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: Will Voters Ask The Medicare & Social Security Questions Reporters Haven’t?
OurFuture.org’s Richard Eskow: “This Tuesday the Presidential candidates will meet with voters face-to-face for a town-hall style debate. Let’s hope the voters will ask the questions the media haven’t … This is an opportunity for voters to penetrate the media bubble and ask both candidates some real questions about Social Security and Medicare – not about whether they’re ‘going broke,’ but about whether they’ll defend them.
Radical Romney Still Out Of Touch
Romney health insurance comments show complete lack of understanding of how most people live, says NYT’s Paul Krugman: “Last week, speaking to The Columbus Dispatch, Mr. Romney declared that nobody in America dies because he or she is uninsured: ‘We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.’ … Romney has no idea what life (and death) are like for those less fortunate than himself … fear of huge bills can deter the uninsured from visiting the emergency room even when they should. And sometimes they die as a result. More important, going to the emergency room when you’re very sick is no substitute for regular care…”
NYT’s Steven Rattner explains how “radical” Romney’s proposed spending cap is: “Mr. Romney is calling for a huge increase in defense spending — roughly $2 trillion more over the next decade than Mr. Ryan wants to spend, which is only $400 billion above Mr. Obama’s budget — even though the military is not asking for such an increase. Such an increase would force giant reductions, about 40 percent, in everything that’s left. ‘Everything else’ isn’t some catchall of small items, like feeding Big Bird. We’re talking about a vast array of programs including civilian and military pensions, food stamps, unemployment and disability compensation, the earned income and child tax credits, family support and nutrition, K-12 education, transportation, public safety and disaster relief.”
Kochs send anti-Obama materials to its 45,000 employees. In These Times: “…the Koch Industries corporate leadership informed tens of thousands of employees at its subsidiary, Georgia Pacific, that their livelihood could depend on the 2012 election and that the company supports Mitt Romney for president … ‘If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.’”
Romney, like past GOP presidents, could hurt U.S. bonds. Bloomberg: “Ever since Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater for the presidency in 1964, yields on 10-year Treasuries have dropped about 40 basis points in the first month when a Democrat wins, and risen 19 after a Republican victory … Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has said he would not reappoint Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke … ‘A more restrained Fed chairman could be a potential catalyst for rates to move higher,’ Mitchell Stapley, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based chief fixed-income officer for Fifth Third Asset Management, said…”
China Resists Further Currency Changes
China claims in no longer manipulates currency. AP: “China’s currency has reached its equilibrium rate and its value is mainly set by the market, rather than intervention, Zhou Xiaochuan, the nation’s central bank chief, said Sunday, signaling that major movement in the renminbi’s value is unlikely soon.”
Obama and Romney continue to spar over China. Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign aired a television commercial in Ohio and Virginia last month that touted the tariffs his administration slapped on Chinese tires three years ago … An ad in which Romney pledges to ‘stand up to the cheaters’ in China ran last month in most of the election’s swing states … The one key state where the ad was withheld was Iowa, where farmers benefit from expanded trade with nations including China.”
Portugaul rising up against austerity. NYT: “As Pedro Passos Coelho, Portugal’s center-right prime minister, prepares to announce a new budget on Monday — filled with still more steep tax increases and public sector job cuts — he faces the kind of popular backlash that was, until recently, absent from the political and social landscape here. Taking a page from the playbook of their Spanish neighbors, Portuguese protesters are planning to encircle the Parliament building here in the capital for the budget announcement. For their part, Portugal’s powerful trade unions are preparing a general strike for Nov. 14.”
ACLU sues Morgan Stanley. NYT: “… the A.C.L.U. claims that Morgan Stanley is culpable for predatory loans made through the New Century Financial Corporation because the investment bank lent billions of dollars to New Century, a now-defunct subprime lender, and pressured it to make troublesome loans to African-American borrowers who could not afford them [and claims] that Morgan Stanley violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.”