The nation’s middle class is under attack. The recession hit private businesses and public budgets hard, but Americans’ ability to attain or hold onto a middle-class standard of living may be the ultimate victim. We’re losing jobs, losing services we depend on, losing pay and benefits. Yet instead of working to build up the middle class, a growing chorus of pundits insists that dragging down city and state workers across the country is the answer to our economic woes. Democratic mayors and governors fall for this ploy at their peril: it threatens the nation’s economic recovery, and feeds into conservatives’ anti-government, anti-worker agenda.
Economy & Budget
Glenn Beck made it official on Fox News last week: He’s seeking the office of 21st Century Marie Antoinette.
The queen of France, beheaded during the revolution, attained infamy for insensitivity toward hungry peasants. Glenn Beck, the Fox talk show host, achieved celebrity for his callousness toward unemployed Americans.
A young person following the news for the first time would probably think that an economist is someone who gets on television to say how surprised he is by the economy. Yesterday, the economists were out in force telling us how surprised they were by the 27 percent drop in existing home sales in July. This was the sharpest one-month drop in sales ever recorded and left monthly sales at their lowest levels since 1999.
America needs balanced trade. Three years ago, the imbalance reached almost one trillion dollars per year. The latest numbers show the imbalance is getting worse again, now at $600 billion per year. Every one billion “deficit dollars” represent 20,000 “deficit jobs.” These are jobs lost to outsourcing, to other nations.
If it wasn’t bad enough that we lost in the hockey finals to “Our Neighbor to the North” at the Winter Olympics earlier this year, we now trail Canada in a slightly more consequential indicator – economic freedom. Every year the Heritage Foundation issues the Index of Economic Freedom and for the first time in, well ever, we no longer represent the “freest” economy in North America.
Today marks the first day of the year that the average American is not working for the government. According to Americans for Tax Reform, it took 231 days for the average American to “to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on the federal, state, and local levels.”
The tone reflected by the news stories proceeded much like this:
Landmark legislation can finally protect the public from hidden dangers which might happen to any of us any day. For the first time we have the real prospect that products will be safer and that we will know more about the dangers in store. But this can happen only if the new Agency has an independent and assertive start under an experienced leader with loyalties that run toward the public interest, and not toward special interests who have from the start tried to kill the new authority. The new director will, for better or worse, personify the strength of this new effort. There can hardly be any doubt about who the head of the new agency should be. The question is who will it actually be?
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement marking tomorrow's 75th anniversary of Social Security:
“For 75 years, the Social Security program has served the needs of millions of American seniors, and Republicans are committed to protecting Social Security and preserving this invaluable program for current and future generations of retirees. The Social Security and Medicare Trustees have repeatedly warned Congress and the American people that reforms are necessary or future benefits will be threatened.
“For 75 years, Social Security has stood as an unbroken promise to America’s seniors: that after a lifetime of hard work, they have the assurance that they can retire with real security. Where many seniors were once faced with a life of poverty, for the last 75 years they have instead been able to lead a life of dignity.