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: How The GOP Budget Devastates Education
OurFuture.org’s Jeff Bryant: “Should this plan become the law of the land, as President Obama explained, ‘over 200,000 children would lose their chance to get an early education in the Head Start program.’ But that’s just in 2014. A recent analysis that appeared on the pages of Huffington Post just prior to the budget’s passage in the House, explains that that 200,000 figure grows to over 2 million children should Romney become president … The GOP’s cuts to federal funding of early childhood care and education would come at a time when states are continuing to slash funds for these services … Once young children age into the elementary-secondary system, the Ryan-Romney cuts to education spending continue their cruel toll … ‘The Ryan budget,’ the NEA analysis states, [is projected to slash education funding by $115 billion over ten years -- hurting the neediest students, causing class sizes to rise even further, forcing elimination of more programs aimed at providing a well-rounded education, and putting more public servants in unemployment lines.'"
Romney Hugs GOP Budget Hard
Romney hugs radical GOP budget tighter. NYT: "…Mr. Romney defended Mr. Ryan before newspaper editors gathered in Washington as a politician who 'unlike this president, has had the courage to offer serious solutions to the problems we face.' … according to [Obama's] advisers: it yokes Mr. Romney to the unpopular elements of the Ryan budget … and it makes it tougher for Mr. Romney to tack to the center once he gets past the primaries.”
Romney struggles with independent women voters. US News: “51 percent of independent women prefer Obama to Romney’s 37 percent … Among swing state female voters ages 18-49, Obama leads Romney with 60 percent.”
“JOBS Act” Dereg BIll To Be Signed Into Law Today
Wall Street prepares to take advantage of JOBS Act. NYT: “Almost every big bank on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, is poring over the provisions, which some firms say will open a new front on their business model. Several firms contacted Wednesday said they were studying the JOBS Act and were eager to see how regulators would begin to interpret the legislation. One Wall Street executive familiar with the JOBS Act but who declined to be named said the law would give firms ‘more flexibility’ in covering emerging companies.”
FT’s Richard Waters is skeptical the JOBS Act will create jobs: “…the new law is a package that reflects the various lobbying efforts of a coalition of financial interests. The new intermediaries that will spring up to service the crowdfunding business, the secondary market operators who fear that their businesses will shrink after Facebook goes public, the bankers, lawyers and accountants starved of IPO fees: all of these stand to gain. Whether more innovation – and jobs – will follow is harder to predict.”"
President details what it would take to get unemployment down to 6%. CNN: “The construction industry and state and local governments are among the biggest drags on the nation’s economic recovery, President Obama said … If these areas were to have a similar rebound now, each one would take a point off of the nation’s 8.3 unemployment rate … Now is an especially good time to revamp the nation’s infrastructure, which would boost job growth, Obama said. Interest rates are historically low, construction workers are dying to get back on the job, and contractors are competing for projects, coming in on time and under budget.”
DeMarco To Make Decision on Principal Reduction Soon
FHFA’s DeMarco says he will rule on principal reduction this month, while defending his inaction to date. Calculated Risk quotes: “… three out of every four deeply underwater borrowers in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s book of business today are current on their loans. These borrowers are demonstrating a continued willingness to meet their mortgage obligations. This should be recognized and encouraged, not dampened with incentives for people to not continue paying. As I have stated previously, we are currently evaluating the recent Treasury Department proposal to HAMP regarding principal forgiveness and expect a decision this month.”
Another wave of foreclosures expected this year. Reuters: “According to leading broker dealer Amherst Securities, some 9.5 million homes are still at risk of default and in February it said it expected to see the uptick in foreclosures start to hit in March and April … All this has non-profits intensifying calls for the Federal Housing Finance Agency to drop its opposition to allowing the government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac it regulates to reduce principal for underwater homeowners.
Dems target speculators to bring down gas prices. The Hill: ” First, they want the White House to release some of the oil the country has stockpiled for emergencies; second, they want more funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which polices Wall Street’s commodities traders; and third they want more of the oil produced domestically to be used in the U.S., rather than exported.”
MIT’s Andrea Louise Campbell explains how her sister-in-law will fall through the cracks if ObamaCare is overturned or repealed, in NYT oped: “On Feb. 8, she was a healthy 32-year-old, who was seven and a half months pregnant with her first baby. On Feb. 9, she was a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down by a car accident that damaged her spine … My brother’s small employer … does not offer health insurance … my sister-in-law will be covered by Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, because she is disabled and has limited income. But because my brother works, they are subject to cost-sharing: they pay the first $1,100 of her health costs each month … Their best hope is the survival of the Obama reform…”
Federal judge rules certain campaign ad donors must be made public. W. Post: “The case centers on … ads that mention a candidate’s name just before an election but don’t explicitly call for the candidate’s election or defeat … The March 30 decision was the first time that Democrats have made any headway in their effort to blunt the rapid growth in undisclosed spending by interest groups after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision…”