Economist Robert Kuttner visited AFL-CIO's book club earlier this week to discuss his forthcoming book, Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. In the book, Kuttner argues that policymakers are focused on the wrong kind of debt in making laws and attempting to fix the economy. Rather than a heavy emphasis on reducing the public debt, which leads to misguided policies of austerity, Kuttner says, reducing personal debt would go much further toward improving the economy and spurring job growth.
A new article from the Economic Policy Institute busts several of the myths relating to the deficit and the national debt and shows that the focus of many politicians and policy analysts is misguided and could undercut the fragile economic recovery.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seemingly have rallied enough of their House allies to push the battle over causing a U.S. government default down the road, with a temporary three-month extension of the government's borrowing authority (or "debt ceiling"). But House Republicans have not changed their ransom demands. They've simply chosen a different hostage. For now.
Opening gifts each December is a ton of fun. Opening the resulting bills in January is not. Yet every holiday season millions of consumers use their credit cards to finance gifts they don’t have the cash to pay for. Consider the following before you start shopping this holiday season.
There are only two legal ways out of debt – cutting expenses or increasing your income. Decide which works for you and commit to it before you start shopping.
Prioritize. What’s more important? Paying your mortgage and buying food or giving gifts you can’t afford? Consider shortening your gift list or giving smaller gifts to adults. In times like these, friends and family understand.
Fix the Debt, the unserious coalition of CEOs and corporations who are lobbying to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while increasing tax breaks for their companies to send jobs overseas, have spent nearly $1 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions during the past four years, according to a new Public Campaign study.
Fix the Debt bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” However, the group touts a non-specific tax plan that members are calling “Simpson-Bowles Plus,” a plan that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, guts tax credits and benefits that many working families rely on, widens tax incentives for corporations to offshore jobs and lowers tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. Basically, it’s a wish list for millionaire CEOs!
Cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid just so that millionaires and billionaires can continue to receive tax breaks and other giveaways? "We could not disagree more," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in an Op-Ed in today's Politico, "Americans Don't Want 'Grand Bargain.'"
Before the presidential debate tonight, tune in to Democracy Now as the “Expanding the Debate” series continues. At 8 p.m. ET, Democracy Now will host and air a pre-debate community roundtable, live from Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y.
Jessica Camacho is a policy intern at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.
As a low-income and first-generation college student in my family, the subject of student loans has been a matter of acute concern to me. High school counselors constantly told me that student loans are “good debt.” This type of information made it justifiable for peers in similar socioeconomic situations to borrow federal and private loans. But lenders take advantage of first-time borrowers by failing to explain in full detail future payment plans, which may cause individuals to be fiscally unprepared for post-graduate life. Current student debt trends must be fixed in order to stop setting up graduates for a lifetime of financial struggles.