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Government for Good: Impact of Governmental Programs on Poverty

January 06, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2014 Mid-term Elections, 2016 Election, Economic Development, Economic Terrorism, Government for Good, Intersectionality

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50 Years Later, War on Poverty Is a Mixed Bag, New York Times

Mapping Poverty In America – Interactive Graphic

 To many Americans, the war on poverty declared 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson has largely failed. The poverty rate has fallen only to 15 percent from 19 percent in two generations, and 46 million Americans live in households where the government considers their income scarcely adequate.

But looked at a different way, the federal government has succeeded in preventing the poverty rate from climbing far higher. There is broad consensus that the social welfare programs created since the New Deal have hugely improved living conditions for low-income Americans..

The more important driver of the still-high poverty rate, researchers said, is the poor state of the labor market for low-wage workers and spiraling inequality. Over the last 30 years, growth has generally failed to translate into income gains for workers — even as the American labor force has become better educated and more skilled. About 40 percent of low-wage workers have attended or completed college, and 80 percent have completed high school…

But with real incomes for a vast number of middle-class and low-wage workers in decline, safety-net programs have become more instrumental in keeping families’ heads above water.The earned-income tax credit, for instance, has increased employment among single mothers and kept six million Americans above the poverty line in 2011. Food stamps, formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, kept four million Americans out of poverty in 2011.

Above all, the government has proved most successful in aiding the elderly through the New Deal-era Social Security program and the creation of Medicare in the 1960s. The poverty rate among older Americans fell to just 9 percent in 2012 from 35 percent in 1959.

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Government for Good: Why We Need SNAP and More..

November 04, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2014 Mid-term Elections, 2016 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Economic Terrorism, Government for Good, Intersectionality, Poverty, What People are Doing to Change the World

“Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people’s lives.”

~ Senator Paul Wellstone ((July 21, 1944 – October 25, 2002)

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In era where government is so vilified, we at Critical Mass Progress would like to consider Government for Good. Collective governance – past present and future – can work to defend/secure rights, distribute social and economic goods, provide legal recognition, jobs, healthcare and more, create opportunities via public schools, public works, and public policy that centers everyday people.

Everyday.

Today, the importance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

poverty PNG

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Tax the Rich!

November 26, 2012 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Consumer Rights, Economic Development, Economic Terrorism, Workers' Rights


Norquist Tax Pledge Begins to Crumble


A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy by Warren E. Buffet

The group’s [the Forbe's 400] average income in 2009 was $202 million — which works out to a “wage” of $97,000 per hour, based on a 40-hour workweek. (I’m assuming they’re paid during lunch hours.) Yet more than a quarter of these ultrawealthy paid less than 15 percent of their take in combined federal income and payroll taxes. Half of this crew paid less than 20 percent. And — brace yourself — a few actually paid nothing.

This outrage points to the necessity for more than a simple revision in upper-end tax rates, though that’s the place to start. I support President Obama’s proposal to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for high-income taxpayers. However, I prefer a cutoff point somewhat above $250,000 — maybe $500,000 or so.

Comparing the actual policy positions of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

October 23, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Education, Housing, Immigration, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Poverty, White Privilege

From The National Post:

So where do President Barack Obama and his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney stand on the issues? We look at what they’ve said in the debates and elsewhere. (Click the image to see a larger version.)

See also: Obama’s Second Term Agenda, Blueprint for America [PDF]

Obama Lays Out Second Term Agenda in Booklet, Download “A Plan for Jobs and Middle Class Security”

October 23, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Eco-Justice, Economic Development, Education, Housing, Immigration, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Poverty, Science/Technology, Workers' Rights

Download Obama’s Second Term Agenda Booklet here.

From The National Journal:

The Obama campaign plans on printing 3.5 million copies of the plan and it will be distributed to campaign field offices, Politico reports. The 20-page “Blueprint for America’s Future” booklet will be released at a campaign event in Florida on Tuesday morning.

Like the ad, the report highlights American energy production, improving education and private sector growth; continuing to strengthen the health care system and tax code; and protecting safety nets like Social Security.

Salt Lake City Knows: “Too Many Mitts”

October 20, 2012 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Voting Rights

No #Romnesia here…

Salt Lake Tribune Endorsement: Too Many Mitts – Obama has earned another term:

From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear…..

If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”…

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

(h/t to Kay Whitlock for Mitt Salt Lake City 2012 Olympic Vanity Pins, Made, of course, in China.)

With 2.5 Weeks to Go, Get Ready For the GOP/Koch Brothers Ad Onslaught

October 19, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Poverty, White Privilege

From HuffPo:

The disparity, with Republicans spending $41.7 million and Democrats spending $23.5 million, illustrates a strategic gamble on behalf of the GOP presidential nominee to bury President Barack Obama and burn past him during the closing weeks of the campaign.

“Patience is a virtue,” one Republican source said of the decision to hold resources until the last weeks of the campaign.

The Republican source, who like all others would only discuss ad buying strategy and details on condition of anonymity, put the ad disparity at somewhat smaller than $18 million. The source offered the following data for the money being spent on both national cable and swing state television ads between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14.

1. Romney campaign: $17.7 million
2. Obama campaign: $16.5 million
3. The Karl Rove-started American Crossroads: $7 million
4. The Romney supporting super-PAC Restore Our Future: $6 million
5. The Obama supporting super-PAC Priorities USA: $4.2 million
6. The National Rifle Association: $1.3 million
7. The conservative American Future Fund: $400k

See also:

  • More Romney Bundlers Revealed
    Sixty-three registered lobbyists have raised $14.3 million for the Romney campaign, and despite the campaign’s refusal to publicly disclose its list of bundlers — elite fundraisers who tap their personal and professional networks to raise funds. In addition, we’ve identified 37 of Romney’s other, non-lobbyist bundlers, whose names the campaign has refused to disclose.
  • Backed by Adelson, Republican Pro-Israel Group Targets Obama
    With support from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and a board laden with well-connected luminaries of GOP fundraising, the Republican Jewish Coalition is making a strong push to turn just enough Jews against Obama to deny him re-election.

The Boss Backs Obama: Why We Do Too

October 18, 2012 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Eco-Justice, Economic Development, Housing, Immigration, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Poverty, Voting Rights, Workers' Rights

Statement from Bruce Springsteen:

Dear Friends:

The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I’ve been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes.

This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on. Last time around, he carried with him a tremendous amount of hope and expectations. Unfortunately, due to the economic chaos the previous administration left him with, and the extraordinary intensity of the opposition, it turned into a really rough ride. But through grit, determination, and focus, the President has been able to do a great many things that many of us deeply support.

Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

In foreign affairs, that record includes following through on the removal of troops from the misguided and deceptive war in Iraq, and vigorously pursuing our real foreign enemies, especially the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.

Right now, for the President to be effective in his next term he needs our increased support and he needs support in the Congress, where some sterling candidates, such as current Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, challenger Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and so many others, are fighting to make their constructive voices heard.

Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent. For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development.

Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction.

Right now, we need a President who has a vision that includes all of our citizens, not just some, whether they are our devastated poor, our pressured middle class, and yes, the wealthy too; whether they are male or female, black, white, brown, or yellow, straight or gay, civilian or military.

Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country “…where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.”

That’s why I plan to be in Ohio and Iowa supporting the re-election of President Obama to lead our country for the next four years.

Bruce Springsteen