A letter that prominent veterans groups sent to the President and Congress this week opposing the chained CPI COLA cut relied on a new analysis by the Strengthen Social Security Campaign showing that the chained CPI will have an especially large effect on veterans and their families.
The debt ceiling deal hammered out by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders and passed in the House on Monday afternoon makes deep, painful, and lasting cuts throughout the federal government's budget. What's on the chopping block? The numbers tell the tale. The Obama-GOP plan cuts $917 billion in government spending over the next decade. Nearly $570 billion of that would come from what's called "non-defense discretionary spending." That's budget-speak for the pile of money the government invests in the nation's safety and future—education and job training, air traffic control, health research, border security, physical infrastructure, environmental and consumer protection, child care, nutrition, law enforcement, and more. more »
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newdeal20.org — The U.S. economy is a mess. Over two years since the Great Recession officially ended, the unemployment rate is over nine percent, the foreclosure crisis rages on, and households remain loaded up with debt. The fiscal situation of federal and state governments is dire, in part because free-market ideologues think that low taxes are a God-given right. Much of the mess is the result of an economy in which the forces for extracting value have come to dominate the forces for creating value. In the process, industrial innovation — the generation of higher quality, lower cost products that provide the foundation for economic growth — is suffering from neglect.
feeds.washingtonpost.com — With only a week left before the United States of America could default on its debt, it’s easy to look at the federal government and wonder how we ever made it this far. Who would have guessed that a committed gang of extremists could bring down the economy? And yet, that’s where we find ourselves today, cornered by a manufactured crisis and running out of time. As Larry Sabato rightly tweeted over the weekend, “For anybody who teaches the American system and believes in it, this has been an extremely discouraging week.” Unfortunately, the assault on our democracy is not confined to Congress or the standoff over the debt ceiling. It is also seeping into the states, where voting rights — the fundamental underpinning of any democracy — are being curbed and crippled.
robertreich.org — If you think deficit-reduction is being driven by John Boehner or Harry Reid, think again. The biggest driver right now is Standard & Poor’s. All of America’s big credit-rating agencies — Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s — have warned they might cut America’s credit rating if a deal isn’t reached soon to raise the debt ceiling. This isn’t surprising. A borrower that won’t pay its bills is bound to face a lower credit rating. But Standard & Poor’s has gone a step further: It’s warned it might lower the nation’s credit rating even if Democrats and Republicans make a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Standard & Poor’s insists any deal must also contain a credible, bipartisan plan to reduce the nation’s long-term budget deficit by $4 trillion — something neither Harry Reid’s nor John Boehner’s plans do.
washingtonpost.com — For the unemployed and underemployed, and for the sinking middle class, the daily struggle to stay afloat consumes most of their energy. As former labor secretary Robert Reich put it: The jobless “lack the political connections and organizations that would otherwise demand policies to spur job growth. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People with a platoon of Washington lobbyists and a war chest of potential campaign contributions to get the attention of politicians.” This in stark contrast to the billionaires and Beltway elites currently orchestrating the austerity campaign. Only one thing will change this: Citizens must mobilize and call Congress and the administration to their senses. To help make that happen, starting this week, ProgressiveCongress.org is joining with the Congressional Progressive Caucus to hold speakouts in 11 cities across the country.Speaking out for good jobs
truthdig.com — To the wayfaring American citizen, the view of Washington, D.C., from abroad is as bizarre as that of Oz. One cannot believe what is happening. How can Republican leaders have convinced themselves that the way to be re-elected is by doing away with Medicare and Social Security -- about all the security that America’s old people have to hang on to these days. When the Republicans lose a “sure” Republican congressional seat to a Democrat on these issues, as they did in May in New York state, they display genuine bewilderment. They think that voters are all single-mindedly obsessed with the national debt and the present fight over the forthcoming budget. If the government would like $3 trillion to round out the budget for next year, why not call off the wars that nobody can any longer explain?
salon.com — If you haven't noticed yet, a new candidate is rapidly climbing in Republican presidential polling. Last week, Herman Cain broke into double digits in a CNN poll of national GOP voters, and now a new PPP poll from the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa find him tied for second place there with Sarah Palin, just six points behind Mitt Romney.
This raises an obvious question: How the [bleep] is this happening?
In “What Would FDR Do,” a paper for the Progressive Policy Institute, retirement policy expert Sylvester Schieber not only gets FDR’s legacy wrong—he gets the facts about Social Security wrong. And in exaggerating Social Security’s shortfall to make the case for regressive benefit cuts like raising the retirement, Schieber also gets the meaning of the word “progressive” wrong.