Monday, March 28, 2011

Stiglitz: Budget plan a 'near suicide pact'

Stiglitz: Bowles-Simpson plan will slow economic growth - Mar. 28, 2011:

By Charles Riley, staff reporter,

"...Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz issued a harsh indictment of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction proposal Monday, arguing the plan would slow economic growth and lead to a weaker America.

If enacted, the plan would be 'counterproductive' and 'constitute a near-suicide pact,' Stiglitz wrote in an op-ed published in Politico."

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Private investment key to U.S. infrastructure plan

Private investment key to U.S. infrastructure plan | Reuters:

by Rick Cowan and John Crawley
Reuters 3/15/11

"...A government plan to upgrade U.S. roads and rails would kick-start an infrastructure bank by putting in enough funds to lure private investment and eventually become self-sustaining, according to a proposal to be unveiled in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday."

"The bipartisan plan advanced by Democrat John Kerry and Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison envisions a financing institution for loans and loan guarantees modeled on the Export-Import Bank, according to Senate sources with knowledge of the proposal."

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Taking Aim at the Pentagon Budget | The Nation

Taking Aim at the Pentagon Budget | The Nation:

Robert Dreyfuss, 3/23/11 (in April 11 2011 issue of The Nation magazine)

Here's a good piece by Robert Dreyfuss on the potential for significant savings in military spending, which could be used to fund other things America needs, like clean energy, infrastructure and education, as advocated by groups like the New Priorities Network.

"...A politics of debt and deficit reduction has taken hold in Washington, tied to an economic crisis that has convinced many that the United States can no longer afford an oversized Pentagon. And for the public, the decade-long trauma of 9/11, which fueled the “war on terror,” has finally begun to ease. War-weary Americans have turned decisively against the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, according to polls, voters support cuts in military spending. All that creates space on Capitol Hill to take on the Iron Triangle."

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jobs And Economic Justice Tour Launched

cross-posted from
Jobs And Economic Justice Tour Launched 
by Isaiah J. Poole, 3/10/11

"...The Progressive Caucus is launching a 'jobs and economic justice' tour around the country, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., announced at the Summit on Jobs and America's Future."

"The tour is designed to promote an alternative to the 'so be it' agenda of congressional conservatives and their corporate backers that Ellison says is attacking the fundamental underpinnings of the middle class — and ultimately the principles of American democracy..."

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LA Mayor Villaraigosa Discusses America Fast Forward At Jobs Summit

cross posted from

by Dave Johnson, 3/10/11

"...Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, talked today at the Summit On Jobs and America's Future in Washington D.C. Villaraigosa described the bipartisan America Fast Forward initiative from the National Conference of Mayors. The America Fast Forward initiative is based on Villaraigosa’s 30/10 initiative for public transportation construction projects in Los Angeles.

"According to the LA Daily News:

America Fast Forward includes increasing annual funding for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act; increasing the maximum percentage of the funding allotment that the act can finance; permitting the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve multiple related projects at the same time; allowing the department to grant up-front credits to projects and authorizing the department to lock in interest rates for approved projects.

Villaraigosa said the plan would generate $158 billion in total economic output focused in the construction and technical industries while generating $10.6 billion in new federal tax revenue and another $5.8 billion in state tax revenue."

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Americans Agree on the Need to Invest to Create Jobs

According to a national poll by Celinda Lake conducted in February 2011, 58% of Americans agreed with the following statement.  

"While reducing the deficit is important, creating jobs and growing the economy should be our first priority. The best way to get our deficits under control is to put our economy back on track. That requires investment in areas vital to our economy like education, modern infrastructure, research and technology, and a clear plan to make things in America once more. Critical investments in our future cannot be sacrificed to austerity and budget cuts."

Only 35% of respondents thought that deficit reduction should be the overriding priority.  

Ms. Lake presented the poll findings at the Summit on Jobs and America's Future on March 10.

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Van Jones: A Ladder to Climb

Van Jones: A Ladder to Climb

by Dave Johnson - March 11, 2011

"...Van Jones gave an inspirational closing talk at yesterday's the Summit On Jobs & America's Future in Washington D.C.

'We are all trying to answer a very simple question: where did the hope go?"

Read article

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