Sunday, December 9, 2012

Class War: Republicans Go After "Entitlements" (Working Class, Poor & Elderly Benefits)

Sen. Corker: Debt ceiling is Republican ‘leverage’ to cut ‘entitlements’ | The Raw Story
 "Moderate" Republican Sen. Bob Corker is willing to go along with raising taxes on the top ONLY to get what he and the Republicans really want, "entitlement reform," i.e. CUTS to Medicare and Social Security BENEFITS.  This is the "Grand Bargain" that the GOP will try to get President Obama to agree to again, and if progressives don't push harder from the left to oppose ANY CUTS to SS or Medicare BENEFITS, Obama will probably cave.

 Monday is a national day of action to call Congress and ask representatives in the House and Senate to OPPOSE any cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits, and let the "Bush Tax Cuts" on the top 2% expire.

  GOP Offers to Throw Middle Class, Elderly Over the "Fiscal Cliff"
 The Obscenely Rich Men Bent on Shredding the Safety Net
 Debt and Deficit Delusions
 4 Ways to Leap the "Fiscal Cliff" to a Better U.S.A.
 Robert Reich: Understanding the Fiscal Cliff
 10 Things Republicans Don't Want You To Know About the "Fiscal Cliff"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reject the Fiscal Cliff, Tax the Rich



Reject the Fiscal Cliff, Tax the Rich « Talking Union


A statement of the National Political Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America
November 20, 2012
 DSA rejects the “fiscal cliff” hysteria of the corporate establishment and the pressure for a “Grand Bargain” that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. While unemployment remains high and economic growth slow, the government should not impose austerity measures that reduce essential programs that benefit the middle and working classes and that further shred the safety net for the most vulnerable. Rather, government policy should prioritize investments in job creation, public education and healthcare reform, while raising essential revenues by taxing the large corporations and wealthiest citizens who can afford to pay.

Immediately after the election, Wall Street-backed foundations such as Third Way and the Concord Coalition organized a “Campaign to Fix the Debt” to spin the election results as a mandate for a “bi-partisan” focus on reducing the deficit as the highest national priority. For decades the billionaire Pete Peterson has funded groups that claim that the universal entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the nation and that their future growth must thus be drastically trimmed.  These neoliberals scored an initial success in 2011 when the Simpson-Bowles Congressional Commission put to a vote a long-term “budget compromise” that would have instituted three times as much in budget cuts than in tax increases. But despite President Obama’s evident willingness to reach such a one-sided compromise, Tea Party insistence on no tax increases, even on the wealthiest, scuttled the deal. The “resolution” of this manufactured, alleged “budget crisis” was to postpone a decision on further deficit reduction until the end of 2012, hence the contrived “fiscal cliff.”

What is the fiscal cliff? If Congress makes no changes to the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Bush tax cuts will expire on January 1, 2013. In addition, automatic cuts of $55 billion each in annual defense and “discretionary domestic” spending will begin. These tax increases and spending cuts, combined with the expiration of the FICA payroll tax cut and the end of extended unemployment benefits, will create a significant fiscal drag on the economy. The annual budget deficit will fall from over $1 trillion in 2012 to $500 billion dollars in 2013; and the resulting drop in aggregate demand from this combination of spending cuts and increases in taxes would almost definitely cause a double-dip recession.

Like other progressive groups, DSA rejects the notion that some “unified” fiscal cliff must be addressed in the lame-duck session of Congress. It is in fact a “fiscal obstacle course” that Congress should address without panic early in 2013, while heeding the election results. A progressive solution would include restoring all automatic domestic cuts, while making more strategic and deeper cuts in defense procurement spending. The revenue for expanding domestic social welfare spending can be raised by ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% and corporate tax-giveaways, while instituting a modest financial transaction tax on stock and bond transactions. In addition, Congress should restore the tradition of not requiring a separate authorization vote every time the current debt ceiling is crossed. Requiring such a vote provides the right with endless opportunities to blackmail the Congress into counter-productive budget slashing.

Specifically, DSA advocates that Congress pass legislation to:

1. Restore all the automatic cuts to the domestic discretionary budget. These cuts would deny WIC nutrition to 750,000 mothers and children, eliminate Title I funding for 1.8 million low-income school children and would deny 734,000 households home heating assistance. In addition, it would cut financing of all federal regulatory agencies by 10%.

2. Reauthorize federal funding of extended unemployment insurance. Otherwise, on January 1, 1.5 million unemployed workers and their dependents will lose their unemployment benefits.

3. Restore the improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Care Credit that have reduced the tax burden on the middle and working classes. To preserve the purchasing power that would be lost by an end to the 2% FICA payroll tax cut, reintroduce the 2009 Recovery Act refundable tax credit of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families earning under $110,000.

4. Abolish the Bush tax cuts on the top 2% and tax capital gains and stock dividends at the same rate as earned income. Increase effective corporate taxation through the elimination of corporate tax loopholes and corporate “tax expenditures.”  These reforms would yield $275 billion in additional annual revenue. In addition, instituting a “Robin Hood Tax” could net another $300 billion in annual revenues. (This financial transaction tax is a small sales   for example a 0.25 % tax on all stock sales).

5. Make major cuts in our bloated defense budget, while creating a public jobs program that trains the unemployed to rebuild infrastructure, creates an alternative energy grid and expands mass transit.

6. Extend and strengthen Social Security for future generations, funding enhancements by progressively lifting the cap on earned income subject to the FICA tax and extending it to income derived from capital.

7. Progressively extend and strengthen Medicare/Medicaid, until it covers U.S. residents of all ages, while installing effective cost controls.

DSA welcomes and will work with broad national and local coalitions that are forming to fight cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; to preserve programs that benefit the working poor and most vulnerable; to promote greater investment in public education and healthcare and to raise revenues by taxing the rich and corporations.  We also support Tavis Smiley’s and DSA National Honorary Chair Cornel West’s call for President Obama to convene a White House conference on poverty.

DSA will bring to these coalitions the educational perspective of our GET UP (Grassroots Economics Training for Understanding and Power) and The Other America is Our America (TOA) projects. GET UP analyzes the neoliberal capitalist roots of the Great Recession and advances social market economic alternatives. TOA demystifies the history of anti-poverty policy and argues for a new, true war on poverty. We can only stop the corporate drive for austerity if we educate, agitate and organize. DSA will join those in the streets resisting the bi-partisan effort to thwart the needs of the very constituencies that just re-elected our president.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Welfare State of America: A Progressive Manifesto



The Welfare State of America - In These Times
A manifesto for building social democracy in an age of austerity

Great article in In These Times by DSA activists PETER FRASE AND BHASKAR SUNKARA

DSA honorary co-chair Frances Fox Piven on the case for a progressive/left Social Democratic agenda to oppose the Right's Austerity agenda

For the Welfare of All


Friday, October 19, 2012

Coalition on Human Needs - SAVE for All Campaign

DSA Endorses the Coalition on Human Needs - SAVE for All Campaign


Strengthening America’s Values and Economy (SAVE) for All is a coalition of national, state and local advocacy groups, service providers, faith-based organizations, policy experts, labor and civil rights groups working to protect important services from harmful federal budget cuts and to save the federal capacity to spur economic recovery and progress for the benefit of all. Join the SAVE for All Campaign Group by visiting the Stay Connected page.

The campaign will develop materials that make the case for the involvement of federal resources, engage grassroots advocates, employ media strategies and contact members of Congress with messages consistent with the campaign's Statement of Principles of:
  • Protecting low- and moderate-income people in budget and deficit reduction proposals.
  • Preventing multi-year appropriations caps that force harsh reductions in domestic/human needs services and other beneficial programs.
  • Preventing restrictive structural changes to essential programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Balancing spending cuts needed to address the debt with progressive sources of revenue.
Featured SAVE for All Pieces:
New SAVE for All Letter to Congress

More than 1,900 Groups Nationwide Want Federal Budget Plans to Protect Low-Income People, Create Jobs and Fund Services Responsibly

Read the Letter with Signers
Read the Press Release

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Certain Problems Need Socialist Solutions


Dissent Magazine - Online Features - Certain Problems Need Socialist Solutions -

The article is adapted from a talk delivered by DSA National Director Maria Svart at the fiftieth anniversary celebration of Michael Harrington’s The Other America, held on September 10, 2012 at the CUNY Graduate Center.

See more information visit Democratic Socialists of America's website

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Memphis Poverty: What Obama Didn't See


From the Commercial Appeal, a look at growing up poor in Memphis

AS I AM: » The Commercial Appeal


Chris Dean’s heart stopped when he was 2 1/2. He died and came back.
When Chris was 5, his father was killed in a gang shootout, hit more than 20 times by a barrage of bullets.
Chris survived the streets of South Memphis and distinguished himself at Booker T. Washington High School. At 18, in a charming, eloquent address at his high school graduation, Chris introduced the keynote speaker: President Obama. The spotlight from that event won Chris a college scholarship to Lane College.
Chris returned to the streets of South Memphis with filmmaker and Commercial Appeal photographer Alan Spearman, walking on foot for eight weeks to develop a series of observations that became the script of “AS I AM,” the short film below. With Chris as our guide, we float through this extraordinary young man’s landscape and encounter the characters who have helped shape his worldview.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Class War Update The middle class falls further behind


The middle class falls further behind 

"America's middle class has endured its worst decade in modern history," the Pew Research Center said in its report. "It has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some -- but by no means all -- of its characteristic faith in the future."

Middle Class Exit "Lost Decade" With Little Hope (Pew Report)


Monday, August 20, 2012

DSA Statement on 2012 Elections

DSA Statement on 2012 Elections


“Democracy Endangered: DSA’s Strategy for the 2012 Elections and Beyond”
By the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America
I. The Threat of Right-Wing Hegemony
The 2012 election poses an extreme challenge to the future prospects for democracy in the United States. This threat demands the focused attention of the broad Left - the labor movement, communities of color, feminists, the LGBTQ community, environmentalists and peace activists. The task for the U.S. Left is two-fold.  First, we must defeat the far-right threat to democracy.  Second, we need to build a grassroots, organized Left capable of fighting the corporate interests that dominate the leadership of both major political parties.
The Left confronts a Republican Party thoroughly controlled by right-wing forces that are determined to cement long-term control of the federal government and of the majority of states.  Its agenda is to extend the reign of the corporate oligarchy over the whole of American society from top to bottom. The wish list of the 1% includes dismantling not only Social Security and Medicare, but all government programs designed to benefit the large majority of people - the 99%.  This reactionary plan intends to repeal not only the New Deal and the Great Society, but also the reforms of the Progressive Era and the post-Watergate legislation of the 1970s. A Romney victory would likely be accompanied by Republican control of both the Senate and House, as well as the Supreme Court. Such a governing majority would endeavor to pass the reactionary Ryan budget, deny federal funding for women’s reproductive health, wage a sustained and fundamental attack on the rights of workers and unions, and overturn already weakened federal civil rights laws.
 A major weapon of the Radical Right is an unprecedented flood of money from super-wealthy individuals and corporations into the political arena, buying influence and votes on a massive scale. This intervention has been enabled by a long series of decisions by the Supreme Court, culminating in the Citizens United decision (and the recent Montana case) that essentially encourage buying electoral results through massive negative advertising - itself aimed at suppressing voter turnout - under the guise of “free speech.” 
Another right-wing tactic is to suppress voting by African-Americans, Hispanics, students and poor people generally, under the guise of preventing non-existent “voter fraud.” New forms of photo ID requirements and restrictions on early voting and independent voter registration efforts threaten to remove millions of potential Democratic voters from the rolls. This is part of a Republican racial strategy to convince swing white voters that their economic distress is caused not by a predatory corporate elite but by alleged government hand-outs to undeserving poor people of color.
A third assault is to further weaken unions, particularly in the public sector, by eliminating collective bargaining and discouraging membership and imposing onerous new restrictions on the use of union dues and agency fee payments in political campaigns. Since unions, especially public sector unions, are a major source of political opposition to right-wing causes and campaigns, the Right is consciously out to destroy their very existence.
II. The Tepid Democratic Response
How can such a radical restructuring of American politics and policy, one that benefits the plutocracy at the expense of the majority, have a real prospect of success in 2012?
One reason is that the national leadership of the Democratic Party is not a consistent, credible champion for the interests of the majority. The top of the party serves the interests of its corporate funders over the needs of the party’s mass base of trade unionists, people of color, feminists and other progressives. Thus, when the country cried out for a vigorous defense against the ravages created by Wall Street greed, Obama’s economic advisors (largely drawn from Wall Street) extended the Bush administration’s bailout of the banks and financial elite without exacting a return in restored, strict financial regulation.  The administration also failed to take effective measures against foreclosures and job losses associated with the crisis.  Republicans and conservative Democrats blocked any more far-reaching proposals, like those of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Furthermore, in a misguided effort to appear as a “strong” foreign policy leader, the president unnecessarily extended the failed war in Afghanistan and engaged in the indiscriminate use of drone warfare in clear violation of international law.
Rightwing obstructionism and the waffling of the majority of the Democratic Party understandably led to large Republican gains in the Congressional elections of 2010. Thereafter, the Tea Party-influenced House Republican majority curtailed any possibility that the Obama administration would govern in a progressive manner. Newly established Republican political control over several Midwestern states turned into sweeping assaults on public sector unions and on the social safety net.
President Obama’s on-and-off flirtation with the neoliberal view that fiscal “austerity” is the road out of the Great Recession may prove to be his downfall in 2012. As federal support for state and local programs faltered in the contrived “debt crisis,” most Democratic governors and legislators also followed suit in slashing social programs and public employee benefits. In addition, Obama’s openness to “entitlement reform” may deny the Democrats the mantle of being the staunch protectors of Social Security and Medicare. If the Obama administration had fought for and succeeded in continuing beyond 2010 federal aid to preserve state and municipal jobs, today’s unemployment rate would be seven percent or lower. This is the first recession since the early 1900s in which public sector employment has fallen rather than grown.
III. Rebuild the Left by Defeating the Right
In light of the threat that would be posed to basic democratic rights by Republican control of all three branches of the federal government, most trade union, feminist, LGBTQ and African- American and Latino organizations will work vigorously to re-elect the president. And in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere, many DSA members may choose to do the same. But DSA recognizes that an Obama victory, unaccompanied by the strengthening of an independent progressive coalition able to challenge the elites of both parties, will be a purely defensive engagement in lesser-evil politics.
The Left proved too weak to force the first Obama administration to respond to popular needs. The Occupy movement of fall 2011 gave voice to popular frustration with the American plutocracy; but it emerged well after the Republicans had gained control of the House. The Left must now build upon the accomplishments of Occupy. Democratic socialists must work to build a multi-racial coalition of working people, the unemployed, indebted students and the foreclosed that is capable of forcing politicians to govern democratically. The first task of a movement to defend democracy is to work for maximum voter turnout in the 2012 election.
Building such a mass social movement for democracy is DSA’s major task; the 2012 elections are only a tactical step on that strategic path. Thus, while working to defeat the far Right, DSA and other progressive forces should work to increase the size of the Congressional Progressive, Black and Latino caucuses and to elect pro-labor candidates to state legislatures. The election this year of Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with the re-election of Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would increase the number of progressive voices in the United States Senate. 
DSA locals should use their work in progressiveelectoral campaigns to build coalitions opposed to further slashing of federally-funded anti-poverty programs. Such disastrous shredding of the social safety net will occur if the cuts mandated by the August 2011 “budget compromise” are not reversed before January 1, 2013. These “automatic cuts” in domestic spending could readily be avoided if Congress reversed the Bush and Reagan income tax cuts for the top two percent, returned effective corporate tax rates to the levels of the 1960s and reduced wasteful defense spending. In our educational efforts in favor of progressive economic alternatives, DSA locals should draw on the resources of the DSA Fund’s Grassroots Economics Training for Understanding and Power (GETUP) and The Other America is Our America projects. GETUP offers a comprehensive critique of neoliberal economic thought and policy. The Other America project draws lessons from the 50th anniversaries of the publication of The Other America (1962); the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Justice; and the 1964 advent of the War on Poverty.
DSA locals should also work against all forms of voter suppression, whether onerous photo ID requirements, harassment of independent voter registration efforts, or phony purges of voter rolls. DSA members should also take part in the voter registration and turnout efforts by groups like the NAACP, unions and progressive community groups.
DSA locals ought to also join efforts to restrict the role of big money in political campaigns, including local efforts in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, to permit public campaign funding and to restrict the abuse of “free speech” to buy elections.
This is a year to take the “democratic” part of our democratic socialism very seriously. Whatever our analysis of the numerous imperfections of US democracy, we should be absolutely forthright about championing the rights of the people to make their own political decisions.
Paid for by Democratic Socialists of America Inc. PAC, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 505, NY, NY 10038; not approved by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

U.S. Economic Recovery Is Weakest Since World War II



U.S. Economic Recovery Is Weakest Since World War II

And here is part of the problem:

"Usually, workers' pay rises as the economy picks up momentum after a recession. Not this time. Employers don't have to be generous in a weak job market because most workers don't have anywhere to go.
As a result, pay raises haven't kept up with even modest levels of inflation. Earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers – a category that covers about 80 percent of the private, nonfarm workforce – have risen just over 6.2 percent since June 2009. Consumer prices have risen nearly 7.2 percent. Adjusted for inflation, wages have fallen 0.8 percent. In the previous five recoveries _the records go back only to 1964 – real wages had gone up an average 1.5 percent at this point.
Falling wages haven't hurt everyone. Lower labor costs helped push corporate profits to a record 10.6 percent of U.S. GDP in the first three months of 2012, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. And those surging profits helped lift the Dow Jones industrials 54 percent from the end of June 2009 to the end of last month."
Wages have not kept pace with productivity, and as a result, wealth has accumulated at the top, and not stimulated consumer demand...
CLASS WAR

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryan Budget Facts




Bernie Sanders lays out the facts...
Ryan Budget Facts - Newsroom: Bernie Sanders - U.S. Senator for Vermont


The House budget drawn up by Rep. Paul Ryan would end Medicare as we know it, according to Sen. Bernie Sanders. It also would cut spending on virtually everything but the Pentagon while still spending more than the Treasury takes in by providing $1 trillion in tax breaks for the wealthy and profitable corporations, according to Sanders, a member of the Senate Budget Committee who has monitored and analyzed the Ryan plan.

Medicare

The Ryan plan will end Medicare as we know it within 10 years by providing an $8,000 voucher for seniors to purchase a private health insurance plan.
The Ryan plan will increase out-of-pocket health care costs for a typical 65 year-old senior by more than $6,000 in 2022 - more than double the cost under current law.
And the problem gets worse and worse over time, so that by 2030, the out-of-pocket health care costs paid by seniors will climb to about $11,000.
Under the Ryan budget, Medicare's eligibility age would rise from 65-67 from 2022 to 2033.

Prescription Drugs

Under the House Ryan plan, nearly four million seniors would pay over $2 billion more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone by re-opening the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole.

Children's Health Insurance

If the Ryan plan becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 1.7 million children would lose health insurance by 2016. 

Medicaid

The Ryan budget would cut Medicaid by over $770 billion by turning it into a block grant program, and threatening the life-saving nursing home care of millions of senior citizens.
Slashing Medicaid as the Republicans want to do could cost America more than two million private-sector jobs over the next five years.

Affordable Health Care Act

The Ryan budget would completely repeal the Affordable Health Care Act preventing an estimated 34 million uninsured Americans to get the health insurance they need. 

Cancer Screenings

The Ryan budget will force over 7 million seniors to pay more for cancer screenings and prevention programs, while requiring senior cancer patients to pay millions more for lifesaving cancer drugs immediately.

Wellness

The Ryan plan could force at least one million seniors to pay over $110 million more for annual wellness visits in 2012.

Pell Grants

At a time when the cost of a college education is becoming out of reach for millions of Americans, the Ryan budget would slash college Pell grants by about 60% next year alone reducing the maximum award amount from $5,550 to about $2,100. 

Nutrition

At a time when over 40 million Americans don't have enough money to feed themselves or their families, the Ryan budget would kick up to 10 million Americans off of Food Stamps, by slashing this program by more than $125 billion over the next decade.

Infrastructure

At a time when our nation's infrastructure is crumbling, the House Ryan budget would slash funding for our roads, bridges, rail lines, transit systems, and airports by nearly 40 percent next year alone.

Defense Spending

Despite the fact that military spending has nearly tripled since 1997, the House Ryan budget does nothing to reduce unnecessary defense spending.  In fact, defense spending would go up by $26 billion next year alone under the Ryan plan.

$1 Trillion in Tax Breaks for Corporations and Wealthy  

The Ryan budget provides over $1 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent and large corporations by permanently extending all of the Bush income tax cuts; reducing the estate tax for multi-millionaires; and lowering the top individual and corporate income tax rate from 35 to 25 percent.

Protects Big Oil

The Ryan budget protects $44 billion in unnecessary and expensive tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies, even as oil companies are reporting record profits.

Costs Jobs

Mark Zandi, the former economic advisor to John McCain when he was running for president, has said that the Ryan budget plan will cost America 1.7 million jobs by the year 2014, with 900,000 jobs lost next year.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney/Ryan Declare War on U.S. Working Class


So Romney has picked his running mate, Paul Ryan, and embraced an Ayn Rand social darwinist who wants to CUT Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Education, etc. (all the things we need to re-build our economy and working class) to give MORE TAX CUTS to the corporate rich.  It presents a startling choice in the class war:  Tax Cuts for the Rich vs. Social Programs for everyone else.  That is the choice.

The question is will Obama and the Democrats DEFEND the legacy of FDR and LBJ or cave in to the corporatist demand that the budget be balanced on the backs of seniors and the working class?

Paul Ryan, Seriously?

The Romney-Ryan Plan to End Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

Five Things You Need to Know About Paul Ryan

Meet Paul Ryan: Climate Denier, Conspiracy Theorist, Koch Acolyte

How the GOP Plan to Kill Medicare and Medicaid Would Work

Everything You Need to Know About Ryan's Budget

CBO: Ryan Budget Would Set Nation on Path to End Most Government Programs other than Social Security, Healthcare and Defense by 2050

Ryan Gets 62 Percent of His Budget Cuts from Programs for Lower-Income Americans



Monday, August 6, 2012

Jim Maynard, Memphis DSA Activist, for U.S. Senate




Since the TN Democratic Party has basically forfeited the 2012 U.S. Senate to Republican Bob Corker, I'm offering my name as a write-in candidate to those who want their write in vote counted. (Paperwork is being filed with the TN Election Commission to make the write-in votes count.)

 I'm a 49 year old gay, humanist, democratic socialist activist in Memphis, Tennessee. I've been fighting for economic and social justice, LGBT equality, separation of church and state my whole adult life. In 2004 and 2006, I ran a write-in campaign against Harold Ford Jr., who betrayed the Tennessee LGBT community and progressives, and ran for Congress as a right-wing Democrat, opposing LGBT civil rights and siding with Republicans on many issues.

 I have no illusion of winning this election. Neither does the Tennessee Democratic Party, which could not find and support a viable candidate to oppose Republican Bob Corker, and allowed an unknown anti-gay right-wing nut to "win" the primary. The TNDP has urged everyone to write-in a "candidate of your choice," I offer my name if you want to stand up to the right-wing Tea Party Agenda of Bob Corker and the Republican Party, and if you want your write-in vote to be counted.

TN Dems Nominate Anti-Gay Conspiracy Nut for U.S. Senate
TN Democratic Party Disavows  Senate Nominee

Jim Maynard Write-In Candidate for U.S. Senate 2012
FACEBOOK PAGE

Here's My Progressive Platform

Monday, July 30, 2012

Medicare turns 47-Medicare for All!




Happy 47th anniversary for Medicare!  It's a good time to fight for Medicare for All! We need a single-payer, national health insurance plan, Medicare for All!

Happy Birthday Medicare!

Join Healthcare-Now!, Memphis DSA and Progressive Democrats of America to watch Michael Moore's SICKO on Sat. Aug. 11th, 2 PM at First Congregational Church and join us in the fight to defend Medicare and expand it to cover EVERYONE!



Facebook Event:

Healthcare-Now!

Progressive Democrats of America

Memphis DSA
Democratic Socialists of America

Sunday, July 22, 2012

American Crisis: U.S. Poverty On Track To Rise To Highest Since 1960s


U.S. Poverty On Track To Rise To Highest Since 1960s
USA Today: U.S. Poverty on track to rise to  highest since 1960s
Number of People Living in Extreme Poverty Up 50% Since 2000
Poverty Tracker: 46.1 Million Americans in Poverty
Poverty in the 50 years since Michael Harrington's "The Other America"
Half a Century of Poverty in America 
Demos: 50 Years Since the Other America Conference

The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.
The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
Why are American politicians ignoring the growing numbers of poor people and refuse to address the issue of poverty?

See Poverty In America-50th Anniversary of THE OTHER AMERICA



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday to Woody Guthrie



HAPPY BIRTHDAY WOODY GUTHRIE!

Today is the Centennial (100th) Birthday Celebration of Folk Legend Wood Guthrie.  Celebrations have been organized around the world.

Democracy Now! Has had several great segments on the life, politics and music of Woody Guthrie:;


DSA has been commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Michael Harrington's classic book THE OTHER AMERICA, on poverty in America, and the Centennial Celebration of Woody Guthrie's life and music ties right in.. Both Harrington and Guthrie focused on the plight of the "underclass" in America.

Guthie  left Okemah Oklahomoa during the Great Depression and Great Dust Bowl that drove millions of poor workers and farmers west to California, and trekked his  way to California where he got involved in the working people's groups and associations, and started singing songs about the lives and people he watched struggle against Big Business and capitalism.

Woody Guthrie's music, from This Land is Your Land, Do Re Mi, to Hard Travelin' and All Your Fascists, is about how working class poor people deal with the class struggle between labor and capital… 
Learn more about Woody Guthrie at the Woody Guthrie Website

Hope to see you at our meeting today, 2 PM at Caritas Village (2509 Harvard Ave)

Monday, July 9, 2012

50 Years Since The Other America: Watch Conference Live- July 10th

50 Years Since The Other America | Demos


Fifty years ago, Michael Harrington's classic exposé The Other America shed light on widespread poverty in the United States and helped pave the way for reforms that have improved the lives of millions of Americans. But with millions of people still living below the poverty line even before the latest recession hit, inequality rising, and millions out of work, there is much more to do.
Join us for a national conference on U.S. poverty in the 21st Century. Leading researchers, practitioners, and journalists will assess how economic and policy trends are affecting poverty today, and will discuss promising new policies and strategies for lifting and keeping Americans out of poverty. We will probe what low wages, low job growth, demographic and cultural trends, and budget-cutting plans mean for Americans trying to move into the middle class.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy IndependencevDay-Harrington on Patriotism

Happy Independence Day - Uprising

“It was as a socialist, and because I was a socialist, that I fell in love with America. In saying that I am not indulging in romantic nostalgia about youthful days on the road but rather underlining a crucial political truth. If the Left wants to change this country because it hates it, then the people will never listen to the Left and the people will be right. To be a socialist–to be a Marxist–is to make an act of faith, of love even, toward this land. It is to sense the seed beneath the snow; to see, beneath the veneer of corruption and meanness and the commercialization of human relationships, men and women capable of controlling their own destinies. To be a radical is, in the best and only decent sense of the word, patriotic.”

– Michael Harrington, Fragments of the Century

Friday, June 29, 2012

DSA Statement on SCOTUS Decision on the Affordable Care Act






Democratic Socialists of America
Statement on the Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”)


The DSA National Political Committee (NPC) welcomes the 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The decision affirms the right of Congress to legislate in the interest of the general welfare of the American people.
We applaud the gains for ordinary American families that will come with the ACA. Over ten million members of moderate income families will gain coverage under Medicaid; millions of young Americans between the age of 21 and 26 will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance; children and adults with pre-existing conditions will now be covered by the same policies as those deemed by insurers to be “healthy”; and over one hundred million Americans will now be free of lifetime expenditure limits on their coverage.


DSA also recognizes, however, that the ACA will fail to curtail ever-rising health care costs driven by the profit-seeking of private insurers and private health-care providers. Only a single-payer or “Medicare for All” system would provide truly affordable universal coverage by granting a single public insurer bargaining leverage over private providers.
Therefore, DSA will work with the health care activist community to transition the ACA towards a single-payer system. We will join the fight for single-payer at the state level and for the reintroduction of a public option at the federal level.


Progressives, in the short run, must also pressure Congress to appropriate sufficient subsidies to enable uninsured moderate income families to purchase affordable insurance. Otherwise, the anti-“free rider” mandated fee will become a resented burden on those families that still cannot afford to purchase private insurance. We must also organize in favor of Congressional regulations that would prevent corporations from dropping existing health insurance coverage for their employees (in order to switch the course of coverage onto the general public).


DSA also worries that the Court’s rejection of the commerce clause as a justification for national health care legislation may be part of the conservative court’s effort to whittle away at the commerce clause’s use to justify the momentous labor rights legislation of the 1930s and the civil rights laws of the 1960s. Democratic socialists recognize that only strong federal regulation of corporate behavior can insure that the economy serves the people rather than the people serving the interests of corporate masters.
Even though Justice Roberts may have made his “switch in time” on the ACA to refute the charge that he presides over an ideological, political, and conservative Supreme Court, DSA recognizes that the overall direction of the Court (as manifested by the other decisions handed down this week in the Arizona immigration, Montana corporate contributions, and the SEIU union assessment cases) threatens to overturn  80 years of jurisprudence and declare almost all social legislation unconstitutional, including minimum wage and child labor laws. 


--adopted by the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, June 29, 2012


Democratic Socialists of America

DSA Flyer: Healthcare for Everyone

Healthcare-Now!