Friday, April 10, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of Trump's Call for Payroll Tax Cut (4/8/2020)

The Bernie Train Stops, but Will the Senator Continue to Fight From Outside?

US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the Democratic race for the White House, following weeks of pursuing an increasingly unlikely path to defeating the moderate front-runner for the nomination, former US Vice President Joe Biden, in a race now overcome by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. What will be the impact of this on the race going forward? Also, will what took place in Wisconsin this week be the start of the 2020 election wars?

"President Donald Trump on Tuesday once again voiced his support for slashing the payroll tax — the primary funding mechanism for Social Security and Medicare — and said he would be calling for such a cut even if the US were not currently in the midst of a nationwide public health and economic emergency," Common Dreams reported Wednesday. Is this "code for gutting Social Security's dedicated funding," as progressive organization Social Security Works called it?
[Related articles: “Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program), Behind the Money Curtain: A Left Take on Taxes, Spending, and Modern Monetary Theory]

The US is suffering and has suffered its deadliest day yet from the COVID-19 virus, with nearly 2,000 deaths between between Tuesday and Wednesday. The death toll now stands at 14,390 as of Wednesday evening, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. This is supposed to be an all-hands-on-deck response, if you listen to Trump, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and others, but are all hands really being called, let alone welcomed? According to an April 3 Associated Press article, "For two years the Trump administration has been trying to stamp out one of Cuba’s signature programs — state-employed medical workers treating patients around the globe in a show of soft power that also earns billions in badly needed hard currency. Labeling the doctors and nurses as both exploited workers and agents of communist indoctrination, the US has notched a series of victories as Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia sent home thousands after leftist governments allied with Havana were replaced with right-wing governments friendlier to Washington." What’s really going on here, and what’s at stake?

"The Taliban halted prisoner swap negotiations with the Afghan government Tuesday after accusing leaders in Kabul of refusing to comply with a key part of the US peace deal — a major setback to what many hoped would be the start of formal talks between the two Afghan sides," the Washington Post reported Tuesday. What are we to make of this?

Greg Palast — Award-winning investigative reporter featured in The Guardian, Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, BBC and other high profile media outlets. He covered Venezuela for The Guardian and BBC Television's "Newsnight." His BBC reports are the basis of his film "The Assassination of Hugo Chavez."
Dr. Ajamu Baraka — Journalist, American political activist and former Green Party nominee for vice president of the United States in the 2016 election.
Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.
Dr. Linwood Tauheed — Associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Obi Egbuna — Activist and US representative for the Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald.
Dr. Marvin Weinbaum — Scholar-in-residence and director of the Middle East Institute's Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies.

[My segment starts ~15:20] Listen to "The Bernie Train Stops, but Will the Senator Continue to Fight From Outside?" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

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