of many to fall for overstepping the publicís tolerance for extravagance on their dime.
This week on, freelance journalist Esther Ortiz writes on the key factor driving a new geographical distribution of wealth and poverty in many of the worldís most-visited cities: tourism. Also, Sarah Anderson explains how Trump's tax plan is really a rocketship for the rich in a must-see IPS video.

Elsewhere on the web, Paul Kiel published a heartbreaking story with Hannah Fresques for Propublica on the myriad ways the bankruptcy system is failing black Americans. Another group being failed right now: children. LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik outlines the horrific impact of Congressional inaction to renew the Childrenís Health Insurance Program.

And then there was that little story last week you might have heard about: Donald Trump finally released his plan to radically alter the tax code. John Cassidy at the New Yorker laid out all the ways the biggest beneficiary in Trumpís plan is Trump himself. Zach Carter at Huffington Post took this theme a bit further, describing the plan as an act of political domination by the rich. Patriotic Millionaire Amelie Ratliff wrote in The Guardian that as a self-proclaimed one percenter, she doesnít need another tax break.

And for a humorous take, see Alexandra Petriís Washington Post column on how Republicans have sold their souls for tax reform.

And finally, economist Stephanie Kelton reminded us that the United States really can afford to spend big on our citizens. Donít miss her must-read piece in the LA Times, ďCongress can give every American a pony (if it breeds enough ponies).Ē

Indiana Farmer Complaining about Estate Tax with Trump Cashed $3.3 Million in Farm Subsidies
Among the many provisions of the Trump tax plan is the elimination of the federal estate tax. Trump called on Kip Tom, an Indiana mega-farmer, to personify the necessity for eliminating the tax. What Trump failed to mention is that Tom received $3.3 million in tax-payer funded farm subsidies. Setting aside the fact that the estate tax is only paid by the wealthiest 0.2 percent of households, nearly zero of which are farmers, this was galling. Complaining about your taxes while cashing millions in checks provided by other taxpayers is the definition of hubris.
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