Shamus Cooke: The group organizing the national town halls is the “non-partisan and non-profit” America Speaks. But scratching the surface of this purportedly harmless group reveals a corporate snake pit. America Speak’s Board of Directors and National Advisory Board showcase an impressive list of corporate CEO’s, CFO’s, consultants, politicians, and elite law firms. Not a single voice from working people is to be found.
Joseph Palermo: he Republicans, who control the state’s finances through the “two-thirds rule,” tell us every day that in a $1.8 trillion economy we can’t do anything but cut, cut, cut because we simply “don’t have the money.” They tell us that a $19 billion budget deficit — about 1 percent of the state’s GDP — requires us to dismantle the higher education system, lay off teachers and social servants, close parks, and demolish public institutions that took a generation to build.
Ivan Eland: The Cold War is long over, and the concomitant rationale (dubious even then) for using an interventionist U.S. foreign policy to attempt to run the world is now obsolete and even dangerous in an era of blowback terrorism. Many empires throughout history have collapsed or withered away because their aspirations were too big for their wallets; the U.S. is in that perilous position now. Therefore, the United States should dramatically retract its defense perimeter, thus cutting the U.S. security budget by half and saving more than $500 billion a year.
Robert Reich: It seems as if more and more decisions that should be made democratically are being shunted off somewhere to a few people who make them in back rooms. Which programs should be cut, which entitlements pared back, and what taxes raised in order to reduce the long-term budget deficit? Hmmm. Let’s convene a commission and have them decide.
No president in modern times walks a tightrope as exquisitely as this one. His balance is a thing of beauty. But when it comes to this economy right now — an economy fundamentally out of balance — we need a federal government that moves boldly and swiftly to counter-balance the huge recessionary forces still at large
This week’s articles.
If Obama and the Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress in the midterms, it will be because the president learned only the most superficial lesson of the Clinton years. Health-care reform is critically important. But when one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, getting the nation back to work is more so.
As California faces a fiscal meltdown, Democrats blame Republicans for opposing essential tax hikes. But progressives own failures should not be ignored. California Republicans have been anti-tax zealots since the mid-1990’s, yet progressives failed to prioritize passing a ballot measure eliminating the two-thirds requirement for budget passage in 1998, 2000, 2004, or 2008, each of [...]
Before you open that bottle of champagne, can of beer, or bottle of Hennessy in celebration of last week’s decision by the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8 and the ban on gay marriage, did you ever stop to think maybe the joke’s on us? I mean, think about it. Last November, Blacks voted overwhelmingly [...]
THE PROBLEM: Strong feelings of entitlement, refusal to work with others, racism, extreme issues with class, sudden temper tantrums THE PRESCRIPTION: Take as needed one chill pill with a large glass of reality… The gay community needs to take a chill pill…seriously. Protesting President Barack Obama outside of the Beverly Hilton Hotel during a fundraiser [...]
In the market for a prime piece of real estate? Governor Schwarzenegger has the deal for you! Facing a $21.3 Billion budget deficit in California, Schwarzenegger has offered to sell state-owned property to make up the difference. The crown jewel of the proposed fire sale is San Quentin State Prison, home to California’s death row [...]
Although the U.S. is not in imminent danger of attack from any country, President Obama’s first budget further expands the Pentagon’s already dominant global operations. Not even the prospect of a $3.1 trillion combined budget deficit for this year and next deters him. Let them chop the budget for black colleges and police officer death [...]
Governor Schwarzenegger’s May “budget revise” last week – which proposed more mass layoffs, more painful cuts and more reckless borrowing – had all the makings of the end of a Shakespearean tragedy, where the protagonist has run out of options due to troubles of his own making. One could also view it as the definition [...]
Here’s my favorite line from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “State of the City” speech Tuesday: “When challenges seem daunting, it’s always helpful to recall the old Japanese proverb: ‘Adversity is the foundation of virtue.’ ” My personal favorite proverb comes from my mother: “Actions speak louder than words.” I’ve been struggling since last night to put [...]
Avoiding the Greater Depression New York, City of the Poor. This city that never sleeps, and others, will experience economic and social death without a vibrant middle class and viable opportunities to earn a living. –David A. Love The Magical Mystery Majority Budget. The bills passed, the Republicans threatened to sue, the Governor announced he [...]
Despite all of the economic history of the past 30 years, the traditional media is brushing off its favorite bogeyman – the budget deficit – to defeat and/or scale back President Obama’s progressive budget, education, and health care agenda. The New York Times warned in a front page story on March 21 that a new [...]
California is not doing very well. It has the largest budget deficit of any state, and its funding of schools, health care, transportation and other basic services is held hostage by far right-wing Republicans. Yet California is staunchly Democratic in presidential and U.S. Senate races, and produced the greatest number of Obama volunteers of any [...]
Obama’s Budget Finally, A Progressive Budget. This Mini Depression is partly the result of a widening gap between what Americans can afford to buy and what Americans when fully employed can produce. –Robert Reich Obama’s Goal: Halving the Budget Deficit by 2012. Really? Halving the budget deficit by 2012 is a nice goal but it [...]
As California’s leaders continue to wrestle with how to tackle the ever growing budget deficit, cuts to education and in particular public higher education, continue to be mentioned as a solution to economic tumult. Such cuts would be a blow to a State that already has fallen from “trend-setter” in terms of education and economic [...]
Prison Budget Expands, Education Budget Cut While the Governor and legislature propose massive cuts to education and 2,000 public works projects are on hold, a bill to propel a $12 billion prison construction project was sent to Governor Schwarzeneggar. This bill is designed to fix problems with AB900, the largest prison construction plan in history. [...]
The announcement that syndicated talk radio host, Larry Elder, was leaving his daily radio “squawk show” shouldn’t go without notice. Elder is a major remnant of the “colorblind” conservative movement that allowed race and race-based disparities to be subjugated through senseless rationales of relative truths, which made no sense when Elder’s show was launched in [...]
by Robert Reich — The economy has just about come to a standstill – not so much because credit markets are clogged as because there’s not enough demand in the economy to keep it going. Consumer spending has fallen off a cliff. Investment is drying up. And exports are dropping because the recession has now [...]
Both presidential candidates have been criticized for failing to name any promises or plans they’re going to have to scrap because of the bailout and the failing economy. That criticism is unwarranted. The assumption that we are about to have a rerun of 1993 — when Bill Clinton, newly installed as president, was forced to [...]