Carl Bloice: I guess the message is obvious. The cadre of the “real tea party,” the Tea Kettle party, the truly conservatives and the austerity brigades have one thing in common: if they come to power life will become a lot harder to pubic workers, students, the elderly and a whole lot of others. Class bias speaks loud.
Robert Reich: John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.”
Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen: FDR viewed Social Security as part of his broader New Deal effort to humanize capitalism. Born to privilege, he understood that many business groups and wealthy people considered him a traitor to his class. They were, he thought, greedy, unenlightened, and on the wrong side of history. He was determined to take them on.
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.
Tina Dupuy: Going largely underreported, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at the Eisenhower Library (name for the president who coined the term “military-industrial complex”), last week calling for cuts in the Pentagon’s budget. Gates asked, “Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? “
Robert Reich: Sixty years later, we boomers have a lot to be worried about because most of us plan to retire in a few years and Social Security and Medicare are on the way to going bust. I should know because I used to be a trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Those of you who are younger than we early boomers have even more to be worried about because if those funds go bust they won’t be there when you’re ready to retire.
Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?
Carl Bloice: The “moderate Republican” has gone the way of the typewriter. As the tea party people and their ilk become more racist and reactionary – and their rhetoric more incendiary, each day – the GOP encourages them and endeavors to pull them into its embrace. Meanwhile the “bluedog Democrats” become increasingly irrelevant with each passing day, their bark more in evidence than their bite.
There are not two groups involved, the young and the old. It’s a continuum starting from entrance into the workforce until retirement. While he says he speaks in the interest of the young, if there is a severe curtailment of Medicare and Social Security those hurt most will be the youngsters when they reach the age where they need them both.
Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.
Despite the fact that immigrants are healthier than US citizens, use less medical care, use less expensive care, and do not impose a disproportionate financial burden on the US health care system; Barrasso stubbornly holds that those undocumented immigrants who can afford health insurance shouldn’t even be allowed to purchase it because it would somehow “certify” their presence in the country.
Any talk of healthcare reform has to take into serious account the skyrocketing costs of co-pays and prescriptions. On the one hand, we can’t play up the benefits of preventative healthcare but then charge the patient an arm and a leg, no pun intended.
What are we to make of yesterday’s report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds that Social Security will run out of assets in 2037, four years sooner than previously forecast, and Medicare’s hospital fund will be exhausted by 2017, two years earlier than predicted a year ago? Reports of these [...]
A front page article in the New York Times starts out with the sentence: “The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters.” Not so much. Ronald Reagan, despite his carefully crafted [...]
I started this campaign season as a Kucinich supporter. As it became clear I’d have to select one of the leading Presidential candidates, I began to look earnestly for differences between them. I listened as emphasis was placed on “experience”, “two different Americas” and “Hope.” From my vantage point, the positions taken by the three [...]