“Even if money doesn’t always change the outcome of political debates, it shapes what debates we have.” A must-read piece on Washington D.C. and the economy.
It’s not deficits that will haunt future generations: it’s unemployment now.
Markets, power and economic policy.
Temporary and part-time jobs are scarring our labor markets, especially for young people.
Moms working at Walmart aren’t making enough to feed their kids.
Everything we know about what’s happened under sequestration.
The Texas fertilizer plant explosion reminds us that workplace accidents cost the economy billions each year.
What the fast food strikes mean.
Concession workers at the San Francisco Giants’ stadium go on strike after three years without a raise.
Retail giant H&M says it’ll require new safety standards for Bangladeshi suppliers.
The billionaire behind “Fix the Debt” dumps tons of money into recruiting college students…
…including paying stipends to get people to take part in the saddest flash mob ever.
In Colorado, efforts to expand, rather than limit, access to voting.
Now Gov. John Kasich is more openly pushing for Medicaid expansion in Ohio.
One Oregon patient’s view on what a big difference Medicaid makes.
North Carolina Republicans move to cut free pre-K enrollment for kids in half.
Congress and the White House may be able to work together to prevent a spike in student loan rates.
Undaunted by attacks on worker organizing at the state level, Detroit fast food workers go on strike.
The view from Detroit: “No chicken, no fries, we want wages supersize!”
Picture a person with a broken leg. Now imagine that person decides that they’re not running fast enough not because their leg is broken, but because they’re overweight. So they diligently go out running on that broken leg every day, and get confused why they’re not getting any faster.
That person is our economy, the broken leg is unemployment, and their catastrophically misguided exercise regimen is Washington’s obsessive focus on deficit reduction:
The nation’s unemployment rate would probably be nearly a point lower, roughly 6.5 percent, and economic growth almost two points higher this year if Washington had not cut spending and raised taxes as it has since 2011, according to private-sector and government economists.
After two years in which President Obama and Republicans in Congress have fought to a draw over their clashing approaches to job creation and budget deficits, the consensus about the result is clear: Immediate deficit reduction is a drag on full economic recovery.
Over the past few years, the policy debate in Washington has been dominated by talk of deficits and debt, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of jobs. The most egregious example of this is sequestration, a totally unnecessary and arbitrary set of cuts to a wide variety of programs that came about because of a temper tantrum thrown by the House Republicans over a routine debt-ceiling increase vote in 2011. The recent discussion of Social Security benefit cuts is another example. The deficit is shrinking fast, and it’s well past time to focus on putting people to work.
Writing at Bloomberg, Josh Barro neatly demolishes the deficit fixation of Republican leaders in Congress, and points to the real reason that they push deficit reduction as the most important goal:
Boehner doesn’t really care about the public debt… What Boehner and House Republicans really want are excuses to cut federal spending, particularly on programs such as Medicaid and food stamps that support low-income Americans. But those cuts are unpopular, so Republicans frame fiscal debate to make such cuts appear necessary to avoid disaster.
Speaker John Boehner and his allies in Congress are assisted by the fact that the political donor class and an overwhelming number of media figures care a lot more about deficit reduction than they do jobs. The austerity advocates, like the billionaire-funded group “Fix the Debt,” are misinforming people about a fake crisis and pushing policies that make our real crisis—stubbornly high unemployment and low consumer demand—harder to fix.
Back in the real world, austerity policies had disastrous results in the U.K., and they’re a clear drag on our efforts to recover from a recession.
Oh, and by the way: the debt ceiling will need to be raised again this fall, and Congressional Republicans have announced that they’ll once again try to use it as an opportunity to extort more unpopular, counterproductive policy changes.
Fast food workers in St. Louis are going on strike tonight.
(Under-staffed) federal court overrules an NLRB decision about informing workers of their right to organize.
“Are you willing to become a telemarketer for 24 months?” Sen. Chris Murphy on the high cost of running for office.
The deficit is shrinking. So maybe let’s talk about unemployment instead.
Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania will save lives.
Poverty and dentistry, or how policy actually affects real people.
Some of the Republicans chained CPI was supposed to appeal to are rejecting it. So let’s drop it.
Immigration reform could be a big job creator in the long term.
Oh, look, House Republicans are going to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, again.
Sen. Warren’s bright idea for reforming student loans.
The trouble with Commerce nominee Penny Pritzker.
Florida state legislature rejects Medicaid expansion funds, leaving almost a million uninsured.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson asks Gov. Scott to call a special session to re-consider Medicaid.
I mean really.
Obama administration suggests they’ll veto bill that would undermine overtime.
Where have all the jobs gone? And how do we bring them back?
The CFPB offers its first criminal referral as a major debt-settlement agency gets indicted.
Five good ideas that are helping people get into the middle class.
In 2011, 4,693 people died on the job.
Wow, who could have guessed that the mortgage-fraud settlement wouldn’t be good enough to punish past fraud or prevent future fraud?
The systemic problems facing workers and why “the 401k world” doesn’t answer them.
A look at Oregon’s Medicaid system, and what we do and don’t know about it.
Who is Rep. Mel Watt, President Obama’s choice to head a hey housing agency?
Understanding how divided government works.
The austerity hypocrites.
Wall Street’s lobbyists panic over a potential break-up-big-banks bill.
Food assistance for low-income seniors undermined by sequestration.
Scott Walker’s “jobs agency” is failing to live up to its purpose or even the law.
Paying working women less isn’t the answer to work-life balance.
May Day marked across the country with protests for a better immigration system and justice for workers.
That spirit is exemplified by car wash workers who stood up to make their own jobs better.
Saving the reforms of President Obama’s first term means the people who make the rules matter.
Delaware officials offer new proposals to make voting more accessible.
Governors like Corbett, Snyder and Scott are at risk of ouster in 2014.
Missouri congressman claims people want “more sequestration.”
Just a few hundred dollars from the bank after they wrongly seized your home?
Some of the worst jobs of the past 2,000 years.