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: GOP Threatens Another FAA Shutdown To Bust Unions
OurFuture.org’s Dave Johnson: “Once again Republicans are ready to shut down the FAA to help a union-busting effort by Delta Airlines. At issue is a provision added to the FAA funding reauthorization that changes the rules for union elections, saying that anyone not voting must be counted as a ‘no’ vote. So if the company can just keep people from voting, the union loses even if everyone that shows up to vote says that they want a union.
Senate Dems Ready Vote On Payroll Tax Cut
Senate Dems propose additional payroll tax cut extension, paired with new millionaires’ tax. NYT: “The bill, which could be voted on as early as Friday, would reduce the Social Security payroll tax paid by employees and the self-employed by half, to 3.1. percent of wages from 6.2 percent, for 2012. Those taxes were reduced to 4.2 percent of wages this year under a law set to expire at the end of the year … the average working family would have close to $1,500 a year more to spend … the bill [also] calls for a 3.25 percent tax on gross income over $1 million for single filers and married couples filing jointly.”
GOP rejects. Bloomberg: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the Democrats’ attempt to pair temporary tax cuts with permanent tax increases was a political ploy rather than a sincere attempt to pass legislation.”
Fewer government jobs means shrinking black middle class. NYT: “…tens of thousands of once solidly middle-class African-American government workers — bus drivers in Chicago, police officers and firefighters in Cleveland, nurses and doctors in Florida — who have been laid off since the recession ended in June 2009. Such job losses have blunted gains made in employment and wealth during the previous decade and undermined the stability of neighborhoods where there are now fewer black professionals who own homes or who get up every morning to go to work.”
Judge Scraps Citigroup Settlement
Federal judge rejects SEC-Citigroup settlement. Time’s Adam Sorensen: “Monday’s decision could have implications beyond Citibank. Settling out of court with no admission of wrongdoing has frequently been the SEC’s modus operandi in cases like this. If political momentum built in the wake of Rakoff’s ruling and other judges picked up his banner, Wall Street could face a level of scrutiny it has so far avoided.”
Barney “Frank Exit May Leave Wall Street Rules Vulnerable to Republicans” suggests Bloomberg.
Bipartisan bill seeks to weaken Wall Street reform. ThinkProgress’ Pat Garofalo: “Before the 2008 financial crisis, the swaps market was totally opaque, giving neither customers nor regulators any sense of what the instruments actually cost or how much risk was building up in the financial system. Dodd-Frank brings transparency to this market by forcing swap trades onto open exchanges — where they can be seen by everyone — rather than allowing backroom wheeling and dealing in the instruments to continue. But a bill authored by Reps. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) … would take these bits of the bill out at the knees.”
Denial of ATT-TMobile merger sends a message to corporations. Politico: “Some antitrust experts say that the administration’s opposition to the union of the nation’s second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers is a return to the pre-George W. Bush era, when the government was more likely to flex its legal muscle and block deals … The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would be a horizontal merger, seen as more significantly increasing concentration in the market, similar to DOJ’s recent victory to block H&R Block’s acquisition of TaxACT.”
GOP Voters Make Race About Immigration
“Newt Gingrich’s Immigration Plan Gets a Whole Lot Less ‘Humane’” reports NY Mag’s Alex Klein: “… Gingrich said he actually doesn’t want to give the millions of long-term undocumented immigrants real amnesty. They can continue to work, buttress the American economy, and receive limited taxpayer benefits — but only as guest workers. There would be no path to citizenship. But there would be a massive fence, which will be erected along the border to Mexico by January 1, 2014, built at rapid speed by ignoring environmental impact studies or existing regulation. The touchy-feely Gingrich seemed a distant memory as the candidate proposed making English the national language and instituting a fast track to deportation.”
“The Republican Primary Isn’t About the Economy, It’s About Immigration” argues TNR’s Ed Kilgore: “Immigration remains a key issue to millions of Republican caucus and primary voters—in spite of, not because of, the economy—and they will not accept candidates taking the ‘wrong’ position on the matter for the sake of electability … recent conservative immigrant-bashing has been focused not on undocumented workers taking away jobs, but on their families’ alleged dependence on welfare … and on their alleged collective conspiracy to use ‘anchor babies’ born in the United States to colonize the country with large families living off the public-assistance fat of the land.”
“Billionaire Investor Who Compared Taxing The Rich To Nazi Invasions Will Hold Fundraiser For Romney” notes ThinkProgress’ Pat Garofalo.
Petition effort for special election to recall WI Gov. Walker more than halfway there after 12 days. TPM: “…the Dems must get over 540,000 signatures — over 9,000 per day, statewide — plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another. But even against that lofty requirement, the Dems are claiming that in the 12 days since the recall launched, they have collected over 1,000 signatures per hour.”