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    • The Left Wing “Shit Sandwich” Dilemma
      Kamala Harris and Joe Biden each have terrible records. There is no reason to believe they will do much that is good, and every reason to believe they will do much that is bad. Trump will, at least for Americans, probably be even worse. (It is less clear he will be better for foreigners.) The […]
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The payoffs – and obstacles – to attending to women’s work in the current economy

Brace yourself. I know this will come as a great shock, but the economic stimulus package does not, in the opinion of genuine academics, address gender realities in the economy.

From a must-read column by Professor Mimi Abramovitz:

Contrary to popular wisdom, spending on services like health care and education produces a bigger bang for the economic-stimulus buck than billions of dollars devoted to roads and bridges. …. For years service jobs have been “reserved” for women. Could this be why mostly male economists have pushed for “shovel ready” jobs held mostly by men as the way to dig us out of the economic quagmire? Could it be that sustaining the male-breadwinner and female-homemaker division of labor trumped economic good sense?

From Professor Susan Feiner learn about W.E.A.V.E and its position on the current stimulus package:

No. 1: Revive and enforce Labor Department regulations requiring affirmative action for all federal contractors.

No. 2: Set aside apprenticeship and training programs in infrastructure projects for women and people of color. Both groups are seriously underrepresented in the construction trades.

No. 3: Spend recovery money on projects in health, child care, education and social services.

Before going into detail on these three targets, let’s also look at two over-arching problems with the current plan: Too meager, too male.

Women make up a huge proportion of the workforce, they own homes in ever greater numbers, they have consumer clout – but economically, women are systemically disadvantaged in ways that make put them at greater financial risk then  men. Whether it be for reasons of justice or reasons of prudence, our country cannot afford economic measures that do not address this disparity in risk. We must design economic programs that put women forward.

Senate Saturday Stimulus Session Liveblog

[Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round In Circles” performed by Paul Weller band.]

February, 7, 2009 — Liveblogging the Senate debate on the huge, now $1.2 trillion bill. Quoted from live testimony, as best I can keep up with the typing, for as long as it’s interesting — or should I say frustrating. Why am I agreeing with the Republicans’ caution? As you know, I’ve always, until last year, been a Democrat. But never mind about that — that gets back to a great point made down page by Johann: it doesn’t matter how we got here, stop blaming each other and get to explaining what the bill will do and to making one that actually creates jobs.

And so they go, around, and around, and around, and around . . . .

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL —

The new OBM Director, whose nomination  both Democrats and Republicans just approved, reported that the $1.1 trillion stimulus package will create jobs that “cost” between $100,000 – $300,000. Some reports say the number is as high as $900,000 per job. My non-econ brain thinks this means that there’s so much other spending besides job creation that what it costs to produce each job averages out to that.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA is chastising the Bush Admin for getting us in there, but I find her self-righteous tone annoying. Hmm, another one of my gals. I’m just not sure I can get over her behavior as head of the California Delegation at the Democratic Convention, but she’s reporting:

  • 2,589,000 2008 jobs lost
  • 1% increase in Medicaid state and national spending
  • 1000 applicants line up for 35 firefighting jobs in Florida and the police were called to control the crowd, plus other examples
  • Extensive layoffs happening in California.
  • Going on about the past eight years, Boxer hits that we had a surplus during Clinton and balanced the budget, but the Republicans took it up to $3 trillion – war in Iraq and tax cuts to the wealthiest.

It seems to me that instead of bitching and moaning about the past, that BOXER, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY could be explaining the damn bill and how it would help create jobs. Instead, we hear about her putting aside her ego (really?) and compromising, because oh right, “WE WON!” implies Barbara.

This election was about change . . .  not just about trickle down tax cuts that the Republicans want.

So it’s either or? She has blathered on without saying a word of what the bill has in it or will do. Our government is an idiotic mess.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-NE —

A bill $1.2 trillion — the biggest bill in the history of the world. Many couldn’t answer the number of zeros in the number, yet we have to vote on it within the next 24 hours. It’s not good enough that we’ve trimmed. Now it’s $7 billion over the house version, so we have a more expensive one. They’ve cut $110 billion. but bill is still comprised of wasteful spending — might be worthy of support in appropriations process, but doesn’t stimulate the economy. It is a giant appropriations bill. I’ve fought for many of these programs, money: to consolidate the Dept. of Homeland Security, for Earth Science Mission, money for trail maintenance and cars — worthy projects, but they don’t stimulate the economy.

I hear a lot about bi-partisan efforts. In Nebraska, our senators were elected on a non-partisan ticket, [and we hash things out.] Unless there is a new meaning attached to this word, this “compromise” closed door meetings, with 2 Republicans attending and in the end that was announced as the bi-part efforts, less than 1/4 of 1/10 of Republican Senators were included.

I’m not willing to put aside due diligence to find a couple of months from now that what we thought would work did not. . . . This is literally borrowed money, yet we’re not going to take a vote on paying for this. I’ve heard the debate about who’s responsible and who did what and what they wanted us to accomplish was to get out fiscal house in order, not to sort out faults, to solve problems.

I come from a state where our Constitution requires a balanced budget and forbids borrowing money over a certain amount. I could not issue debt, so instead of cutting taxes, I cut spending. It never occurred to any of us in our legislature that we’d tell our kids, etc. how we were going to borrow and leave the payback to them.

I think the Change people voted for was about how we run our government. We’ve got to grab ahold of this or our dollar won’t be worth anything, because we keep printing it.

Okay, dude, I’m in. Mike Johanns for President.

Sen. Amy Klobushcar, D-MN —

Blah, blah, blah, real families, bad times, all’s lost. Blah, blah, blah, what the new energy jobs will get us.

Sen. John Ensign, R-NV — A history lesson

Roaring twenties: Pres. Coolidge: low tax rates, encouraging private sector to invest was good, stock market became over-valued, like .com of 90s bubble burst, the banking bubble burst. Pres. Hoover increased taxes, government spending on infrastructure, instituted Smoot-Hawley protectionist trade law. Roosevelt, New Deal, massive government spending. people argue today that the Great Depression happened because the spending was stop and go. 1937 taxes were raised again, which caused a depression within a depression. The New Deal didn’t bring us out the Depression, it was WWII. Tremendous sacrifices were made with rationing of basic supplies. After 1929 market never recovered until mid-1950s. Do we want to wait that long for our market to recover?

% of debt to GDP chart: Went up over last few years. Tax rate cuts like under Reagan, Kennedy, Coolidge, stimulated economic revenue. Problem under Bush was that we spent too much money. All of this spending, sovereign wealth funds have been buying our treasury bills. what happens if other countries think we’re too big of a risk? Our economy goes off the cliff. At a certain point, living beyond your means catches up with you.

All spending is not bad, but all doesn’t create stimulus.

Ensign showed that in Japan lost 1990s decade: spending increased but it didn’t get them out of their economic woes.

$1.3 trillion bill when you add the interest, $300,000 per job created or saved. 1.3 million jobs (the low end) the price tag is $600,000 per job.

Examples of the pork in this bill: $6.1 for corp. jet hangers in Fayetteville, bike facilities, pedestrian ways, and bike paths.

I love to cycle, but this isn’t a time to build these things. Invest in infrastructure that makes the economy more efficient. Take our time to see where the money’s going. If we rush through this thing, we’ll have inflation and higher taxes and will do more damage to our economy.

If stimulus package was put together with both sides – because neither has the right idea, we would have had 80 votes. We should have sat down together to craft it, but the Dems brought a Dem bill to the floor in the first place.

To be continued. . . .

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

Is Stimulis Right For You?

“Are you an economy with performance issues?”

Stimulis That Makes You Go Mmm-mm-m

“Stimulis” was written and produced by Ted Balaker, and edited by Alex Manning.

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

You Solve It, Pass the Chips

Bachelorette party food by rlj.

The Prez wrote me an email today. You can read it below. Did you get one, too?

Riverdaughter suggests that we PUMAs host our own party and contact the new DNC Chairman, Governor Tim Kaine, directly. We can let him know what we think about the President’s placation of Republicans in removing the birth control funding from the handout that doesn’t solve anything and still leaves out homeowners, women, and longtime unemployed stimulus package. Thanks for the direct link to new leader’s helper, RD.

I’d like to underline the insidious Big Brother notion of these house parties. Now, I’m as much a party-lover as the best of you. However, this house party meeting model with email and web sign-ups is taken directly from moveon.org’s organizational tools to influence the government they just helped put in power. It was also adapted by the DNC to host parties during the 2008 campaign season. If memory serves, the DNC even used a similar web-based organizational tool to promote Obama events on their website during the Democratic Primaries in April 2008 when Hillary Clinton was still in the race. The house party model consists of a central, piped in speaker, by video and/or phone, with question and answer period to go along with meet yer neighbors, let’s have food, and get to know each other and who’s in our camp.

I’ve been touting the effectiveness of this model for nine months after seeing how an org of which I was a charter member used it to help put Barack Obama in power. In doing so, moveon.org members were subsequently used and thrown under the bus. I wonder if they’ll ever awake to find that they’re in intensive care?

Our PUMA movement could use this model to start cooking up recipes in the kitchen. Obama said we’re the ones he was counting on for change and that the American people need to get involved. I guess he hopes we’ll come up with some pretty good ideas after Big Brother tells us what’s good for us about spending our money.

Lady Boomer —

The economic crisis is growing more serious every day, and the time for action has come.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will jumpstart our economy and put more than 3 million people back to work.

I hope to sign the recovery plan into law in the next few weeks. But I need your help to spread the word and build support.

It’s not enough for this bill to simply pass Congress. Americans need to know how it will affect their lives — they need to know that help is on the way and that this administration is investing in economic growth and stability.

[IMPORTANT NOTE TO READERS: And about that stimulus plan . . . You can read Puma PAC’s decoding of it here. Our community and the whole country owe a debt of gratitude to Puma PAC members who devoted their time and noggins to bring to light what the people who run our government are trying to shove down our throats.]

Governor Tim Kaine has agreed to record a video outlining the recovery plan and answering questions about what it means for your community. You can submit your questions online and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors to watch the video with you at an Economic Recovery House Meeting.

Join thousands of people across the country by hosting or attending an Economic Recovery House Meeting this weekend.

The stakes are too high to allow partisan politics to get in the way.

That’s why I’ve consulted with Republicans as well as Democrats to put together a plan that will address the crisis we face.

I’ve also taken steps to ensure an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Once it’s passed, you will be able to see how every penny in this plan is being spent.

You can help restore confidence in our economy by making sure your friends, family, and neighbors understand how the recovery plan will impact your community.

Sign up to host or attend an Economic Recovery House Meeting and submit your question for the video now:

http://my.barackobama.com/recovery

Our ability to come together as a nation in difficult times has never been more important.

I know I can rely on your spirit and resolve as we lead our country to recovery.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

P.S. — If you can’t host or attend an Economic Recovery House Meeting, you can still submit your questions for Governor Kaine and then share the video with your friends and family this weekend. Learn more here:

http://my.barackobama.com/recovery

Party to solve the country’s problems, anyone? I know! Soon there’ll be a fundraiser component to it, where we just raise money flat out for the government, instead of the DNC, RNC or moveon. You in?

Oh, and speaking of which . . . Excuse me, is it weird to have the New DNC Chairman appearing in a supposedly neutral role to the whole country at these parties? Perhaps, then we can become more familiar with our Party leaders, so they’ll become just like all the other neutral people in power who are unselfishly interested in bettering our lives? What the ????

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]