Invest In America
Doing away with federal gasoline taxes for even a short period of time will do serious damage to the economy as we head into a recession and as high gas prices affect our commuting patterns. Federal gasoline tax dollars go into a trust fund that helps pay for roads, bridges and mass transit. According to the federal government's own calculations, every $1 billion spent of the gasoline tax revenues creates nearly 35,000 jobs. A summertime "gas tax holiday" could cost the nation almost 350,000 jobs and would halt work on vital improvements to roads and bridges, as well as mass transit systems stressed by new riders leaving their cars at home. According to the Congressional Budget Office, we're already falling behind in our ability to pay for our transportation needs. The bigger issue is this: An economy that depends on the efficient interstate movement of goods and services can't afford to continue starving the maintenance and growth of our transportation network. But that's what we've done under the Bush administration, which opposed moves even from within its own party to increase transportation spending enough to match actual needs. Dumping the burden on already-strapped and unevenly equipped states won't solve the problem. A transportation system that allows the economy to operate efficiently and save precious fuel is a national priority; we should all share in the costs and the benefits.more »
Conservatives have no legitimacy when they complain on one hand about pork-barrel spending while squandering money on “bridges to nowhere,” on crony corporations like Halliburton and on subsidies for their political contributors. Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates we need to spend $1.6 trillion over the next five years to fix our roads, bridges, water lines and other essential public resources. These are real needs, not "pork." Plus, it's a matter of global competitiveness: Countries like China and India are making massive investments in public transportation, schools and broadband, while too many of our children study in crumbling schools, workers lose productivity on crowded roads, and Internet commerce suffers under some of the slowest and most overpriced broadband connections in the industrialized world. The more-than-$100 billion a year spent on the war in Iraq would go a long way to funding these investments, which would enhance our economic security..more »
In wars, sometimes there comes a moment when the tide turns. The collapse of Ludendorff's offensive in 1918 presaged the Armistice; failure in the Ardennes meant the end for Germany in 1944. Today we have two drone wars in a similar state. One is mainly in Pakistan. Built on a gee-whiz technology that can't do what it promised, this war has claimed too many victims for too little effect. It is a diplomatic disaster and its days are numbered, almost surely, for that reason. The other drone war is in Washington. The drones are in groups with names like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and Campaign to Fix the Debt. They drone on, and on, about the calamities that await unless we cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That the goal of the deficit drones is to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has been plain for years to anyone who looks at where the money comes from. more »
With its elegant rendering of the liberal agenda before the eyes of the American people, President Barack Obama's second inaugural address was music to the ears of many a progressive. But to the ears of Tea Partiers and the Republican right, this inauguration speech, as well as the ceremony that surrounded it, was war -- not just a war of words, but a war of prayer, a war of poetry and even, perhaps, a war of song. Driving the message home were the hands of the Fates, who conspired to see the second inauguration of the nation’s first African American president fall on Martin Luther King Day, the national holiday whose very creation was opposed by so many who still today comprise the Republican Party’s right wing. Here we recount a dozen ways in which the president brought his fight to the right, in no uncertain terms, at his second inauguration.
Latest from our Bloggers
At a time when the country is still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the storm has reaffirmed progressive principles that have been under attack in recent years. Sandy has, in fact, brought together a trifecta of progressive policy vindications: the dangers of climate silence, the importance of a strong and responsive federal government, and the necessity of collective bargaining rights for workers.more »
President Obama spoke today at the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference in Washington, asking Republicans to stop blocking infrastructure and transportation projects. more »
“There was clearly something wrong with the U.S. economy long before the crash.”more »
For more on how we can save Social Security from conservative attacks, hear Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Campaign for America's Future's Roger Hickey, Strengthen Social Security's Eric Kingson and more at the Take Back the American Dream conference, Oct. 3-5.
At least some of the Republican Presidential candidates have gotten the memo that repeatedly demonizing Social Security has its consequences. After standing by assertions in his book that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie,” Gov. Perry has drawn harsh criticism from both angry voters and his fellow candidates. In fact, some of those other candidates, Mitt Romney in particular, are using Perry’s remarks on Social Security to create ideological distance between them on this issue.
One narrative that has emerged in the media in recent weeks is how “sensible” and “cool-headed” Romney appears on Social Security compared with the impulsive and ultra-conservative Perry. This is unfortunate, as a quick glance shows the differences between the leading candidates on Social Security are much more rhetorical than substantive.
This past Friday night in Washington, a New York Mets pitcher threw the type of pitch President Obama must use in his march to stop any new proposals to cut Social Security if he plans to make it through the game of the deficit talks and his reelection. In the recent past the President and his teams have pitched a slew of failed curveballs that would cut our Social Security. The number 43 Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey helped beat the Nationals 7-3 with his slow velocity, highly unpredictable knuckleball. The 44th President and his multitude of committees have taken an approach to cutting the deficit that replicates a tied baseball game, with no end in sight. Could knuckle balls from a President battling to win the game, save the economy, and win reelection save the tied ball game called the deficit debate? Let’s take a look at the tape. more »
We've been deferring maintenance of our infrastructure since the Reagan tax cuts - never mind modernizing to restore American competitiveness. It is something that has to be done anyway, and here we are with so many people needing work. It's just nuts. Millions of jobs that need doing, and millions out of work, and we can't connect the dots. more »
America's infrastructure is crumbling, hurting our competitiveness as other countries spend hundreds of billions. The Chamber of Commerce claims it supports spending on infrastructure. President Obama should call them on it because a majority of the public supports rebuilding our infrastructure and millions of us need work. The President should tell the Chamber to take its rhetoric seriously and support spending what is needed. Imagine the jobs it would create and the boost it would give to our economy now and in the future. The President should make it the centerpiece of his re-election campaign.more »