Posts tagged ‘Washington’

March 13, 2011

US corporation tax rates to be reduced to create ‘level playing field’

According to a recent Breaking Legal News report, Washington is busy with preparing  another stimulus measure designed to get the ‘financial crisis’ hard-hit US economy back on track.

President Obama has now come out in the open with his plans to lower the US’s corporate tax. Currently, US corporate tax rates are the highest in the world as every company has to give out 39.5% of its income. Whilst the majority of US businesses work hard to meet the nation’s tax obligations,  some of them have been managing to manipulate the system considerably to their advantage and the new measure aims, among other things, to reduce/ eliminate this inequality.

According to Mr. Obama, “over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.”

The president’s initiative has so far been met with a warm response by US business groups, but the country’s liberals are furious saying that it ignores the country’s deficit problem and leaves the rich and the near-rich with most of their cash which is contrary to Mr. Obama’s election promises.

[Financial News Contributor]

March 13, 2011

US justice system declares war on HIV

The Root reports that a man in Texas was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for spitting at a police officer and another man, a 19-year-old student from Washington, was jailed for having unprotected sex with his own girlfriend.  The common feature in both of these relatively harsh sentences is that the men were  HIV positive.

More than 34 US states now have criminalized any actions that might possibly result in infecting a person with HIV.  No matter how small the chances are to catch the disease as a result of the offence (like spitting on somebody) and whether, or not the virus was actually  transmitted, harsh sentences for the HIV-infected seem to be the order of the day in the USA.

Depending on which state it is, actions that might infect someone are likely to be punished just as severely as a failure to act (e.g. to inform your partner of your condition) in order to prevent others from getting  infected. States are now taking to registering HIV-positive ‘criminals‘ in the National Sex Offenders’ Registry with no regard to the nature of the crime committed, which means that the whereabouts of the offenders are likely to get carefully monitored.

With more than one million people in the USA are officially HIV, or AIDS-ridden and with 40,000 HIV infections happening each year, these protective measures seem to be the start of a two-tier criminal justice regime – one for the non HIV-infected, one for the infected. The next step, bells for the HIV-infected? Who knows, as the US criminal justice system struggles to cope with this unprecedented problem.

[Medical Law Contributor]