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AltAusterity Digest #11: August 24-30, 2017

This week in Austerity News:

Sep 01, 2017

In the wake of the disaster left by Hurricane Harvey, Congress is setting itself to approve a Harvey recovery bill to cover the huge costs of storm relief. However, budget cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) proposed by Trump earlier in the year would eliminate $667 million for state and local funding, drastically reducing the means for mitigation projects for future disasters.

Trump will begin his lobbying for tax cuts in Missouri this week. Trump’s plan includes cuts for corporations and top income earners. Trump has promised the largest tax cut ever, and would like to see the corporate tax rate slashed from 35% to a top rate of 15%. The proposed tax reforms are likely a last-ditch effort for Republican legislative success before midterm elections.

Portugal’s economic turnaround has challenged the austerity agenda, showcasing a legitimate alternative to austerity. The socialist government of Antonio Costa has stimulated demand by increasing public investment, raising taxes and slashing unemployment, leading to the economy growing for 13 straight quarters.

American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, which represents more than 900 Environmental Protection Agency employees in the Chicago regional office has openly condemned the proposed cuts to the EPA. The House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill last month that would cut the EPA's 2018 funding by $528 million or 6.5 percent. EPA workers are worried that water contamination like Flint’s could spread throughout even more of the Northwest.

That's it for this week's Digest! Check back next Friday morning for another edition, or subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly roundup. We'll also Tweet each time we add new content, so you can keep up with our work @AltAusterity and join the #altausterity conversation!