America’s Future in Global Economy: This Week’s Words and Deeds

Obama in Minneapolis

Robert Reich: By extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, shrinking the estate tax, and freezing discretionary spending (on everything except defense), Obama’s leaving almost nothing for education and infrastructure.

White House Continues Drumbeat for DREAM

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Seth Hoy: Yet even with the weight of the White House and a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score that has DREAM reducing the deficit by $1.4 billion over ten years, Republican votes may be short.

Alarmed & Angry at Christmas Time

sad xmas

Carl Bloice: Reflect on the sudden, shocking awareness that that one third of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are prepared to let 2 million people – victims of an economic crisis not of their making – face the holidays with no income.

The Showdown On Tax Cuts for the Rich

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Robert Reich: In political terms, a strong stand enables the President to clearly demonstrate who’s side he’s on (the working and middle class that’s still bearing the brunt of this lousy economy) and who’s side the Republicans are on (the powerful and privileged who brought much of this on, and who are now doing just fine).

National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week

Medical_Workers

Robert Reich: The best outcome would be an agreement to extend the tax cuts for the bottom 99 percent, for two years. This would stimulate the economy in the short term when it most needs it, and reduce the long-term deficit.

New START Is Worthy, but Let’s Not Violate the Constitution to Save It

James Rubin

Ivan Eland: Denying Obama a victory—even if it’s good for the country—is very irresponsible. And on balance, the New START Treaty is good for the country.

4 Ways Healthcare Reform Will Affect Your FSA

sonogram

Manisha Thakor: Other cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies as well a pre-natal care visits, vaccinations, and routine infant and childcare checkups may also be provided as part of your baseline insurance – thus requiring no additional out-of-pocket cost.

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

Comedy Congress

Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

Who Is Behind the Deficit Crisis

tax breaks

Shamus Cooke: Unless labor and community groups massively mobilize working people in fighting for a pro-worker solution to the deficit crisis, austerity measures — like reducing Social Security and Medicare — will be forced upon us.

Government Sexual Molestation in Airports Over the Top

Airport Scanner

Ivan Eland: Outrageous fondling by government employees has caused a rising tide of public outrage and may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Why the Lame Duck Congress Must Extend Jobless Benefits For Hard-Hit Families But Not Tax Cuts For the Rich

unemployed

Robert Reich: Don’t extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. Give unemployment benefits to people who need them.

D-Day in the Class War

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Joseph Palermo: After a decade of stagnant or declining real wages, “bipartisan” schemes are proliferating to shift the burden of Washington policymakers’ own catastrophic mismanagement of the nation’s fiscal policies right onto the shoulders of working people.

Deficit Commission: Keynesian by Default

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John Peeler: The fact is, neither liberals nor conservatives, neither Republicans nor Democrats, have the stomach for the major sacrifices that Simpson and Bowles are calling for, and it’s not at all clear that the public in general is ready either.

Sanctuary Cities and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program: Two Things that Do Not Go Together

golden gate bridge

Michele Waslin: Despite the clear facts, radio-show hosts, politicians, and immigration restrictionists still want you to believe that cities receiving SCAAP reimbursements are providing “sanctuary” to criminals. Maybe next they’ll try to convince you immigrants are responsible for global warming and teenage obesity—wait, been there, done that.

The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now

Social Security

Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.

Why We Should Beware Budget-Deficit Mania

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson

Robert Reich: The first draft of the President’s deficit commission, written by its co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is a pastiche of ideas – some good, some dumb, some intriguing, some wacky. The only unifying principle behind their effort seems to be to throw enough at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

Attention Congress: Fix the Potholes

Senator Mitch McConnell: "Our first priority is to make Obama a one-term president."

Tina Dupuy: A politician who is against government is like an actor who is against entertainment. It’s ridiculous. Because we hate politicians so much, the only way we can stand inking a bubble next to their name is to pretend they really don’t want to do their job.

The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

restore sanity keep fear alive

Robert Reich: In other words, the political center isn’t about what we decide It’s about how we decide. The center American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.

Halliburton and the Upcoming Election

oil well explosion

Robert Reich: Next Tuesday Americans will be deciding whether to hand over even more of our government to corporations that have been plundering America – such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wellpoint insurance, Massey Energy, and Halliburton, the giant oil services company.

Mocking the French for Getting It Right

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Jim Fuller: Everything the American public has been told by the corporate news media about the anti-austerity uprisings in France, England and other European countries is a lie.

In Search of the Real Tea Party

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Denis Campbell: Almost all feared what looks to become the continual flip-flopping of the government every two years that will prevent a single problem from being fixed and create an even more polarized and angry electorate. Said Marilyn from Delaware, “This will be like Israel, where no one can agree and they just fight all of the time.”

The Full Gingrich

Tina Dupuy: Gingrich’s schtick is Scorched Earth meets Straw Man. He not only incinerates the hypothetical Straw Man – he also verbally salts the soil where the Straw Man’s make-believe family lives after razing their made-up home.

Big Airports and Big Government

Steve Hochstadt

Steve Hochstadt: If conservatives have nothing good to say about our government, why don’t they let the rest of us figure out how to make our great country even better?

Courage and Conviction

Mark Sykes

Mark V. Sykes: Robert M. Nelson and 27 fellow Caltech scientists, engineers and administrators working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are risking their jobs and their personal financial well-being to fight for their right of privacy against unwarranted government intrusion. They are fighting for all of us, and they deserve our respect and support.

Is Progressive Dissent Public Enemy #1?

fbi raids

Lydia Howell: The US government — bought and paid for by weapons-makers and mercenaries (‘contractors’) —does not think that We The People have the right to even question, much less challenge and resist permanent war, which is bankrupting our country and civilian deaths ignites violent reaction.

Counties Say No to ICE’s Secure Communities Program; Is Opting Out Possible?


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Michele Waslin: The Santa Clara and Arlington County votes come after questions and confusion regarding local jurisdictions’ ability to opt-out of the program.

Latinos Boosting Democratic Voter Enthusiasm

latino voters

Randy Shaw: Recently polls shows Latinos’ positive perceptions of Democrats sharply rising in the wake of the Party’s unsuccessful effort to enact the DREAM act last week.

Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer, Democrats Punt

taxes breaks for rich

Robert Reich: Only twice before in American history has so much been held by so few, and the gap between them and the great majority been a chasm — the late 1920s, and the era of the robber barons in the 1880s.

The Defining Issue: Who Should Get the Tax Cut — The Rich or Everyone Else?

wealthy

Robert Reich: Republicans are hell bent on demanding an extension of the Bush tax cut for their patrons at the top, or else they’ll pull the plug on tax cuts for the middle class. This is a gift for the Democrats.

Republicans Threaten to Shut Down the Federal Government

Robert Reich: I am continuously amazed at the GOP’s ability to snatch defeat out of the jaws of potential victory. It is the gift that keeps giving.

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