Progressive Breakfast for October 26

Morning Message

What Does It Take to Survive Where You Live?

The report, “Waiting for the Payoff: How Low Wages and Student Debt Keep Prosperity Out of Reach,” was issued this week by the People’s Action Institute. Among its findings: It takes more than $15 per hour to earn a living wage in 42 states and the District of Columbia ... New York State’s minimum wage of $9 per hour provides only 44 percent of a living wage for a single adult and less than a quarter of the living wage for a single adult with two children ... Arkansas had the lowest hourly rate of any state, but at $14.58 per hour it was barely below the $15 per hour minimum proposed by Fight for 15. The situation is even more dire for working parents...

Living Wage Report Shakes Up Economic Debate

Marketwatch covers People’s Action Institute “Waiting For The Payoff” report: “A single adult needs to earn $17.28 an hour on average, or nearly $36,000 a year, to make ends meet, according to a report released Tuesday by People’s Action Institute … When factoring in student loan payments that figure rises to $18.67 an hour … Nearly 70% of bachelor’s degree recipients leave college with student debt, averaging roughly $30,100…”

College costs rise again. Bloomberg: “The nation’s colleges and universities hiked tuition and other prices yet again this year, continuing a decadeslong practice of raising them above the rate of inflation … Tuition, fees, and room and board at private nonprofit colleges rose 2.6 percent on average, when adjusted for inflation, to $45,370 this academic year … In-state students at four-year public colleges saw costs climb 1.8 percent, to $20,090 …”

Warren Flexes Muscle

Sen. Warren “poised to take on an even more outsized role” in Senate. The Hill: “Warren is expected to carry significant clout when it comes to filling positions within a Clinton administration … A January 2015 email exchange indicates that Warren had already provided Clinton with a list of names of people she would like to see in administration positions.”

“Bernie Sanders Is the Most Popular Politician in America” notes Mother Jones: ” His favorable ratings are two points higher than those of President Barack Obama (who is currently enjoying his highest numbers in 45 months). They are 10 points higher than Hillary Clinton’s. They are 19 points higher than those of both Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.”

GOP Panics

Republicans air drop $25M to protect Senate. Politico: “The investment from Senate Leadership Fund, a powerful super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comes as Democrats shift resources from Hillary Clinton’s now almost certain victory to down-ballot contests in hopes of delivering her a congressional majority … Steven Law, Senate Leadership Fund’s president … said the $25 million expenditure would narrow the GOP [cash] deficit but wouldn’t erase it.”

Key GOP House members scramble to save seats. The Hill: “Reps. Darrell Issa of California, John Mica of Florida and Scott Garrett of New Jersey — former or sitting panel chairmen who all represent suburban areas — are heading into the final leg of the campaign in toss-up races that could eliminate 54 years of Capitol Hill experience in a single night.”

Paul Ryan’s future dimmed. Bloomberg: “Ryan is likely to withstand any attempt by restive House Republicans to oust him as speaker next year, but Trump’s attacks on Ryan may have done lasting damage to his stature among the party’s base, just as he weighs a possible White House run in four years.”

“Trump touts hotel as Pence heads to Utah in waning days” headlines AP.

Clinton’s Mandate

Clinton will have a mandate, says NYT’s Frank Bruni: “[Voters are] expressing particular values. Those reasons and values are her marching orders, and there’s nothing murky about them … to safeguard the very America — compassionate, collaborative, decent — that [Trump] routinely degrades.”

“Hostility Awaits Clinton” says American Prospect’s David Atkins: “For Democrats, GOP obstruction has both an upside and a downside. The downside is that Republicans may block the progressive legislative agenda … At the same time, Republican overreach could set the stage for more GOP losses in the 2018 midterm.”

Wealthy prepare for tax hikes. Bloomberg: “Clinton is proposing higher taxes on Americans who make more than $250,000, including a 4 percent ‘fair share surcharge’ on incomes over $5 million a year. She’s also trying to limit the ability of the rich to lower their tax bills through clever planning. This has made the election a hot topic at accounting and advisory firms that cater to the wealthy.”

Breakfast Sides

NYT edit board proposes Obamacare fixes: “Congress and the next president could further strengthen the health care law by offering subsidies to middle-income families who currently receive little or no help. Lawmakers should also consider applying to the health care exchanges the kind of reinsurance program Congress has used to encourage insurers to participate in Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit program.”

Al Gore opposes Dakota Access Pipeline. The Hill quotes: “The non-violent resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline is also one of the frontline struggles that collectively mark a turning point in the decision by humanity to turn away from the destructive path we have been following and aim instead toward a clean energy future for all. The courage and eloquence of the Standing Rock Sioux in calling all of us to recognize that in their words, ‘Water is Life,’ should be applauded, not silenced by those who are driven by their business model to continue spewing harmful global warming pollution into our Earth’s atmosphere.”