Catching up on some links…

May 25th, 2017 at 2:03 pm

…to stuff in faraway lands.

EG, here’s a piece in the NY Daily News wherein I argue that for all the voices proclaiming that Trump’s really nasty and thoroughly mathematically challenged first budget is “dead-on-arrival” in the Congress, that’s unfortunately not quite accurate. Why not? Because “virtually every priority in Trump’s budget is one that Republicans have been trying to legislate for years. That by itself should tell you that this budget, though it won’t become law, is far from dead.”

Second, in today’s WaPo, I argue that no question, progressive must play defense to preserve what we’ve got, but it’s walk-and-chew-gum time. We also must craft and elevate a true, progressive alternative.

That’s going to involve higher minimum wages, more labor protections (especially increasing the number of people eligible for overtime pay), a big expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (which the Trump budget proposes to cut), direct job creation in places where even at full employment there are not enough jobs, child allowances for families raising kids (an idea that’s gaining traction beyond progressive circles), a gradual phase-in of Medicare for All by gradually lowering the eligibility age, deep investments in human capital starting with preschool and going through college, and progressive tax changes to help finance the agenda.

I mean, it may be wishful thinking, but what if people wake up to Trump’s bait-and-switch and starting looking around? I’d like them to be able to turn to an actual progressive agenda vs. the faux one they’ve been sold heretofore.

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4 comments in reply to "Catching up on some links…"

  1. Smith says:

    How do you justify Earned Income Tax Credit? It’s corporate welfare in the worst way. It’s already a boondoggle that costs the taxpayer money and hurts every business willing to pay a fair wage. If you knew anything about poverty, labor, and income, you’d know that a) The $15/hour minimum dwarfs any previous anticipated increase in EITC, but paid for by business, eventually $20 can be the new goal b) poverty is really about households that are short of full time wage earners, a government handout does address the cause, but imposes costs no matter the sliding scale, especially when benefits are increased, c) you are destroying the businessman who pays his workers a fair wage who can’t comptete by essentially subsidizing wages of businesses laughing at the stupid liberals in favor of paying their employees salaries d) just like the minimum wage, the benefit of quality childcare overwhelms any benefit from increased EITC. Every dollar for EITC robs the federal government of money that could be used to actually pay for needed programs and benefits. Not that the government doesn’t waste a ton of money already. You don’t have to be a conservative to think that. But if you wanted to improve EITC, you would spend more time advocating for automatic payments added to paychecks and then adjusted. We have something called computers that could figure this out and smooth out income. Every year poor people are robbed by tax preparers, or missed benefits, or having to wait for the lump sum, because the last thing a poor person needs is increased steady income?
    EITC, favored by Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Greg Mankiw, and Paul Ryan. That should tell you all you need to know about EITC.

    • Smith says:

      *a government handout doesn’t address the cause
      You can’t fight poverty with money. That’s why New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts spend $20,000 a year average per pupil on public education, the rich kids do well, the poor kids, not so much. Provide well paying jobs, and quality childcare that covers pre-school, after school, and summers instead.

  2. Serene says:

    I don’t have any hope for our political system at this time in its current form, and it isn’t all Trump’s fault. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Trump is a symptom in my view.

    Our system is simply collapsing. I’m seeing behavior from major corporations that is beyond heinous and disgusting. And some of those companies are funding this Democratic joke of a party. Both parties are almost totally worthless. Yes, both parties. There are some positive elements like Jared and Dean, but for the most part the party is hopeless.

    I would like to be wrong, and I hope that total collapse isn’t required, but my gut and by brain tells me that it is coming pretty soon. Within a couple of years.

  3. William Miller says:

    The progressive agenda should recognize the failure of government to prosecute white collar crimes such as happened with Wall Street to cause the Great Recession, happened at Flint with water, routinely happens with large corporations, and routinely happens with discrimination that blocks hiring qualified people older than 60. In addition, progressives should repeal the state laws that grant immunity to local governments because immunity enables them to avoid any prosecution even though they commit hugely damaging crimes such as refusing to enforce the law in a way that discriminates, denies civil rights and enables the theft of property and destruction of small businesses. How can you have “rule of law” when the government has immunity even for their intentional crimes? The legal system is rigged to privilege the rich. And judges routinely deny the Constitutional right to trial by using unjustified arbitrary summary disposition to dismiss cases.