Category: Sequester (Page 1 of 7)

Republican Cuts Kill

‘Republican Cuts Kill,’ which was produced by the Agenda Project Action Fund, mixes disturbing footage of the Ebola outbreak—including images of body bags, hazmat suits, and corpses—with clips of Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Rand Paul, and Republicans in some of the most competitive races around the country demanding more spending cuts. The demand for cuts is juxtaposed against testimony from top CDC and NIH officials detailing how budget cuts substantially hampered their ability to address the crisis..

The reality is that Republican budget cuts have halved the CDC’s emergency preparedness budget since 2006.

The reality is that Republican budget cuts have halved the CDC’s emergency preparedness budget since 2006.

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health remarked that, “NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here.”

“Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” said Collins. “We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference.”

A Place at the Table

‘If Another Country Was Doing This To Our Kids, We’d Be At War.’

50 Million Americans—1 in 4 children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place at the Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides—as they have in the past—that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.

Racism, Sexism, And The 50-Year Campaign To Undermine The War On Poverty

Racism, Sexism, And The 50-Year Campaign To Undermine The War On Poverty


 #TalkPoverty #PovertyIsIt has been 50 years since Lyndon Johnson first declared that the nation could, “for the first time in our history,” conquer and win a war on poverty, pledging a “total commitment by this President, and this Congress, and this nation, to pursue victory over the most ancient of mankind’s enemies.” In the years that followed, lawmakers weaved a social safety net that still endures to this day, providing educational opportunities for low income Americans, retirement and health care security to the low income and elderly, and food assistance to the hungry.

Through the 1930s and 40s, most national politicians embraced welfare policies, since the federal programs of the New Deal — the 1935 Social Security Act and other initiatives — excluded the black population and were largely seen as acceptable by the white majority. But following World War II and the rise of the Civil Rights movement, welfare programs opened to African Americans, triggering a counterattack from conservatives in both political parties who sought to portray these programs as wasteful, unnecessary, and encouraging government dependence.

Beginning in 1964 and stretching through today, conservative leaders systematically undermined the programs that shaped Johnson’s War on Poverty, frequently deploying racist and sexist arguments to take away public assistance from the poorest Americans. Their rhetoric didn’t directly undo these social programs, but it chipped away at their foundation and altered Americans’ perceptions about the proper role of government. ThinkProgress spoke to six American historians of the Johnson era about the evolution of racist and sexist attacks against social welfare programs, some of which can still be heard in the debates in Washington today.


The Assault on The Pursuit of Happiness

extracts from Wikipedia and PoliticsUSA

The Second Bill of Rights was a list of rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944.  In his address Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second “bill of rights”. Roosevelt’s argument was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.”  Roosevelt’s remedy was to declare an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

  • Employment, with a living wage
  • Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
  • Housing
  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Social security

Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America’s place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights had been carried into practice.

Roosevelt’s argument was that “political rights” guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were “inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness,” particularly after toiling to build America over a lifetime of labor; labor that enriched the privileged few who never had to face poverty when their bodies could no longer work. Republicans have spent the past seventy years attempting to force Americans to work until they drop dead and their efforts are bearing fruit according to “The Oxford Handbook of Retirement 2013.”

It is becoming a common concern amongst blue-collar baby boomers, the 78-million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, that they will have to “do like my father did; I’ll work ’til I die.”

Coupled with low wages, and their stated intent to eliminate Americans’ Social Security and pensions, Republicans, the Koch brothers, and Wall Street will be successful in guaranteeing an entire generation will never enjoy FDR’s basic “right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment” borne of work-worn bodies.

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