Mark Cuban takes shot at AOC, Sanders, Warren

Despite the fact that politicians like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and presidential candidates U.S. Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and U.S. Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have made it a point to call out the top 0.1%, not everyone agrees with their philosophies.

Billionaire Mark Cuban implied that had they been as successful as him, they might not have as much to say about the ultra-wealthy. He remarked that AOC’s criticism of capitalism is “headline porn” and noted the fact she started a business, a now-defunct publisher called Brook Avenue Press.

Bernie Sanders has a book business, you know, Elizabeth Warren buys and sells houses — or did,” Cuban said. “If they would have had the level of success that I and others have had, I don’t think they’d be complaining as much.

He is likely referring to how Warren previously “bought or helped finance two dozen properties in Oklahoma,” according to the Boston Globe. Sanders, meanwhile, profited from his best-selling book “Our Revolution."

Cuban made the remarks to Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

‘The greatest cost to business is...’

Cuban has had a relatively successful career — according to Forbes, his net worth is $4.1 billion. The billionaire owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and is a startup investor, having poured money into over 120 tech startups and invested in hundreds of ventures while hosting “Shark Tank.” And, in an interview with the New York Daily News, he revealed he hasn’t ruled out a 2020 presidential run yet, either.

As a means for ensuring there is less wealth inequality, AOC proposed a 70% tax on those who earn more than $10 million, while Warren has suggested a 2% wealth tax on individuals who possess a net worth over $50 million and 3% tax on those over $1 billion. In both of those circumstances, that would entail Cuban paying significantly higher taxes.

And while he has not vocalized a specific plan at tackling this issue, self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders hasn’t been shy about his opinions: In a speech at the George Washington University on June 12, he singled out President Trump, Wall Street, fossil fuels, and Amazon (AMZN).

In his speech, Sanders said, “While President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of democratic socialism, they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism.” He quoted Martin Luther King Jr. by charging the U.S. “has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.”

Despite what Cuban sees as a lack of understanding from people like Sanders and Warren, “that doesn’t mean that there’s not an income inequality problem,” he said. “There is. And it’s something we have to deal with. I tell other business people that the greatest cost to business is social disruption.”

“If people are rebelling and burning things and aren’t satisfied with their lives and they’re [incentivized] to do horrific things, that’s the greatest cost of business,” Cuban said. “And that costs us more. Now the question becomes, how do we deal with it?



Trump Adds Another Million To His Golf Tab With Visit To His Resort Near Miami

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The overnight trip to Trump National Doral brings the total cost to taxpayers to just under $107 million.

President Donald Trump’s visit to yet another of his golf resorts Wednesday likely cost taxpayers at least another $1.1 million, bringing his total golf tab to $106.9 million.

Trump arrived at Trump National Doral near the Miami airport late Tuesday following a rally in Orlando and left Wednesday afternoon after a high-dollar fundraiser that was expected to bring in several million dollars to the Republican National Committee and his reelection campaign.

The White House would not say whether he played golf Wednesday morning, but an informal adviser to Trump told HuffPost that Trump was likely to play a round before the noon fundraiser.

The White House almost never acknowledges that Trump has played golf following one of his golf course visits. The only exceptions have been when Trump has played with someone famous or with South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Wednesday brought Trump’s total number of days on a golf course to 186 in his first 881 days in office, all but of two of which have been at one of his own properties. (Trump has played twice during trips to Japan at the invitation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.) Doral is the eighth of his courses he has visited on the taxpayer dime.

The Miami leg of the trip added at least $1.1 million in additional travel costs for taxpayers, according to a HuffPost analysis. That includes additional flight costs of Air Force One and the expenses involved flying in a set of his motorcade vehicles and setting up necessary security and communications in a second city.

Because this was a political trip ― as opposed to Trump’s $3.6 million Ireland golf vacation, which was technically an official visit after he arranged a brief airport meeting with that country’s prime minister ― the Trump campaign and RNC will be responsible for reimbursing the U.S. Treasury for a small portion of that $1.1 million.

What that portion is exactly is unclear.

How the White House determines that figure was among the questions Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked last October, after Trump began routinely campaigning for Republican congressional candidates at “official” events that are supposed to be nonpolitical. Wyden set a Nov. 7, 2018, deadline to receive the information, but as of Wednesday still has not gotten a response.

Federal Election Commission guidelines require that the Treasury be reimbursed for the use of the presidential plane, but at a rate far lower than the actual cost of flying the modified 747 that serves as the primary Air Force One. The FEC rules say the campaign must repay what it would have cost to charter a plane, but that the comparison plane need not be large enough to accommodate the dozens of Secret Service agents and military aides who are required to be with a president at all times.

In other words, while Air Force One costs taxpayers $273,000 an hour to fly, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report, the campaign only has to pay back what a plane large enough to carry Trump and his traveling campaign staff would have required.

On the trip to his rally in Orlando and his golf resort in Doral, for example, the use of Air Force One for the five hours of total flight time cost taxpayers $1.4 million. But the rules allow the Trump campaign to reimburse the Treasury as little as a few tens of thousands of dollars.

Trump’s Doral golf course has already been paid a deposit of $84,822 by the RNC to host the lunch event, and will likely receive at least that much afterward. A portion of those payments flow to Trump personally, after he reneged on a promise to separate himself from his businesses in the event he got elected.



Health care is number one issue for voters in Democratic debate: poll

Health care is the top issue Democratic voters want to hear discussed at next week’s first presidential debates, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday.

Twenty percent of respondents named health care as the single issue they want to hear discussed on the June 26-27 debates, followed by immigration and border security at 12 percent and the economy/budget issues at 9 percent.

Removing President Trump from office was only the top issue for 4 percent of respondents, tied with better cooperation in government, individual candidates’ plans to get the country on track, general social issues and equality issues.

The poll surveyed 385 registered Democratic voters between June 11-15 and has a five-point margin of error.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said they planned to watch the debate and an even larger majority—86 percent—said the debates will be a factor in which candidate in the crowded field they decide to support. Fifty-four percent called the debates “very important.”

"It's kind of a dog-and-pony show," Jacob Cushman, a registered nurse from Naples, Fla., who participated in the poll, told USA Today, but "hopefully it'll whittle down the candidates."  

The polling on the candidates’ themselves largely reflected recent polls, with former Vice President Joe Biden in first place with 30 percent followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with 15 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 10 percent.

But the poll also found excitement for Biden’s bid has dropped eight points to 51 percent since March, while excitement for Warren is up five points to 37 percent.

Enthusiasm also rose since March for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who rose four points to 40 percent, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who increased 24 points to 31 percent.

Warren is also the most popular second choice among respondents, with 40 percent, followed by Sanders with 30 percent, Harris with 20 percent and Buttigieg with 10 percent.



The Opinion Poll

Yes - 75%
No - 18.8%
Undecided - 6.3%
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