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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Republican flip-flops and lies

Individual Mandate

The Republicans had a good idea back in the day requiring people to buy health insurance. This policy was developed because they didn’t feel that they should not have government offer single payer healthcare. Their solution requires people to be responsible and buy health care insurance. This was based on the idea that everyone has a responsiblity to protect themselves, and other people from higher health insurance premiums. During the 93′ healthcare debacle Orin Hatch the right-wing conservative proposed this idea in Clinton’s plan.

Find it weird that once Obama support a Republican developed idea they claim it’s unconstitutional? I don’t.

Cap and Trade

When debate host Gwen Ifill asked Palin whether she supported capping carbon emissions, her answer was unequivocal:

“I do,” she said. “I do.”

Cap and trade, yet again, is a Republican idea. They felt that the government should get out of businesses way, and allow the government to set a cap on the amount of carbon emissions, and then allow the private sector to trade their cap on emissions.

After Obama supports this conservative developed idea Plain blasted her own policy;

“I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy,” she wrote on July 14, 2009. “It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.”

Is it policy or poltics? I wonder.

Taxes

We may have a good development on getting facts into the Republican party, but it may cost the middle class.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., “has never believed that this type of temporary tax relief is the best way to grow the economy,” said spokesman Brad Dayspring.

David Camps of the Ways and Mean Committee even finally admitted that tax cuts add to the deficit. But, here’s the problem they want a tax cut for the middle class to end, but they never mention that their tax cuts for the rich are adding trillion to the deficit. The Bush-era tax cuts will add 4 trillion to the deficit over a ten-year period. Republicans stop this non-sense. They have now shown that they care more about corporation and the richest in America rather than the middle class.

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Clean Energy, Health Care, Taxes

 

The real crisis facing America; jobs

Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act

  • Creates over 2 million jobs within two years to address the real crisis facing America: the jobs crisis.  
  • Emergency jobs will meet critical needs to make American communities stronger.
  • Costs $227 billion ($113.5 billion for each of fiscal years 2012 and 2013).
  • Fully paid for through separate legislation that creates higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, eliminates subsidies for Big Oil, and loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas.  

The Corps: 2.2 Million Jobs

1. School Improvement Corps – Creates 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs to fix American schools.

2. Park Improvement Corps – 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25, to improve our nation’s parks.

3. Student Job Corps – 250,000 part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students.  

4. Neighborhood Heroes Corps – 300,000 teachers, 40,000 police officers, 12,000 firefighters. 

5. Health Corps – 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and health care workers.  

6. Community Corps – 750,000 jobs to do needed work in our communities, including energy audits and conservation upgrades, urban land re-clamation and addressing blight, public property maintenance and beautification, housing rehabilitation, and new construction. 

7. Child Care Corps – 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education.

http://schakowsky.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2975&Itemid=8

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Economy

 

Let’s get the money out of politics

By Dylan Ratigan

It’s time to get things done and finally get money out of politics. Our Washington insider Jimmy Williams is now preparing a Constitutional amendment to get big money from special interests out of our political system. We all know that they buy access and influence through campaign contributions, and benefit from the big payoffs (examples: Wall Street, health care, banking) and, of course, provide a lucrative revolving door to soften the blow when elected officials leave office.

Steps are already being taken by some big names. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz urged fellow CEO’s and campaign donors this week to boycott campaign contributions until the parties actually do something constructive to fight long term fiscal concerns and the jobs crisis. Former PA Gov. Ed Rendell has said he will support it as well:

There are so many legislators who have said to me, gosh, if I could vote in secret, I could vote for your proposal Governor because I know it’s the right thing to do. But I can’t do it. The other side will raise money on it and kill me. And that’s what’s so important — it is so important to get the influence of money out of politics. Because if you get the influence of money out of politics, we will get people who will actually vote their conscience. And I think that’s extraordinarily important. You’re right to say it’s not the lobbyists… but it is the money that perverts the entire process…. I would be interested in Jimmy’s drafting the amendment.

Jimmy is hard at work on our amendment, but we want to hear from you. What do you want to see in this amendment? What else do we do to get money out of politics? Send us a message via this form or email us at MadAsHell@DylanRatigan.com, and we’ll post the best ideas on Monday and Tuesday.

We have already gotten a huge response from all over the country about this amendment. Here’s what people have to say:

Robert Wilson: “Fostered by the influence of money at every level of government, compromise suffers. Nothing ever really gets done. Whether problems are social or economic or whether policies require regulation or deregulation, the job of governing our country should be entrusted to those who aren’t tempted by money. The current system is an insult to the Founding Fathers.”

Gordon: “The corporate manipulation of politics is actually counter to the “free market” concept where the market is free to determine which businesses provide real value to the consumers. A truly “free market” is based on transparency and free from the collusion of lobbying and back room deals.”

Karen Rose: “Imagine if 100 million people not only signed on to asking for a Constitutional Amendment, but also took a pledge vowing not to vote for ANY national candidate unless they voiced public support for this amendment. Corporations may be people in the eyes of the SCOTUS, but, as of yet, they still cannot vote, WE DO!”

In the meantime, be sure to follow Jimmy on Twitter for the latest on our amendment — let him know you appreciate his hard work!

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The goals of the U.S. Socialist party

THE FREEDOM SOCIALIST PARTY IS a revolutionary, socialist feminist organization, dedicated to the replacement of capitalist rule by a genuine workers’ democracy that will guarantee full economic, social, political, and legal equality to women, people of color, gays, and all who are exploited, oppressed, and repelled by the profit system and its offshoot — imperialism.

FOR REVOLUTIONARY INTERNATIONALISM The working class is international and bound by global abuse. It must liberate itself through socialism. We support revolution on all fronts and seek to transform it into world socialism, which alone can defeat capitalism. We stress that global democratic struggles — for national liberation, for race and sex liberation — are inseparably bound up with workers’ struggles in every country, and can ultimately achieve victory only in conjunction with international socialist revolution.

FOR UNION DEMOCRACY The working class has the strategic power, numbers, need, and opportunity to effect a socialist transformation of society. But first the trade unions must be freed from the stranglehold of the class-collaborationist bureaucrats and from dependence on the twin political parties of big business. Internal union democracy, class struggle principles, independent political action in the form of an anti-capitalist Labor Party, and an end to internal racism, sexism, and heterosexism are on the order of the day.

FOR RACIAL/NATIONAL FREEDOM The struggles of oppressed minorities and immigrants against bigotry and intensified exploitation objectively challenge the basic core of the capitalist system. The resistance of people of color and immigrants, who suffer a dual oppression, spurs all other sectors of the working class to advanced political consciousness and militancy. We stand for immediate and unconditional economic, political, and social equality for Blacks, Chicanos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans, and endorse the demand for self-determination by oppressed and indigenous nations the world over. We advocate the collaboration of organizations of people of color with the revolutionary movement as the most realistic and historically validated alternative to the dead ends of separatism or reformist integration. The revolution depends upon massive involvement and leadership by people of color.

FOR WOMEN’S LIBERATION We organize for the total emancipation of women on every level of life. The multiple afflictions of women — as an oppressed sex, workers, people of color, lesbians — propel them into militancy within every social movement, thereby laying the basis for unifying all the mass movements. Women, particularly workingclass women of color, are playing an increasingly vanguard role, thanks to the rise of the autonomous women’s movement and women’s caucuses within unions and all political parties.

FOR LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER EQUALITY The revolt of sexual minorities against sexual repression and sex-role stereotyping is a key ingredient of the fight for women’s equality and is equally revolutionary. Revolutionary socialism is the logical road for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people who stand apart from the bourgeois nuclear family and who wish to end the long, bloody centuries of persecution and terror. Because of their special oppression, lesbians are a particularly militant component of all social movements.

FOR UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS Among the most hapless and vulnerable victims of capitalism are children, elders, the disabled, and prisoners — anyone who is not a profitable worker. We demand a world where all people have the inalienable right to security, care, love, and unhampered opportunity and growth.

FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SANITY The world’s natural riches must be used and safeguarded by the people, not by the corporations that exhaust resources for profit and destroy worker safety and health. Nuclear energy threatens to maim or annihilate future generations. Technology must be used wisely and humanely to preserve the earth and its creatures.

FOR A MASS WORKINGCLASS PARTY History has proven that only a thoroughly democratic and centralized vanguard party can lead the proletariat and its many allies to power. The FSP, a product of the living tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky, aspires to become a mass organization capable of providing direction for the coming revolution. Through independent growth, revolutionary regroupment, and other forms of fusion, we are confident of our eventual merger with the dynamic masses who will sweep every obstacle out of their path and ascend to the socialist future.

 
 

Issues we should ALL be able to agree on

1. Every person should have health insurance

2. Every one should earn a fair wage

3. Everyone should receive a excellent education

We should have the decency as human being to be humane and allow everyone to get medical treatment and prevention. Everyone should receive a fair wage, not just the minimum wage. Everyone should have the chance to be whatever they want. We need to make college more affordable. If we can’t agree on these three ideas America is screwed. How can we be fair and deny these basic human rights; health, money, and education to people. Money or social status shouldn’t limit what one can do. America is not the country that lets people die because they can’t afford medical treatment? America isn’t a country that allows veteran to be homeless? America isn’t the country that allows people to be paid barely a wage? Are we? I cry at night thinking of the people in this country that have been denied these rights. How can we be a country that allows the uninsured to die?

FDR’s dream second Bill of Rights;

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

 
 

Don’t the American people want jobs?

Over the past few days, the Senate and House leadership has selected the Senators and House members who will be on the Debt Reduction Committee that was created as part of the debt ceiling deal that was reached earlier this month. Some progressives have reacted angrily to some of the Democratic picks – most notably to the selection of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT).  While we share some concerns about the selections, a far more effective response would be for progressives to flood the Democratic members of the Committee with letters and phone calls urging them to prioritize job creation, increase revenue from the wealthy, and ensure there are no cuts to Social Security or Medicare beneficiaries.

The Debt Reduction Committee is charged with proposing by November 23, 2011 $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years through spending cuts and/or revenue increases.  If the Committee is able to agree to a proposal, it would then receive an up-or-down vote, with no filibusters or amendments, in both houses of Congress and must be either signed or vetoed by President Obama.  The Committee has twelve members, with six from each party. Any proposal that goes to Congress would have to be approved by at least a 7-5 majority, so at least one Democrat or one Republican member of the Committee must end up siding with the other party in order to avoid a deadlock.  If the Committee does not make a proposal, or Congress rejects the proposal, $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years starting in 2013 would automatically go into effect.  Those automatic cuts would include nearly $500 billion reduction in military spending, but no cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, or beneficiaries of Medicare.

Given Democrats’ propensity to compromise, progressives are understandably concerned that one of the six Democratic members will end up supporting a GOP deficit reduction proposal.  And much of that concern has been targeted at Sen. Baucus, with folks like the Young Turks and Markos claiming that the “fix is in” and that the “GOP has already won.”

While Senator Baucus has certainly been disappointing to progressives on health care reform, the estate tax, and other issues, the progressive attacks on Baucus, and on Senator Harry Reid for selecting him, appear to be overwrought, as Baucus’ performance on core progressive issues during the various deficit debates of the past year has been pretty strong.  For example, Baucus strongly supported keeping Social Security out of the debt ceiling negotiations, noting that the program “is not responsible for the deficits we face in the general fund today,” and has been “a major force in ending widespread poverty among the elderly.”  Baucus also lambasted the GOP’s vote to abolish Medicare, slammed the House GOP’s Cut, Cap, and Balance proposal as “radical,” and voted against the debt reduction proposal made by Simpson and Bowles Debt Commission.  In other words, Senator Baucus appears to be reachable on some key issues such as protecting Social Security and Medicare.

Rather than attacking individual Democratic committee members or throwing our hands up and saying the GOP has already won, we progressives should be working to make sure the Democrats on the Committee hear what we want loud and clear.  Winning Progressive recommends making the following three points:

1. Jobs Must be Priority Number 1 – With unemployment still at 9.1% and underemployment at 16.1%, the number one priority must be creating jobs.  And the way to achieve job growth is through a WPA-style jobs program, significant infrastructure investment, and a stimulus package focused on shoring up state and local government budgets and investments in developing a green energy economy.  Job creation will not only help the economy, it will also decrease the deficit by achieving economic recovery and, therefore, revenue increases.

2. Make the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share Again – With taxes on the wealthy and corporations at or near the lowest levels since the 1930s, increased revenue from the top 2% must be the part of any effort to reduce the deficit.

3. No Cuts to Medicare Beneficiaries or Social Security – Social Security is not causing or contributing to the deficit.  Skyrocketing health care costs post long term fiscal problems, but the solution is to rationalize health care spending, not abolishing the most cost effective form of health insurance, Medicare.  Benefits should not be cut for either program under the guise of deficit reduction.

To make your voices heard and help push the Debt Reduction Committee in a more positive direction, contact the Democratic members of the Committee today at the links below and urge them to prioritize job creation, increase revenue from the wealthy, and ensure there are no cuts to Social Security or Medicare beneficiaries.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Economy, Taxes

 

Maybe there are some Republican ideas in “Obamacare”

Review a few of the Republican initiatives included in legislation passed by Congress:

  • Includes personal responsibility incentives: Allows health insurance premium to vary based on participation in proven employer wellness programs
    • (Sources:  H.R. 3468, “Promoting Health and Preventing Chronic Disease through Prevention and Wellness Programs for Employees, Communities, and Individuals Act” (Castle bill); H.R. 4038, “Common Sense Health Care Reform & Accountability Act” (Republican Substitute bill); H.R. 3400, “Empowering Patients First Act” (Republican Study Committee bill); H.R. 3970, “Medical Rights & Reform Act” (Kirk bill), “Coverage, Prevention and Reform Act”)
  • Advances medical liability reform through grants to States:  Provides grants to States to jump-start and evaluate promising medical liability reform ideas to put patient safety first, prevent medical errors, and reduce liability premiums.
    • (Sources: S. 1783, “Ten Steps to Transform Health Care in America Act” (Enzi bill); H.R. 3400, “Empowering Patients First Act” (Republican Study Committee bill); H.R. 4529, “Roadmap for America’s Future Act” (Ryan bill); S. 1099, “Patients’ Choice Act” (Burr-Coburn, Ryan-Nunes bill))
  • Extends dependent coverage to age 26: Gives young adults new options.
    • (Sources: H.R. 4038, “Common Sense Health Care Reform & Accountability Act” (Republican Substitute bill); H.R. 3970, “Medical Rights & Reform Act” (Kirk bill))
  • Allows automatic enrollment by employers in health insurance: Allows employee to opt-out.
    • (Sources: House Republican Substitute; H.R. 3400, “Empowering Patients First Act” (Republican Study Committee bill); “Coverage, Prevention, and Reform Act” )
  • Mechanisms to improve quality.
    • (Sources: H.R. 4529, “Roadmap for America’s Future Act;” S. 1099, “Patients’ Choice Act;” H.R. 3400, Republican Study Group bill; S. 1783, “Ten Steps to Transform Health Care in America Act” (Enzi bill))
  • Community Mental Health Centers. The President’s Proposal ensures that individuals have access to comprehensive mental health services in the community setting, but strengthens standards for facilities that seek reimbursement as community mental health centers by ensuring these facilities are providing appropriate care and not taking advantage of Medicare patients or the taxpayers. 
    • (Source:  H.R. 3970, “Medical Rights & Reform Act”)

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Health Care