Immigration is a Human Rights Issue

Immigration is a Human Rights Issue

Carlos Ruiz was born in Mexico but grew up in California. He speaks English better than Spanish and has two young daughters who were born in the United States. He was deported back to Mexico nearly two years ago, and since then hasn’t seen his children, mother,...
Invoking Fake Job Creators to Cut Taxes on the Rich

Invoking Fake Job Creators to Cut Taxes on the Rich

Conservatives like House Speaker John Boehner say the government can’t raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires because they are “job creators.” Instead, House Republicans are once more calling for trillions in more tax cuts for the richest...
Chairman of the Con Man Committee

Chairman of the Con Man Committee

Call me a cynic, but it’s been my experience that when politicians say they’re going to lower your taxes, it’s not your taxes they’re talking about. Take, for example, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new (actually recycled)...
Congress Opts to Keep Poisoning Children

Congress Opts to Keep Poisoning Children

Yes, we certainly need to cut unnecessary and frivolous federal spending, because…well, because it’s unnecessary and frivolous. So Congress has targeted unnecessary oil subsidies and frivolous tax giveaways to billionaires, right? Uh…no. Instead,...
Congress Must Pass a Farm Bill in 2012

Congress Must Pass a Farm Bill in 2012

There’s a nasty fight brewing in Washington over the budget that could determine whether a farm bill is enacted in 2012. Given the gridlock that has afflicted Congress since before this election year even got underway, some lawmakers say it should wait until...
Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

Over the past 60 years, transportation has changed less than might have been expected. Still no jetpacks, for example. And while this could change after the presidential election, we’re not yet commuting to jobs on the moon. Transportation has changed, however,...
Playing Politics with the Courts

Playing Politics with the Courts

Americans rely on having a fair and functioning judicial system that’s there for us when we need it. The courtroom is one place where we can go, no matter who we are, and know we’ll have a fair hearing — no matter whom we’re up against. But for...
Legislating Under the Influence

Legislating Under the Influence

It’s all the rage in state legislatures and even in Congress. More than a dozen states are debating proposals to require jobless Americans who receive unemployment benefits to submit to mandatory drug testing. The argument for forcing the unemployed to relieve...
Unconventional Wisdom: The President Talks About Inequality

Unconventional Wisdom: The President Talks About Inequality

What a difference a week makes. GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney finally disclosed on Tuesday that he paid a measly 13.9 percent of his vast income in taxes in 2010 and will probably pay just 15.4 percent on his 2011 earnings. Those rates are far lower than what...
Chained COLAs and the Battle over Social Security

Chained COLAs and the Battle over Social Security

Like something out of a bad movie, the failed congressional supercommittee plotted to use “chained COLAs” to cut future Social Security benefits for America’s retired workers. No, chained COLA isn’t some kind of carbonated beverage gone bad....
When Number Two Acts like Number One

When Number Two Acts like Number One

In late November, NATO forces whacked 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border. As of November 30, the Pentagon and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had not yet accepted blame; but they were “investigating” and “regretting.” However, the...
The Cost of Congressional Dithering

The Cost of Congressional Dithering

While members of Congress waste time naming post offices and devising ways to get seniors to pay for billionaires’ tax breaks through cuts in Medicare and Social Security, other important business is slipping through the cracks. Specifically, if Congress...
Catering to the Frozen Pizza Lobby

Catering to the Frozen Pizza Lobby

How small-minded is Congress? How tangled-up in a right-wing ideological knot is it? How subservient to corporate lobbyists is it? The answers to these three questions are: pizza, tomato paste, and spuds. At a time when doctors and nutritionists are sounding a...
Sequestering Military Spending

Sequestering Military Spending

In its final stages, debate over the supercommittee has boiled down to squeezing new revenues out of millionaires vs. cutting the social safety net. The largest portion of the discretionary budget, however, funds the military — and that fact has been mostly...