Tag: Democratic Party (United States)

One For Two Or Why Service Is Still Going To Suck Even With A Bigger Appropriation
Social Security Disability

One For Two Or Why Service Is Still Going To Suck Even With A Bigger Appropriation

Wait times at the agency’s field offices and on the agency’s 800 number service are awful.
I suspect they’re getting much the same treatment.
Even with lots of overtime you’re going to get less work done as your workforce dwindles.
How is it that field office staffs are being cut even though the appropriation has gone up?
Republicans in Congress and in the Executive Branch have wanted to make sure that any increase in administrative funding for Social Security goes not to hiring employees but to contractors.
I think that, at best, Republicans in Congress and in the Executive Branch are indifferent to service at Social Security.
They’re also naive about service at Social Security.
They think that field office and 800 number service is unnecessary, that people will just switch to doing their business with Social Security over the internet if we quit babying them.
They don’t get that helping people file retirement claims is only a part of the workload at the field offices.
Was it made at Social Security?

Both parties have a plan for the debt crisis: Do nothing

Both parties have a plan for the debt crisis: Do nothing

Here are the CBO projections.
Since 1950, deficits have equaled or exceeded 5 percent of GDP in only six years (1983, 1985 and 2009-2012), and most of these occurred after deep recessions.
Adding these amounts to government borrowing would increase the federal debt — the total of all past deficits — to more than 100 percent of GDP, about as large as right after World War II.
They warned of an approaching “debt crisis” if ballooning budget deficits weren’t reversed.
On April 9, five Democratic economists issued a rejoinder in The Post, rejecting the Hoover economists’ suggestion that spending cuts for “entitlements” — mainly programs for the elderly and the poor — bear all the burden of cuts.
In today’s dollars, balancing the budget would require annual spending cuts and tax increases of about $1 trillion.
That’s equal to about a fifth of federal spending, which is now being borrowed.
Social Security and other “safety net” programs would have to be reduced, possibly through higher eligibility ages and more means-testing.
These entitlements constitute about 70 percent of federal spending; if they’re ignored, the entire adjustment would fall on other spending (other domestic programs and defense) and taxes.
But a debt crisis does not come slowly and visibly like a rising tide.

John Currie’s new part-time job: $92K at Passaic County welfare board

John Currie’s new part-time job: $92K at Passaic County welfare board

Democratic Party chairman John Currie has landed a part-time job with the Passaic County Board of Social Services that pays him $92,000 a year to help get the word out to the public about welfare benefits. “I’m doing a job.
I’m entitled to do have a job, and I’m doing a good job.”
The new job comes with no set hours, and it significantly boosts Currie’s public salary at a time when he’s nearing retirement, which will jack up his pension.
Currie has served on the county board of elections for 21 years, but at a miniscule salary, currently $22,000 a year.
(Photo: Mitsu Yasukawa, Mitsu Yasukawa/ Staff Photograph) Depending on how long Currie stays on the job, the salary bump could increase his pension significantly.
Not surprisingly, Currie had the support of both Democratic freeholders who sit on the Board of Social Services, Assad Akhter and Bruce James.
“I’ve known John Currie for a long time,” said Peter Murphy, the Republican leader from Totowa.
Traier was recently appointed to the Passaic County Board of Elections and serves with Currie.
“People are really cynical about government,” Traier said.

American states face a revenue crisis

American states face a revenue crisis

Republicans secure conservative votes by calling it waste and pledging to make cuts.
Talking candidly about how to collect the revenues that fund government is more ticklish, especially when the pain is likely to be broadly shared.
This may help to explain why a surprising number of American states are facing a revenue crisis, even as the broader economy enters its ninth year of recovery.
Yet many states find themselves struggling to collect enough revenue to balance their budgets—as most are legally obliged to do.
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 27 states saw their revenues fall below expectations last year.
In economic downturns, tax revenues fall and states are forced to tighten their belts by slashing spending and raising taxes.
State tax systems were originally designed to collect sales taxes on goods like cars, furniture and clothing.
States nationwide have been raiding rainy-day funds and using other gimmicks to balance budgets.
Teachers’ strikes have this year hit West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
It is the state’s first tax rise in 28 years.

GOP tax message hits a snag

GOP tax message hits a snag

A CNBC poll this week stated that just 32 percent of working adults reported having more take-home pay due to the new law, a problem for Republicans hoping to run on the measure and the health of the economy in November.
“Republicans have to discipline themselves to stay on message,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
Tax experts said there are a number of reasons why people might not be reporting seeing an increase in their take-home pay.
The group said that people with income of below $25,000 will, on average, get a tax cut of only $60 over the course of the whole year.
It showed that people with higher incomes were more likely to notice an increase in take-home pay than low-income individuals — an outcome that Democrats could use against the GOP in their midterm campaign.
Another reason why people may not be reporting seeing paycheck boosts is that some of the benefits of the new tax law, such as the larger child tax credit, aren’t reflected in the new withholding tables.
Among the employed adults in the survey, Trump voters were more than twice as likely to say they had more take-home pay as a result of lower federal taxes (48 percent) than Clinton voters (22 percent).
Of those surveyed in the CNBC poll, only 60 percent were employed to begin with.
Among those, only 32 percent said that they noticed their income go up as a result of tax changes.
One bright point for Republicans in the CNBC poll is that, despite many people brushing aside the tax bill’s positive effect on their income, a large number maintained an overall positive outlook about their wages.

The census has always been a weapon of political power

The census has always been a weapon of political power

Krieg: Why do questions, generally speaking, come and go off the Census?
Krieg: So you’re saying this has always been a kind of political football?
In other words, you propose a question be put on the form, the Census Bureau goes out and tests it, they decide whether it works or not, and then there’s a public comment period, hearings in Congress, etc.
Krieg: The act of counting people, in any country, is such an important thing for so many reasons.
Anderson: The main point is that the American census is an instrument of the American state embedded in the Constitution of 1787.
You take a Census and then Congress reapportions and states redistrict.
So there was a question in the 1930 census about unemployment and there was actually a special unemployment census in 1931.
But it took about 10 years to work out how to do that, to define unemployment, and there were big questions.
Krieg: But there were more fights — on the Census itself — after that, right?
Anderson: There have been many different types of lawsuits around the census.

Special Election Results in Trump County Give Democrats Hope

Special Election Results in Trump County Give Democrats Hope

Until very recently, Bob Rogers, a retired coal miner in his seventies, thought his party was dead.
She voted for Lamb.
Indeed, the majority of voting Pennsylvania workers who spoke to TIME in the days leading up to the election affirmed they voted for Clinton, albeit reluctantly.
It’s a shame in this country that’s all they could come up for to run for president.” But most of these voters agree on something: that in recent years — some trace it to the Obama Administration; others go all the way back to Bill Clinton’s presidency — their party lost the thread.
Union support, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: these are the issues that the Democrats of western Pennsylvania considered the party’s bread and butter, and there was an abstract sense that they didn’t matter so much to the folks in Washington anymore.
“If they’re going to get rid of coal mines and get rid of pollution, if they’re gonna drop everybody from their jobs, then they need to have some system that picks those people up,” 73-year-old Carl Wade, another retired miner out rooting for Lamb, says.
Medicare, Social Security — those things you rely on once you retire.” Few of them seem to have ever seriously suspected that Trump would be a champion of social welfare, and even many of those who cast their ballot for him are now contrite.
It took me three months to realize I made a mistake voting for Trump.” Lamb’s success is a much-needed vote of confidence in a Democratic Party that has grappled with its political identity in the wake of Clinton’s seismic upset in 2016.
But in western Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Democratic voters weren’t worried about national implications or the next election.
“You really can’t trust ‘em,” one former mill worker said, “but I’ll put it this way: I like what Lamb’s doing, I’m always gonna vote regardless, and he’s my pick of the two.”

Is this the hottest job market in 35 years?

Is this the hottest job market in 35 years?

Layfield Report CEO John Layfield explains why the better-than-expected February jobs report could spell trouble for Democrats in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.
President Trump made an election promise to create jobs for American people, and the latest jobs report indicates that he has kept his promise.
The government on Friday released its latest jobs report, which showed that the U.S. added 313,000 non-farm payrolls in the month, handily beating analysts’ consensus expectations for 200,000 new jobs in the month.
The result was so surprising that not only did it top the average forecast, it beat the most aggressive analyst forecast for 300,000 jobs.
According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, “The non-stop job creation since the election has yielded 2.9 million jobs.
For the fifth month in a row, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, a 17-year low.
Goods-producing industries such as manufacturing, mining and logging, and construction collectively had the highest month-to-month growth since 1998.” A stellar measure included in the reading was the fact that 806,000 Americans entered the workforce in February.
According to FOX Business’ Adam Shapiro, this was the highest reading since 1983.
Wage growth moderated after January’s lofty reading, to 2.6%, well below the 2.8% forecast and is down from 2.9% annual growth in January, easing worries about wage inflation.
The lofty measure contributed to a market sell-off that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 into correction territory.

Nancy Pelosi: Democrats shouldn’t focus on ‘rumors’ about Trump’s ‘personal life’
Social Security Disability

Nancy Pelosi: Democrats shouldn’t focus on ‘rumors’ about Trump’s ‘personal life’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Congress shouldn’t get involved in investigating President Trump’s alleged 2006 affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, arguing that there are much more pressing issues at hand such as the budget and national security.
“Let me just say that I’m more concerned about the president’s policies, which undermine the national security of America’s working families,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said during a news conference.
“For example, his budget — cutting Medicare, cutting Medicaid, cutting Social Security disability benefits, cutting Housing and Urban Development, cutting food stamps, cutting education.
“That’s what Congress should get involved with,” she continued.
“So I don’t know that we necessarily have to get involved in any of that.
You can be sure if any of that were happening with the Democrats, the Republicans would be very involved in it, but our time should be spent making the future better for the American people and creating good-paying jobs, reducing costs.” Mrs. Pelosi said Congress should be invested in creating an economy “that works for everyone” and not wasting time investigating “rumors about the president’s personal life.” Mr. Trump has denied engaging in a consensual sexual encounter with Ms. Daniels at a hotel room in 2006, one year after he married first lady Melania Trump.
Ms. Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit against the president this week seeking to void a nondisclosure agreement she signed toward the end of the 2016 presidential election, which would have prevented her from discussing their alleged affair.
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Bernie Sanders’ Son Levi Is Running For Congress
Social Security Disability

Bernie Sanders’ Son Levi Is Running For Congress

There could soon be another Sanders in our political future.
Levi Sanders, the son of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), announced on Monday that he’s running for Congress in New Hampshire.
The 48-year-old candidate is the eighth Democrat throwing his hat in the ring for the state’s 1st District House seat, Sanders said in a statement posted to his campaign website.
“This is a unique opportunity to listen to the hard-working men and women of New Hampshire about the issues that matter to them.” An apparent chip off the old block, Sanders supports a “Medicare-for-all health care system,” a higher minimum wage, equal pay for women, tuition-free college and “sensible gun legislation.” He also believes that it’s “urgent” to address the opioid epidemic, which has reached a “crisis” in his state.
Appearing to channel his father, Levi Sanders vowed “to demand that we have a system which represents the 99 percent and not the 1 percent who have never had it so good.” When quizzed about any differences between his politics and his dad’s, Sanders told Vice that, “the basic difference is that I’m a vegetarian and he’s not.” Sanders actually lives in the district adjacent to the one he’s hoping to represent.
The 1st District congressional seat is currently held by Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who is not seeking re-election.
It’s expected to be a highly competitive race among both Democrats and Republicans.
Some of the groups who supported the elder Sanders during his 2016 presidential run have already lined up behind Democratic state Rep. Mark MacKenzie.
The younger Sanders has never held public office, but he has worked at his father’s side, including as his senior aide during the 2016 campaign.
He has also worked as an analyst for a Massachusetts Legal Services office for 17 years, representing the “working class, who have been beaten up by the system,” he notes.