What a strange turn of events. If we are to believe the leaks on the deal being cut for the fiscal cliff, it appears that President Obama’s agenda was narrow—restore fiscal sanity by upping the tax rates on very high earners. In the process, he appears ready to concede to House Speaker John Boehner a Republican plan to alter Social Security benefits recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. What an odd legacy the president would be leaving. The cut in Social Security benefits that Boehner proposes would have a disparate impact on African Americans, the group that voted most vociferously against the Republican world view. One would think the president’s agenda going into the fiscal cliff negotiations would be to remind those who worked hard for his election why it mattered he won.
The United States should adopt a universal and automatic voter registration system to boost participation and ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said this morning.
Speaking to the Funders' Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), Trumka said a strong and growing grassroots democracy movement needs to come together to “push back against the next wave of state-level attacks on the right to vote.”
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the foundations for the well-being of scores of millions of middle- and low-income Americans. Without Social Security, 14 million more low-income Americans would be living in poverty. Because of Medicare, 33 million older people live longer, have access to quality careand are not driven into poverty by rapidly rising health care costs. Medicaid is a health care boon to Americans not yet eligible for Medicare, which covers some 60 million Americans.
A panel of federal judges ruled late Thursday that a Florida law that limits the number of early voting days cannot be implemented in several counties because it would have an adverse impact on minority turnout.
The early voting restrictions are part of a voter suppression package the Republican-controlled state legislature passed last year. Other provisions included disenfranchising 100,000 previously eligible ex-felons who'd been granted the right to vote under Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008 and shutting down non-partisan voter registration drives. In May, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the provision restricting non-partisan voter registration drives.
When public-sector jobs at the state and local levels get cut, women and African Americans suffer the most. A new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) details just how devastating recent cuts to such jobs have been.
Outside the navel-gazing world that has become Washington politics, where deficit-cutting is king and jobless workers ignored (with a few notable exceptions), 25 million are unemployed, underemployed or have stopped looking for work, and wages are essentially flat. Workers are struggling to get work that, in many cases, just doesn’t exist (there are 4.7 workers for every ONE job).