Daily Digest - November 21: Lobbyists Without Big Money

Nov 21, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Witnesses to Hunger (and Poverty) on the Hill (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann reports on an unusual group of lobbyists on Capitol Hill: five "Witnesses to Hunger" who currently receive food stamps, who advocated for maintaining SNAP funding. Their goal was to give a face to social safety net programs.

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Witnesses to Hunger (and Poverty) on the Hill (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann reports on an unusual group of lobbyists on Capitol Hill: five "Witnesses to Hunger" who currently receive food stamps, who advocated for maintaining SNAP funding. Their goal was to give a face to social safety net programs.

Obama’s Mystery Man for Derivatives (ProPublica)

Jesse Eisinger profiles Timothy Massad, the relatively unknown nominee for Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair. He questions if Massad may be too friendly to banking interests for this particular regulatory role.

What would the Fed do if the US defaulted on its debt? (Quartz)

Tim Fernholz says that it appears the Fed has limited tools that it could use in the event of a default, which could be a concern again in March. What few tools might be usable are so politically tenuous that just not hitting the debt ceiling would be greatly preferred.

Federal Reserve weighs slowing bond buys soon (Marketwatch

Steve Goldstein says that according to minutes released from the Fed's October 30 meeting, quantitative easing is probably coming to a close soon. But that consensus doesn't mean the Fed has decided how to end the program.

Wal-Mart's No Good, Very Bad, Pre-Thanksgiving Week (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Susan Berfield reports on Wal-Mart's difficult news week. Between the food drive for their own employees and the new report from Demos explaining how they could pay more without increasing prices, Wal-Mart is probably looking forward to the holiday.

Detroit accused of exaggerating $18bn debts in push for bankruptcy (The Guardian)

Dominic Rushe looks at a new report from Demos that questions the way Detroit's debt was calculated for bankruptcy. The report suggests that cutting pensions would work against the city's long-term needs.

New on Next New Deal

How Can We Help America's Opportunity Youth? Five Lessons Learned in New Orleans

Following up on an event in New Orleans this summer, Nell Abernathy, Program Manager for the Roosevelt Institute's Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative, considers the steps that will be needed to help youth who are neither in school nor working.

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Daily Digest - November 19: Cheers For Enforcing Labor Laws

Nov 19, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Wal-Mart Faces Warehouse Horror Allegations and Federal Labor Board Complaint (Salon)

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Wal-Mart Faces Warehouse Horror Allegations and Federal Labor Board Complaint (Salon)

Josh Eidelson reports on Wal-Mart's no-good, very bad day in labor news. Between allegations of worker safety concerns in California and a National Labor Relations Board complaint about strike retaliation, Wal-Mart started the week with a bang.

Reality Check: Obamacare is Not to Blame for Wal-Mart's Sluggish Sales (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore thinks it's ridiculous when big retailers try to use the Affordable Care Act as a scapegoat for their disappointing financial performance. Even if every person who enrolled in the ACA stopped shopping at Wal-Mart, it wouldn't cause this drop in sales.

Elizabeth Warren to Congress: Grandma "Will Be Left to Starve" If We Cut Social Security (MoJo)

Erica Eichelberger discusses Senator Warren's speech on the Senate floor yesterday, in which she decried the very idea of cutting Social Security benefits. The Senator insisted that balancing the budget couldn't come at the expense of seniors.

American Inequality in Six Charts (The New Yorker)

John Cassidy looks at charts shared by presenters at the launch of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth last week. He's particularly interested in the questions these charts raise about the relationship between inequality and growth.

There is Not Enough Affordable Rental Housing (MetroTrends Blog)

Erika Poethig explains how programs for affordable housing haven't kept up with the expanding need. She suggests that policy changes like raising the minimum wage will help, but more proactive policy will make a much bigger difference.

Democrats Push For Extending A Lifeline For The Long-Term Unemployed (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert reports on the push for extended unemployment benefits. The federal program, which helps support people who have been out of work for more than six months, will otherwise disappear at the end of the year.

New on Next New Deal

Courageous Boeing Workers Say No to Corporate Extortion

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch applauds the Machinists Local 751, which voted down a contract despite the risk of lost work. The union saw this contract as an offense to past workers - and a destruction of middle class opportunity for future workers.

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President's Insurance Announcement Keeps Eyes on the Prize

Nov 14, 2013Richard Kirsch

By allowing people to keep their current plans for another year, even if those plans are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act, the President has retained a focus on the most important thing: insuring more Americans.

By allowing people to keep their current plans for another year, even if those plans are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act, the President has retained a focus on the most important thing: insuring more Americans.

President Obama’s move today to allow people to keep their current insurance plans for a year, as long as they are told that they may be able to get better coverage at a lower cost from the new exchanges, is smart politics with little likely policy damage. It keeps the eye on the prize: getting people enrolled. That is exactly why Republicans are likely to balk.

For years the GOP has been throwing bombs at the Affordable Care Act (ACA) based on groundless talking points (a government takeover) or pure lies (death panels). I have always had confidence that as the law was actually implemented, and those charges demonstrated to be just hot air, that they would lose any punch beyond the hard-right base. My worries have always been about those who would see themselves as being hurt  (mostly by having to pay more than they can afford for coverage) when the law began to be implemented. Those are real people with real stories. The “if you like it you can keep it” firestorm is the first explosion of that fear.

While the fact is that most people in the individual market will do better under the ACA’s new exchanges – once they are able to get into the enrollment system and apply for subsidies – there will be some people, mostly young, healthy, with good incomes, who would prefer to keep the coverage they have. And, as I wrote last week, since bad news is both more prevalent and more powerful than good news, their stories could threaten to define the law. By discrediting the ACA, it could also suppress enrollment, particularly given the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov.

Democrats on the Hill are a panicky lot, driven to over-react to many issues that Americans outside of the Beltway ignore. But in this case, they were right to be concerned about not responding to what people most fear about health reform, that change will threaten what they now have. It was the power of that fear which led to the “if you like it you can keep it” promise in the first place.

While the President’s credibility has sunk, he will not be on the ballot in 2014, but Democrats in Congress will. One of those Democrats, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, hit on a solution quickly. Landrieu has always been a consistent supporter of health reform and, despite representing a Red state, was never someone we were very concerned about losing in the legislative fight over the ACA. She deeply believes that people in her state should have health coverage. She stepped up last week with a bill that would allow people who are already covered to keep their insurance, but requires their insurance companies to tell them what ACA guaranteed benefits they won’t get with their current coverage and how to apply for coverage in the exchanges. Her proposal will make up for the misleading cancellation announcements sent out by insurance companies, which often have not told their policy holders that better, subsidized coverage might be available.

Today Obama implemented Sen. Landrieu’s proposal with one major change: his rule would only extend the coverage until the end of 2014, consistent with other delays in implementation, such as the employer mandate. His goal is to get over this current hurdle and then continue to move as many people into the exchanges as possible.

The President’s new rule is likely to be where the policy settles, but it is not likely to end the Congressional debate. The Republicans will seek to keep the issue alive by voting to approve a bill sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton, which would not just grandfather existing policies – the President’s promise – but open them up to more people. And that bill would leave out the information about the better, more affordable exchange policies in the Landrieu legislation and Obama rule.

Democrats may decide they need to offer a legislative alternative to the Upton bill, which could be the Landrieu proposal. The policy concern with the Landrieu proposal is that premiums will rise and the exchanges will be harmed, if the healthiest people stay out, which is why Obama wants to limit the extension to one year. While that is certainly better policy, if Democrats go the Landrieu route it won’t be cataclysmic. Fairly quickly, the number of people left with their original policies will shrink as they get older and sicker and their insurance premiums rise. And as the exchanges grow and policies outside the exchanges dwindle, more insurers will drop coverage outside the exchanges all together.

Will Republicans accept this compromise? Of course not. Everything they’ve done for the last five years demonstrates that they would rather try to keep the issue alive politically than address people’s problems.

The President’s move allows him and Democrats to take the high ground. The most important task – to build a solid political foundation for the Affordable Care Act and realize its purpose – is getting people more people enrolled. The experience in Massachusetts demonstrated that low initial enrollment numbers are to be expected. There is every reason to expect a huge acceleration in enrollment as the web problems get fixed and we get closer to the deadlines. Including Medicaid, there are already more than half a million Americans who will be newly-covered next year. There will be millions more by early in 2014.  And as the opponents of Obamacare and government as a positive force in people’s lives know and fear, in the end, those are the people who will count.  

Richard Kirsch is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a Senior Adviser to USAction, and the author of Fighting for Our Health. He was National Campaign Manager of Health Care for America Now during the legislative battle to pass reform.

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Daily Digest - November 14: Millennial Success Beyond Big Cities

Nov 14, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Jersey City: Cheaper, Yes, But Also a Real Sense of Community (The Atlantic Cities)

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Jersey City: Cheaper, Yes, But Also a Real Sense of Community (The Atlantic Cities)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz continues her two week series on cities where Millennials can afford to succeed. She emphasizes that Jersey City, NJ isn't just a suburb anymore, with more people centering their work there too.

Elizabeth Warren to Regulators, Congress: End ‘Too Big to Fail’ (The Nation)

Zoë Carpenter discusses Senator Warren's keynote at a Roosevelt Institute and Americans for Financial Reform event this week. She focuses on how the Senator's speech fits into the larger picture of Congressional action on financial reform.

  • Roosevelt Take: Watch Senator Warren's speech, which aired live on C-SPAN 2, here.

How McDonald's and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens (Bloomberg View)

Barry Ritholtz takes a strong stance against the major corporations which work on a model of unsustainable wages for workers, who then need public assistance. Raising the minimum wage is a likely solution, but he also suggests penalties for companies whose workers can't get by.

Scalia’s Chance to Smash Unions: The Huge Under-the-Radar Case (Salon)

Josh Eidelson explains why Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall could make forming a union even more difficult. Most union organizing today is done under "card check neutrality agreements" between unions and companies, but those agreements could be ruled unconstitutional.

Detroit's Decision to Fend Off Bankruptcy: Pay Pensions or Banks? (The Guardian)

Dominic Rushe speaks to Detroit pension recipients about what bankruptcy would mean for their lives. They place the destruction of pensions squarely within the destruction of middle-class opportunity in the United States.

Everyone's Talking About This Simple Solution To Ending Poverty By Just Giving People Free Money (Business Insider)

Danny Vinik lays out a simple explanation of universal basic income. Importantly, he explains how the U.S. could fund a basic income up to the poverty line, even though it would never pass the current Congress.

How To Save Entitlements Without Really Trying (Blog of the Century)

Zachary Bernstein explains a potential change to Federal Insurance Contributions Act, which creates the taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, that even the GOP could appreciate. We could save the long-term future of these programs and lower taxes for most Americans.

New on Next New Deal

The Real Movers and Shakers

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Equal Justice Erik Lampmann would be happier if elections and one-off protests got far less media attention. Instead, he suggests examples of community organizing successes that really deserve our applause.

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Daily Digest - November 12: Populism On The Rise

Nov 12, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Hillary's Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren (TNR)

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Hillary's Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren (TNR)

Noam Scheiber explains why Senator Warren is at the heart of the debate about the Democrats' identity. The argument between populists and Wall Street allies could be the central question in the Democratic primaries for 2016.

  • Roosevelt Take: Senator Warren will give the keynote address at "An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work For Us," where the Roosevelt Institute and Americans for Financial Reform will launch a new report on the policy questions that remain within and beyond Dodd-Frank.

House Dems Can Block GOP Food Stamp Cuts—By Killing the Farm Bill (MoJo)

Erika Eichelberger suggests that the best way for Democrats to stop cuts to food stamps would be to vote with the far right. If the farm bill fails, funding should continue at the same level, which makes voting with those who want even more cuts the way to go.

Could There be a Bipartisan Truce on Infrastructure? (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm suggests that infrastructure could be one of the only issues in the budget negotiations that already has bipartisan support. The president's $50 billion infrastructure plan seems unlikely, but smaller projects have already passed even as the GOP yells about spending.

How Badly Has the U.S. Economy Been Damaged? (The New Yorker)

John Cassidy looks at a research paper by three economists at the Federal Reserve, which suggests that the recession has harmed the economy's capacity for growth. High unemployment and reduced capital investment may have cost up to seven percent of GDP.

“If You Like Your Current Health Insurance, You Can Keep It”: DeLong Analytical Failure Weblogging, Chapter CCXI (The Equitablog)

Brad DeLong looks at the reasons that some people are losing their current insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Of his four reasons, three are goals of reform, so it seems strange that those reasons are getting so much negative attention.

New on Next New Deal

Story Wars: Why Personal Stories Are Shaping the Health Care Battleground

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch argues that media bias means only certain (mostly negative) stories about the Affordable Care Act are getting serious attention. Supporters of the law need to ensure that the positive stories get covered, too.

"The Kids Aren't Alright": Millennials Demand Economic Stability for all LBGTQ People, Now

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Equal Justice Erik Lampmann says that Millennials can't understand why the GOP opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but that doesn't mean they have to accept a flawed version of the bill.

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Daily Digest - November 7: Remember The Last Time Wall Street Invested in Housing?

Nov 7, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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The Best City for the Next Generation of Artists Just Might Be Jackson (Atlantic Cities)

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The Best City for the Next Generation of Artists Just Might Be Jackson (Atlantic Cities)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz continues her series on cities where Millennials can succeed. She reports on the art scene in Jackson, MI, where young creatives are taking advantage of cheap available space to try new projects.

Wall Street Slumlords’ Outrageous New Scheme: How They Could Wreck the Economy Again (Salon)

David Dayen reports on Wall Street's newest housing-based investment vehicle, which are backed by rental payments. Ratings agencies have given these securities triple-A ratings, but mortgage-backed securities had the same rating.

The One Mortgage Fix Washington Isn’t Talking About (ProPublica)

Jesse Eisenger considers the pros and cons of keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in government, even though policymakers are ignoring that option. He thinks it might be the simplest and most effective choice - but it's the direct opposite of current policy trends.

A Booster Shot for Social Security (In These Times)

Sarah Jaffe explains the plan some progressive Democrats are presenting to expand Social Security. They call chained CPI a tax on life itself for seniors, because it assumes people will substitute cheaper goods when possible - but health care has no substitutes.

Ten States Have Banned Cities And Counties From Passing Paid Sick Days (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert looks at the states that passed preemptive laws banning municipalities from enacting paid sick leave. These states apparently know better than their cities, which may want to eliminate the lost productivity that comes with sick workers on the job.

Unemployment Benefits Set To Expire For 1.3 Million At End Of Year (HuffPo)

Arthur Delaney says that Congressional patterns of cutting close to the deadline for extending federal unemployment benefits should be cause for concern again this year. With Congress's disinterest in preventing SNAP cuts, he wonders if the same could happen here.

A Hunger Expert Explains What Happens Now That Food Stamps Are Cut (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews speaks to Joel Berg of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger about how SNAP cuts will affect food-insecure Americans, and how he would structure policy around hunger. Berg thinks that benefits weren't enough before the cuts.

New Student Loan Rules Add Protections for Borrowers (NYT)

Ann Carrns explains new rules from the Department of Education meant to helped borrowers get out of default. Income-based rehabilitative payments and increased ease in requesting forbearance should make a big difference for struggling graduates.

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Daily Digest - November 6: Underdog Cities and Underfunded Agencies

Nov 6, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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San Antonio's Simple Appeal to Millennials: Diversity, Decent Jobs, and Cheap Living (Atlantic Cities)

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San Antonio's Simple Appeal to Millennials: Diversity, Decent Jobs, and Cheap Living (Atlantic Cities)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz continues her series on cities "Where Millennials Can Make It Now." San Antonio, she says, is a bit of an underdog compared to other Texas cities that attract Millennials, but many residents relish that status.

  • Roosevelt Take: Nona speaks about how Millennials' views on love and relationships have been affected by the Great Recession in the newest video in the Roosevelt Institute's explainer series, "What's the Deal."

How Washington Is Wrecking the Future, in 2 Charts (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien looks at the severe cuts to non-defense discretionary spending in the past few years with charts from the Financial Times. He argues that at these spending levels, government is only barely fulfilling its basic responsibilities.

Liberal Push to Expand Social Security Gains Steam (WaPo)

Greg Sargent speaks to Senator Sherrod Brown about why now is the time for Democrats to shift the conversation and go on the offensive for entitlement programs. The discussion should be about whether to make cuts to Social Security, not how much.

Shortchanging a Wall Street Watchdog (U.S. News & World Report)

Pat Garofalo argues that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's budget is eternally short because of intentional Republican strategy. An underfunded enforcement agency can't enforce much of anything, let alone new Dodd-Frank regulations.

Will ENDA Be the Next Casualty of the GOP’s Internal Crisis? (The Nation)

Zoë Carpenter considers why the popularly supported Employment Non-Discrimination Act is unlikely to even get a vote in the House. Boehner claims it's to protect business owners - but business owners aren't speaking up against ENDA.

Higher Wage Is Approved in New Jersey (NYT)

Patrick McGeehan reports on the results of the NJ constitutional amendment, which not only raises the minimum wage starting on January 1, but also indexes it to inflation. That annual adjustment is key, because without it low-wage workers essentially get wage cuts each year.

Bulldozing Homes and Civil Rights (MSNBC)

Adam Serwer reports on the upcoming Supreme Court case Mount Holly Citizens in Action vs Township of Mount Holly, which he says could give the Court's right wing an opportunity to collapse the Fair Housing Act, a pillar of civil rights law.

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Federal Court Decision Doesn't Just Limit Abortion: It Creates a Crisis for Women's Health Care in Texas

Nov 1, 2013Andrea Flynn

Yesterday's decision, which will close about one third of the clinics that provide abortion care in Texas, will change the landscape of women's health care infrastructure in the state, maybe permanently.

Yesterday's decision, which will close about one third of the clinics that provide abortion care in Texas, will change the landscape of women's health care infrastructure in the state, maybe permanently.

We used to think change couldn’t happen overnight. That’s certainly not the case in Texas, where in the last 24 hours the landscape of abortion access has changed drastically.  Many women who went to bed anticipating an abortion appointment today woke up to find their clinic closed thanks to yesterday’s U.S. Court of Appeals decision that the state’s draconian abortion regulations do not constitute an undue burden on women.  

That decision immediately shuttered clinics whose abortion providers do not have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles the clinic. We don’t know yet know the exact number of closures, but information from the Texas Equal Access (TEA) Fund and the Lilith Fund – important organizations that enable low-income women seeking abortion care to access it by helping to pay for the procedures – put that number at between 13 and 15 out of a total of 36 clinics across the state. Some parts of the state, such as the Lower Rio Grande Valley – home to two of the nation’s poorest counties – are left with no provider at all.

Of the clinics that remain open, many have some physicians on staff who have not obtained admitting privileges and as of today cannot perform abortions. Those clinics will be forced to serve fewer patients at the very time more and more women from across the state will rely on them for care.

The most recent decision is the latest in the never-ending onslaught on women’s rights in the state of Texas. It comes only three days after a federal judge blocked the law because he believed it would be deemed unconstitutional and found it to be “without a rational basis and place[ing] a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.” But, as The New York Times reported, the appeals panel came to the opposite conclusion, saying the admitting privileges rule is in fact constitutional because it serves a “legitimate state interest” by regulating doctors and does not impose an undue burden on the right to abortion.

Women seeking abortions just before the 16-week mark are especially in trouble today. There are currently only two facilities in Texas that perform abortions between 16 and 20 weeks. But the closure of so many clinics today and in the coming weeks will force women seeking abortions to traverse the state to access care, which will likely increase the number of procedures that have to happen in this window. This travel requires time and resources that many women simply do not have.

As part of the sweeping anti-abortion legislation passed this summer, Texas lawmakers today also implemented a ban on abortion after 20 weeks and a law that providers must adhere to out-of-date regulations for medication abortion.

For women needing an abortion at or after 20 weeks in Texas there are few options. Abortion at this stage of pregnancy is outlawed in neighboring Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Women could travel to Albuquerque, NM, but the city will soon hold a special election for a ban on abortion past twenty weeks, so that could be off the table too.

Abortions occurring after this gestational limit represent a small fraction of the total. Conservatives demonize women seeking later term abortions as being lazy, careless or irresponsible. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that the majority of women who seek an abortion this late in pregnancy do so because they learn of a fetal abnormality or are unable to afford one sooner; for those whose economic circumstances preclude them from accessing care when they first need it, traveling across or out of the state is just not possible.

The requirement that physicians use an outdated protocol on medication abortion is a blatant attempt to throw one more obstacle at women seeking the procedure. The original FDA guidelines require a higher dosage of medication than is necessary, carry higher risks of complications, require four visits to a clinic, and restrict the procedure to seven weeks. The more current protocol followed by nearly all providers in the U.S. and around the world calls for a lower dose and enables women to access it up to nine weeks of pregnancy. So on the one hand, anti-choice lawmakers chastise women for not seeking abortions early in pregnancy, and on the other they make it nearly impossible and less safe for women to access the procedure as soon as possible.

In Texas, conservative politicians and anti-choice activists have been maniacally focused on decimating the health infrastructure that serves as a point of primary care for hundreds of thousands of low-income women.  Since 2011, 76 family planning clinics have closed. Now at least a third of the state’s abortion providers – the majority of which also provide a full range of women’s health services – are closed. This is nothing short of a crisis situation.  

Lindsay Rodriguez of the Lilith Fund said, “All of these regulations disproportionately fall on low-income, rural women, and women of color. When lawmakers say a lot of women still have access, it’s not the people who need it most.”

Conservative lawmakers insist that all of the restrictions and regulations are in fact in the best interest of women. Nothing is more disingenuous. As my colleague Susan Holmberg and I wrote in August, restrictions on family planning and abortion do nothing but create more unintended pregnancies, more abortions, more sexually transmitted diseases, and push abortions into later stages of pregnancy.

Women’s health advocates are sure to appeal yesterday’s ruling. But in the meantime clinics are closed. Lights are shut off, staffs are let go, buildings are sold and women are just stuck. Conservatives have left their mark on the health of Texas women for the foreseeable future. You can tear down an infrastructure overnight, but building it back up will take far longer. Even if yesterday’s decision is overturned, women in Texas will be left without the care they need for years to come.  

Andrea Flynn is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. She researches and writes about access to reproductive health care in the United States. You can follow her on Twitter @dreaflynn.

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Daily Digest - November 1: Going Further Than Dodd-Frank

Nov 1, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Four Intriguing Ideas for How to Fix the Banks (Bloomberg Businessweek)

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Four Intriguing Ideas for How to Fix the Banks (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Peter Coy speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal about the upcoming report from the Roosevelt Institute and Americans for Financial Reform, "An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us." He previews four of the papers from the report, including Mike's.

  • Roosevelt Institute Event: This report with be presented at a conference in Washington, DC on November 12, featuring a keynote from Senator Elizabeth Warren. For more information, click here.

Southwest Takes the Legal Battlefront on Abortion (Women's eNews)

Reshmi Kaur Oberoi looks at the current fights over abortion access in the southwestern United States. She references Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn's recent white paper on Title X in discussing access to reproductive care for Hispanic women in Texas.

  • Roosevelt Take: Andrea's white paper, "The Title X Factor: Why the Health of America's Women Depends on More Funding for Family Planning," argues that increasing funding for Title X will strengthen the Affordable Care Act, especially in the earlier phases of implementation.

How States Taken Over by the GOP in 2010 Have Been Quietly Screwing Over the American Worker (The Nation)

Zoë Carpenter looks at an Economic Policy Institute report on state-level attacks on labor. This coordinated campaign of cookie-cutter style legislation is hurting workers of all sorts - unionized and nonunionized, public and private.

Newt’s Revenge: Child Labor Makes a Comeback (Salon)

Josh Eidelson points out that the attack on labor has included rollbacks of child labor laws in four states. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which coordinates much of this legislation, apparently thinks attacking adult workers' rights isn't enough.

A War on the Poor (NYT)

Paul Krugman asks why the Republican party has shifted so far away from supporting programs that help the needy. He blames a combination of market ideology, an awareness of the changing racial dynamics of this country, and libertarian fantasy.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative Jeff Madrick appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss this topic back in 2011.

War Brews on Spending Cuts (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm reports on the coalition working to protect "non-defense" discretionary spending. The budget negotiations are primarily over this category of spending, which includes everything from mental health care to Census data collection to Head Start.

New on Next New Deal

Show Your Invisible Hand: Why the SEC Should Make Corporations Disclose Political Contributions

Roosevelt Institute Director of Research Susan Holmberg argues that requiring corporations to disclose their political contributions is good for investors and for the companies, which risk executives using political contributions for their own good.

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Daily Digest - October 31: Low Taxes Carry Heavy Burdens

Oct 31, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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The Great American Ripoff: The High Cost of Low Taxes (Bill Moyers)

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The Great American Ripoff: The High Cost of Low Taxes (Bill Moyers)

Joshua Holland argues that low taxes in the United States translate to hugely disproportionate out-of-pocket costs for things that would be covered by the social safety net in other countries. That also means there's nothing to catch people in crisis.

End Corporate Welfare for McDonald's. Better Yet, Raise the Minimum Wage (The Guardian)

Sadhbh Walshe looks at the latest story about McDonald's workers seeking public assistance, which revolves around a phone call to its McResource line. She argues that if McDonald's needs to refer their workers to Medicaid and SNAP, they should be paying better wages.

Another Temporary Funding Bill? (MSNBC)

Jane C. Timm reports that a grand bargain is pretty much out of the question, and at least one Senator thinks that a continuing resolution through the end of the fiscal year is likely. That would bring us to a month before the 2014 elections, which would be rough timing for a budget fight.

C.F.T.C. Approves Tighter Commodity Trading Rules (NYT)

Alexandra Stevenson reports on new rules from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, designed to protect client money from brokerage firms going bust. After a 2011 case that left customers $1.6 billion short, the need for these rules is pretty clear.

Paypal to Government: Be More Like Us (WaPo)

Lydia DePillis examines a report from Paypal that suggests how government should handle the mobile payment industry. The company calls on regulators to throw out their old methodology, which she thinks is hugely unlikely.

The New Futurism (The New Yorker)

James Surowiecki looks at human-capital contracts, which allow people to raise funds for businesses or education in exchange for a percentage of future earnings over a number of years. The principle is similar to income-based repayment on student loans.

New on Next New Deal

Maine's Lobster Industry is Dying, But Government Can Help Save It

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network student John Tranfaglia calls for government intervention in Maine's lobster industry. Instead of criticizing the Canadian government for subsidizing lobster processing, Governor LePage should figure out ways to attract lobster processors to Maine.

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