Well-To-Do Americans Getting More Benefits than the Poor

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Sherwood Ross: All the Federal welfare checks, food stamps, and unemployment benefits don’t begin to add up to the more than $1 trillion in indirect tax breaks awarded annually to America’s middle- and upper-classes.

For Progressives, Debt Ceiling “Deal” Was a Real Downer

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Joseph Palermo: The last-minute lobbying by the titans of industry and finance shows that President Obama might have had more leverage over the Republicans in the debt ceiling “negotiations” than he chose to exercise. We now breathlessly await the arrival of the “Super Committee,” the tragedy that follows the farce.

In the Debt Ceiling Machinations Democracy Is Also Up for Grabs

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Carl Bloice: If the people who set the Tea Party in motion and sustain it want a mandatory “balanced budget” there is a democratic way of going about getting one; introduce specific legislation. They wouldn’t take that route.

10 Reasons for Progressives to Feel Reassured About the Debt Package

Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.

Real Crises and Fake Ones

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Steve Hochstadt: Our economic disaster is not about national debt, but about national poverty. America cannot be a great country, if we do not alleviate the critical economic problems gripping our poorest families.

Primary Lessons

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Vijay Prashad: In the Progressive Caucus there was unanimity in the critique, but some hesitation over the way ahead. A few people felt that the far right was dangerous, and it seemed unsafe to unhinge what appeared to be Obama’s walkover in 2012.

In Memory of the GOP

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Tom Degan: It’s interesting to speculate what Lincoln and Roosevelt would make of their party today. It’s not much of a stretch to say that the both of them would be just a tad dismayed to see that it has been overtaken by half-wits and crazy people.

To Rebuild the American Dream, Put Pressure On Democrats

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Randy Shaw: A progressive coalition that claims to be “Bigger than the Tea Party” must hold Democrats accountable as effectively as conservatives do for Republicans .

The Biggest Driver in the Deficit Battle: Standard & Poor’s

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Robert Reich: Standard & Poor’s insists any deal must also contain a credible, bipartisan plan to reduce the nation’s long-term budget deficit by $4 trillion — something neither Harry Reid’s nor John Boehner’s plans do.

Will Obama Ever Hold the Republicans Accountable?

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Paul Loeb: Obama has forgotten the basic lesson of negotiation — you don’t hand everything over before you start, particularly to people who have utter contempt for your values and goals.

What “Shared Sacrifice” Means

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Carl Bloice: All across the country social services, which largely benefit lower income women, men and children are being cut back and people who made them function are being added to the ranks of the unemployed.

Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

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Robert Reich: The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. Medicare offers a means of reducing these costs — if Washington would let it.

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Democracy Is Messy

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Ted Vaill: Every Member of Congress who voted against increasing the debt ceiling should be targeted for defeat in the 2012 election. If that is not successful in changing the makeup of Congress after 2012, I may follow the lead of my ancestor Pelatiah Everett, and begin a new revolution.

Can Obama Pull a Clinton on the GOP?

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Robert Reich: It’s no accident that President Obama appears to be following the Clinton script. After all, it worked.

Deficit Reduction Versus Democracy

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Shamus Cooke: Listening to Congress debate deficit deduction is like listening to a den of lions discuss the welfare of zebras. In both cases the debate is very one-sided.

Elected on Hope, Obama Governs Through Fear

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Randy Shaw: Obama ran for president preaching hope and rejecting appeals to fear, but now has become exactly what he railed against.

Stronger Words from the White House? Hold the Euphoria

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Carl Bloice: The country really does need a deal right now; that’s as in ‘New Deal.” There are a lot of people, groups and new movements out there proposing that we come up with one.

Prospects for Progressive Politics

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Peter Dreier: The 2012 elections will be a big test for Obama and for all of us. If we as progressives can make our pole of the political debate compelling to him – powerful and articulate – then he will move to incorporate more of our vision.

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Social Security and The Koch Lies

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The Koch brothers have poured millions of dollars into conservative think tanks that crank out studies claiming Social Security is going broke. Their solutions – raise the retirement age and turn your contributions over to the casino of Wall Street. The short and gripping video from Brave New Films, “Social Security Echo Chamber,” traces the origins of these Koch-funded lies.

Obama Looking Like a Champ

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Alvaro Huerta: To be a real champ, Obama now needs to end the tax cuts for the rich, withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and get the DREAM Act passed.

The Truth About the American Economy

Robert Reich: As we should have learned from the Great Prosperity — the 30 years after World War II when America grew because most Americans shared in the nation’s prosperity — we cannot have a growing and vibrant economy without a growing and vibrant middle class.

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Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream

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Ivan Eland: Deep down, both Republican and Democratic politicians believe something needs to be done about the monstrous and dangerous deficit and debt, but they are scared to do anything because, unfortunately, the American people want their government handouts but are unwilling to pay for them.

America’s “Shoot ‘Em Up, Lock ‘Em Up” Mentality Is Its Undoing

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David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.

Citizens-United: Enemy of the People

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Jerry Drucker: Evasion is what the GOP is really good at doing. Senator Kyle of Arizona: “It wasn’t intended to be a factual statement.” It was intended to be a 97% lie.

A Tale of Two Town Halls

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Joseph Palermo: The Republican House members who voted for Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand wet-dream budget are apparently getting an earful from their constituents.

Beware of the Racial Demagoguery

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Carl Bloice: With public opinion across the political spectrum clearly opposed to slashing the healthcare and retirement programs, any negotiated settlement would be undemocratic.

The Fake Budget Debate

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Shamus Cooke: This two-party big lie is not an accident, but an expression of a deeper held belief: that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations.

Extortion Politics

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Robert Reich: Monday Standard & Poor’s (hardly a beacon of reliability after the Crash of 2008, to be sure) downgraded America’s credit outlook. Expect more downgrades if the game of chicken continues.

Why Obama’s Proposal Is Risky

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Robert Reich: The underlying problem isn’t the budget deficit. It’s that so much income and wealth are going to the top that most Americans don’t have the purchasing power to sustain a strong recovery.

President Obama: MIA

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Walter Brasch: Good presidents do what is best for the country. Great presidents, however, do not only what is best for the people, but are also willing to speak to the courage of their beliefs, of their principles, even if it may be unpopular among many of their constituencies.

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