Posts tagged POLITICS
Posts tagged POLITICS
Jeff Danziger (12/27/2011)
Let the GOP / Teaparty continue to argue that federal workers are the enemy — it’s complete fiction but it’s essential to the Republican Strategy. Here are some facts you’ll never see reported on Fox “News”:
The wealth gap between those governing the U.S. and the people they represent has dramatically widened, research shows.
Against a backdrop of a vast budget deficit and fears of the fragility of the economy, analysis by the Washington Post shows that the median net worth of a member of Congress has nearly tripled over 25 years while the income of an average U.S. family has actually fallen.
It calculated that their median net worth, between 1984 and 2009 and excluding home equity, rose from $280,000 to $725,000.
But the GOP tells us that federal employees are the problem. Federal salaries see worst growth in a decade, analysis finds
Federal salaries rose an average of 1.3 percent in fiscal 2011 compared to 1.2 percent average pay growth for private sector workers, according to USA Today analysis.
The sluggish salaries, held down by a pay freeze and tight budgets, did not exceed inflation, the paper noted.
The average federal worker made $75,296 during that period, plus $28,323 in benefits, such as health care and retirement packages, the analysis found, adding that the government workforce has higher average education levels than the private sector and includes more professionals and specialists.
Pitting worker against worker, here is “The Republican Strategy” in part:
The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.
By splitting working America along these lines, Republicans hope to deflect attention from the big story. That’s the increasing share of total income and wealth going to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.
Divide and conquer the sheeple. That’s all the GOP has to offer in any election. Especially when their biggest idea consists of tax cuts for the wealthy paid for with austerity for the rest of us. Hooray!
Kim Jong Il’s dark legacy demonstrated in a satellite image.
It’s one of the darkest places on Earth, and I’m not just talking about its lack of electricity. What will we see here in ten years? Twenty?
(via Short Sharp Science)
- Last week the Senate rejected the Shaheen Amendment to the defense bill, effectively deciding to keep in place a policy in place that prevents female servicemembers who are pregnant out of rape from receiving abortion coverage under their military health care plans.
- Conservative group Concerned Women for America is gleefully happy about this because worrying about abortions for female servicemembers is a “political distraction” from, you know, important things. Nothing makes them happier, apparently, than putting women and soldiers through humiliation and financial burden.
Socialism for the old, raw capitalism for the young – that seems to be the new American Way.
There are quite a few folks in their 60s, 70s and 80s freaked out by the phantom specter of creeping, European-style socialism who, at the same time, are oblivious to the reality that they already live in a socialist paradise. Americans over the age of 65 have free medical care and a steady income to the day they die provided by the federal government.
Meanwhile, many young people in this country cannot find jobs, cannot afford homes and are weighed down by student loan debts. For the first time, a new generation of Americans appears destined to be poorer than their parents.
Census data released this week indicates that the over-65 cohort boasts a net worth that is 47 times greater than the net worth of citizens under age 35. This is the biggest disparity on record; twice what it was in 2005 and five times the difference just 25 years ago.
While politicians have dutifully maintained the social safety net for seniors, they have hacked away at programs that benefit young people, particularly support for public schools and colleges. Back when I was a Baby Boomer lad, the public schools I attended were well funded and rich with an array of course offerings. Now, too many public schools are starved for funding, arts and humanities courses are being cut and extracurricular activities are endangered. When I went to college, tuition was a few hundred dollars a year. If you were lucky enough to live in California, tuition was free and the universities were among the best in the world. Now, tuitions have skyrocketed, state funding has been slashed and access to higher education is restricted.
Coming out of college, I never worried about finding a job – everyone found a job. The internships I had paid pretty well. My first job paid even better and it did not take me long to save enough money to buy a house.
Today, unpaid internships are the rule. Even with a college degree, young people find starting positions at many companies are lowly training gigs with no pay. When paid employment is finally obtained, there are student loans to be paid off before a young person can begin to think about buying property. Those who have managed to buy houses have seen the value of those homes drop. Many have lost houses to foreclosure.
Meanwhile, older Americans who bought into the housing market when home values were soaring are sitting pretty.
Elizabeth Warren debunks some healthcare myths.
“The fact that we’re going broke to pay for our healthcare does not mean we’re getting the best healthcare.”
1. One in three women die or are seriously injured as a result of gender-based violence. Violence against women results in more deaths among women ages 15 to 44 than the total number of women who die because of war, malaria, and cancer.
2. An estimated four million women and girls are bought and sold worldwide each year, either into marriage, prostitution or slavery.
4. Approximately 96 million young women in developing countries still cannot read or write. Globally, girls account for 55 percent of children not in school.
5. Nearly 75 percent of those displaced by violent conflict are women. Displacement leaves women without access to health care, proper nutrition or education. Displaced women face a higher threat of gender-based terrorism and violence.
6. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda resulted in hundreds of thousands of violent sexual assaults, resulting in an estimated 250,000 women falling victim to HIV/AIDS. While many women awaiting treatment died, their perpetrators receive antiretroviral therapies in prison.
7. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that actually denies women the right to vote by law. In other parts of the world, where women are legally allowed to vote, many women still struggle to exercise their rights. For example, in Afghanistan, some women were denied the right to vote in 2009 because the country lacked the necessary amount of female staff members to provide enough polls for women.
8. With its rate of violence, sexual assault and inadequate health care, Afghanistan remains the most dangerous place in the world for women to live.
9. In 1974, Isabel Peron became the world’s first woman president, when she was elected President of Argentina. Around the world, 68 women have served as head of state in their country (not including monarchies). Currently, 38 women serve as head of government around the world. In 1997, Ireland became the first country to succeed power from one female president to another.
10. African nations have more women in parliament than most western nations. Rwanda ranks number one in world rankings for the highest representation of women at 49 percent.
Inmates in stateside federal prisons only cost 3 percent of that.
Hey, Congress: Still looking for budget cuts?
Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members’ financial disclosure forms.
Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress. Two years ago, Roll Call found that the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. Roll Call calculates minimum net worth by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities.
According to financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress this year, the minimum net worth in the House has jumped to $1.26 billion, and Senate net worth has climbed to at least $784 million, for a Congressional total of $2.04 billion.