Accountability Social Security

A Win for “Just Scrap the Cap”

Conservative billionaire Pete Peterson, a major financier in the effort to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, just got some egg on his face courtesy of the Social Security Works – Washington coalition, the Economic Opportunity Institute and PSARA. The winning video in the Pete Peterson Foundation’s video contest – which had the goal of “compiling […]

Education Taxation Washington State Politics

Estate tax technicality may result in millions lost from education budget

Another loophole for the wealthy? If not fixed by the legislature, this technical glitch will siphon $160 million out of Washington’s Education Legacy Trust Fund. It funds tuition assistance, higher education, and public schools. Washington’s estate tax, which applies to the sons and daughters of wealthy estate owners, provides dedicated funding for public schools and public higher […]

Social Security

Alaska Senator Mark Begich introduces proposal to scrap the cap, move to better CPI measure

Sitka News reports Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) is prepared to introduce legislation to protect and preserve Social Security benefits for future generations, while shoring up the system’s long-term solvency. Senator Begich introduced his plan in response to President Obama’s proposal to switch to the Chained CPI, which would cut annual cost-of-living increases for seniors and veterans on Social […]

Accountability Economic Justice Human Rights

Sickening: Why Walt Disney World and Olive Garden are exactly the wrong places to take your family

Walt Disney World and Darden Restaurants (which owns restaurant chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster) both have happy-looking public faces regarding the health of the people they employ. But behind the scenes, they’re doing everything they can to deny people working in Florida the right to earn basic benefits like paid sick days on […]

Health care Labor Rodney Tom Washington State Politics

Senate approves potential repeal of Paid Family Leave, bill moves to House

It hasn’t been a good week for working families in the Washington State Legislature. On Monday, the Senate passed an amended version of SB 5903, which will repeal the Family Leave Insurance system if a funding mechanism is not identified in 2014. The bill will create a taskforce of eight legislators to fund the system. If no […]

Economic Justice Social Security

Chained CPI for Social Security means forcing seniors, veterans onto food stamps

If you follow this blog, you already know the Chained CPI – a proposed change to Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) – is really just backdoor attempt to cut Social Security benefits. A retiree who lived to age 85 would see a cumulative benefit cut of nearly $14,000. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that […]

Education Washington State Politics

Washington’s GET program: An accidental bulwark against higher tuition for STEM degrees

In 2011, the Washington State Legislature approved a bill that paved the way for public colleges and universities to start charging differential tuition: college degrees that cost more to confer, like engineering and business, would be subject to higher tuition than lower-cost degrees like history or English. Rep. Larry Seaqust, Chair of the House Higher Education Committee and sponsor of […]

Economic Justice Social Security

No sense of citizenship – or shame: Wealthy corporate CEOs want Social Security, Medicare on chopping block

I like to consider myself a sensible guy – someone who can set aside my own self-interest to recognize other people’s need, concerns and desires – particularly when it comes to politics and public policy. But in this case, I’m really struggling to identify with America’s leading CEOs. The Business Roundtable represents 200 of our […]

Economic Justice Social Security Socialism for the rich

How the Chained CPI is a stealth cut to Social Security benefits

The Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) has published a brief on one of the proposed changes to Social Security under the “fiscal cliff” deal – this one known as the “Chained CPI.” The Chained CPI is a bit complex, but here’s the bottom line: it would cut benefits for Social Security recipients by shrinking […]

Economic Justice Taxation

What about the Middle Class?

The title of recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek says it all: Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened. Much of this imbalance in income growth can be explained by looking at where the growth has happened. Big gains in the stock market have buoyed most indexes close to pre-recession levels, but […]