I do not know why President Trump and the Republican Party — which controls the White House, the Senate and the House — are so willing to shut down the government. Maybe they think it will be good for them politically. Maybe they believe the chaos created by a government shutdown would be a welcome distraction from the ongoing Russia investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Whatever the motives of the Republican leadership, one thing is clear: A government shutdown would be disastrous for the American people.
A shutdown would harm tens of millions of working-class families who would be unable to access vital services. It would disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal employees who would not receive the paychecks they expected. It would endanger members of the U.S. military who are putting their lives on the line defending our nation.
As the middle class continues to shrink, cuts to non-defense spending would cause even worse economic pain to working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, as Trump and the Republicans demand an unbelievable $100 billion increase in military spending over the next two years, the Defense Department has been inoculated from budget cuts over the past several years because of the Overseas Contingency Operations loophole — a special account not subject to spending caps established by Congress in 2011.
Providing parity in these budget negotiations means, among other things, fully funding — without offsets — the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million kids and community health centers for 27 million Americans. It means increased funding for the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration so they can provide guaranteed benefits to seniors and veterans who have earned them. It means keeping our obligations to more than 1.5 million workers and retirees who are about to lose a large part of the pensions they were promised. It means addressing the crisis of student debt, expanding child care, improving our crumbling infrastructure in rural America and protecting our national parks. It means providing help in the national struggle against opioid and heroin addiction.
The American people are increasingly disgusted with a government that protects the interests of the wealthy and the powerful, while ignoring the needs of the vulnerable. The U.S. government must do more than provide huge tax breaks to billionaires, callously deport young people, greatly expand military spending, end net neutrality, deny the reality of climate change and threaten to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and nutrition programs. We must pass a budget agreement that addresses the needs of Americans and not just billionaire campaign contributors.
The process to pass landmark tax reform legislation “has been just a disaster,” as the American public does not understand what all it involves, Sen. Bernie Sanders complained Thursday.
“Are you suggesting that a bill that impacts the entire economy, virtually every American, should be read before people vote upon it?” the Vermont independent and former presidential candidate told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
The bill was discussed and determined “around back doors,” Sanders continued. “Some 5,000 lobbyists have participated in it, but the American public does not know what’s in it. Bottom line, and I think some of the Republicans have been honest enough about acknowledging this, this is a gift for Republican wealthy campaign contributors.”
“At the end of 10 years, 83 million middle class families will be paying more in taxes,” said Sanders. “This means 32 million people will lose their health insurance. Premiums will go up by 10 percent with people in the individual market. This is going to exacerbate incoming wealth at a time when we have to protect the middle class and working families.”
Sanders also sounded off against the FCC’s vote to end net neutrality provisions, saying it’s “almost unspeakable” to speak about what a disaster the ruling will create.
“The internet has been a real effort to enhance democracy and level the playing field in this country,” he said. “It means that if you are a small business person right now, you were a start-up company, you can use the internet to get the word out about why people should come to your business. You can have the same opportunities on the internet as Walmart does, or as a large corporation … they’re going to do away with that and it’s going to be much more expensive for the little guy to play and compete against the big corporations.”
Starting off today with John Fetterman (Candidate for Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov) discussing immigration, dreamers, job creation & more:
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*Internet Defenders Vow to Fight FCC’s “Scorched-Earth” Attack on Net Neutrality
*Trump’s “Frightening” Pick for Top Census Job Thinks “Competitive Elections Are Bad for America”
*Corbyn Demands End to US-UK Complicity in Yemen’s Suffering
*Keystone Pipeline Permit Could Be Revoked After Last Week’s 210,000-Gallon Spill
*Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days
*Pipeline Updates, Water Protector News & More
(If the comments do not load, try either clicking the comment box or the ‘sort by newest/oldest’ option, and then they should pop up… apologies for the inconvenience!)
Republicans want you to believe that if we give away $1.5 trillion to big corporations in their so-called tax reform bill, CEOs will raise wages and bring jobs back from overseas. But that’s not how CEOs think. Al and Elizabeth will tell you what they’ll actually do with their tax giveaways.
In Southwest Virginia, we know all too well what happens when economic decisions are made by and for Wall Street; when farmers, small business owners and working folks are neglected by both political parties; when great teachers and smart students have to hold fundraisers just to get the basics; when coal mining communities are left for dead; when the playing field for ordinary people is steeper than a Wise County hillside.
I wrote a book about building healthy economies from the bottom up, because I know that good work almost always starts with local communities. That’s true whether we’re revitalizing downtown Galax, manufacturing energy efficient building products in Radford, tackling drug addiction in St Charles or building infrastructure to help farmers in Duffield. We’re “bootstrap” people, with a strong commitment to taking care of ourselves and our neighbors. The problem is that too often, the rules that come out of Richmond and Washington undermine rather than support effective local initiatives. That’s ridiculous. Public policy should help us help ourselves, as individuals and communities.
I’m running to help level the playing field for the 9th District of Virginia; to put people and communities first. To restore our land and rebuild our livelihoods. To build a strong, diverse and resilient economy from the bottom up. That’s the work I’ve been doing for more than 30 years, as a farmer and an entrepreneur, here in Southwest Virginia and many other parts of our region. I want to take that experience to Washington DC as your representative.
Trickle-down economics just doesn’t work. Forty years of cutting tax rates for the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations has not led to widespread prosperity. On the contrary, it has made a few people unimaginably rich, while diverting resources away from fixing serious problems and building real wealth. Nowhere could this be more true than in Southwest Virginia.
I’ll continue to work with leaders around the region to:
*Level the playing field for workers, local businesses and the community banks that lend to them
*Expand broad band access, including support of public providers where appropriate
*Bring both public and private investment to innovative manufacturers creating products that make us more resilient and productive
*Focus investment and support on retaining and expanding existing businesses rather than subsidizing transient corporations
*Expand workforce and technical training, closely connected to area businesses and employers
*Foster and support entrepreneurship, especially among younger people
*Reinvigorate anti-trust laws to reverse the extraordinary concentration of power held by a handful of giant corporations
Dramatically Improving our Health Care System – Obamacare didn’t create this mess; it’s been going on for a long time. It’s time for us to move away from incremental steps that do nothing to improve health or challenge the power and profits of the insurance industry and Big Pharma. It’s time to begin the transition to a system of universal health care, or “Medicare for all”. I will support this shift over the next several years, and in the interim fight for:
*Medicaid expansion so that the working poor, young people and elderly people in nursing homes receive quality care.
*Expanded support for community clinics and rural hospitals, tied both to Medicaid expansion and debt relief opportunities for young doctors and health care professionals
*Innovative educational and action programs in schools to improve eating, health and wellness among young people
*Expanded, community-based treatment for mental health and addiction
Texas needs a leader who serves all of us – and Lamar Smith is not that leader.
Like most Texans, I’m fed up with the current stagnation in DC. The news is full of professional politicians, getting nothing done but preserving their jobs and pleasing their corporate sponsors. For too long, Representative Smith has been part of the problem.
After 30 years, Lamar Smith only serves corporate lobbyists and political bullies, not the citizens of TX21 or the United States. It’s time to retire Lamar Smith, and I’m ready to take his place.
Our district and our country are in trouble. While big corporations hit record profits, most Texas families struggle to get by. Wages are flat, and good jobs are harder to find. Climate change threatens our way of life. Our American values are under siege.
For many here, it’s harder and harder to access the American Dream. And up in Washington, politicians like Lamar Smith are only making it worse.
Vote for me, Joseph Kopser, a real alternative: primed with real-world experience, fed-up with the current Washington nonsense, and ready to meet the challenges ahead. Join me, and let’s change things.
From joining the military at West Point to creating good-paying jobs right here in Texas, I’ve dedicated my life to service. I served in the Army for 20 years, earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab, and Bronze Star. I’ve dedicated my post-military career to building innovative companies and empowering workers. In Congress, I’ll put your interests ahead of the special interests, and I’ll hold the powerful accountable.
And when I asked him his thoughts on a single-pay health care system this was his response:
Yes, I am working for health care for all, just as I enjoyed with my family in 20 years of the Army. We are the greatest nation in the world, we should be able to care for all our citizens.
*Bernie’s Op-Ed on supporting Nissan workers’ fight for the right to unionize.
*Bernie’s Medicare-For-All Digital Campaign
*Tim Canova Responds to the DWS IT Scandal
*Jimmy Dore on the Democratic establishment’s scheming
*Cory Booker’s Marijuana Bill
*The latest pipeline/environmental/Water protector updates