Despite what antigovernment conservatives say, non-defense discretionary spending on areas like foreign aid, education and food safety was not a driving factor in creating the deficits, Teresa Tritch wrote in the New York Times (7/23). “In fact, such spending, accounting for only 15% of the budget, has been basically flat as a share of the economy for decades. Cutting it simply will not fill the deficit hole,” she wrote.

The Times, using figures from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted that Bush was responsible for $5.07 trillion of the $14.3 trillion national debt. Bush’s share includes the $1.9 trillion deficit projected for FY 2009, when Obama took office. Obama is responsible for $1.44 trillion, most of which went for temporary spending to pull the economy out of the Bush recession, Tritch wrote.

Half of Obama’s deficit, $711 billion, came from stimulus spending while $425 billion came from stimulus tax cuts and $278 billion was from non-defense discretionary spending. Health reform and “entitlement” changes accounted for $152 billion.

Bush’s tax cuts were responsible for $1.8 trillion of the deficits, while the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are responsible for $1.469 trillion.

If the Bush tax cuts expired as scheduled at the end of 2012, future deficits would be cut by about half, to sustainable levels, Tritch noted. But she noted that a healthy budget also requires a healthy economy; recessions wreak havoc by reducing tax revenue. “Government has to spur demand and create jobs in a deep downturn, even though doing so worsens the deficit in the short run,” she wrote, Finally, spending cuts alone will not close the gap. “The chronic revenue shortfalls from serial tax cuts are simply too deep to fill with spending cuts alone. Taxes have to go up.”

She concluded, “In future decades, when rising health costs with an aging population hit the budget in full force, deficits are projected to be far deeper than they are now. Effective health care reform, and a willingness to pay more taxes, will be the biggest factors in controlling those deficits.”

James Fallows commented on Tritch’s figures at TheAtlantic.com (7/25), “It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.”

But Andrew Leonard notes at Salon.com (7/25), “‘Utter incoherence’ becomes entirely coherent when one considers that Republican strategy is founded on two things: neutering Obama and rolling back the welfare state. Tax cuts are always good, because eventually they starve the beast. That’s how to make sense of the seemingly contradictory actions of a party that just eight months ago voted for a package of tax cuts raising the annual deficit by about $200 billion turning around and suddenly declaring that the deficit is the greatest existential threat the nation faces. How else can we explain Republicans’ turning down huge deficit reduction deals, and then settling on a strategy — a short-term debt ceiling hike — whose only real attraction is that it directly contravenes the president’s oft-expressed desire for a long-term hike? The point is not to fix government finances; it’s to deny Obama anything he can call a victory while at the same time slashing the size of government so as to ensure that rich people pay low taxes.”

CORPORATE AND WEALTHY TAX BREAKS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEBT. The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)’ Sam Pizzigati notes that one way to very easily tackle US debt going forward would be to increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy to levels more closely matching mid-20th century rates. Pizzigati cites an IPS paper from last spring to make the argument that if corporations and households making more than $1 mln paid the same rates as they did in 1961, the federal treasury would be collecting an additional $716 bln a year and our debt would virtually disappear in a decade.

Zaid Jilani noted at ThinkProgress (7/25) that the richest Americans are paying their lowest taxes in a generation. Center for American Progress (americanprogress.org) reported (6/10) that the US actually has relatively low taxes. Federal taxation takes up less than 15% of total national economic activity — the lowest level in 60 years. And total revenues to all levels of government, from municipal to federal, comprise 26.9% of GDP, ranking the US 26th among the 30 nations in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. US taxes are 25% lower than the average for developed countries. (Denmark is highest, at 49.3% of GDP. Canada is 33.1%.) US corporate income tax revenue, at 2.1% of GDP, is also 25% below OECD average. US corporations pay an average effective tax rate of 13.4%, compared with the OECD average of 16%.

Travis Waldron noted at ThinkPro-gress.org that Republicans have opposed all forms of revenue Dems have suggested, including repealing oil and gas subsidies, removing a tax loophole for corporate jet owners and letting Bush tax cuts expire. “Raising taxes in a weak economy, they argue, is unthinkable — even if conservative patriarch Ronald Reagan did just that.”

But Republicans do seem to favor raising taxes on the working poor, senior citizens and other low-income Americans. “While they fight the expiration of the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, Republicans have continually cited a report that shows that 51% of Americans don’t pay income taxes, even admitting that middle- and lower-class Americans need to shoulder a larger burden in deficit reduction efforts,” Waldron wrote. But the majority of those who do not pay federal income taxes simply do not make enough money to qualify for even the lowest tax bracket, Waldron noted, though they do contribute through payroll, state and sales taxes. He noted that less than a quarter of Americans don’t contribute to federal tax receipts, and the majority of those are students, the elderly, or the unemployed.

‘DREAM’ MOVEMENT MOVES FORWARD. The progressive American Dream Movement, which is largely sponsored by MoveOn.org with the collaboration of other progressive organizations, has been taking ideas online at RebuildTheDream.com as the group develops a Contract for the American Dream. By 7/26, the group had received 25,904 ideas and 6,125,000 ratings. Top ideas in “Strong Communities” were “Substantially reduce military spending”; in “We All Pay Our Share,” “Be sure corporations pay their taxes”; in “Working Democracy,” “Don’t allow ‘anonymous’ political influence”; and in “Good Jobs Now,” “Stop paying corporations to offshore American jobs.”

The movement took a huge step forward 7/16-17 as over 25,000 Americans met in nearly 1,600 living rooms in each congressional district to organize and discuss what they can do to Rebuild The Dream. This was accomplished with little publicity in the mainstream media. (By comparison, the Tea Party held only 800 meetings on its first organized day in April 2009, and that was after two solid months of promotion by Fox News.). Many of the participants reported that it ws the first time they had engaged in political activity beyond voting. Americans were called upon to stand up for the American Dream at their local House district office on 7/26.

SENATE OUTLOOK. Democrats, with a 53-47 majority in the Senate, field plenty of targets next year as 23 of 33 seats up for election are now held by Democrats/Independents and 10 are held by Republicans. Democrats need to replace retiring incumbents in Connecticut, where independent Joe Lieberman is retiring; Hawaii (Dan Akaka); New Mexico (Jeff Bingaman); North Dakota (Kent Conrad); Virginia (Jim Webb); and Wisconsin (Herb Kohl).

The 16 Democrats and one Dem-oriented indy seeking re-election include Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bob Casey (Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.).

Republicans must replace two retiring senators, Jon Kyl of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. The GOP also must protect eight seats: Richard Lugar (Ind.), Olympa Snowe (Maine), Scott Brown (Mass.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and John Barrasso (Wyo.).

Tossup seats are thought to include Democratic seats in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin as well as Republican seats in Massachusetts and Nevada.

Vulnerable Republicans include Sen. Scott Brown, against whom progressives hope to draft Elizabeth Warren; and Dean Heller, who has the unique distinction of having voted to eliminate Medicare twice this past year, first as a congressman before he was named senator to replace the disgraced John Ensign (R). Democratic challengers include US Rep. Shelley Berkley and Byron Georgiou, a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

On the Democratic side, progressives would like to do better than Feinstein in California, but no Dem challenger has emerged. Ben Nelson is probably the most conservative Senate Dem, but in Nebraska he is more likely to be unseated by a Republican.

Candidates for Lieberman’s open seat in Connecticut include former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) and US Rep. Chris Murphy (D). Possible Democratic candidates for the Wisconsin seat include progressive former Sen. Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election in 2010, US Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Kind, and former US Rep. Steve Kagen. In Hawaii, progressive US Rep. Mazie Hirono is running against conservative Dem Ed Case in the primary to replace Akaka.

Probably the toughest defense for the Dems is the open North Dakota seat that US Rep. Richard Berg (R) is seeking. In Virginia, former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is probably the strongest Dem to seek the seat that former Sen. George Allen (R) lost to Webb in 2006. Allen is seeking to win back the seat.

ROEMER SETS POPULIST GOP CAMPAIGN. Former Louisiana Gov. Charles E “Buddy” Roemer is charting a populist Republican campaign for president, saying he would work to reduce the power of money in politics and he would challenge the US failed trade policies. “Nobody has the guts to insist on fair trade laws,” Roemer said on Thom Hartmann’s radio show (7/25). First, he would reform tax laws that reward corporations for moving jobs overseas with writeoffs and foreign tax credits. Then he would impose “fair trade adjustments” designed to recover the unfair cost advantages gained by nations whose manufacturers use child and prison labor.

Roemer, 67, was a three-term conservative Democratic congressman who earned a reputation as a reformer as governor of Louisiana before he switched to the GOP in 1991 as he sought re-election, only to be squeezed out in the state’s all-in primary election by former Gov. Edwin Edwards (D) and former Klansman David Duke (R). Since then, Roemer has been a community banker in Baton Rouge who did not take bailout money and noted, “I thought the banking industry was a disgrace on Wall Street.” Roemer said he was concentrating on getting known in New Hampshire. See BuddyRoemer.com.

WIS. GOV. TO CLOSE DMV OFFICES AFTER REQUIRING PHOTO IDS. Earlier this year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a law disenfranchising voters who do not have a photo ID — a law that disproportionately affects elderly voters, young voters, students, minorities and low-income voters, Ian Milhiser noted at ThinkProgress.org (7/25). Now Walker is working on a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver’s licenses. Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D) told the Associated Press it appeared the governor’s office was planning to close offices in Democratic areas, such as his hometown of Fort Atkinson, and expanding hours in Republican areas.

RIGHT FUNDERS FLOOD WISCONSIN. Right-wing money is flowing into Wisconsin to save Republican senators targeted by recall campaigns, Greg Sargent reported at WashingtonPost.com (7/25). Club for Growth Wisconsin has dumped at least $1.5 mln into August recall races, according to the progressive group One Wisconsin Now, which has been tracking ads in the state. “Even more tellingly, the Club has poured a surprising $400,000 into the battle to recall state Sen. Alberta Darling, who was once viewed as safe, One Wisconsin Now’s executive director Scot Ross tells me,” Sargent wrote. “Ross adds that his media tracker found that the Club sank the money into the race right after a Dem poll found that Darling is getting edged by her Dem recall challenger, Rep. Sandy Peach.

“If true, this is significant. If labor and Dems can knock off Darling [8/9], it would be a major coup: She is the co-chair of the legislative committee that passed Scott Walker’s union-busting proposals. Of all the GOP state senators targeted for recall, she’s been in office the longest. And Dems privately admit that they think the chances are slim that she can be defeated. But if the Club is pouring massive cash into an effort to prop her up, this could mean Dems have succeeded in widening the playing field beyond the most vulnerable GOP recall targets, meaning that cash being spent on Darling could have otherwise been spent elsewhere,” Sargent wrote.

“In fairness, labor is investing big money in the recall wars too, via a major ad campaign being waged by the labor-backed We Are Wisconsin. But labor has been involved in this fight since the beginning, and the sudden influx of outside conservative money suggests that national right wing activists understand that if Dems take back the state senate, it would represent a massive blow to their broader agenda.”

NEWS IN THE WAR ON WORKERS. The National Labor Relations Board heard testimony (7/18) on proposals to streamline union representation elections and cut down on delays and frivolous litigation, Laura Clawson noted at DailyKos.com’s new Labor site (7/23). For instance, workers at the reality TV production company voted to unionize seven months ago and they are still waiting for their vote to be ratified. A pharmacy technician wrote about delays she and her coworkers face en route to unionizing.

An SEIU member whose workplace recently joined their union after a 13-year effort, said management did not stop at hiring security to keep out union organizers and holding anti-union meetings during work hours. Management also subcontracted out the hospital’s respiratory care services just 12 days before the union election as a way to prevent one-fourth of the employees in the bargaining unit from voting.

Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute put those experiences in the broader economic context: “The bargaining power of US production workers has declined dramatically since the 1970s because of a combination of forces, including declining union density, the blatant greed of corporate executives, and increased and unbalanced international trade. Union participation fell from more than 25% of the workforce in the early 1970s to about 13% today, and studies show that this decline has been a substantial factor in the rise of income inequality, responsible for at least one-fifth of that rise and probably more. The US trade deficit ballooned over the same period and regularly exceeds $500 bln a year. US workers are now in competition for their jobs with poorer (and more poorly paid) workers around the world, putting tremendous downward pressure on their wages. ...

“The results of this loss of employee bargaining power are striking: the share of national income claimed by the bottom 90% of Americans fell from 65% in 1968 to just 52% in 2008. The share claimed by the top 1% grew from 11% to 21% over the same period. If the relative shares had remained unchanged, the income of the bottom 90% would have been $1.1 tln greater in 2008.”

Clawson noted that the NLRB also heard from the other side, such as Arnold Pearl, speaking for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which “has a natural interest in the proposed election rules given that the state of Tennessee’s union membership in the private sector is 2.2%, the second lowest in the United States,” Perl said. Arguing against a proposal to minimize the abuse of delaying tactics, Perl claimed that unions also abuse delaying tactics.

Clawson reported that 15 T-Mobile workers in Connecticut voted to join the Communications of America-TU, making them the first T-Mobile union workers in the US. German employees of T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, are unionized, but the company has waged a major battle against worker organizing stateside.

Unions in Ohio also led an effort to collect nearly 1.3 mln signatures for a petition to roll back union-bashing legislation. Secretary of State Jon Husted certified that petitioners seeking a referendum on Senate Bill 5, which limits collective bargaining for public employees, collected 915,456 valid signatures to put it on the November 2011 ballot. They needed 231,147 signatures. Anew Quinnipac poll showed prospects are good for overturning the bill, with respondents favoring repeal by 56% to 32%.

AUDIT: FED LENT $16T TO BAIL OUT BANKS. The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the US provided a whopping $16 tln in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced (7/21). “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 tln in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” Sanders said. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

Among the key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland, according to the Government Accountability Office report. Said Sanders: “No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president.”

The non-partisan, investigative arm of Congress also determined that the Fed lacks a comprehensive system to deal with conflicts of interest, despite the serious potential for abuse. In fact, according to the report, the Fed provided conflict-of-interest waivers to employees and private contractors so they could keep investments in the same financial institutions and corporations that were given emergency loans.

For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 bln in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed’s emergency lending programs.

In another disturbing finding, the GAO said that on 9/19/08, William Dudley, who is now the New York Fed president, was granted a waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time AIG and GE were given bailout funds. One reason the Fed did not make Dudley sell his holdings, according to the audit, was that it might have created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Sanders said, “No one who works for a firm receiving direct financial assistance from the Fed should be allowed to sit on the Fed’s board of directors or be employed by the Fed.”

The investigation also revealed that the Fed outsourced most of its emergency lending programs to private contractors, such as JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. The same firms also received Fed loans at near-zero interest rates. Altogether some two-thirds of the contracts that the Fed awarded to manage its emergency lending programs were no-bid contracts. Morgan Stanley was given the largest no-bid contract, worth $108.4 mln, to help manage the Fed bailout of AIG.

A more detailed GAO investigation into potential conflicts of interest at the Fed is due on 10/18. See the current report at (http://1.usa.gov/qfGB81).

GOP FORCES FAA SHUTDOWN OVER UNION RULES. The Federal Aviation Administration shut down as funding expired (7/22). Republicans blocked the reauthorization of the agency after Democrats refused to back down on a proposal to make it easier for rail and airline workers to unionize. The shutdown resulted in the furlough of 4,000 employees as well as nearly 87,000 construction workers whose airport projects were forced to shut down. The FAA is also unable to collect taxes on airline tickets, depriving the government of $200 mln a week in revenue, but Clawson noted that consumers weren’t seeing any savings as most airlines increased their fares 7.5% to make up the difference.

The union election rule in question, adopted by the National Mediation Board, says air and rail union elections should be decided by a majority of votes cast. Previously, each worker who did not cast a vote in a representation election was counted as a “no” vote.

46 INSIDER TRADING CONVICTIONS IN 18 MONTHS. Danielle Chiesi, a key figure in the government’s broad probe into insider trading on Wall Street, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison (7/20). Federal prosecutors in Manhattan alleged the one-time beauty queen used her business contacts, including senior executives at IBM and Advanced Micro Devices, to obtain inside information, which she then shared with her boss and other portfolio managers, including Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, , the *Wall Street Journal* reported (7/21). In the past 18 months, 49 hedge-fund managers and others have been charged with insider trading; 46 have been convicted or pleaded guilty. Chiesi, 45, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

FED RAIL GRANT REJECTION COSTS WISCONSIN. Wisconsin will have to spend $69 mln more to maintain Amtrak’s Milwaukee-Chicago line than it would have cost if Gov. Scott Walker had not rejected an $810 mln federal grant when he took office in January, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported (7/19). The Wisconsin Legislature’s budget committee voted 12-2 to spend $31.6 mln in mostly borrowed state money on the Hiawatha line, costs that would have been paid largely by the federal grant. But state transportation officials have estimated they would need $99 mln to pay the state’s share of the existing Hiawatha line’s capital costs that would have been covered by the federal grant. That’s significantly more than the $30 mln the state would have paid for 20 years of operating costs on the new Milwaukee-Madison segment, which Walker cited in rejecting the project.

LIBS HAVEN’T ABANDONED OBAMA. Liberal opinion leaders were alarmed by reports that President Obama, in his attempts to get Congress to approve an increase in the debt ceiling, was prepared to compromise with Republican congressional leaders on budget cuts that reportedly included Medicare and Social Security benefits. But even after CNN reported (7/22) “Drop in liberal support pushes Obama approval rating down,” Ed Kilgore at Salon.com (7/25) noted that the actual numbers don’t quite back up the hype. “The results note that Obama’s approval rating among self-described liberals is ‘only’ 71%, ‘the lowest point of his presidency.’ CNN doesn’t provide a trend line for liberal approval ratings of Obama’s job performance, but Gallup’s latest weekly tracking poll has him at 75% among liberals, five points higher than in mid-May and six points higher than in early December of 2010. Among ‘liberal Democrats,’ probably a more reliable subcategory for capturing the sentiments of normally progressive voters, Gallup has Obama’s approval rating at 85%, roughly where it’s been on average throughout 2011. CNN also shows Obama’s approval rating among Democrats at ‘only’ 80%, and his ‘renominate’ number among Democrats at 77%, ‘relatively robust by historical standards but also down a bit since June.’ (The ‘historical standard’ CNN supplies is a 1994 post-election poll showing Bill Clinton’s “renominate” number at 57%, which is indeed less robust than Obama’s). Finally, CNN’s latest survey shows that fully 13% of the electorate disapproves of Obama’s job performance on grounds that he is ‘not liberal enough,’ up from 9% in a spring survey. But other survey findings (an all-time high percentage saying Obama’s not cooperating enough with congressional Republicans, and an all-time low approval rating for the direction offered by congressional Democratic leaders) call into question the idea that Obama’s in trouble because liberals are revolting against Obama for excessive cooperation with Republicans to gut Social Security and Medicare.”

JUSTICE DEPT. CONTRADICTS FBI IN ANTHRAX CASE. The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago, McClatchy Newspapers reported (7/18).

Shortly after Ivins committed suicide in 2008, federal investigators announced that they’d identified him as the mass murderer who sent the letters to members of Congress and the news media. The case was circumstantial, with federal officials arguing that the scientist had the means, motive and opportunity to make the deadly powder at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md.

Now, however, Justice Department lawyers have acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins’ lab — the so-called hot suite — didn’t contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.

The government said it continued to believe that Ivins was “more likely than not” the killer. But the filing in a Florida court didn’t explain where or how Ivins could have made the powder, saying only that his secure lab “did not have the specialized equipment ... that would be required to prepare the dried spore preparations that were used in the letters.”

THE COST OF PROTECTING TAX BREAKS. While Republicans insist that they were sent to Congress to cut spending and taxes, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) noted in a campaign mailing that “Poll after poll shows that the American people want Congress to focus on job creation and that they want deficit reduction to be done in a way which is fair and which requires shared sacrifice. They do not want the budget to be balanced on the backs of those people who are already hurting through massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, child care, nutrition, affordable housing, fuel assistance and environmental protection. They want millionaires and billionaires to start paying their fair share in taxes, and they want the removal of massive loopholes which enable many large corporations to avoid taxes. They also want a significant reduction in military spending.”

Instead, Republican leaders are talking about upwards of $4 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, with no new taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.

Among the ideas that have been discussed are revisions in the formula for determining cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security so that in 10 years, a 75-year-old would receive $560 a year less in benefits and in 20 years an 85-year-old would receive $1000 a year less. All this despite the fact that Social Security is a self-funding program that is not responsible for one penny of the deficit. It has a $2.6 trillion surplus today — the only problem with Social Security is that Republicans borrowed the money to pay for the tax breaks for the rich and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and now they don’t want to pay the money back.

On Medicare, there are proposals to raise the eligibility age from 65 to 67 and/or cutting benefits by $250 billion over 10 years. “Now you tell me, how are 66-year-old Americans with modest means going to afford health insurance with a private company – especially if they have medical problems? It’s not going to happen. They are going to suffer. Some will unnecessarily die.”

On Medicaid, Sanders noted that when 50 million Americans already have no health insurance, Republicans and some Democrats are proposing to cut hundreds of billions from Medicaid which means that many men, women and children will lose the health insurance they have. According to a Harvard University study, some 45,000 Americans die each year because they don’t get to a doctor when they should. “How many more will die if Medicaid is slashed? How many children will be thrown off of the Children’s Health Insurance Program?”

On education, childcare and college education are already unaffordable for millions of working families and Head Start has long waiting lists. “If Republicans and some Democrats get their way, Pell grants and other educational programs will be deeply slashed. Affordable childcare and a college education will no longer be possible for many families in our country.”

On environmental protection and infrastructure, Sanders said we can forget about the government having the ability to protect the people from corporations who want to evade regulations within the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. “With massive cuts in the EPA, the resources will not be there. Forget about this country having the investment capability to transform our energy system to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Forget about creating millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and improving our public transportation system.”

“At a time of growing hunger in America there will be massive cuts to nutrition programs. We have a crisis in homelessness, and there will be cuts to affordable housing. While we need more funds for research and development in disease prevention and other areas, fewer funds will be available. And on and on it goes.”

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2011


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