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A new report says eight million Americans are at imminent risk of getting thrown out of their homes. President Joe Biden could spare them with the stroke of a pen, but he hasn’t yet made a move to do so.
Meanwhile, research shows the country’s richest families have done spectacularly well during the pandemic. That’s in part because they still aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.
And lastly, months after the Capitol insurrection, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers are strapped for cash and bleeding members. Where’s Daddy Trump when you really need him?
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
More Americans will be homeless very soon, this report from CBS News suggests. Even as the nation rebounds from the pandemic, more than two million homeowners are behind on their mortgages and risk being forced out of their homes in a matter of weeks, a new Harvard University report warns. Most of the homeowners at risk are either low-income or families of color, said researchers behind the 2021 State of the Nation's Housing report. Congress has dedicated $10 billion to help homeowners get caught up on payments, but it’s unclear if that funding will make it to families before foreclosure notices arrive. Separately, millions more renters are on the brink of eviction, the researchers found. Census data show that six million households are still behind on rent and could face eviction at the end of June, when federal eviction protections expire. The Center for Disease Control order halting some evictions, and federal liminations on foreclosures for federally backed housing, both expire on June 30. Advocates have pushed for the Biden administration to extend both, but there is no indication an extension will happen.
CBS reports that more than seven million homeowners took advantage of the foreclosure moratorium passed as part of the Cares Act last spring. The provision was extended by the Biden White House. As of March 2021, most of those homeowners have started repaying lenders. But that leaves about two point one million still behind on their mortgages. Biden must act now to keep these families, including renters, housed.
Richest Families Gained $136B During Pandemic
This status check on the rich and useless comes from the Guardian. Ten of the US’s richest families, including the Walmart family and the dynasties behind industries including candy and cosmetics, saw their assets balloon over the pandemic, with a shared increase in their combined net worth of over $136 billion in fourteen months. That’s according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies published yesterday. The report details how these families have not only increased their wealth by billions in the last year, but have also worked to ensure the system supports this exponential growth over decades. In 1983 the Walton family, who founded Walmart, were worth $2.15 billion. By the end of 2020, the Waltons had a combined net worth of over $247 billion, an inflation-adjusted increase of four thousand three hundred percent. The wealth of the Mars candy dynasty increased by three thousand five hundred percent over the same period.
According to the Guardian, Chuck Collins, a co-author of the report, said these families weren’t just making more money, they were also getting better at putting it out of reach of taxation. The report outlined several proposals to curb this wealth accumulation, including the Make Billionaires Pay Act, a proposal introduced in 2020 to institute a one-time sixty percent pandemic wealth tax on billionaires. But more must be done, Collins said, to stamp out tax loopholes, offshore tax havens and certain trusts that allow families to hide their wealth. Or we could simply eat the rich.
Proud Boys In Poor Shape
This delicious update on Donald Trump’s loyal foot soldiers comes from the Wall Street Journal. The far-right group the Oath Keepers is splintering after board members accused the founder of spending its money on hair dye, steaks and guns. The leader of the Proud Boys, choked off from the financial system, is printing Black Lives Matter T-shirts to make money. The finances of the two most visible groups with members involved in the January 6th riot at the US Capitol are sputtering. Leaders are low on cash, struggling with defections and arguing over the future. The Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys have seen more than three dozen of their members arrested in connection with January 6th. Within both groups, an escalating crackdown and the departure of Trump from office has spurred new levels of disarray.
The Journal reports that Oath Keepers membership has dropped eighty percent from its peak. The organization had less than $10,000 in its bank account as of April. Bank records show thousands of dollars of Oath Keepers funds spent on goods and services in Montana, where founder Stewart Rhodes lived until recently. That includes $12,000 at an auto-repair shop, $886 at a bar, and $229 at a lingerie shop called Alley Katz Nighties ’N‘ Naughties. The Proud Boys aren’t faring much better. Members have turned to cryptocurrency, local credit unions and alternative payment brokers to replace a mainstream financial system that has largely cut them off. There’s a lesson here, folks: anti-fascist organizing gets results!
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Politico reports that the US and Russia will return their ambassadors to Moscow and Washington, DC, respectively, following President Joe Biden’s summit with Vladimir Putin yesterday. They concluded their summit, which Putin called constructive, earlier than expected, after about four hours with breaks. Coulda been a Zoom call!
The AP reports that Israeli aircraft carried out a series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip yesterday. There were no immediate reports of casualties. They were the first such raids since a shaky cease-fire ended the war with Hamas last month. The new Israeli government is not off to a great start.
NBC News reports that Minnesota authorities charged the driver of an SUV that plowed into a protester-filled intersection with second degree murder. The Sunday crash killed one woman and injured another person. Nicholas D. Kraus, thirty five, is jailed on $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court today. He has a lot to answer for.
The Associated Press reports that the US Education Department yesterday expanded its interpretation of federal Title Nine sex protections to include transgender and gay students. The move reverses Trump-era policy and stands against anti-transgender proposals in many states. Here’s hoping this new directive holds back the tide of discrimination in those Republican states that are trying their hardest to persecute transgender students.
AM QUCKIE - JUNE 17, 2021
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn