A bipartisan group of United States Senators wrote a letter Sunday calling for expanding payroll assistance to struggling local newspapers and broadcast stations that have seen reduced advertising revenue during the nation’s coronavirus epidemic.
U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Kennedy (R-LA) and John Boozman (R-AR) have requested that Senate leaders amend the rules of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in order to make thousands of local newspapers and television and radio stations eligible for assistance.
Many local outlets across the nation are currently ineligible for the funding because they are owned by parent companies too large to qualify, particularly in local television (i.e. Sinclair, Nexstar, TEGNA).
“Ensuring that local news outlets remain viable at this critical time is not only a matter of fairness, but is essential to public health,” the senators wrote in their letter.
Louisiana newspapers and broadcasters have been hit hard. ⁰
— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) April 19, 2020
The bipartisan group of four senators added that local newspapers have lost as much as 50 percent of advertising revenue. Meanwhile, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says some local broadcasters have reported as much as a 90 percent loss in ad revenue.
“Waiving SBA’s affiliation rules for local newspapers and broadcasters and ensuring that financial assistance flows to the local affiliate, not the parent company, would allow these small, local operations to be eligible for much-needed financial relief. Local newspapers and broadcasters have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, are essential for maintaining a well-informed public, and deserve our help,” the senators wrote.
According to Reuters, “tens of thousands of local media workers are being forced to take unpaid furloughs or seeing cuts to paychecks, while other outlets are shrinking staff and reducing the frequency of printing, and some smaller newspapers in California, Vermont and South Dakota are closing.”
To read the senators’ full letter, click here.
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Americans are paying the highest taxes and largest share of GDP ever
“People are now paying more in total income taxes than ever, even considering the 2017 tax cuts signed by former President Donald Trump. And they will be paying significantly more when elements of those tax cuts expire in 2025” according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The Washington Examiner reports on the CBO’s analysis that the Treasury expects a 28% surge in individual income taxes this year. The analysis was presented to Congress on Thursday, and explained more income taxes are ahead in 2025 after the Trump tax cuts expire.
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“In 2021, receipts from individual income taxes totaled $2.0 trillion, or 9.1% of GDP. Under current law, and on the basis of receipts observed through late April of this year, CBO expects individual income tax receipts to rise by 28% in 2022, to $2.6 trillion. At 10.6% of GDP, that total is expected to be the highest amount of individual income tax receipts recorded since 1913, when ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment authorized the federal government to begin collecting income taxes,” said the report.
Additionally, the CBO stated that the overall federal revenue is expected to reach a record $4.8 trillion in 2022, a 19% one-year increase. “The strong revenue growth in 2021 and 2022 results mostly from large increases in collections of individual income taxes. Total revenues in 2022 are projected to equal 19.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product — the largest annual revenues relative to the size of the economy since 2000.”
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