Texan4Hillary offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Robin Hood in Reverse. Senator Sanders lets the D.C. elite know that at least one member of the Congress gets it.
The Progressive Caucus, smarting from it’s mistakes on healthcare negotiations, this time is confronting Obama and the GOP head on. They have crafted their own budget, The People’s Budget, and have submitted it as legislation to be considered by the House. They held a press conference the same day Obama did his deficit speech and are promising to be very aggressive with their plan in the weeks ahead.
Rep. Grijalva was on Democracy Now April 14 on the progressives’ budget. Love how he calls it “what the Democratic budget should be.”:
Their plan is that the most Americans want, plus it would put us into surpluses in 2021. How?
It starts with undoing the Bush tax code and then enacts real change:
• Allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012, but extend marriage relief, credits, and incentives for children, families, and education
• Immediately rescind the upper-income tax cuts in December’s tax deal
• Index the AMT for inflation for a decade (the AMT patch is fully paid for)
• Schakowsky millionaire tax rates proposal (adding 45%, 46%, 47%, 48%, and 49% top rates)
• Tax all capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income
• Progressive estate tax (Sanders’ estate tax, repeal of Kyl-Lincoln)
• Limit the rate at which itemized deductions can reduce tax liability to 28%for high earners
• Replace the tax exclusion for interest on state and local bonds with a subsidy for the issuer
Corporate Tax Reform
• Tax U.S. corporate foreign income as it is earned
• Eliminate corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies
• Enact a financial crisis responsibility fee
• Financial speculation tax (derivatives, foreign exchange)
• Reinstate Superfund taxes
• Enact a public option
• Negotiate Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies
• CMS program integrity and other Medicare and Medicaid savings in the president’s budget
• Prevent a cut in Medicare physician payments for a decade (maintain doc fix)
• Raise the taxable maximum on the employee side to 90% of earnings and eliminate the taxable
maximum on the employer side
• Increase benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side
• End overseas contingency operations emergency supplementals starting in Fiscal Year 2013,
providing $170 billion in FY2012 to fund redeployment, while saving more than $1.8 trillion
from current law spending levels over ten years.
• Reduce baseline defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces,
procurement, and R&D programs
Comprehensive Jobs Program
• Invest $1.45 trillion in job creation, education, clean energy and broadband infrastructure,
housing, and R&D
• Infrastructure bank
• Surface transportation reauthorization bill ($213 billion)
The entire budget is posted here and well worth the read. Progressives have interjected their own budget into the fight and the more it can be publicized the better. We have the Ryan budget, the Obama budget and the Progressive budget. And it is high time!
In Washington this weekend 10,000 grassroots enviromental reforming youth leaders descend for their annual convention and lobby days. This is our future for the progressive clean energy cause. Al Gore, Van Jones and others spoke to them Friday night. They will go to the Hill and press Obama and the leaders there to act on energy reforms.
What they are about:
As they come to D.C. many of these young people express disallusionment with Obama but a will to push him and create a movement to ensure change happens:
…while they supported Obama during the 2008 presidential elections, they are still waiting for him to live up to promises he made on the campaign trail.
“I traveled to over six states for President Obama during the 2008 election,” said Courtney Hight, former Obama campaign staffer and co-director of the Energy Action Coalition, the organization that is mobilizing this year’s Power Shift conference. “I want the president that I campaigned for to show up. It’s time for the leader of the free world to stand up to big polluters and protect the public health of the American people.”
…”We like Barack Obama; we like that guy,” said Hight. “It’s just more frustrating than anything … We also know that it can’t just be him,” she added, “which is why we’re so focused on movement building.”
The biennial conference has a history of pushing Democratic leadership to embrace bolder environmental policies. Speaking at Power Shift in 2007, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) was shouted down before 6,000 fervent climate activists. “We want more! We want more!” they chanted. The young conference-goers demanded more drastic carbon-dioxide-emissions reductions. “80 by 2050! 80 by 2050!”
Gore spoke to them , calling the green fight akin to the fights of the 1960s for civil rights:
Gore said the Civil Rights movement was fueled by youth questioning their parents about legal discrimination, and he drew a link to climate change.
“When they could not answer that moral question coming straight from the conscience of young people, that is when the laws began to change,” Gore said. “You need to ask, ‘tell me again why its al right to put 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every 24 hours, 20 percent of it will still be there in 20,000 years.’”
“You need to ask that question and other related questions. Don’t they see the evidence, don’t they hear what the scientists are saying, do they actually believe this lying from the large carbon polluters, that the scientists are making this up?” Gore added….
“It’s not all right. And it’s not all right to borrow all of the money from China to buy the oil from Saudi Arabia-dominated global oil markets, and then burn it in ways that destroy our future. We need to change every bit of that,” Gore added, while stating that low-carbon technologies bring jobs with them.
Gore steered clear of criticizing the White House directly … But he noted that, “We have not yet done enough. Our leaders have not yet done enough. Our country has not yet done enough. The world has not yet done enough,” before adding “we can solve this.”
Read about all the events they have going on, see pics of their meetings and more here .
Students are protesting around America to save their teachers and get an education. A impressive one was done in Texas at Katy (Houston suburb). These kids are mad as hell and won’t forget what the Right is doing to them:
Hundreds of students in the Katy school district walked out of class Thursday to protest teacher layoffs caused by a feared $50 million budget shortfall.
The two largest gatherings were outside Morton Ranch and Cinco Ranch high schools, but students from other campuses also rallied around the roughly 350 Katy Independent School District employees notified this week that their positions were being eliminated.
At the corner of Cinco Ranch and Commercial Center boulevards, about 100 students carried posters that read “Save our Teachers” and “Honk for Teachers.”
“They’re firing a lot of the good teachers when they don’t need to,” said Casey Burson, a 15-year-old sophomore at Seven Lakes High….
The protests were so intense the head of Katy ISD met the students and even Governor Perry made comments:
Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday, however, that walking out of class isn’t the right response from students.
“There are better ways to send your message than walking out of the classroom,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, I feel quite confident that the Texas Legislature will fund our schools appropriately. At the end of the day, being in the classroom is a lot more important to them than protesting, particularly during school hours. If they want to come here on Saturdays and Sundays or after school, have at it.” …
Katy Superintendent Alton Frailey met Thursday morning with a small group of students at Morton Ranch High School to address their concerns, Stanford said.
The 350 Katy educators who are losing their jobs at the end of the school year were notified in person this week.
“We felt it was better to meet with them rather than give them a letter,” Stanford said. “Some were very emotional, and they had the option to go home if they wanted to and let the substitutes take over.”
Students’ reaction to the news, he added, “is a testament to how much our kids care. They love their teachers and they’ve got great relationships.”
Stanford said none of the students will face discipline.
Gio Smith, a Cinco Ranch freshman, wasn’t worried.
“If there is punishment,” the 15-year-old said, “it was worth it.”…
Here is some great video of the protests from CBS Houston affiliate KHOU and YouTube vids made by students.
Congressman Kucinich lays down progressive economics for Obama in this Real News interview this week. I enjoyed it because he challenges Obama so directly on the issues from the Left. He urges Obama be challenged on “his corporatist agenda” and says Obama is much closer to the Republicans than the Democrats.