July 2, 2012 - 7:33am ET
MORNING MESSAGE: The Tea Party's 1776 Schtick
Sam Pizzigati on OurFuture.org: "The Founders, claimed Tea Party types, wouldn’t abide government interference in their lives. And neither should we. ... No new taxes. Ever. Not even on the super rich. Forget that fussing about inequality. Starve the beast. Keep government small. This basic Tea Party line has now become the reigning mantra within conservative circles. But this mantra totally mangles the historical record. The patriots of 1776 didn’t stage a revolution to keep government small. They revolted to keep their America relatively equal. Those colonists, new archival research by economists Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson documents quite dramatically, lived in a society that sported far more equality than mother England."
Health Care Reform Support Rising; So Is Conservative Angst
Reuters: "Among all registered voters, support for the law rose to 48 percent in the online survey conducted after Thursday's ruling, up from 43 percent before the court decision. Opposition slipped to 52 percent from 57 percent." But more than half of registered voters said they would be more favorable toward a congressional candidate vowing to repeal the law.
GOP worries 2012 election may be last chance to defeat health law, reports The Hill: After so many failed attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act, Republicans now acknowledge that November is probably their last chance. “That’s the last train that’s leaving the station in regard to stopping this,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said. “This train is leaving the station, and there’s not going to be another opportunity. If Barack Obama is reelected to a second term, and we don’t replace him with the 45th president, then this law sinks in, it gets roots, and it ain’t going away.”
Senate Republican Leader dodges how he'd replace Obamacare: "Mitch McConnell’s appearance [Sunday] on Fox News Sunday was remarkably revealing — it showed as clearly as you could want that the Supreme Court decision is finally forcing Republicans to declare what, exactly, they would replace Obamacare with if they realize their goal of repealing it entirely. ... The most charitable reading of McConnell’s quote [covering 30 million uninsured is `not the issue’] is that he meant that Republicans see no need to come up up with a single overarching reform plan that would cover those millions of uninsured, and instead will advocate a step-by-step approach."
McConnell also pledges to use reconciliation rules to overturn the health care law with just 51 votes—the same procedural process Republicans opposed when Democrats used it to help pass the law and overcome a Republican filibuster.
Henry Waxman, health care law architect, on possible Republican repeal: 'They could do it': "I think the American people have to understand that. If they vote for Romney and they vote for the Republicans to have control of the House and the Senate, there's a good chance that the health care bill will be wiped out, and all of these benefits will be wiped out." Waxman's remarks contrasted with those of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who told NBC's Meet The Press that an effort to repeal the initiative would be "unrealistic.""
Austerity Worsens Euro Zone Unemployment
Eurozone unemployment reaches record: "The rate of joblessness reached 11.1 per cent in May, the highest in the history of the single currency, according to the EU’s statistics office. The rate climbed in Spain, where almost one in four is now out of a job, and edged higher in France, where President François Hollande’s government is this week to set out key parts of its policies to boost growth and cut the budget deficit. The figures provide further ammunition to those calling for the European Central Bank to try to give some stimulus to the economy with an interest-rate cut this week."
Paul Krugman calls conservatives on "Europe's great illusion": "German politicians have spent the past two years telling voters something that isn’t true — namely, that the crisis is all the fault of irresponsible governments in Southern Europe. Here in Spain — which is now the epicenter of the crisis — the government actually had low debt and budget surpluses on the eve of crisis; if the country is now in crisis, that’s the result of a vast housing bubble that banks all across Europe, very much including the Germans, helped to inflate. But now the false narrative stands in the way of any workable solution. "
Infrastructure Through The Political Storms
James Fallows reflects on power outages in D.C. area after epic storm. "How can it be that in the imperial-capital city of the richest nation the world has ever seen, people are told that it will probably be a full week before electric power is restored? ... America's motto is supposed to be resilience. Here's a reminder of the brittleness of crucial parts of our infrastructure. No doubt we would draw unflattering conclusions if we saw this happening in some other world capital. ... [M]aybe it's time for an infrastructure campaign to be ready for what the elements have in store."
Assessing the transportation bill Congress passed last week: "MAP-21 will provide federal funding for highways and transit over the next 27 months. Passing the bill was an accomplishment for a do-little Congress, but serious issues about how to pay for transportation in the future have yet to be resolved. Nonetheless, there are some interesting features in the bill for new transit capital projects."
ALEC's tax-exempt status challenged: A complaint penned by Marcus Owens, the former chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s nonprofit corporations division, on behalf of Clergy VOICE, a group of ministers from progressive churches in Ohio, says ALEC has “deliberately and repeatedly failed to comply with some of the most fundamental federal tax requirements applicable to public charities” and that evidence “quite strongly” suggests that the group is violating civil and criminal tax laws. The clergy’s complaint goes beyond allegations of improper lobbying, claiming that ALEC exists for the “private benefit” of its members rather than for charitable, educational or other exempt purposes that serve the public interest and deserve special tax treatment."
"State Legislatures Aren’t Buying Bogus Mortgage Settlement," writes Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith: "The Obama Administration’s full-bore effort to push a bank-favoring mortgage “settlement” over the line earlier this year has led to a rearguard action that appears to have caught the mortgage industrial complex and its allies flatfooted. As Nick Timiraos reports in the Wall Street Journal, states are disgusted with the way that banks have ignored their long-established real estate laws. Many are passing new legislation to put more teeth into existing requirements to offer modifications to borrowers that could be salvaged and comply with foreclosure procedures."
Bill Scher is off today. He will resume Progressive Breakfast duties on July 5.
Help us spread the word about these important stories...
Email to a friend
Views expressed on this page are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Campaign for America's Future or Institute for America's Future