Statement on Proposed Debt Ceiling Deal

The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, on the proposed debt ceiling deal that Congress is expected to vote on later today:

Social Security

“The deal to raise the debt ceiling is a recipe to raid Social Security, and harm the economic security of American workers and their families.  We are pleased that the first set of spending cuts does not include cuts to Social Security, whose benefits are modest and whose administrative costs are less than a penny of every dollar of revenue.  At the same time, we are concerned about the impact of those cuts on the economy, and also at the lack of a jobs program and other spending that will put Americans back to work. 

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Devil's Advocate

It appears this morning that Congress finally found their collective sanity and averted the financial calamity they themselves created.Devil's Advocate

Truly, this is democracy at its finest.

While the political pundits analyze the political winners and losers to this debt-ceiling debacle, one thing is clear: they won, and we lost. This should not be surprising.

But more than that, I couldn't help thinking that perhaps the Tea Party folks were onto something here - would it really have been so bad if we didn't raise the debt ceiling? More to the point, who would a government default hurt more - the rich or the poor?

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INSTITUTE INDEX: The apartheid of wealth

Cross-posted from the Institute for Southern Studies.

Percent by which the net worth of white U.S. households fell from 2005 to 2009: 16

Of black households: 53

Of Hispanic households: 66

Number of times by which the median wealth of white households now surpasses that of Hispanic households: 18

Of black households: 20

Amount of wealth held by the typical white household in 2009: $113,149

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Ticking towards midnight

During the Cold War, the Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences published on its cover each month a clock whose hands were set somewhere between 11:50 and 12:00. 11:50 represented a reduced concern over nuclear annihilation, midnight represented a nuclear exchange. Thankfully the clock never hit midnight after they began publishing the clock ticker.Time_Bomb.jpg

While we wouldn't want to create a strict analogy here, most objective analysts predict dire economic consequences if we default next Monday, and the clock will keep ticking until a deal is reached. As partisans fiercely spin this morning to win public support for their position, we can only hope that we all don't wind up in that bathtub where zealots have vowed to drown the federal government.

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Checking the Boxes

Those of us who live in the Triangle are accustomed to hearing every month or so that our fair cities are in the Top 10 for some silly accolade, no-doubt dreamed up by a business magazine writer who needs to sell more magazines. For example, we are the Best Place for Business and Careers according to Forbes, #2 Next Big Boom Town according to Forbes, and the #3 Best Labor Market for Young Adults according to BizJournals. It gets old, and we're all kinda over it.

Yes, we are jaded.check-list.gif

But North Carolina appeared this weekend on another "Top 10" list. And no, it wasn't Letterman.  No, according to the good folks at AlterNet, NC is among The 10 Craziest State Legislatures In America.  Can you just feel your pride swelling?

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