Justin Miller

Justin Miller is a former Prospect writing fellow and is currently covering politics for the Texas Observer

Recent Articles

Will Centrist Dems Give Trump His Tax Cuts?

There’s a bloc of Democrats who could be tempted to vote with Republicans for tax cuts for the rich. 

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images) Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon on March 25, 2015 trickle-downers.jpg While the Republican Party battled itself during its attempt to roll back Obamacare, Democrats in the House and Senate formed a united and unwavering front of “No” votes. Not one red-state Democrat in the Senate nor a single centrist in the House peeled off. That’s rather impressive, considering that 34 House Democrats voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2010. There are a few reasons for this. Very few of those conservative Democrats have kept their seats, and the remaining congressional Democrats have moved leftward in recent years, to the point that preservation of the ACA has become a unanimous priority for Democrats. Also, the extraordinary levels of grassroots activism from groups like Indivisible, MoveOn, and ADAPT put intense pressure on Democrats in both the House and Senate to resist any sort of bipartisan overtures. Perhaps most...

On Monuments and Minimum Wages

Conservative lawmakers’ defense of Confederate monuments in the South is part of a larger subterfuge to undercut the power of liberal black cities.  

At 9 p.m. last Tuesday night, city workers began to enclose in plywood the Confederate monument that sits in Birmingham’s Linn Park. By the following afternoon, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall had announced that he was suing the city for violating state law. Activists in Birmingham first began calling for the removal of the 52-foot Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument in 2015, after white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church. That, in turn, prompted Gerald Allen, a state senator from Tuscaloosa, to introduce the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act to prohibit cities from removing or altering historic monuments more than 40 years old without the approval of a state committee. The predominantly (if not entirely) white Republicans who control the legislature passed the bill along party lines. Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed it into law in May. Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered the monument to be covered amid a...

Paying for Trump’s Tax Cuts Would Devastate the Poor

When you consider how the GOP will finance their steep tax cuts, things look even grimmer for low- and middle-income Americans. 

In this Jan. 28, 2016 photo, Joe Heflin, left, of Jefferson City, waits with others for his turn to receive free groceries from the Samaritan Center food pantry in Jefferson City, Mo. Heflin, 33, also receives federally funded food stamp benefits. Since Republicans failed to deregulate the health-care industry last month, they’ve moved on to something bigger and better: tax reform. So far, though, the Trump administration has only put forward a series of regressive, revenue-losing tax cuts: halving the corporate tax rate; slashing rates for pass-through entities like LLCs; trimming the top marginal income rate; eliminating the estate tax—the list goes on. Trump and his team are trying hard to pitch this as a plan that, for one, actually exists, and two, will benefit every one across the board. However, as those who’ve analyzed Trump’s barebones proposal have concluded, the benefits of the cuts would be highly skewed toward the top 1percent, with that group...

Trump, Walker, and the Foxconn Con

Republicans amp up their race-to-the-bottom approach to economic development. 

(Photo: Chris Kelopnis via AP Images) Governor Scott Walker (Republican of Wisconsin) makes remarks during the announcement of the creation of a Foxconn Factory to be built in Wisconsin to build LCD flat screen monitors at The White House in Washington, DC, July 26, 2017. In late July, President Donald Trump joined with Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Foxconn CEO Terry Gou at the White House in a bid to validate Trump’s economic stewardship. Gou’s company, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, best known as an iPhone supplier for Apple, was entering into an agreement with Walker’s state to invest $10 billion in a gigantic 20 million-square-foot LCD television factory in southeastern Wisconsin. With promises of as many as 13,000 new middle-class jobs, the event was supposed to be seen as proof that Trump and the Republicans were making good on their promise to resurrect American manufacturing. “This is a...

No, a Fair Wage Is Not a ‘Free Lunch’

A liberal Washington Post columnist drinks the trickle-down Kool-Aid about raising the minimum wage. 

trickle-downers.jpg The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long used its ample power and influence to convince economists, politicians, and influencers that raising the minimum wage—and enacting any other policies that benefit workers—will be an unequivocal job-killing, robot-creating catastrophe that devastates the very people those bleeding-heart liberals are trying to help. They’ve done a very good job of turning that threat into mainstream economic gospel (though the Milton Friedman wing of the economics profession didn’t require any persuading). That increasing the minimum wage will create untenable levels of job loss, leaving workers on the margins of the workforce without a foothold, has become a matter-of-fact policy assumption among not only conservative Republicans but many liberal economists as well. The tentacles of trickle-down logic—tax cuts and deregulation for the rich and powerful and wage suppression for everyone else—are far-reaching...

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