Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
OurFuture.org's Richard Eskow:  "'Medicare and Social Security' don't have a long-term problem: Medicare has a problem. No amount of spin or double-talk can change that. This year's slight downturn in Medicare and Social Security finances was caused by the financial crisis of 2008, as lost jobs and wages led to lost revenue for the program. And that disaster was caused by the deregulation of Wall Street, which was carried out the same bipartisan crowd that's now pushing cuts to these programs ... Now they want ordinary Americans to take a hit to both their Social Security and Medicare benefits. A Social Security cut would be needless and counterproductive, and the nation would be better served with a benefit increase (which could be funded as Sen. Tom Harkin proposes). What's more, since Social Security is forbidden by law from contributing to the deficit, it's absurd to connect its financing to discussions of the Federal debt. Medicare's another story. Unless we address the runaway cost of providing health care to seniors, our Federal budget and are entire economy are in dire trouble. Notice, however, that we said 'address the runaway cost' and not 'shift the runaway cost,' as the Republican proposal first pushed by Rep. Paul Ryan would do."
Strengthen Social Security explains "The Truth About the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report":  "The Social Security Trustees Report shows that our Social Security system works just as intended, even in difficult economic times. Unlike the banks, which nearly brought the economy to ruin, Social Security didn’t need a bailout. The most important fact revealed in the 2012 Trustees Report is that our Social Security system has a large and growing surplus."
ObamaCare is strengthening Medicare, according to trustees' report. TPM:  "... the trustees believe the Affordable Care Act strengthened Medicare — and project, as they did last year, that the program won’t exhaust its hospital insurance trust fund until 2024. But there’s significant uncertainty surrounding that estimate."
Jared Bernstein says the trustees report shows the need for economic growth:  "The movements in the Social Security trust fund have been more of function of the economic and demographic assumptions ... the best thing to do in the near term is everything we can to get the recession behind us and get back on a stronger growth path."
WH releases state-by-state list of impact if Congress fails to keep student loan interest rates low. McClatchy:  " In Missouri, for example, the impact would be felt by more than 161,000 students who take out federal college loans each year; in Kansas, about 78,000 students. President Barack Obama will take his student loan campaign on the road with stops Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Wednesday at the University of Iowa"
Romney follows Obama's lead. NYT:  "Though House Republicans oppose such an extension, Mr. Obama has been urging Congress to extend the existing interest rate on federal student loans. If Congress fails to act, the interest rate on the loans, which are taken out by nearly eight million students each year, will double on July 1, to 6.8 percent. Mr. Romney’s statement Monday seems to be part of an effort to win over young voters as he pivots to the general election, especially as the president is set to embark on a three-state tour this week aimed at students."
Mexican immigration flow appears to reverse. LAT:  "Between 2005 and 2010, 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the United States, less than half the number that migrated between 1995 and 2000. At the same time, the number of Mexicans and their children who moved to Mexico in the same five-year period rose to 1.4 million, about double the number that did so between 1995 and 2000 ... The report attributes the changes to several factors, including the weakened economy, increased border enforcement, a rise in deportations, growing dangers at the border and a long-term decline in Mexican birthrates. Which factor is dominant is still unknown."
"Democrats plan to force vote on Arizona immigration law if it’s upheld by court" reports W. Post:  "The plan is to allow Democrats a route to express displeasure with the Arizona law if the court allows it to stand, and it would force Republicans to take a clear position on the law during the height of the presidential campaign."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joins the "tax the poor" crowd. NYT's Andrew Rosenthal:  "At a Politico-sponsored breakfast last week, Mr. Cantor said: 'We also know that over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair.' ... Mr. Cantor chose not to mention payroll taxes and excise taxes on gas and other items. ... Mr. Cantor’s untaxed group includes college students and senior citizens with no income, and is mostly comprised of households with incomes less than $17,000 a year ... The problem is not that so many Americans don’t pay taxes. It’s that so many Americans are too poor to pay taxes."
RNC spokeswomen says party platform will be like Bush's, "just updated."  reports ThinkProgress.
"High Tax Rates Won't Slow Growth" write Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez, in WSJ oped:  "...are we already near or beyond the peak of the famous Laffer Curve, the revenue-maximizing tax rate? ... According to our analysis of current tax rates and their elasticity, the revenue-maximizing top federal marginal income tax rate would be in or near the range of 50%-70% (taking into account that individuals face additional taxes from Medicare and state and local taxes). Thus we conclude that raising the top tax rate is very likely to result in revenue increases at least until we reach the 50% rate that held during the first Reagan administration, and possibly until the 70% rate of the 1970s."