This Week on Between The Lines

Posted April 18, 2012 for week ending April 27, 2012


"It's a 30-year trend of lessening tax rates for the wealthy ... the tax system is rigged for the wealthiest and richest 1 percent. For one, capital gains and investments should be taxed at the same rate as income."

– Lee Farris, senior organizer on estate and federal tax policy with United for a Fair Economy on the many ways that the wealthy are paying less tax rates than ordinary people.


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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Tax Fairness Debate Takes Center Stage in Presidential Election Year

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Interview with Lee Farris, senior organizer on Estate and Federal Tax Policy with United for a Fair Economy, conducted by Scott Harris


On April 16, the day before tax returns were due for most Americans, the U.S. Senate took up debate on the so-called “Buffett Rule,” legislation named for billionaire Warren Buffett who declared that wealthy people like him should be paying a greater percentage of taxes on their income - than for example, his secretary. A bill championed by President Obama would have set a minimum 30-percent tax rate for anyone earning at least $1 million a year. But Senate Republicans succeeded in blocking debate on the bill, by a 51 to 45 vote, denying Democrats the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster.  Story continues

Amnesty International: Decades of Solitary Confinement at Louisiana’s Angola Prison Amounts to Torture

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Interviews with Everette Thompson, southeast regional director of Amnesty USA, and Robert King, one of the Angola 3, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


April 17 marks exactly 40 years that two inmates in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison, have been held in solitary confinement for the murder of a prison guard, Brent Miller. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were serving sentences for separate armed robbery convictions when they formed a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party to fight for better prison conditions, including ending segregation and systematic rape. They organized strikes and sit-ins to press their cause. When Robert Hillary King, formerly Robert King Wilkerson, entered the prison shortly after the murder of the guard, he was linked to the crime through his association with the Black Panthers and investigated but never charged. Supporters refer to the men as the "Angola 3." King spent 29 years of his 31 years in prison in solitary confinement, before a 1973 conviction was overturned and he plead guilty to a lesser charge. He was released in 2001.  Story continues

Summit of the Americas Highlights Latin Nations' Growing Independence from Washington

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Interview with Alex Main, senior associate for international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, conducted by Scott Harris


The Summit of the Americas meeting in Cartagena, Colombia on April 14 and 15, the first such gathering since 2009, concluded without an official declaration of shared principles from the more than 30 heads of state in attendance. Although a list of important issues were discussed, the eruption of a scandal alleging that members of the U.S. Secret Service were engaged in improper conduct with prostitutes overshadowed much of the news coverage of the summit.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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