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Entries tagged "GOP"Page 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 Next
August 8, 2012 · By Salvatore Babones
The recession has been hard on everyone. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs. Many of those who didn't lose their jobs suffered salary cuts. Retirement savings and home values have plummeted.
Even people who have kept their jobs and homes have had to worry about the possibility of losing them.
But the recession is officially over. In fact, it has officially been over since June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Last month, we entered the fourth year of recovery.
The reality, though, is that in America there are two of everything. There are white and black schools. There are white and black stores. There are even white and black rappers.
And of course there have been two recessions: a White Recession and a Black Recession.
The White Recession was sharp and painful, but soon over. White America is slowly returning to normal. It's a shade poorer normal to be sure, but normal all the same.
For white men, October 2009 brought the highest unemployment rate of the past sixty years. White male unemployment maxed out at 9.7 percent. It's now stable at 6.9 percent.
This rate is still too high, but it's not catastrophic - unless you're one of the 6.9 percent.
The white female unemployment rate is now even lower: just 6.8 percent. Throughout the recession, it never rose above 7.3 percent.
The White Economy is weak, but it's been weak for a long time. It's been dragged down by long-term wage stagnation, cuts in government professional employment and declining union membership.
The Black Economy, on the other hand, is still in full-blown recession.
The Black Recession has now dragged on for four years, if not forty. Black male unemployment is 14.8 percent, and the current trend is up.
The unemployment rate for black men maxed out at 18.0 percent in August 2011, but even that wasn't a record. In the early 1980s recession, the black male unemployment rate went over 20 percent.
The black male unemployment rate has now been over 10 percent for 49 consecutive months. But that's normal. It's been over 10 percent in more than half of all months on record since measurement began in 1972.
That 10 percent figure is for men who are in the labor market and actively seeking work. It doesn't include, for example, the 5 percent of black men who are currently in jail.
Black women also face serious challenges in the job market. The black female unemployment rate is 11.5 percent, down from a recession high of 13.9 percent in December 2011.
The unemployment rate for black women has now been over 10 percent for 42 consecutive months. Like the black male unemployment rate, it's been over 10.5 percent for over half of all months on record since 1972.
The Black Recession is the proverbial elephant in the room. No one talks about it, but it's there. It's been there for four years, or forty years, if it's been there a day.
In America's cultural and racial climate, it's understandable that President Obama prefers to avoid the subject of the Black Recession. But as he is fond of pointing out, he is the president of all Americans, and that includes black Americans.
Mr. President, the elephant in the room is not a Republican. It's long past time to put an end to the Black Recession. Above all, that means jobs. If the private sector won't provide them, the government should. That means you.
We can't have a jobs program that's just for blacks. But we can have a jobs programs that provides work with dignity to all Americans and that includes black Americans. Roosevelt did it. Johnson did it. Obama can do it.
Mr. President, put America back to work.
January 19, 2012 · By Matias Ramos
Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce today that he is no longer seeking the Republican nomination for President. Perry, who entered the race in mid-August and immediately shot to the top of the polls, came undone with error-prone debate performances.
Perry did all he could to appeal to the most rabid of right-wing voters, promising to shut down many departments of the federal government (when he could remember them), and even proposing to send troops back into Iraq.
Perhaps more than any other candidate, Perry inspired the Institute's writers to take on the GOP race and handicap the potential disaster a new Texas Republican would have brought to the White House. Here's a timeline of Perry's quixotic candidacy, as documented by IPS commentators reacting to some of his many outrageous statements:
- Before he was running to preside over the Union, Perry was proposing his state should abandon it. Donald Kaul wrote about Perry's secessionist impulses on a July column, Loose American Screws.
- Perry's entire exploratory process seems to have consisted of a seven-hour prayer marathon in Houston dubbed "The Response," held on August 6th. Jim Hightower wrote: "I'm fairly certain that God doesn't want anything to do with this goober's show"
- Before he entered the race, Perry tried to pre-emptively undo any damage his friendliness to immigrants might have caused among conservative primary voters. Jose A. Reyes called Perry a lousy amigo for presiding over what his rivals called "easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation."
- Once he declared his candidacy, Perry tried to paint himself as a former Air Force pilot who had spent his life serving the American People. Hightower set this fact straight: Rick Perry had been on U.S. taxpayers' dime for most of his life.
- When the debates started, Rick Perry started to explode. He called Social Security a ponzi scheme, rallied against Palestinian statehood, and released a tax plan that basically consisted of taking from the poor to giving to the rich, making him the Reverse Robin Hood.
As for me, I'll always treasure having the honor of playing Perry at the IPS holiday skit. I hope I did my best to honor the man with the swagger and bravado to finish fifth in the race to lose to Obama in 2012.
January 10, 2012 · By Lacy MacAuley
When it Bains it pours
Don’t got no job no more
Why Romney come around
and lay off my whole town?
Bain Capital and Romney
with a steely-eyed glance
bought our steel mill,
then they closed down our plant.
They call him Mitt
Feels more like a boxin’ glove
Sure hurts when he knocks you out
but he calls it tough love.
Says we got to compete
on the global stage,
but how we gonna beat
a sweatshop wage?
They try to say I’m lazy
or call me a slob.
Guess I’ll go to China or Mexico
just to get a job.
In old New Hampshire
they say live free or die.
Die I might,
just ask Mitt why.
Bain said I’d have health insurance
and a severance pay
then they flip-flopped
and they took it away.
Bain got bailed out by the gov'ment
but I’m the one who needs welfare.
Ain’t none of Mitt’s campaign money
gonna pay for my healthcare.
I got a bad cough
and I’m feeling quite ill.
I may have asbestosis
from my years at the mill.
Now I’ve got the Steely Mitt blues.
Seen him on TV.
But I’ll never forget
what Mitt did to me.
December 5, 2011 · By Karen Dolan
Nein! Nein! Nein!
Say it ain't so.
Oh dear Herman,
Please don't go!
Your unrivaled hubris,
Your lack of embarrassment about being clueless.
We didn't care that your tax plan was dumb,
We didn't care that 9-9-9 made us numb.
Your policy of nuclear war was quite grand,
dictated by the mountainous terrain of Iran.
We didn't care if you knew nothing of Libya,
Gaddafi, Egypt, Mubarak, or Namibia.
You loudly denounced women claiming sexual harassment,
It was they, and not you, who were the embarrassment.
We ate it up when you swore you had never done wrong.
That it was your charisma to which women throng.
When we watched the endless Republican debates,
We knew the others, next to you, were lightweights.
So what will we do now that you have stepped down?
Who will be the next bumbling clown?
I guess the job now falls to Newt.
But we really will miss you because you were a hoot.
Karen Dolan is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow.
September 19, 2011 · By Sam Pizzigati
President Obama last week proposed a tax increase on America’s wealthy to finance the $447 billion jobs plan he advanced the week before. Representative Eric Cantor, the GOP House majority leader, responded almost immediately.
“I sure hope that the president is not suggesting,” Representative Cantor pronounced, “that we pay for his proposals with a massive tax increase at the end of 2012 on job creators.”
Interesting. Does this mean that Cantor now welcomes tax hikes for job “destroyers”? Like Richard Clark, the chair of drugmaker Merck. Clark took home $17.9 million last year. His company earlier this year announced plans to shed 13,000 workers. Or how about Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan? He pulled in $10 million last year. B of A has just announced 30,000 new job cuts.
We suspect that majority leader Cantor misspoke. He really doesn’t support tax increases on rich people period, whatever their job record may be. Cantor’s perspective has, of course, dominated Congress for the last three decades.
Read more at Too Much Online.