newdeal20.org — oth Democrats and environmentalists seem to be searching for new sources of support, according to articles from Thomas Edsall and Leslie Kaufman. For Democrats, the problem is the state of mind of the “white working class,” while for environmentalists the problem is to convince the public that something should be done about climate change. In both cases, the dilemma is the same: the solutions offered do not solve the existing problems, and the public knows it. The New Deal offers a political lesson on the importance of an interlinking set of policies that cut across issue areas, a lesson that can help both the Democratic Party and the environmental movement. The point is not to idealize the New Deal or deify FDR. We need to learn the lessons of American history that can be useful for us today.
otherwords.org — Listening at last to his inner FDR, President Barack Obama is going straight at the Know-Nothing/Do-Nothing Republicans in Congress. At a rally in September on a bridge connecting Rep. John Boehner's state of Ohio to Sen. Mitch McConnell's state of Kentucky, Obama challenged the two GOP leaders to back his plan for repairing and improving our country's deteriorating infrastructure. "Help us rebuild this bridge," he shouted out to Boehner and McConnell. "Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work." Yes, let's do it! However, in addition to the usual recalcitrance of reactionary Republican leaders, another impediment stands in the way of success: many of the infrastructure jobs that would be created could end up in China. Holy Uncle Sam! How is this possible?
washingtonmonthly.com — Press releases from Capitol Hill are generally easy to dismiss, but one this morning caught my eye. It was sent by House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.), sent on behalf of the caucus, as opposed to just himself, “applauding” the “Occupy Wall Street Movement.” “In New York and across the country, thousands of Americans have taken to the streets, certain of the morality of their message: bringing fairness to Main Street,” Larson said. “The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore. They are fighting to give voice to the struggles that everyday Americans are going through.” These protests aren’t invisible to the establishment anymore, and when the House Democratic Caucus is officially applauding the demonstrations, it’s clearly a positive development for the burgeoning movement.
For more on how we can save Social Security from conservative attacks, hear Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Campaign for America's Future's Roger Hickey, Strengthen Social Security's Eric Kingson and more at the Take Back the American Dream conference, Oct. 3-5.
At least some of the Republican Presidential candidates have gotten the memo that repeatedly demonizing Social Security has its consequences. After standing by assertions in his book that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie,” Gov. Perry has drawn harsh criticism from both angry voters and his fellow candidates. In fact, some of those other candidates, Mitt Romney in particular, are using Perry’s remarks on Social Security to create ideological distance between them on this issue.
This past Friday night in Washington, a New York Mets pitcher threw the type of pitch President Obama must use in his march to stop any new proposals to cut Social Security if he plans to make it through the game of the deficit talks and his reelection. In the recent past the President and his teams have pitched a slew of failed curveballs that would cut our Social Security. The number 43 Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey helped beat the Nationals 7-3 with his slow velocity, highly unpredictable knuckleball. The 44th President and his multitude of committees have taken an approach to cutting the deficit that replicates a tied baseball game, with no end in sight. Could knuckle balls from a President battling to win the game, save the economy, and win reelection save the tied ball game called the deficit debate? Let’s take a look at the tape.
newdeal20.org — The U.S. economy is a mess. Over two years since the Great Recession officially ended, the unemployment rate is over nine percent, the foreclosure crisis rages on, and households remain loaded up with debt. The fiscal situation of federal and state governments is dire, in part because free-market ideologues think that low taxes are a God-given right. Much of the mess is the result of an economy in which the forces for extracting value have come to dominate the forces for creating value. In the process, industrial innovation — the generation of higher quality, lower cost products that provide the foundation for economic growth — is suffering from neglect.
If the topline numbers of today’s jobs report weren’t depressing enough, consider some other facts that, taken together, strongly suggest that we are in a serious economic crisis. Let’s start with the basics. The unemployment rate crept up to 9.2% in June. more »
Although specifics have yet to officially emerge, there is little doubt that among the Social Security benefit cuts the President is proposing will be a reduction in Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) through an obscure change in the COLA formula known as the chained CPI. more »
washingtonmonthly.com — Oh, great. Now we have conservative House Republicans arguing publicly that the Democrats' stimulus bill wasn't liberal enough when it came to public investments. The GOP has been attacking the Recovery Act for so long, the party no longer even notices that it's arguing, simultaneously, that it spent too much and spent too little. Of course, the dirty little secret is that Republicans have been engaged in this little shell game for quite a while. Remember the "Highway Hypocrites"? These are the conservative Republican lawmakers -- representing most of the House caucus -- who swore up and down than additional spending, including in areas like infrastructure, would be awful for the economy, right before they begged the Obama administration to spend the money on their constituents, argued it would create jobs, and showed up smiling at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
We've been deferring maintenance of our infrastructure since the Reagan tax cuts - never mind modernizing to restore American competitiveness. It is something that has to be done anyway, and here we are with so many people needing work. It's just nuts. Millions of jobs that need doing, and millions out of work, and we can't connect the dots. more »