Friday, January 31, 2014

Brookings Institution: Video: Robert Moffitt: Questions About EITC's Role in the Safety Net

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The whole point of the Earned Income Tax Credit which was signed into law by Richard Nixon or Gerald Ford, hardly Socialists, or even Liberals, was to encourage low-skilled workers to work even for low- income jobs. Instead of collecting all of their income from public assistance. So these workers can at least get some work experience even at entry-level service jobs and not be completely dependent on public assistance for their economic well-being. And by this standard the EITC has been very successful in the United States. And has probably contributed to keeping our unemployment rate lower than it otherwise would’ve been. Had people making ten to twenty-thousand-dollars a year not enough for most of the country by itself. Especially If they had to pay federal income taxes as well.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Washington Post: Opinion: Robert J. Samuelson: The Debate That Wasn't

The Washington Post: Opinion: Robert Samuelson: The Debate That Wasn’t 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I agree with Robert Samuelson that Washington really hasn’t been debating the size of government. But avoiding tough decisions and when they find things they actually want to do that is both parties they either borrow the money to pay for it, or try to cut something they think not a lot of people would notice so they do not have to pay a political price for it. And the latest Farm Bill where they actually cut Food Assistance for millions of Americans who would go hungry without it is a perfect example of that. Instead of cutting subsidies to corporate farmers people who have money, they cut the people who do not have much of a voice in Washington and can’t hurt them politically.

The best way to reduce debt and deficits if that is your goal, is first to figure out what you need government to do and how much money it needs to do those things that can’t be done anywhere else, or done as well. Or perhaps done in other places, but you need the Federal Government to play a role there as well. And medical research from the NIH would be a perfect example of that. Right now in these so-called budget debates both sides are debating on the margins instead. Cut a little here, perhaps raise a little revenue like with the so-called fiscal cliff debate in late 2012. But neither party really has laid out a vision for the country at least when it comes to the size and scope of the Federal Government.

Even with the Tea Party in the Republican Party as much as they may bash Washington and big government they are the first to make sure no one cuts their Social Security and Medicare. And the first to get their share of whatever pork that is being offered for their states or districts. The so-called Paul Ryan plan from 2011 and 2012 doesn’t erase the budget deficit even by 2023. And most of the budget cuts in it are targeted towards people in poverty who again do not have the resources to complain. And that part of the budget is pretty small compared with the rest of the Federal budget. And leaves the current budget at about where it is right now as far as a percentage of Gross National Product. In the low twenties.

The only faction in Washington and in Congress that has a long-term vision for the size and scope of the Federal Government are the people with the least amount of power in Washington. The so-called Congressional Progressive Caucus, but they seem to have a Federal program and tax increase for everything the country has to deal with. Including raising taxes by trillions of dollars to spend all that money on current Federal programs. And create new economic and social programs to generate economic and job growth not to pay down the debt or deficit. As part of what they call the People’s Budget.

If this was a real debate about the size and scope of the Federal Government, both the Democratic Leadership would have their plan and the Republican Leadership would have there’s. They would both be different and they would both be about limited government. Since neither party at least at the leadership levels are social democratic parties and are both mainstream parties on the Left and Right. At least at the top with factions further to the Left and Right on down their party. But they would both say we need an effective Federal Government with the resources to do what we need it to do. This is what we need it to do and this is how we would pay for it. And let the voters decide who has the better plan.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Radical Films: U.S. House Un-American Activities: Looking For Communists in Hollywood

Source: Radical Films- Name that church! 
Source: The New Democrat 

The House Un-American Activities Committee and then later the Joe McCarthy Government Oversight Committee in the Senate were classic cases of guilt by association. Because they assumed some Americans were Un-American and not deserving of being Americans simply because of people they may have associated with and political positions they may have held. Not because of any illegal activities they have been involved in. Which is how we are supposed to judge people’s involvement in criminal activity.
Source: Radical Films- U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC for short 

The United States a liberal democracy where Americans have the right to believe what they believe. And say what they want to say with a few exceptions. Like encouraging violence or libeling people without any basis in fact. Yelling fire in tight public spaces. But for the most part our own politics is our own business. And we are free to either express our own political opinions, or opinions about any other subjects or not. And not be held criminally libel because of what we believe.

Source: The Scott Rollins Films & TV Trivia- Howard Da Silva 
But what we got instead from these Congressional communist investigative committees was guilt by association that ruined a lot of good productive Americans lives. And for what, so people on the far-right and people simply just looking for political advancement, Senator Joe McCarthy comes to mind, could have a big issue and use it to advance their own political careers. No matter who they may hurt along the way which is about as Un-American as it gets.
Radical Films: Committee on Un-American Activities Committee

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Associated Press: Today in History For January 26th- President Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinski

Source: AP- President William J. Clinton
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

1998 the year that could’ve been for President Bill Clinton that instead turned out to be the year that wasn’t. Because a fifty-year old man couldn’t get enough of a White House intern. A year where he wanted to reform and shore up entitlement programs, expand pensions and health insurance. He had a very big agenda going into 1998, but that all gone because of an affair he had with an intern. Just goes to show how stupid he was to have this affair and everything that he cost himself and his party as. A result that again going into 1998 probably had an opportunity to win back the House of Representatives. Bill Clinton similar to Richard Nixon had more than his share of enemies in the opposition party. People who were simply looking to bring them down. Where Nixon and Clinton made mistakes was to give them the hammers to hit them with their own personal behavior.

Bill Clinton, I don’t want to say is the Jack Kennedy of his generation when it came to his sexual appetite. Because lets face it, JFK was a morbidly obese man when it came to sexual activity. Had he not had this little job as President of the United States, perhaps the only thing he would’ve had done was to have sex. And maybe there would be a hundred little JFK’s running around today with perhaps a hundred different mothers, with the Jack being the father of all of them. Bill Clinton (at least as far as we know) didn’t have sex with a different women every time he was out-of-town on his own, or when Hillary went out-of-town on her own. But when President Clinton saw a women and in Monica Lewinski’s case, a teenage girl as far as how cute she was and maturity level that he liked, he made his move.

And without the Paula Jones bogus lawsuit, I mean seriously why would a man as handsome, charming, funny and intelligent as Bill Clinton, want anything to do with Paula Jones. Especially when he already had Jennifer Flowers which was a real affair. But putting that all aside for a minute, without her lawsuit against the President, Monica Lewinski’s name is probably never famous. She didn’t want this story to come out. And President Clinton for obvious as water is wet reasons didn’t want this story to come out either. The whole Monica affair just reminds me of how stupid even the most brightest and politically gifted people can be when they don’t have discipline. And that is one thing that Bill Clinton will always have in common with Jack Kennedy.
Associated Press: Today in History For January 26th

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Foreign Affairs: Opinion: Kevan Harris: How to Reform Iran's Theocracy

Foreign Affairs: Opinion: Kevan Harris: How to Reform Iran's Theocracy 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Before the Islāmic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970s Iran was already an authoritarian state, but in the form of a monarchy under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was the Shah of Iran. Who was basically their king who ruled this large country for about forty years as a dictator. His governing style was similar to that of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, but Shah Pahlavi was more progressive on economic policy. And did a lot to develop this very underdeveloped country when he came to power. And gave the country a functioning economy and infrastructure system. But this guy was hardly a Liberal or a Democrat, but an autocrat who believed in economic development.

Again Iran was certainly not a liberal democracy or a democracy in any form before 1979. They had a dictatorship that went out of their way to squash any form of political opposition whether it was democratic or theocratic. And some of the Iranians who came to power in 1979 as part of that Islāmic Revolution did time in Shah Pavlavi’s jails and prisons and victims of his secret service and other security services that the West helped finance. Because they did not want to see these Islāmic Theocrats come to power in Iran. But what Iran did have was a functioning economy and a growing middle class and an education system that allowed for everyone in Iran to succeed in life. And one more thing, they weren’t under economic sanctions from the West because the Shah was a partner.

A lot of the economic progress that Iran made under the Shah is almost gone now. They still have a modern infrastructure system and education system. That includes for women and ethnic minorities and in many cases Iranian women are freer than Saudi women. But the country because of this socialist authoritarian regime that sort of mixes in autocratic rule under a theocracy where the elected president is not even the head of state and a socialist economic system that is more about state-control than progress with all sorts of state-owned industries failing. And of course with the Islāmic Republic’s continue support of Islāmic terrorists and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction their economy has gone backwards and their currency has lost a lot of value. And a lot of Iranians still live in poverty and have now moved into poverty.

I’m obviously not an expert on Iran, but know enough about the country that if you eliminated the theocratic state-sponsoring terrorist component from their national government and made the elected president the actual head of state with complete responsibility over their executive branch with the cabinet reporting to the president and not what is called the supreme leader who is the dictator of the country, Iran could become a great developed country and the economic power of the Middle East. Along with Saudi Arabia, because Iran is an energy independent country that could become a very reliable energy supplier for Europe and Asia. With an educated class that would further develop the country and create all sorts of new thriving industries in the country.

I believe the model for Iran is the Turkish model of having an independent executive accountable to no one but the voters who would have a Parliament and judiciary to hold each other accountable. A government that uses its vast economic resources to develop the country and empower the people. To be able to manage their own affairs where their people would be free to live their own lives. And not have to worry about their government when they disagree with them. But these are the decisions for Iran the Iranian people to make. But a successful small r republican model is out there for them to take.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Secular Talk: Video: Governor Rick Perry: Decriminalize Pot

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Governor Rick Perry a true Federalist at least when it comes to marijuana and not one of these fake Conservatives who like to nationalize social and cultural issues which they see marijuana as one of those issues that must be defeated at all costs. But what Governor Perry is saying as a Federalist that this is an issue that the states can deal with. Since they are closer to their own people and their needs than the Feds and that the Feds should get out of the way. He’s not saying that he’s in favor of marijuana or that he’s suggesting that all states should legalize or decriminalize it. But what’s he’s saying is that this should be left up to each individual state. And states that decriminalize marijuana, the Feds should get out-of-the-way and not try to take over the marijuana enforcement there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Young Turks: Video: Is President Obama Right About Marijuana?

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Keep in mind this is coming from one of the safest politicians at least in modern American political history. Who is well-known for looking at all sides and considering all opinions before making a final decision. Whose run his last race for political office and now has the freedom to basically say what he wants with few diplomatic exceptions. And what he’s done here I believe is not just look at the facts when it comes to marijuana, but acknowledging them as well.For a change I agree with a lot of what Cenk Uygur said here. But what I would add is that President Obama is a politician before a leader. He’s a leader, just a safe one who generally doesn’t want to be the first person to go out on a limb and take a big stand on a big issue. But he has led on big issues before. The Great Recession when he first took office, health care reform, Wall Street reform, all uses where he’s paid a big price for. But that have worked out and were the right things to do at the time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ABC News: Video: This Week's Powerhouse Roundtable

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

President Obama did what he needed to do politically with his speech. And without the national security leaks he doesn’t give this speech and we aren’t talking about it right now. Because his National Security Council are doing what they believe they need to do to secure the country. Whether Americans on the Left and Right agree with how they are going about that. The National Security Council will continue to do what they believe they need to do to secure the country. And not necessarily screw people’s civil liberties, but to be real about this, that is not their main interest and main objectives. The Neoconservatives have won the battle as far as liberty versus security when it comes to the National Security Council. And whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican security will continue to come first with them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The White House: Video: Making 2014 a Year of Action to Expand Opportunities For The Middle Class

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Let Congressional Republicans only talk about ObamaCare especially in the Senate. Where that is the only thing that Senate Republicans seem to be interested in right now. Even though more Americans are becoming more comfortable with the Affordable Care Act. And let Democrats offer and economic agenda for 2014 that puts millions of Americans back to work. In the areas of infrastructure, energy policy, trade and immigration. 2014 should be about the American economy for the Democratic Party. About how far we’ve come since the Great Recession, the work that still needs to be done. And what Democrats would do to move the economy forward so millions more Americans can benefit and live in freedom as well. As Republicans continue to bash a law that more Americans are becoming more comfortable with everyday.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Washington Post: Opinion- Steve Rosenthal: American Politics Are Moving Left

Source: The Washington Post- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren , D, MA-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

As America is getting more diverse and younger as a country we are becoming more diverse as a country. Not just racially and ethnically, but how we look at politics as well. The more time Americans spend with people from a different race, ethnicity, culture, class, religion, sexuality and in many cases we are with different people who come from different groups across the board, we learn that people are people. And they tend to be good and productive and want similar things as far as being successful in life. And look at people even from different groups as individuals instead of members of groups.

The way America is moving is bad for both the far-right, but the far-left as well that tend to want to put people in groups. The far-right who put down people who don’t look at the world the way they do. And perhaps look different and have different backgrounds and come from different cultures and so-forth. But the far-left who see certain groups as needing special protection even from government and that they need to be treated special.

As we are becoming more diverse across the board and hanging out and working with people of different backgrounds and getting new experiences, we are simply becoming more liberal as a country in a few different ways. The ability to see new things and experience them and not be afraid of change and even embrace it. We are becoming more liberal both culturally, but politically as well and don’t always want to go with the establishment. And how things have always been done. But instead want the freedom to live our own lives and experience different experiences without government getting in the way and saying we can’t.

It is not just our politics that is changing and we are becoming more liberal as a country culturally. With wanting more freedom period over our own lives not just personal, but economic as well. A liberal amount of freedom, as I like to call it and not a liberal amount of government. Which are two different things and as we are making this leftward movement as a country, politicians who look at America from more of an Old America perspective or going to have to adjust politically. Or risk being out of office and having to look for a job.
Bernard Goldberg: The O'Reilly Factor- Why America is Moving Left on Social Issues

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WJLA-TV: Video: ABC 7 News at Five: Marijuana Decriminalization Moves to Washington City Council

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This is a smart move in the City of Washington to decriminalize marijuana in Washington. Instead of arresting people for simply usage or possession of marijuana. And then basically ruining their professional careers and making it very difficult for them to get a good job. And as a result someone with this type of marijuana arrest has this on their record for good. Making it very difficult for them to get a good job. And as a result they end up on public assistance because they do not make enough money to pay their own bills. Instead of having a good job and paying into public assistance.
Washington should go even further than this and legalize marijuana, but regulate it and tax it like alcohol, which would allow for them to lower their taxes on everyone else, especially the middle class and employers. And you would see even more economic development in Washington and the marijuana industry would be part of that. But other business’s as well, because the taxes on them would be lower if they invested in Washington. 
Washington should regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol.
1. Twenty-one or over to use, possess or sell marijuana in the City of Washington.
2. People under twenty-one caught with marijuana or trying to sell it would pay a fine on that or a short-term jail sentence, but not sentenced to prison for it.
3. Require license’s of dealers, users and seller of marijuana in Washington.
4. Tax marijuana just like alcohol and use that money to pay for needed public services. Instead of having to use current tax revenue to prosecute and enforce current anti-marijuana laws.
5. Strict regulations similar to alcohol like not being able to drive while high to use as an example. That would come with being locked up in jail if caught and convicted.
This would be a much smarter approach to dealing with a drug that has similar side-effects as alcohol. Instead of trying to prohibit people from doing to themselves what they want to do. Which is why alcohol prohibition didn’t work. Trying to stop people from what they want to do with their own lives.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

VOA News: Video: President Obama Looks For a Political Comeback in 2014

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What President Obama and Democrats need to do is to switch the national political focus to the economy. On issues like unemployment, Unemployment Insurance, a minimum wage increase, the income gap, infrastructure investment, energy, immigration to use as examples. And all of these issues have something to do with the American economy. Manufacturing would be another example all things that create American jobs in America. And then they need to have an agenda that can move people to supporting them.

House Democrats as well as the President already have this and speak to these issues on a regular basis. Democrats do this and 2014 is not about ObamaCare because people are now getting health insurance and not losing it. And enjoying the benefits of their health insurance and we are starting to see sings of that. The 2014 mid-terms could be very successful for them and they’ll be able to at least hold on to the Senate and perhaps even make gains in the House as well.

If 2014 is basically nothing but ObamaCare and President Obama’s popularity rating continues to sag, or stays roughly flat then Republicans will probably eat up Democrats at the elections. And Democrats will struggle just to recruit good candidates and raise enough funds to protect vulnerable incumbents. And the Republican Party will have huge year adding to their House majority. And probably winning back the Senate which is what Democrats need to stop most of all.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

AP: Video: NY Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez Out For Entire 2014 Season

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Is anyone surprised by this. We knew A-Rod was going to get hit big for use of drugs that are illegal in Major League Baseball. And what A-Rod has been doing what the last six months or so is trying to buy time in hope that he would be bailed out. And have some shot of playing in 2014. If you are dumb enough to illegal drugs in MLB, then you’re dumb enough to get caught and more than deserve the time that you get for them. He knows about his physical health and the state of his playing career better than anyone. And what a one year suspension could do to him in his late thirties. Especially since his career has been in decline the last few years anyway. And yet he takes this big risk with the rest of his career and will now pay the price for getting caught.

The White House: Video: Weekly Address: Ensuring 2014 is a Year of Action to Grow The Economy

With the weak December jobs report President Obama should be calling for a huge infrastructure investment bill somewhere in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And even call for a National Infrastructure Bank that could finance a lot of these projects through the private sector. And either have his own Transportation Department draft the bill or push Congress to do it. Especially the Democratic Senate and have them start to draft this bill and they could probably find Senate Republican support for it and see if they can pass a bill like this by some point in the spring.2014 could be a great year for the American economy if it is used to rebuild America which would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, if not millions of good jobs. In the construction industry. As well as our manufacturing industry building and selling the supplies to do these jobs.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Foreign Affairs: Opinion- Lane Kenworthy: "America's Social Democratic Future": America's Liberal Democratic Future

Source: Foreign Affairs-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The Affordable Care Act is a health insurance plan that won’t be expanded to all Americans even when fully implemented and that is one of the weakness’s of it, which is why I was in favor of the public option when it came out as well as making Medicaid universal for everyone eligible and fully funded and self-financed for everyone in the country who is eligible for it. But the great thing about the ACA is that it is exactly not what the Tea Party and Libertarians says it is. That Social Democrats in America wanted. Which is that government takeover of at least the health insurance system.

Expanding health insurance to millions of Americans who do not have it, but allowing for them to decide where they get their health insurance. Because despite what the Tea Party and Libertarians say it is, this is not a government takeover of health care that Social Democrats in America wanted, but the opposite. It builds on the private health insurance model while fixing the weakness’s of that system as it gets to consumer protections. That millions of new Americans now getting health insurance and millions of Americans not losing their health insurance because of the new consumer protections in the ACA.

The Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats made a smart calculation in 2009 when they started pushing for heath care reform. And knew that there was a limit to what Americans wanted government doing for them. Especially the Federal Government and a big reason why they pushed the consumer protections in the law so heavily. As well as that old line, “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And whether that is true or not that was big key to their message.

That they didn’t want Americans to think that Uncle Sam was taking over the health insurance system. Or the entire health care system that what they wanted to do was to expand health insurance through the private system. And create a public option that Americans could decide for themselves to choose or not. But again it would be their choice and not Uncle Sam making that decision for them. And as badly as they played the politics and failed to get Americans behind that message and it cost them the House of Representatives in 2010 as a result, that is the health care plan they were pushing and ran on from day one.

Lane Kenworthy was pushing the idea of social democracy in Foreign Affairs today. That ObamaCare is the sign that America is moving towards social democracy and we are going to transform America into Scandinavia. And create this huge centralized superstate known as the super or welfare state. That we are going to be transform from a Jeffersonian Federal Republic in the form of a liberal democracy which is different from a social democracy. Liberal democracy is about choice, freedom the ability for people to govern their own lives.

Social democracy is about having a large centralized central government to provide the basic human services that the capitalist economic system comes up short in providing. We are still that Jeffersonian Federal Republic and will remain that for an indefinite future. Because the younger generations Gen-X and Gen-Y, do not expect and want government trying to do everything for them. And tend to be more liberal to libertarian with their social and economic views. Instead of progressive to socialist. Which is why social democracy in America is still considered Far-Left.

For politicians and politics to be successful in America no matter from which political philosophy it is they are coming from, the people in power have to know where the country is politically and what is politically possible. The Obama Administration knew that which is why single payer Medicare For All was never on the table. And even considered because of the political backlash that would’ve come from the Right and Independents as well as some Democrats. Democrats paid a heavy price for the bill they got which was just building off of the private health insurance system. With the public option being pulled out because of some vulnerable Democratic senators.
Big Think: Jeffrey Sachs- Can Universal Basic Income Fix America's Income Inequality?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The New Republic: Opinion: Mike Konczal: War on Poverty Turns 50: Three Lessons For Progressives Today

The New Republic: Opinion: Mike Konczal: War on Poverty Turns 50: Three Lessons For Progressives Today

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This really should be lessons for today’s so-called Progressives. I’m looking for a word to describe someone who has a big centralize government program, policy or new tax to solve everyone’s problems for them. Which is how people who take the approach that if government is taking care of your economic needs for you, somehow you are not living in poverty anymore. Which is pure nonsense of course, but that is how people with this type of political approach tend to think. Socialist comes to mind and certainly Social Democrat because people of this mindset tend to be democratic. But Socialist might be too simplistic for people of this mindset and Social Democrat well that is two words and not one.

1. Strong Growing Economy

Look, Liberals already know how to reduce poverty and if you stay on this course you dramatically reduce poverty to the point where our poverty numbers are somewhere where Canada and Europe’s are, which is around ten percent. You need a strong economy for everyone where not just jobs are being created with low unemployment. But a lot of good jobs and without that even for people on public assistance who’ve just finished their education or job training, they won’t be able to find a good job for the most part and may now need to get on Unemployment Insurance.

2. Short-Term Cash Assistance

For people on Welfare Insurance so these people can pay their bills in the short-term as they are improving themselves and getting ready to join the workforce full-time with a good job. And the LBJ War on Poverty got the cash assistance part right. Actually the FDR New Deal did that in the 1930s. And President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich got the short-term cash assistance part right in the 1990s with Welfare to Work. So people on Welfare get the message and are motivated to finish their education and prepare themselves to go to work.

3. Education and Job Training

If you are on Welfare Insurance and you do not even have a high school diploma, you are going to have a hard time holding down a fast-food job let alone finding yourself a good job that pays all of your bills. And high school dropouts are not uncommon for people on public assistance. So for those without a high diploma or GED, they need to get that. And then they are going to need to take college courses or be in job training programs to get themselves marketable vocational skills. So they have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and be able to hold on to it. If they already have their high school diploma, well that is good, but now it is time to be in community college. Or a vocational program to further their education.

4. Job Placement-

Last, but definitely not least job placement, but being placed in a good full-time job. That pays them enough to cover their own cost of living expenses and make them able to leave public assistance all together. And one of the beauties of Welfare to Work is that it combined all four of these factors. And we actually did see in the late 1990s and early 2000s and since people who use to be on Welfare going to work with good full-time jobs and a lot of them managing a business. Or even owning their own business which are real rags to riches stories. That if you call yourself a Progressive, you should be celebrating and not trying to put down.

We know what works in reducing poverty in America. We got that down to actually thirteen percent during the Bill Clinton Administration with polices like this. Then Governor Bill Clinton ran on welfare reform when he was running for president in 1991-92. Republicans especially governors had similar ideas in the early and mid 1990s as well. Actually then Governor Mike Dukakis ran on the same welfare reform ideas when he ran for president in 1988. So we know what to do and Liberal Democrats have supported these proposals for almost thirty years now. It is just a matter of getting back to this approach and having a Republican Party that gets back to their roots. Instead of just saying government has no role here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The White House: Video: President Obama Speaks on Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance

The Democratic path to victory in 2014. It’s the economy stupid and make 2014 the Democratic economic vision vs. the Republican economic vision.

Middle out bottom up economics that is about expanding economic freedom for everyone and reducing government dependence. Based on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, a national energy policy based on using all the country’s natural resources. Comprehensive immigration reform so we bring our illegal immigrants out of the shadows paying their share of taxes. And so Americans do not have to pay as much in taxes. Education and job training for our low-skilled workforce and unemployed workers so they can live in economic freedom as well.

The Democrats should label the Republican economic vision as trickle down economics. That if the wealthy are just doing even better than they are now, that could somehow benefit everyone else even if the middle class and everyone else is paying for wealthy’s prosperity. And what the Republicans really want to do besides talk about nothing other than the Affordable Care Act, is to weaken consumer protections and making it harder for workers to unionize and collectively bargain.

That is how Democrats get off of ObamaCare and on to something where they have the upper hand. And be able to force Republicans to talk about things they do not want to and try to get them explain why cutting additional taxes for the wealthy and regulations for corporations and deficit reduction especially in areas that help create jobs like in infrastructure, somehow helps the economy. Which is hard to find many people outside of the Tea Party wing of the GOP who actually takes that seriously.

Monday, January 6, 2014

VOA News: Video: Washington Week: Focus on US Unemployed

Here’s an idea that even Republicans could support especially since one of them proposed it when he ran for president a couple of years ago. And still talks about this and is in favor of it. That being former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and current CNN commentator.Pass a twelve month Unemployment Insurance extension, but with that would come a voucher lets say to pay for classes at a community college or a vocational school or some private job seminar. Where these workers could get additional skills and learn about other fields and use this to get themselves a good job and get back to work sooner. Instead of just collecting their Unemployment Insurance and continuing to look for work, but with little or no success.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The New York Times: Opinion: Gregory Mankiew: Help The Working Poor, But Share The Burden

The New York Times: Opinion: Gregory Mankiew: Help The Working Poor, But Share The Burden

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Gregory Mankiew seems to be arguing in his New York Times column that the best way to help the working poor is to take from the economically successful that is the middle class and not the struggling middle class. But Americans making lets say seventy-thousand-dollars and up per year. And the upper class those making lets five-hundred-thousand-dollars a year or more to take care of the less-fortunate. There a couple of big problems with that and not so much how socialist of an idea that it is.

That somehow government would decide what people need to live well in life. But the fact that we would be discouraging people to be productive in America because if they are, a lot of that money would go to people who aren’t very productive as far as what they are able to produce for themselves. But on the other side now we are encouraging people not to be productive because if they aren’t, the economically successful in America will be forced to take care of them.

Gregory Mankiew also seems to be saying that instead of expanding education and job training opportunities to the low-skilled working poor that we should instead just financially take care of them instead. Because education and job training and are more long-term solutions that will take time. And these workers need financial relief now. And the education and job training solutions aren’t politically possible right now.

Well if you are not familiar with the current makeup of Congress. We have a Republican House of Representatives as part of one half of a very divided Congress. With Democrats controlling the Senate with a Democratic president. And even if we had a united Democratic Congress with a Democratic president, there still wouldn’t be enough Democrats to support these more social democratic policies. And there would be enough Republican Senators to block them in Congress.
So instead of arguing for what is politically possible right now, how about we instead come up with a plan that actually solves the problems. And then come up with a political coalition in Congress that would support the plan.

1. We increase the minimum wage and move towards more of a living wage. But not quite getting there with these workers probably still needing public assistance to support themselves. But part of that minimum wage increase comes with educational and job training opportunities for these workers. So they can actually get themselves a good job instead and move from public assistance. We go from $7.25 and hour to ten-dollars and hour within two years and even twelve dollars within five-years. And index it for inflation so the purchasing power of the minimum wage keeps up with inflation. With a thirty-percent tax break for small employers so their payroll costs don’t go up too high. As well as another tax break for all employers small and large to train their low-skilled employees. So they can move up in their companies.

2. Expanding educational and job training opportunities for our low-skilled workers. And put in a requirement for everyone on public assistance whether they are working or not for them to finish their education. And if that means they haven’t finished high school, they would need to do that. And for those workers with high school diplomas, they would have the opportunity and be expected to go to a community college or vocational school. To get themselves the skills that they need to do get themselves a good job.

3. Requiring employers who pay low-wages to pay payroll taxes that goes to pay for Medicaid, Welfare Insurance, Public Housing and Food Assistance. So these employers would no longer be able to pass the cost of living of these employees on to average taxpayers.

4. If you want to talk long-term. That means education reform and having a public education system where everyone can get themselves a good education. No matter the income level of their parents. And that means having public school choice so students are no longer required to go to school based on where they live, but what is the best school for them and their parents would be able to make that decision. Funding public schools based on need and not where they are located. And that means additional resources to fund public schools and not just using property taxes. And paying teachers based on how well their students are learning and not how long they’ve been teaching. And we could do this when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is extended

This debate shouldn’t be about what is politically possible at the current moment in time. But what we should be doing as a country to address these problems and then finding the people in Congress. And the people who are running for Congress both House and Senate who would support these policies.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Republic: Opinion: Russell Crandall: Uruguay's Pot Legalization is Bad For America's War on Drugs

The New Republic: Opinion: Russell Crandall: Uruguay's Pot Legalization Is Bad For America's War on Drugs

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Then U.S. Senator John Kerry when he was up to be U.S. Secretary of State in I believe January or February 2013 during his Senate confirmation hearing was asked a question about the so-called War on Drugs as I call it. And Senator Kerry said something to the effect that it is not a real war. That words have meaning and if this was a real war we would surely be fighting it differently. I’m paraphrasing what he said he, but I’m pretty close. Keep in mind John Kerry is a Vietnam War veteran and from the Vietnam Generation, Baby Boom Generation even. So this is a man who knows what a real war is because he’s been in one and fought successfully in one for his country and the men and women he served with.

What Senator Kerry said about the War on Drugs is exactly my point. This is not a real war, but a big fat label that anyone fluent with the American English language can understand. What the so-called War on Drugs is, is a campaign against illegal narcotics in America. What the United States Government views as illegal and dangerous narcotics. This is not a War on Drugs because alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and many other drugs that have similar if not worst effects than marijuana are legal and could easily be viewed as narcotics.

Imagine if we had a real War on Drugs in America and I think this could probably be a satire or a comedy or a movie. All drugs in America would be illegal. We would have the military roaming all over the country and occupying every street in America. To make sure that no one is taking a drug that is at least could be viewed as dangerous. If not using the military to make sure that no one are using drugs period anywhere in the country. And would be arrested for what would be viewed as unhealthy behavior to themselves.

Just to be clear, we do not have a real War on Drugs in America. Marijuana is illegal, but still consumed all over the country. We have millions of Americans who drink like, excuse the expression like Irish sailors just coming home from the war. We smoke a lot of tobacco, we eat too much junk food that all have things in them that aren’t healthy for us. And yet it is marijuana, heroin, cocaine meth that are illegal even though a lot of our legal drugs are all worst than marijuana and perhaps some of the others as well.

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