Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
MORNING MESSAGE: Today’s Big Idea — Make Work Pay
OurFuture.org’s Anne Thompson: “… the jobs that are coming back are low-paying positions with declining wages … In order to boost demand, we need meaningful proposals that can help put a little more money in the pockets of millions of Americans who are working but are still financially struggling … When President Obama campaigned in 2008, he pledged to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011 [which] would generate more than $60 billion in new consumer spending … NELP’s Winning Wage Justice guide provides 28 policy proposals for state and city policies to fight wage theft …”
Grassroots Pressure On Republicans To Raise Taxes
Town hall pressure on GOP congresspeople to raise taxes on wealthy. W. Post: “‘Did you sign Grover Norquist’s pledge to never raise taxes?’ — referring to the promise that has been signed by most congressional Republicans, including [Rep. Randy] Hultgren. ‘Don’t you have the confidence in your own ability in Congress to make up your own mind? You need Grover Norquist to tell you?’ the man continued. It is a scene that has been repeated at town hall meetings across the country this August as Democrats make a concerted effort to use this month’s congressional recess to change a national narrative on taxes.”
Dem Sen. Mark Warner calls for another “Gang of Six” to pressure Super Committee. Politico: “…the idea is for the nascent group to serve as a cheerleadering corps for the 12-member supercommittee ‘to speak out to encourage the new supercommittee to “go big, or go home.”‘ Hall said Warner has not developed details of the new group, which he called a ‘very preliminary concept.’”
OMB calls on agencies to cut up to 10%, implementing debt limit deal. Politico: “[Director Jacob] Lew writes that he wants to see real cuts from discretionary appropriations and even warns against a tactic he has frequently used himself in negotiating with Republicans: substituting savings from mandatory benefit or subsidy programs also funded through the appropriations bills. But the director is clearly hoping that agency heads will show some initiative by highlighting those programs where spending could contribute to President Barack Obama’s goal of jobs creation and economic growth.”
Perry vs. Science
Perry follows dismissal of climate science with dismissal of evolution science. Huffington Post: “The Texas Governor … was answering a little boy’s questions about science when his mom urged him to question the conservative politician on evolution … Perry told the boy. ‘That’s a theory that is out there – and it’s got some gaps in it.’ He added: ‘In Texas we teach both Creationism and Evolution in our public schools…’ … however, Texas has yet to approve any textbooks that actually teach creationism.”
Huntsman takes swipe at Perry for snubbing science. W. Post’s Aaron Blake: “‘To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming,’ read a tweet from his personal account. ‘Call me crazy.’ … are there enough social moderates in the primary process to give him a winning constituency? … Recent Gallup polling showed that 41 percent of Republicans believe the effects of global warming have begun, while 44 percent believed either strictly in evolution (8 percent) or that evolution has been guided by God (36 percent). That’s not bad, but they are clearly in the minority.”
W. Post’s “Fact-Checker” gives Perry “Four Pinocchios” for his climate science remarks.
Bloomberg latest to find “gaps” in Perry’s jobs record: “Projected Medicaid deficits as well as shortchanged schools threaten to hollow out the miracle, even as population gains pressure the government to spend more … A boom in energy output and health-care services helped Perry mask a structural deficit that left schools and Medicaid each short about $4 billion in the next budget … A 32 percent child-poverty rate was fourth highest in the U.S.”
Perry’s not conservative, just a crony capitalist, argues TNR’s Dave Mann: “… the closer you look at Perry’s record in Texas, the harder it is to discern any coherent ideology at all … When Perry does involve himself in policy debates, the most consistent thread is that he has sided with big business—that is to say, with industries big enough, or fortuitous enough, to have strong connections with the state government. It’s a pattern that repeats itself not only in the HPV and Trans-Texas Corridor episodes—both of which would have been bonanzas for select companies—but in his business-friendly approach to immigration and job-creation programs.”
McClatchy offers the best of the late Molly Ivins’ commentary on Perry: “Of all the crass pandering, of all the gross political kowtowing to ignorance, we haven’t seen anything this rank from Gov. Goodhair since … gee, last fall.”
How Big Is Big for a Jobs Plan?
TNR’s Jonathan Cohn explains how big a jobs program needs to be to make an impact: ” One of the economists I consulted was Harvard’s Jeffrey Liebman, a former budget official in the Obama Administration [who said] ‘Okun’s Law tells us that in order to reduce the unemployment rate by 1 percentage point, GDP needs to grow 2 percent faster than trend for a year. U.S. trend growth is around 2.5 percent. So we need real GDP to grow at 4.5 percent a year for two years to bring the unemployment rate below 7 percent … It is hard to see this happening without additional fiscal stimulus of at least 2.5 percent of GDP in each year’ … Do the math, as Liebman suggests, and you’re getting to the neighborhood of $400 billion a year…”
Rep. Raul Grijalva pushes new “Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act” to create 35,000 jobs and strengthen cross-border trade on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”
Kasich Flinches, Unions Stand Firm
Facing repeal by ballot initiative of his signature anti-worker law, OH Gov. Kasich flinches. WSJ: “Labor unions have rejected an offer by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to seek a compromise on a new law that removes most collective-bargaining rights for the state’s 350,000 public employees … On Wednesday [Republicans] made a pitch to public-employee union leaders to ‘avoid the bitter political warfare’ over the law, known as Senate Bill 5. In a letter Thursday, however, unions said a ‘fresh start must begin with a full repeal of Senate Bill 5.’”
Verizon starts to delay service, lose customers as result of strike. NYT: “… some customers of its landline telephone, Internet and cable television service are reporting significant delays getting current lines repaired and new ones installed … Verizon officials acknowledge … that they decided not to take any new orders for the first two weeks of the strike so they could focus on serving their current customers … Verizon is pushing the unions to accept far-reaching concessions, including a pension freeze and fewer sick days, and asking that workers contribute far more toward their health coverage.”
Report disproves industry claims about possible new clean air rules for power plants. The Hill: “Because EPA has yet to propose or finalize many of its clean air regulations, industry-sponsored studies predicting economic calamity ‘effectively underestimate the complexities of the regulatory process and overstate the near-term impact of many of the regulatory actions,’ [the Congressional Research Service] says…”
New Homeland Security will narrow deportation focus on violent criminals. The Hill: “Under the new rules, DHS officials will perform a case-by-case reviews of those in line for deportation, weeding out violent criminals and other high priority cases while closing the books on those considered no threat … Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) [praised] the move as ‘a victory not just for immigrants but for the American people as a whole.’”