Opinion: Economic Recovery Zones; Boom or Bust?

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God on Wall Street

Rev. Curtis O. Robinson, Sr.

When Pres. Trump signed into law the overreaching tax cut in 2017, what was suspected was true in that wealthy American elites received another break.

According to an article in Time magazine, “The biggest benefits, though, go to the top 1 percent, who are projected to receive an average tax break of $62,000 in 2018, while the middle one-fifth of income earners got an average tax cut of $1,090 — about $20 per biweekly paycheck.”

So, once more, the wealthiest Americans received help that they really didn’t need.

It is true that the economic recovery has been strong since the great recession of 2007-2009. But when we see the level of homelessness in major urban settings, it doesn’t look like a recovery at all. It looks more like people continuing to fall through the cracks of the richest country in the world.

Unemployment is low in most of America, but in places like Stockton, Oakland, and Youngstown, OH, unemployment is still quite high. I have heard that unemployment in East Oakland is close to 8%, while the state of California lists unemployment at 4.2%, and the rest of the national average is 3.5% to 3.8%.

Somewhere cradled in the Trump tax cut is a piece of legislation called the Economic Opportunity Fund. This fund is designed to reach into economically deprived areas and allow investors to roll over their capital gains from the stock market.

Typically, when investors sell their stocks or bonds, the gains from the principal investment get taxed as capital gains. However, because of a Republican Congress, the rich get a chance to get richer.

Instead of selling and being taxed on profits, investors can now put that money to work into places in the U.S. to help rebuild these neglected communities. East and West Oakland  are prime examples of an Economic Recovery Zone.

The potential could be tremendous, as this pot of gold is said to contain more than $1 trillion in it. The wealthy get an opportunity to make tax-free investments once more if they leave their investment in tact for five to 10 years.

At 10 years, there is no tax at all. We can only hope that this will help because poor people continue to hurt, while rich folk continue to have “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”

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