This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Feb. 29, 2012 for week ending March 9, 2012


"Obama's proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent (is) revenue neutral ... the total amount of taxes raised from the corporate sector will (remain) unchanged."

– Chris Rude, political economist and activist, discussing how the average corporate tax rate in 1950 was around 50 percent; in 2010, it's about 22 percent.


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Obama Plan to Reform Corporate Tax Code Fails to Shift Larger Tax Burden onto Big Business

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Interview with Chris Rude, political economist and activist, conducted by Scott Harris


A report issued in 2010 by President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommended an overhaul of the nation’s complex and loophole-ridden tax code. Although the omission’s recommendations were not adopted by Congress, the president put forward one element of the plan on Feb. 22 that would reform corporate taxes. The president proposed cutting the top corporate taxes from 35 percent to 28 percent, with a 25 percent drop for U.S.-based manufacturers. Concurrently, the plan would also eliminate many loopholes that had allowed some of the nation’s largest corporations to pay little or no taxes at all. But the administration maintains that their proposal would remain revenue neutral, meaning that corporations under their plan would pay no more taxes in the future than they’re paying now.  Story continues

U.S. Judge Clears Way for Deportation of Former El Salvadoran General for War Crimes

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Interview with Patty Blum, senior legal adviser to the Center for Justice and Accountability, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


A U.S. immigration judge last week approved the deportation of Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who from 1980 to 1989 served as head of El Salvador’s National Guard and later as defense minister during the nation’s bloody civil war, when tens of thousands of Salvadoran civilians were murdered and many were tortured. On Feb. 23, Judge James Grim, of Orlando, Fla.’s Immigration Court found Vides Casanova liable for acts of torture and murder committed by soldiers under his command, including the rape and murder of four American church women in December 1980. At the time, Washington was supporting the Salvadoran government’s war against the FMLN leftist guerilla movement. In deciding the case, the judge cleared the way for the former general’s deportation from the U.S.  Story continues

GOP Presidential Candidates Revive Christian Right Culture War to Rally Its Extremist Base

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Interview with Peter Montgomery, senior fellow with People for the American Way, conducted by Scott Harris


With the U.S. economy in the worst shape since the Great Depression, economic issues were an obvious focus for debate among the presidential candidates in this year’s election campaign. But in recent weeks, Republican candidates running for the White House have veered toward issues favored by the Christian Right that include opposition to abortion and gay marriage. But what’s been a surprise to many observers is the recent attention to the long settled issue of women’s access to contraception, which has not been seriously debated in U.S. politics since the Supreme Court settled the landmark Griswold v. Connecticut case in 1965, in which the justices ruled that the U.S. Constitution protected a right to privacy, overturning a Connecticut law that banned the use of contraceptives.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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