Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:00

The one sensible budget in Washington

This week, Washington descends into its annual budget brawl. House Republicans unveiled their plan on Tuesday, with Senate Republicans to follow Wednesday. Their hope is to pass a common budget resolution through both bodies by mid-April. Their incentive is that if — and that is a big if — Republicans in the House and Senate can agree, they can use the process known as “reconciliation” to pass various right-wing passions by majority vote, no filibuster allowed. The House budget plan, for example, calls for repealing Obamacare, partial privatization of Medicare, turning Medicaid and food stamps into block grants for the states, and tax reforms that lower rates and eliminate any taxation on profits reported abroad, turning the rest of the world into a tax haven for multinationals. The president can veto the appropriations bill containing these items, setting up another government shutdown melodrama. This is not the way to run a railroad, much less a government.

Congress is nearing a vote on arguably the biggest change to private pension law in decades.

The proposed reforms would grant sweeping new authority to the trustees of some “deeply troubled” multi-employer pension plans to slash benefits promised to current retirees—something that’s illegal under existing law. A cornerstone of some collective bargaining agreements, multi-employer plans cover more than 10 million workersmostly in construction but also in the transportation, manufacturing, retail and service sectors

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is pushing its nearly 70 Democrats to oppose a sweeping funding bill on Thursday because it rolls back a key aspect of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 00:00

The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More. Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.

Latest Economic and Social Justice News

  • Sen. Graham Joins 2016 GOPers' Call For Social Security Cuts

    Lindsey Graham(R-SC) not only became the latest Republican to jump into the 2016 presidential race, he also became the latest Republican to signal strong support for deep Social Security cuts. "Washington's failure to do the hard but right thing has put Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy," Graham said during

    Read More
  • The Republican campaign to destroy the poor stoops to a new low

    The party of the rich is now doing everything in its power to make sure those without money live in misery Last week my colleague Simon Maloy caught us up with the latest on Kanses Gov. Sam Brownback’s famous Arthur Laffer “petri dish” experiment, in which he slashed taxes and government programs in order to

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  • The Cost of an Adjunct

    The plight of non-tenured professors is widely known, but what about the impact they have on the students they’re hired to instruct? Imagine meeting your English professor by the trunk of her car for office hours, where she doles out information like a taco vendor in a food truck. Or

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  • After Rand Paul’s Sort-of Filibuster, What’s Next for Surveillance Reform?

    While technically Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) stand against the NSA yesterday wasn't a filibuster, any time a member of Congress talks for over ten hours without a bathroom break, it's close enough in our book.

    Read More
  • As Patriot Act Expiration Looms, Critics Hope for Sunset on Mass Surveillance

    'Together we will end the Patriot Act, and the sun can rise on a new day filled with freedom and privacy for all.' With the fate of the USA Patriot Act still hanging in the balance late afternoon Friday—and lawmakers eager to leave Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day barbecues and

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  • Entitlements are Bankrupting America. But the Rich Keep Taking Them.

    Because of irresponsible reporting by conservative sources, many Americans have been led to believe that social programs are bankrupting our nation. The mainstream media fawningly concurs, with statements like this from USA Today: "The massive deficits...[and] chronic underfunding...are largely the result of Washington's habit of committing too much money to

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  • It’s time to make college debt free

    When I graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990, students were graduating from college with an average of about $12,000 in debt. Today, the average student debt for undergraduates in Minnesota is more than $31,000 — the fifth-highest in the nation. 

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  • The 99% Isn’t Enough

    We can’t fight the rich without fighting our own privileges. Last night, I asked my mom if she’d heard ever heard the term, “We are the 99%.” After we spent a frustrating few minutes of her repeatedly asking, “But 99% of what?” she admitted that she’d heard tell of Occupy

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  • Why Don’t the American People Want to Tax the Rich? Oh Wait, They Do.

    Despite what the New York Times would have you believe, Americans have said over and over that they want the wealthy to pay more. The New York Times has a post by Neil Irwin headlined “Why Americans Don’t Want to Soak the Rich.” Irwin suggests a couple of different answers to this question, depending on your ideological point of view:

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  • 5 Ways It's Become a Crime to Be Poor in America, Punishable by Further Impoverishment

    New report details perverse policies that are driving more people into hopeless, inescapable poverty.

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Featured News

  • Hague climate change judgement could inspire a global civil movement +

    Dutch ruling could trigger similar cases worldwide with citizens taking their governments to courts to make them act on climate Read More
  • Supreme Court Rejects Obamacare Lawsuit, Preserving Insurance For Millions +

    WASHINGTON -- The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, Read More
  • TPP Media March +

     Join our TPP Twitter Storm. Everyone with a Twitter account can participate. The Twitter storm begins on Tuesday at 9pm Read More
  • Why We 'Ordinary People' Should Oppose Fast Track of the TPP Right Up To the Final Vote in Congress +

    During his campaigning days back in 2008, President Obama promised to rewrite NAFTA. Even Hillary at the time modestly admitted that there were mistakes Read More
  • Left raises pressure on Pelosi to oppose Obama's fast-track +

    Liberal groups are upping their pressure this week on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to take a stand against President Obama's Read More
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ESJ Calls

Featured Economic and Social Justice News

  • Sen. Graham Joins 2016 GOPers' Call For Social Security Cuts +

    Lindsey Graham(R-SC) not only became the latest Republican to jump into the 2016 presidential race, he also became the latest Read More
  • Populism Is Helping to Define and Build the Progressive Movement +

    While a self-serving and bought-off Conservative majority in Congress -- along with its DINO ("Democrat In Name, Only") enablers -- remains mired Read More
  • Bystander Who Filmed Horrifying Footage: 'Officer Just Shot Him in the Back' +

    Speaking with news outlets for the first time, witness says victim did not have possession of Taser as officer initially claimed Read More
  • Obama Promises Rare Veto As House Votes to Slow Down Union Elections, Curb NLRB +

    In a show of electoral strength by anti-union Republicans in Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives easily passed legislation Thursday Read More
  • GOP Budget Slashes Tax Rates for the 1 Percent, Safety Net for Everyone Else +

    Proposal, columnist writes, 'is based on an economic philosophy that has failed the country and its people savagely in the Read More
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