Constitutional reform: NGOs denounce lack of ambition on the environment

Associations regretted Wednesday the government's choice not to introduce the fight against global warming in Article 1 of the Constitution and the lack of reference to biodiversity, seeing a lack of ambition on the environment.

The Prime Minister announced, during the presentation of the outline of the reform of institutions promised by Emmanuel Macron, that "the constitutional bill will include the imperative of combating climate change in Article 34, which defines the area of ​​the law. "

Édouard Philippe also said that the Social Economic and Environmental Council (CESE)" will become a chamber of civil society. "

For the Foundation for Nature and Man (FNH) created by Nicolas Hulot, the account is not there. The text presented "is not up to the challenges of the twenty-first century," regrets the NGO, which speaks of "constitutional green washing" and calls on parliamentarians to amend the text.

The FNH "deeply regrets the choice the President of the Republic to include in the Constitution only the climate, without adding the protection of biodiversity, and placing it in Article 34 and not in Article 1 "which lays down the founding principles of the Republic, according to the release. She also regrets that the CESE does not become a "real + room of the future +" to examine the long-term impact of political decisions.

"We are disappointed," said Pascal Canfin, director General of WWF France, to AFP. Putting the fight against climate change is "a symbol, but there is a strong fear that it will be a symbol that will not change anything."

"MPs are expected to take the leap and take advantage of the fact that the government introduced the climate in Article 34 to put it in another article, Article 1 or an article of the Environmental Charter, "he continued.

The Association "Our business at all" for environmental law speaks of "a missed opportunity to put France in the climate".

Tax reform: how Donald Trump became more than ever president of the rich

Oops! Even for a Republican, it was too much. Or rather, too little. The tweet was quickly erased. What was he saying? "The secretary at a public school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised to see her pay increase by $ 1.50 a week, and said it would do more than pay her yearly membership in Costco [géant américain de la grande distribution]. "Thank you Donald Trump what generosity! The author of these dead lines, Paul Ryan, is Speaker of the House of Representatives – the equivalent of the President of the National Assembly in France – and yet a group leader of the mega-tax reform voted in December in United States .

A jackpot for the 0.1% …

The question remains: who will benefit from this tax reform to 1.500 billion dollars over ten years? We already know that the most fortunate individuals, the famous 0.1%, rack up the jackpot, between the decline of the tax on income, that on inheritance and other generous gifts. But what about lambda employees? According to the White House, tax cuts will mean an average salary increase of $ 4,000 a year. It is too early to check, but not too much to celebrate the bonuses that are already starting to distribute the bosses. "Since we voted tax cuts, about 3 million employees have received bonuses related to these decreases.For many, this represents thousands and thousands of dollars per employee," boasted Donald Trump during his State of the Union speech, January 30.

This $ 3 million figure comes from the think tank Americans for Tax Reform, one of the main supporters of the reform. And it is true that many large companies have started to distribute bonuses: Apple Walmart, AT & T, American Airlines, Home Depot … But they are still in the minority: an analysis of the think tank Americans for Tax Fairness shows at the end of January, only 46 of the 500 largest US companies had announced a plan to share the windfall with their employees. When asked by Reuters-Ipsos in mid-January, 2% of US adults said they had received a bonus, an increase or benefits related to tax reform. And a survey of 241 companies, conducted in December by the Aon Hewitt firm, indicates that 83% do not consider salary increases as a result of the reform. For companies that distribute bonuses, the amount most often announced is a bonus of $ 1,000, round and consistent figure. The details are sometimes less attractive. For example, bonuses distributed by Walmart or DIY giants Home Depot and Lowe's are subject to seniority in the company: Home Depot requires 20 years of seniority to earn $ 1,000; median seniority is three years in the distribution sector

Another bad surprise, some large companies took advantage of the announcement of the good news to slip another: layoffs. Hours after the CEO of AT & T announced a $ 1,000 bonus and congratulated Donald Trump and the Republicans on this "milestone", the phone giant sent letters of dismissal to some 600 employees in Illinois and the United States. Midwest. Same timing at Walmart, announcing bonuses and increases and then, a few hours later, the closure of 63 warehouse clubs of its subsidiary Sam's Club

Moreover, some ad effects are misleading. Companies credit the tax reform with the measures they had already decided. In mid-January, Apple announced its desire "to accelerate" its investment in the United States, creating 20,000 jobs and contributing $ 350 billion to the US economy over five years; in fact, the company already had these projects before the vote of the reform.

… crumbs for employees

In total, an estimate made by the national daily USA Today indicates that more than 1.3 million Employees will receive bonuses and increases as a result of the reform, amounting to $ 1.7 billion. An insignificant amount compared to the profits that large companies will derive from this reform: according to a study by Credit Suisse, they will pay this year 75 to 100 billion dollars less tax and will see their profitability a jump of 8% ! How to explain such a gap between the profit windfall and the crumbs distributed to employees? Simple: The overwhelming majority of these profits will go to shareholders. More than $ 125 billion of share buybacks have already been announced since the Senate passed the bill. A single example but they are all alike: the third bank in the country, Bank of America, will distribute $ 145 million in premiums in 2018. Or 5% of $ 2.7 billion that will bring him the tax reform.

The new men

One year ago, no one would have imagined a love story between Donald Trump and brothers David and Charles Koch, 8th world fortune. But the vote on tax reform has changed everything: thanks to it, these two billionaires could save annually $ 1 to $ 1.4 billion in taxes, a figure that does not take into account other potential savings on their profits. offshore and … their inheritance rights. As a result, the Koch networks plan to inject 300 to 400 million in the 2018 election campaign. And they are not the only billionaires to benefit from this reform. Steve Wynn (casinos), energy giants like ExxonMobil, and Wall Street, such as the Blackstone hedge fund, are on the line to win the jackpot. Even those who are not overtly Republicans: for Apple, Donald Trump's tax giveaway amounts to tens of billions of dollars.

Oops! Even for a Republican, it was too much. Or rather, too little. The tweet was quickly erased. What was he saying? "The secretary of a public school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she was pleasantly surprised to see her pay increase by $ 1.50 a week. She says it will do more than pay her yearly membership to Costco [géant américain de la grande distribution]. Thank you Donald Trump, what generosity! The author of these dead lines, Paul Ryan, is Speaker of the House of Representatives – the equivalent of the President of the National Assembly in France – and yet a group leader of the mega-tax reform voted in December in the United States.

A jackpot for the 0.1% …

The question remains: who will benefit from this tax reform to $ 1.5 trillion over ten years? We already know that the most fortunate individuals, the famous 0.1%, rack up the jackpot, between the decline in income tax, that on inheritance and other generous gifts. But what about lambda employees? According to the White House, tax cuts will mean an average salary increase of $ 4,000 a year. It is too early to check, but not too much to celebrate the bonuses that are already starting to distribute the bosses. "Since we voted tax cuts, about 3 million employees have received bonuses related to these decreases. For many, this represents thousands and thousands of dollars per employee, "boasted Donald Trump during his State of the Union address on January 30.

Bill Gates judges he should pay more taxes and tackles Trump's tax reform

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       Challenges.fr

on 19.02.2018 at 16:35

"I paid more taxes, more than ten billion dollars, than anyone but the government should demand people in my position to pay much higher taxes, "said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, vilifying the tax reform Donald Trump.

 Bill Gates judges he should pay more taxes

Billionaire Bill Gates on 13 February 2018 in New York

GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / Archives – John Lamparski

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Billionaire Bill Gates on February 13, 2018 in New York. 19659008] The American billionaire Bill Gates believes that he should, as well as all the wealthy taxpayers in the United States, pay more taxes, qualifying the tax reform President Donald Trump of "regressive". "I should pay more taxes, "Bill Gates told CNN. "I paid more taxes, more than ten billion dollars, than anyone else but the government should require people in my position to pay much higher taxes."

>> ALSO READ Taxation: Donald Trump, more than ever president of the rich

Second richest man in the world behind the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos the co-founder of Microsoft has a fortune estimated at more than 90 billion dollars of which he directed a large part towards humanitarian causes and medical research in particular.

"A regressive tax law"

He did not mince his words towards the reform Donald Trump's tax bill passed at the end of December by the Congress –in the hands of Republicans – which granted significant reductions to businesses. Their tax rate has thus fallen from 35% to 21% and multinationals can temporarily repatriate their profits abroad to the United States at rates ranging between 8% and 15.5%. Before the reform, these profits were totally exempt from taxation as long as they remained "parked" abroad and found themselves taxed at 35% if they were "repatriated" to the United States.

"This n is not a progressive tax law, it's a regressive tax law, "Bill Gates said, arguing that the benefits would be felt by the super-rich, contrary to the Republicans' claims that the reform is aimed at benefiting workers and the class. average. "The richest people tend to have much higher benefits than the middle class or the poor, so it's contrary to the general trend that we prefer to see with enhanced safety nets and those who are at home. top who pay higher taxes, "commented the billionaire.

(with AFP)

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