The Wider World

How to pay for Biden plan

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN is pushing for a $3.5 trillion package for infrastructure, medical care and more.

President Joe Biden is visiting the West Coast, pointing to the wave of brush fires burning across Pacific states as proof of the need for spending $3.5 trillion to rebuild infrastructure and battle extreme weather events.

“We can’t ignore the reality that these wildfires are being supercharged by climate change,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “It isn’t about red or blue states. It’s about fires. Just fires.” California has 15 large wildfires blazing right now, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom, and have burned 2.25 million acres have burned.

Back in Washington, Democrats seeking to enact the president’s proposal are scrambling to find a way to assemble a united front to pass the legislation.

According to The New York Times, the House Ways and Means Committee is seeking to raise the money from tax increases on the rich, but not to tax wealth itself. The plan calls for taxable income over $450,000 (for married couples) to be taxed at 39.6 percent, an increase from the current rate of 37 percent. Capital gains would rise from 20 to 25 percent (instead of 39.6 percent for the very wealthy, as originally proposed). A 3 percent surtax would be slapped on annual incomes over $5 million.

Changes in how to raise the money to pay for Biden’s plans stem in part from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and his remarks that he would not support the original proposal. Manchin’s support is needed if the Democrats – who hold 50 seats in the evenly divided Senate – can expect to prevail. Republicans called the plan “wasteful” and argued it would raise prices as well as taxes.

Lone Star state will be a wet state

UP TO two feet of rain may hit Texas (Shutterstock).

Tropical Storm Nicholas is moving along the Texas coast, leading to school closures and warnings of flooding.

According to USA Today, winds of 65 miles an hour are blowing as Nicholas moves inland, and could dump as much as two feet of rain in some areas.

“Nicholas could reach the northwest Gulf Coast as a hurricane,” said a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center. However, some weakening of the storm’s fury is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sports: One loss and Helton is history

Two days after an embarrassing 42-28 loss to Stanford, Clay Helton is out as head football coach at USC. The announcement came Monday afternoon from Athletic Director Mike Bohn. Helton’s overall record is 46-24.

The Trojans were ranked 14th in the country before the loss and dropped off the top 25. Assistant Head Coach Donte Williams will step in as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

USC, now 1-1, will visit Washington State (1-1) next Saturday.

Weather: Nice summer-fall temps

If you like that “sweet spot” in the weather where the air outside glides from low 80s to high 70s, you’ll be happy with the forecast for the West Orange County area. On Tuesday, the high will be 83 (overnight low of 62), dropping to 82 (59) on Wednesday, with partly cloudy conditions those days. On Thursday, it’ll cool more to a high of 79 (58). In coastal Huntington Beach, daytime highs will be five to seven degrees cooler.

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