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Government is the Solution

Government is the Solution | Government for the People | Scoop.it

"The government creates jobs — yes, really."

 

"Decades of anti-government rhetoric have made liberals wary of claiming their legacy as supporters of the state’s positive role. That’s why they have had so much trouble making the case for President Obama’s stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009. It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing. And such investments — in transportation and clean energy, refurbished schools and the education of the next generation — can prime future growth.

 

Yet the drumbeat of propaganda against government has made it impossible for the plain truth about the stimulus to break through. It was thus salutary that Douglas Elmendorf, the widely respected director of the Congressional Budget Office, told a congressional hearing last week that 80 percent of economic experts surveyed by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business agreed that the stimulus got the unemployment rate lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been otherwise. Only 4 percent disagreed. The stimulus, CBO concluded, added as many as 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of 2010, and it may have kept us from lapsing back into recession.

 

So when conservatives say, as they regularly do, that “government doesn’t create jobs,” the riposte should be quick and emphatic: 'Yes it has, and yes, it does!'"

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Bluff Called, Mitch McConnell Misplays His Hand in Phone Data Fight

Bluff Called, Mitch McConnell Misplays His Hand in Phone Data Fight | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"In the struggle over surveillance powers, the senator is finding that some of the new, ambitious conservatives do not adhere to the old rules of operating on Capitol Hill."
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Selling Off Apache Holy Land

Selling Off Apache Holy Land | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"What motivated Congress to give Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site, to a mining company that will certainly destroy it?"
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The New Dictators Rule by Velvet Fist

The New Dictators Rule by Velvet Fist | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Today’s dictators use propaganda, censorship and relatively little violence."
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A Victory for Pope Francis

"The beatification of an assassinated archbishop is an important marker in the routing of hard-line conservatives in the church."
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Greed and the Presidency

Greed and the Presidency | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Among 2016’s contenders, there’s a disturbing absence of economic humility." "They talk about their connection to “everyday Americans” (Hillary Clinton) and to laborers who “sweat through their clothes” (Huckabee) even as they reach for, and insist on, a much higher style. That’s partly why their words can ring so pat, so hollow. It’s one explanation for voters’ cynicism. • While we in the news media have long wrung our hands about the ways in which campaign financing warps the political process, what about the ways in which politicians’ frenzied competition for donations warps their views of the world? They now spend so much time among the country’s plutocrats, sowing friendship wherever the funds are, that their bearings and their yardsticks surely change, as must their sense of their station. • I’m sure the Clintons don’t feel as fabulously rich as they’ve become — Bill alone made $104.9 million in speaking fees between January 2001 and January 2013 — because they needn’t look more than a few feet in any direction to spot someone with 10 times their net worth. At the pinnacles of power, there are mountains of money, and it’s easy for a politician to wonder why it belongs to people no brighter than he or she is. It’s just as easy to feel entitled to some of it."
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Accused of Spying for China, Until She Wasn’t

Accused of Spying for China, Until She Wasn’t | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"A National Weather Service flood forecaster in Ohio faced federal economic espionage charges, until her case was dropped as abruptly as it had upended her life."
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Air Ambulances Offer a Lifeline, and Then a Sky-High Bill

Air Ambulances Offer a Lifeline, and Then a Sky-High Bill | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Squeezed by competition and insurance cuts, air ambulance companies are increasingly pressing patients to make up sometimes sizable shortfalls." • "Air Methods has been at the forefront of the expansion, earning a sevenfold increase in profit over the last 10 years. By its own calculations, Air Methods accounts for nearly 30 percent of all air ambulance revenue in the country. • Using numbers in the company’s financial filings, Jonathan Hanlon, founder of Research 360, a firm that analyzes companies, calculated that Air Methods’ average bill in 2014 was $40,766, compared with roughly $17,262 five years earlier. A law that deregulated the airline industry in the 1970s has prevented states from capping the amount air ambulances can charge."
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Admitted to Your Bedroom: Some Hospitals Try Treating Patients at Home

Admitted to Your Bedroom: Some Hospitals Try Treating Patients at Home | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Under pressure to reduce costs and improve quality, a handful of health care systems are hospitalizing patients in their homes."
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Warren on trade pact: 'We're not allowed to talk about it'

Warren on trade pact: 'We're not allowed to talk about it' | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Before debate on the TPP, Obama wants Congress to limit its own power by approving trade promotion authority"
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Working, but Needing Public Assistance Anyway

Working, but Needing Public Assistance Anyway | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"A University of California study finds that taxpayer money is effectively subsidizing employers who pay at or around the minimum wage."
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As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry

As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Some in the industry believe the earthquakes are a natural phenomenon, but many scientists disagree."
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G.O.P.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift

G.O.P.’s Israel Support Deepens as Political Contributions Shift | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Republicans are more fervently pro-Israel than ever, partly a result of ideology, but also a product of a surge in campaign spending on their behalf by a small group of wealthy donors."
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Evangelicals Aim to Mobilize an Army for Republicans in 2016

Evangelicals Aim to Mobilize an Army for Republicans in 2016 | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"David Lane, a onetime Bible salesman and self-described former 'wild man,' sees his mission as making evangelical Christians a decisive power in the Republican Party."
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Senator Elizabeth Warren Is Mad as Hell (Video)

Senator Elizabeth Warren Is Mad as Hell (Video) | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Americans need to get involved and stop the influence of big money in politics, the senator said."
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Bill Moyers: The Challenge of Journalism Is to Survive in the Pressure Cooker of Plutocracy

"In a new speech, Bill Moyers chronicles the struggle of today's journalists to report the truth despite dwindling resources and the opposition of the powerful." • "And what happens when PR turns a profit and truth goes penniless? One of my mentors told me that 'News is what people want to keep hidden, everything else is publicity.' So who will be left to report on what is happening in the statehouse or at the town hall? In the backrooms of Congress, the board rooms of banks and corporations, or even the open and shameless bazaar of K Street where the mercenaries of crony capitalism uncork bottles of champagne paid for by 'dark money' from oligarchs and PACs? What happens when our elections are insider-driven charades conducted for profit by professional operatives whose spending on advertising mainly enriches themselves and the cable and television stations in cahoots with them? We know the answer, we know that a shortage of substantial reporting means corruption remains hidden, candidates we know little about and even less about who is funding them and what policy outcomes they are buying. It also means even more terrifying possibilities. As Tom Stoppard writes in his play Night and Day, 'People do terrible things to each other, but it’s worse in the places where everybody is kept in the dark.' • A free press, you see, doesn’t operate for free at all. Fearless journalism requires a steady stream of independent income. Allow me to speak from personal experience. After I left government in 1967 — including a stint as White House press secretary — it took me a while to get my footing back in journalism. I can assure you: I found the job of trying to tell the truth about people whose job it is to hide the truth almost as complicated and difficult as trying to hide it in the first place. Unless you’re willing to fight and re-fight the same battles until you go blue in the face, drive the people you work for nuts going over every last detail again and again to make certain you’ve got it right, and then take hit after hit accusing you of 'bias,' there’s no use even trying. You have to love it, and I have. And still do."
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TPP On Trial

"he Democrats’ revolt against President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership has everything to do with the “giant sucking sound” of job loss echoing over Baltimore and St. Louis, Detroit and Gary… and still more to do with the inability of our own polarized and privatized society to repair the social contract at home. Only at the end of our untypically acrimonious hour did a moral come clear: the 30-year regime of expanding global trade could well founder for want of a firm public decision to share the pain and the profits in that transformation. The more we learn about TPP, the more it looks like a blunt instrument of the banking and corporate interests to protect their investments, and of Big Pharma, Hollywood and Info Tech to protect their “intellectual property” abroad. Enforceable compensations for workers and communities, here and there, would be nice, too.
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Weary of Relativity

Weary of Relativity | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Outrageous incomes? Obscene fund-raising? As long as you’re more awful, I’m O.K."
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As Middle Class Fades, So Does Use of Term on Campaign Trail

As Middle Class Fades, So Does Use of Term on Campaign Trail | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"A social strata that once signified a secure, aspirational lifestyle now connotes fears about falling behind, sociologists, economists and political scientists said."
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Conspiracy Theories Over Jade Helm Training Exercise Get Some Traction in Texas

Conspiracy Theories Over Jade Helm Training Exercise Get Some Traction in Texas | Government for the People | Scoop.it
DALLAS — The questions being raised by right-wing bloggers and conservative commentators about a Pentagon training exercise called Jade Helm 15 traverse the outer edges of political paranoia.

The eight-week exercise starting in July and planned for locations in Texas, New Mexico, California and other Southwestern states, they say, is part of a secret plan to impose martial law, take away people’s guns, arrest political undesirables, launch an Obama-led hostile takeover of red-state Texas, or do some combination thereof.

But when Gov. Greg Abbott issued a directive to the Texas State Guard to keep watch over the military operation, seeming to give those concerns some official credence, it raised a more credible question: To what degree has the extreme become mainstream in Texas?

In his directive, issued last week to Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, commander of the Guard, Mr. Abbott wrote that he wanted Jade Helm 15 monitored because it was “important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”
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Scott Walker’s Strength in Donors

Scott Walker’s Strength in Donors | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"Roughly half of the nation’s top 250 Republican donors have given money to Mr. Walker in his campaigns for Wisconsin governor."
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Let’s talk about bridges, not burrito bowls

Let’s talk about bridges, not burrito bowls | Government for the People | Scoop.it
"The conversation Hillary Clinton needs to have with voters."
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