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Biden's America #2

 
 
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 06:02 am
berniesanders

In the real world, our people are hurting. We pay the highest prices in the world for health care. 18 million families spend 50% of their limited incomes on housing. People cannot afford childcare or pre-K. We need an agenda that keeps the focus on those issues.
19h
 
edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 08:56 am
Dems Boosted an Extreme Republican in a Key Race. Will It Backfire?
Yahoo headline.
Yet they spend millions to block progressives.
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 09:21 am
@edgarblythe,
Definitely a stupid move. One many, I'm afraid, and certainly not the last.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:09 am
@edgarblythe,
The Dems didn't spend millions backing this extreme Republican?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:10 am
@InfraBlue,
What's your point?
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:17 am
@InfraBlue,
The Democratic party and groups associated with them has spent millions on boosting far right Republican candidates in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinous and Maryland.

I saw a figure of US$44million quoted.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:45 am
@izzythepush,
The idea behind backing the extreme Republican in that key race was to put a Republican candidate with lower chances of winning against the Democratic candidate in the election. The Dems boosted that extreme Republican in the Michigan primary race for Representative in the House of Representatives. The strategy is dangerous seeing as how that Republican candidate may just beat the odds. I'm pretty certain that those $44 million went into similar strategies in those other states.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:49 am
@edgarblythe,
By your assertion, it seems that the Dems are spending equal amounts to block progressives as to back extreme Republicans.

The Dems also spend equal amounts to get progressive candidates elected, e.g. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, etc., for that matter.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:50 am
@InfraBlue,
I understand the reasoning.

Edgar was saying it may have backfired.

You appeared to be disputing the spending.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 10:57 am
@izzythepush,
Going by Edgar's assertion, I'm not sure he knows the reasoning, or at least, isn't aware of the dollar amounts put into the strategy.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 11:08 am
@InfraBlue,
They spend money to promote who they think are losing Republican candidates. They spend millions keeping progressives off of the ballot. They also spend a lot keeping Green candidates from being on the ballot. What don't I understand?
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 12:02 pm
@edgarblythe,
You don't seem to understand that they spend these millions in attempting to get electable Dem candidates elected, which includes progressive ones, like the ones I mentioned.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 12:08 pm
@InfraBlue,
Real progressives are systematically spent against by Dems to keep centrist Dems on the ballot. Period.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 12:11 pm
@edgarblythe,
Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, etc., aren't real progressives in your view?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 12:13 pm
Tenants Call on Biden to Act as Rent Increases Reach a 35-Year High

Inflation cooled off and remained unchanged during the month of July, providing President Joe Biden and vulnerable Democrats a reason to celebrate ahead of the midterms. However, on Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its consumer price index, which reports that the cost of paying rent inflated by 6.3 percent over the past year, the largest increase in 35 years and a clear signal that the housing crisis enflamed by the COVID pandemic continues.

The rent inflation index reflects landlords raising rents on existing tenants; it does not include the prices of new leases when tenants move. A monthly report from Apartment List, a company that tracks rental data, found that when price hikes in new leases are included, rents actually grew by 12.3 percent over the past 12 months, down from a peak 18 percent in January. Nationally, the median cost of an apartment reached $2,000 for the first time ever in June.

Despite billions of dollars in federal assistance for renters and landlords, eviction rates in cities across the country climbed to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 after moratoriums on kicking people out during a health crisis expired last year.

Housing advocates say corporate landlords are knowingly profiting off the misery of tenants suffering under high prices for food, health care, school supplies, and other essentials, but Congress is not expected to act. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Senate Democrats this week, would invest $370 billion in climate, energy and environmental justice programs but notably does not include provisions focused on affordable housing.

Rev. Rhonda Thomas, a faith-based racial justice organizer in Florida, said the housing and climate crises are colliding, and policy makers must consider the “people who have suffered the most” from these intersecting emergencies as the nation transitions to cleaner energy.

“In Florida, the climate emergency has created a housing crisis that, again, adversely impacts communities of color,” Thomas said in a statement released by a coalition of Black women in response to the legislation this week. “Housing prices have skyrocketed even as wages have stagnated.”

Instead of focusing on Congress, many housing advocates are targeting the Biden administration, which they argue can regulate the rental market through a number of federal agencies. Ahead of the latest inflation data on Tuesday, a coalition of more than 220 housing and community organizations demanded Biden declare a national housing emergency and outlined a plan for taking federal action without waiting on Congress.

For example, the Federal Trade Commission could issue a regulation defining excessive rent increases as an unfair business practice and enforce the standard through lawsuits and administrative proceedings, according to the coalition. The Securities and Exchange Commission can impose disclosure requirements when publicly traded corporations raise rent on tenants, and regulators can investigate new bundled securities backed by rent and mortgage payments that are a hot new thing on Wall Street.

Such federal action could hold landlords accountable to the public but would not provide direct relief to struggling renters. The administration could consider rent controls for landlords working with federal housing programs, but these types of regulations would only help some of the lowest-income tenants.

Rent is often the largest line item on most household budgets, with families spending an average 35 percent of their income on housing in 2020, according to federal data.

For households on low or fixed incomes, rent increases mean choosing between paying the landlord and buying essentials, according to Michael Mitchell, a director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

“For the median tenant in one of the 50 largest American cities, you are paying $200 more now than you were last year, and that’s money people can’t spend on groceries and school supplies,” Mitchell told reporters on Thursday. “When the alternative is homelessness, it really puts tenants in a bind.”

Vanessa Armour knows this story all too well. An activist and retired postal worker living in Las Vegas, Nevada, Armour was excited about the prospect of spending her retirement in her current apartment when she moved in. However, her landlord has tacked on fees for “assessments,” Armour said, effectively raising her $1,100 rent by more than $200 per month. So, Armour said, she was forced to leave retirement and take a part-time job; her fixed income was no longer enough to afford basics such as food and medication.

“Should I live in the dark, skip my medications, or do I just not eat?” Armour said during a Zoom call on Thursday. “I worked so damn hard for 38 years. I should be able to enjoy my retirement.”

Armour, a leader of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said she and other advocates held a meeting this week with Sandra Thompson, the deputy director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Like millions of other people, Armour lives in a property benefiting from federal loans under the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs created by Congress, and Thompson is the top regulator overseeing the programs, which are designed to allow liquidity in the housing market and keep prices down.

Thompson pledged to investigate her agency’s power to tie federal financing for landlords and property managers to new protection for tenants against harmful rent increases, according to Armour. The White House announced a plan in May to bolster the housing supply with new infrastructure funding and zoning reforms. Yet the question of whether federal agencies will muster their regulatory power to challenge landlords and tackle rising rents — which are undoubtedly on the minds of voters — remains to be answered.
- Truthout
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2022 12:15 pm
@InfraBlue,
They put up a Dem to primary Omar but she won anyway. They were not long back considering eliminating Cortez' district. And so forth.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2022 06:19 pm
How Democrats can deserve the independents' vote

1. Give us the other $600
2 Ignore or replace the parliamentarian
3 Actually fight for a minimum wage even if it gets stifled, as promised
4. Cancel student debt - all of it
5 keep the promise to push the George Floyd act
6 fight evictions
7 Actually make a fight for health care instead of insurance profits
8 Kill Trump's program aimed at privatizing Social Security instead of embracing it
9 Get DeJoy out of the Post Office
10 Quit spending millions to deny progressives on the ballot
11 Quit expanding oil drilling on public land
12 Take pot off of the Schedule One drugs list
13 Pardon all non violent pot convictions
14 Release Leonard Peltier
15 Try harder to tax the rich
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2022 10:58 am
What Biden Has — and Hasn’t — Done

Quote:
There’s something strange in the D.C. air these days. It smells a bit like … competence.

Seriously, it has been amazing to watch the media narrative on the Biden administration change. Just a few weeks ago President Biden was portrayed as hapless, on the edge of presiding over a failed presidency. Then came the Inflation Reduction Act, a big employment report and some good news on inflation, and suddenly we’re hearing a lot about his accomplishments.

But I still don’t think the media narrative gets it quite right. Biden has indeed accomplished a lot — in some ways more than he’s getting credit for, even now. On the other hand, America is a huge nation with a huge economy, and his policies don’t look as impressive when you compare them with the scale of the nation’s problems.

Furthermore, at this point Biden is arguably benefiting from the soft bigotry of low expectations. His policy achievements are big by modern standards, but they wouldn’t have seemed astounding in an earlier era — the era before the radicalization of the Republican Party made it almost impossible to pursue real solutions to real problems.

So, what has Biden accomplished?

As I see it, he came into office with three main domestic policy goals: investing in America’s fraying infrastructure, taking serious action against climate change and expanding the social safety net, especially for families with children. He got most of two and a bit of the third.

Last year’s infrastructure bill gets remarkably little media attention; only about a quarter of voters even know that it passed. But we should remember that Barack Obama wanted to invest in infrastructure but couldn’t; Donald Trump promised to do it but didn’t (and “It’s infrastructure week!” became a running joke); then Biden got it done.

By contrast, the Inflation Reduction Act, which is mainly a climate law, has received a lot of attention, and deservedly so. America is finally taking action against the biggest existential threat of our times. Energy experts believe that it will have large direct effects in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

These are significant achievements, and a big contrast with the last administration, whose only major domestic policy change was a tax cut that had almost no visible positive effects.

But when I see news reports describe these laws as “massive” or huge, I wonder whether the writers have done the math. The infrastructure law will add roughly $500 billion in spending over the next decade. The Inflation Reduction Act will increase spending by roughly an additional half trillion. A law to promote U.S. semiconductor production will add around $50 billion more. Overall, then, we’re talking about a bit more than $1 trillion in public investment over 10 years.

To put this in perspective, the Congressional Budget Office expects cumulative gross domestic product to be more than $300 trillion over the next decade. So the Biden agenda will amount to around one-third of one percent of G.D.P. Massive it isn’t.

True, some of what Biden has done may have effects much bigger than the dollar sums might suggest. There are reasons to hope that the climate law will have a sort of catalytic effect in promoting a transition to clean energy. And some economists believe that boosting the budget of the resource-starved Internal Revenue Service will greatly reduce tax evasion and hence increase revenue.

And can we say a word about foreign policy? Biden got immense flak over the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, although the critics offered few suggestions about what he should have done differently. But the narrative on foreign affairs has changed, too; I’m no expert, but it looks to me as if the Biden administration has done a remarkable job assembling and holding together a coalition to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression.

OK, I can already hear people yelling in response to any citation of Biden’s achievements, what about inflation? Indeed, the Biden administration failed to appreciate the risks of an inflation surge. However, so did many others, including the Federal Reserve (and yours truly). And it does seem worth pointing out that other countries, notably Britain, are also suffering from high inflation, even though they didn’t follow anything like Biden-style policies. In fact, Britain’s inflation problem looks worse than ours, on multiple dimensions.

And both the public and financial markets expect inflation to be brought under control. So it doesn’t look as if this admittedly big misstep will do enduring damage.

Again, I don’t want to sound Trumpian and claim that Biden is doing an awesome job, a perfect job, the best job anyone has ever seen. What he has done — and was doing even before the media narrative turned — is deal, reasonably effectively, with the real problems America is facing.

The thing is, what we’re getting from Biden should be routine in a wealthy, sophisticated nation; indeed, it was routine before the G.O.P. took its hard right turn. At this point, however, competent, reality-based government comes as a shock.

krugman
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2022 11:17 am
Time is running out for the midterms.
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2022 12:20 pm
@hightor,
Thank you for posting that article.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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