FROM Christopher Edley, Jr.
Will the State Tax System Be Reformed? The sales tax in California may be the nation's highest, but 53% of state revenues come from the income tax. That creates problems, because incomes rise and fall with the stock market and the economy, creating the ups and downs that defy planning and lead to continuing budget crises. Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature created the Commission on the 21st Century Economy to develop a new system. The Commission's final report won't be presented until later this week, but its principal features are known. It would eliminate the sales tax and the corporate income tax and flatten the personal income tax by eliminating the top brackets. Lost revenue would be replaced by something called the Business Net Receipts Tax or BNRT.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.