The Biden White House has tried since President Joe Biden’s inauguration to move past the Trump years and to focus instead on strengthening democracy by rebuilding the American middle class and by renewing our alliances and friendships with democratic allies. As his message has repeatedly been drowned out by the cultural messaging of the Republicans, Biden has begun to criticize their economic plans more directly, especially in the last few weeks. Today the White House released a fact sheet laying out exactly what it would look like to have the Republicans’ economic plans put into effect.
I'm curious to know how many Floridians currently collecting social security are paying attention to what Rick Scott and Ron Johnson are proposing.
Been reading HCR almost since the inception, and never commented before... what could I add after all, to her sterling scholarship, but considering the importance of this new month...
I must say, although I am sure you are all lovely people, and finding a group of like minded souls who share both my bottomless love for this country as well as an abiding anxiety over the current precarious state of affairs is refreshing...
I must say I so rarely read the comments. There is simply so much - too much - catastrophizing, especially over the last few days. Hey, no judgement, I do it too; it's the downside to being a person who cares a lot about things that actually matter.
I have a suspicion that I, at 27, am a bit younger than the median reader of this newsletter. I mention it only because this is the point at which a youthful perspective might be valuable. It seems to me that many readers seem to have spent the post-'16 years undergoing a sort of continuous processing of trauma, experiencing an essential sense of safety and assurance ripped away and a deep injury inflicted. For someone of my age, though, this sense of assurance - the experience of America as a continuously improving and prosperous superpower, the experience of an expectation of comfort in the future, the assumption that the neighbors around you are fundamentally caring - all of this couldn't be ripped away because it never was there to begin with.
From kindergarten on, we have lived in the shadow of terrorism, from middle school on the stark reality of the housing crash, from high school on the age of information overload and the creeping knowledge of a burning atmosphere. All of those years marked by at least one instance of some screen blaring something for a few days reminding you you were lucky to not be shot before you got home like those kids in that other state, only to be interrupted by overhearing a comment that the real problem with the kids today is they can't get off those darn screens.
But here's the thing. We aren't bemoaning how the forces of evil are encroaching again, to leave a certainly doomed planet to our children. We are those children. We are alive for a while yet, and I'll be damned if the rest of my days will be lived on a dying planet surrounded by encroaching forces of evil. It is not an acceptable outcome for my life. It isn't something I asked for or deserved. It isn't something I will let happen.
Don't apologize to me for how the world was messed up by the time I showed up on the scene. Help me un-mess it, please. Don't proclaim how my generation and the one after are so impressive and will help save us all. Help us save us. Now, please.
Look, next week's elections could equally and plausibly cover a range of outcomes from total catastrophe to total triumph (For Democrats, that is. I'm assuming you all are Democratically-minded). Anyone who says they know what will happen is lying or clueless. There has simply never been a midterm where *both* parties were engaged to such a high degree. That poll aggregate that shows us down by 0.9%? Don't despair, for it is truly useless... polls are always off slightly, and that's way within any margin of error. We could lose even bigger, or end up flipping the script enitrely. That aggregate that said we were up by 0.8%? Don't be cheerful, same thing applies. Early voting and special elections are making us look on the good side of all right. Election Day could wash it away or build upon it further. You can be an optimist or a pessimist; but how you position yourself on that spectrum won't change the outcome, whatever it is.
If the neo-fascists creep close to the door again because the idiotic dandelions that pass themselves off as "independents" can't elevate human rights for one second over grumpiness about egg prices, that's not going to stop me from getting the future I need and deserve. A setback, no matter how severe, is not the apocalypse. This country isn't over, because I need to live here for awhile and I refuse for that to happen.
And if the newly awakened and activated post-'16 liberal cohort manages to drag this great government of ours across the finish line by force of will, that's not going to get me to rest. A victory, no matter how heartening, is not the end of the movie. We are never out of the woods, and there is work for us yet regardless.
All right, I'm done. Gotta get rest before my Christy Smith phonebank. G'night all.
Republican hypocrisy is as infinite as the stars above. They want to cut financial benefits that the vast majority of American want and depend on, all in the name of taming the debt. Yet they're the ones who run up the debt when in power by cutting taxes for the rich, and then Democrats always reduce it - just as the Biden administration has done.
With so much noise and conflicting signals now, a week from Election Day, will the Democrats' powerful economic message break through? It absolutely must.
The Republicans either don't understand how Social Security and Medicare are funded, or they are deliberately misrepresenting the truth. Senator RoJo (Ron Johnson) was on a Sunday morning talk show years ago, with economist Paul Krugman and others. RoJo insisted that US Treasury instruments are not worth the paper they are printed on. Krugman's jaw dropped. He offered an articulate rebuttal but RoJo would not back down and was vehement in his insistence that US Treasury bonds are worthless. The "Full Ron Johnson" was on display then, and he continues to display his ignorance at every opportunity. People who understand how the system works, such as Robert Reich, argue that Social Security and Medicare can be fully funded far into the future by an act of Congress. If anything, it would help a great many people if the Social Security "stipend" would be increased, and the age of eligibility for Medicare were lowered significantly. SS and Medicare were created as non-discretionary budget items for good reasons: so that politicians such as RoJo and his ilk could not easily dismantle the system when the discretionary budget is debated periodically. RoJo lies easily and often; or else he's just ignorant.
“Today, in front of an audience in Florida, Biden read directly from Scott’s plan to sunset laws, quoted Johnson’s plan to make Social Security discretionary, and said ‘Who in the hell do they think they are?’”
Hear, hear!!!! Who DO they think they are?
And another thing! SIMPLY, REPETETIVELY remind EVERYONE you know over the next few days of these few fun facts about the economy and cost of living (obviously the most important thing in all the world all the time), and **INSIST** that they SIMPLY, REPETITIVELY tell everyone THEY know about these few fun facts:
1) The GDP - the entire economy of America - grew last quarter, and grew big. We can measure this. Feelings aren't facts. Saying we have a recession coming now is like saying you need bigger pants because you lost weight... it's the opposite of how numbers work.
2) We have the most jobs added in over half a century - over 10 million.
3) Wage growth is the highest in decades. - America got a 7% raise.
4) A record number of small business openings and applications (reminder: how many closed in 2020 forever)
5) We have LOWER inflation for four months straight.
6) Inflation is a problem around the world, and ours is LOWER than most major countries. Conservative-led Britain might not get through the winter.
7) The Inflation Reduction Act lowered drug costs and saves families hundreds to thousands a year in healthcare costs.
8) The Inflation Reduction Act saves families hundreds to thousands a year in utility costs.
9) Gas prices are down almost a dollar and a half since summer.
10) The national deficit has been cut by ~1.5 TRILLION dollars.
11) The dollar is the strongest around the world in years.
12) Billions in manufacturing has already - finally - come back to America.
13) The stock market is 2000 points higher.
14) Homes are worth more across the country.
15) Savings accounts are fuller.
16) Child poverty was cut in half.
17) All this while not a penny in taxes raised on those making under $400k.
18) Most importantly, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things received NOT A SINGLE Republican vote. We want to stop big corporations price gouging to pay for universal pre-K, affordable childcare, paid leave, and more. They want to slash Social Security and default on our debt. If you ACTUALLY care about prices and the economy, put up or shut up. Vote Democrat.
So, so done with people critiquing the Democrat's messaging, and the hand-wringing over whether any of the higher-ups have failed to discover the correct magic words delivered at the right time and frequency to make a sufficient number of stupid people un-stupid in order to save us all. What are they supposed to do, use a crystal ball to connect with those three magic counties in Ohio and Nebraska and send a deeper understanding of economics to them through mind control or something?
That's OUR job. Saving democracy is OUR job. Biden and Obama help us out, not the other way around. People vote on the info they have. It's just that they stumble across info rather than actually search it out to see if it's correct. Frustrating, I know. SO LET US HELP.
Comment if y'all actually shared this with someone. I'm serious. I'm-a post this every damn day.
No hand-wringing. Just REPEAT SIMPLE FACTS. To EVERYONE.
"that it is important to continue cutting taxes on the wealthy in order to free up capital for them to reinvest in the economy. This has been Republicans’ argument since 1980, but it has never produced either the economic growth or the tax revenue its supporters promised."
Billionaires got way, way richer and own a far greater portions of all of America's assets than ever before. Are workers and consumers more secure than before 1980? Are average American's better off for all the mergers, "downsizing" of staff, offshoring, "gig" hiring, and extinction of defined benefit pensions that have characterized our society since. Are schools better funded? Higher education more affordable? Do our alabaster cities and their infrastructure gleam as never before? It's been some great decades for billionaires, but where is the evidence that this has been benefiting us? Stock buybacks are great if you own a lot of that stock; but what if you don't? What did Main Street get out of this perseverating "GOP" formula?
When taxes are cut for the rich , there is a strong tendency for them to buy more and bigger yachts. Creating jobs is not on their agenda. ( most yachts are made in Asia these days)
Admittedly, not a direct reply to the Professor’s analysis, a week out from the midterm election, I’ve noted that the closing argument for Democrats, aside from punctuating democracy, abortion care, and a record of accomplishments, increasingly has focused on Republican threats to default on the U.S. national debt as pretext for extracting concessions on protections, including Social Security, Medicare, Veterans benefits, funding for Ukraine, and more. While a befitting closing argument, the case, in my view, is insufficient unless Democrats also call out record corporate profits (a 54% increase) as the biggest driver of inflation.
Considering the American people in poll after poll report the economy and inflation as their two major issues, barring an occasional word from President Biden calling out corporate gouging or the occasional Congressional hearing unearthing data confirming that the biggest driver of inflation is corporate pricing, I am troubled that Democrats, overall, have declined to enact a united, laser-focused effort to expose how corporate profits account for over half of the increased prices people are paying.
While some might defend a party’s reluctance to bite the hand that feeds it, I believe the benefits of pinning corporate pricing as the biggest driver of inflation would outweigh the costs. I further contend, with 60% of the people in this country living paycheck to paycheck and millions working for starvation wages, not only should Democrats not ignore this biggest driver of inflation; they should make it clear to working families throughout this country, many of whom are prepared to vote Republican, that if they vote Republican, the Party that has been silent on this issue, their vote will run counter to their interests and concerns. In a word, we need Democratic leadership to be focused and disciplined and not to allow Republican deceptions and distortions related to the state of the economy to go unanswered.
What a relief to hear Biden educate the public about the Republican plan to cut Medicare and Social Security. These are programs we contribute to. As long as the likes of Ron Johnson and the Republican cohorts has their pockets lined screw the rest. The lack of compassion and empathy for the people who live in poverty is astounding. How can you be a Senator and be ignorant of the inhumane conditions people live in? It was such a relief to learn from our Swedish exchange student that there is not the poverty we tolerate. Healthcare housing food education are valued in Sweden. Low income people are integrated into regular housing.
All they can do is attack and appeal to the lowest common denominator. Democrats are consistently better at actual economic policy.
In April 2020, the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics examined the personal finances of senators and representatives in Washington and calculated their estimated net worth. “Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is the wealthiest lawmaker with nearly $260 million in net assets.
The sale (of shares of) Valterra..... will certainly spike Scott’s net worth. For example, the senator’s most recent annual financial disclosure form listed Ann Scott’s twin Valterra holdings as being worth only “over $1 million” apiece. Last week’s sale notice raised the total value of those holdings to between $10 million and $50 million.
Sen. Scott’s annual report for 2019, filed in August 2020, shows that Valterra also paid handsome dividends. The senator reported receiving between $100,000 and $1 million in dividends that year. - The Florida Bulldog.
Anyone with a lick of sense would wonder who he is referring to when he mentions Americans. Perhaps he really only means "some" Americans, those who have inherited enough to not have to work at jobs that require paying into Social Security.
Like Rachel Bitecofer said today on Jill Wine-Banks' podcast:
"When Republicans win, you lose."
This has only been true every election since 1932, but it's good that Democrats have finally realized the fact and are using it even if it is almost too late.
Senator Ron Johnson called. He asked if we might have dinner in DC, then NYC when I declined DC. The senator seeks advice, wants to control deficits and shame Democrats. Our founders worried about parties and party politics. The best investors worry about what happened in Germany c. 1922-32 and in ‘29 to ‘38 here. Well they should.
Congress should work with, not against, the president we have. TFG was an unmitigated disaster. WJC was a genius. BHO tried.
President Biden’s approach is fine. But the Fed cannot do it all. We need the House to cooperate. Inflation is not a problem compared with deflation.
Covid-19 caused global economic trouble. We reacted under Biden - just in time. That was good.
President Biden knows how and he would be greatly helped if the House was Democrat by a decent margin.
President Biden’s approach is healthy. The GOP is destructive. We are the world’s reserve currency and economy. A sound dollar is vital. Deficits are a constant. Ours is reducing. The GOP should close down and reform with help from the Democrats and The Lincoln Project’s founders. Not staff.
The Republican Party is a worse plague than Dengue Fever, Kyasanur Forest Virus, The Machupo Virus, The Crimea-Congo Fever, Junin Virus, Lassa Virus, Bird-Flu Virus, Hanta Virus, Ebola and Marburg Virus rolled all into one. They were bred is some Lab and got loose on our population and they are infecting many people with unhealthy decision making that can lead to death. Biden has his hands full trying to contain this one. On top of that we have Twitter and Tictoc releasing Bot viral warfare from China, Iran and Russia to make the illness of these victims even greater. The corruption in the Republican party is so great and being reported so much that it boggles my mind that people are not bothered by it. It seems instead that the virus has them thinking as long as their super corrupt team wins, it does not matter what the outcome or effects. These same people don't get vaccines or wear masks, so they can be undone by this virus. ---An example of the gross virus is that [In]Justice Thomas is blocking Trump's tax returns from being shown. This is a case for some super hacker to come in and release them to the press! Or better yet, Tweet them. Then we can see how well Elon Musk's censor policy works. In fact, where are these super hackers when you need them? We have a governor in Arizona building a wall of shipping containers to keep Immigrants from entering Arizona illegally, when they wall they are supporting is flimsy. All of this to make a point that he is anti-immigration of non-White people. Where is that wall against Canadians coming to the USA? How about stopping planes from flying into the USA because they are bringing plenty of people who stay here illegally. Doug Ducey gets my V.I. award that is Voll-idiot (pronounced Fuuhl, id-e-oat in German, meaning complete and total idiot) award! I think Chicago, New York and California should start paying for bus fare for people who have Crystal meth addiction to go live in Texas, Florida and Arizona in equal numbers to the immigrants they are sending to us. Also, I think we should keep a tally of who has the most immigrants, because New York outdoes Florida, and at the rate they are going, Illinois will too. California has the most immigrants of all, so for a state like Florida or Texas to send them to California when they have more does not make the point these VI want to make. They all have better climates for people living in tent cities anyway.