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Government That’s Big and Does Create Jobs

1:56 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Great Lakes from space

(Picture courtesy of NASA on flickr.com.)

Another event in the ongoing saga that is that Big Lie about government not creating jobs is happening in the Great Lakes.   Begun in 2009 when there still was a somewhat functional congress, the Great Lakes Restoration Investment is putting taxpayer money to work.   For a change, that will be to benefit actual taxpayers.

In the Great Lakes area, the jobs will be created to work for ecological renewal, infrastructure and research that put back together one of the country’s most important resources.

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will spend $6 million to hire unemployed people to work on a variety of projects related to cleaning up the Great Lakes. While the jobs program will be on a much smaller scale than the CCC, it will help address both the issue of unemployment and environmental improvement.

The $6 million available from the EPA is specified for projects that both restore the lakes and provide jobs for at least 20 out-of-work people. The EPA will announce its selection of projects by the end of next month.

Up to $1 million is available for any one project, but it must provide immediate benefit to the environment and be done in an area that has been identified as a federal priority, such as pollution sites or national lakeshores.

The work to be done is vital, and will recreate an environment rapidly being lost.   The invasive species and loss of waterfront areas to polluting and destructive forces is important for the population, tourism and simple enjoyment of the land we need to protect.

Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan, which EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson released in cooperation with 15 other participating agencies and several Great Lakes governors in February 2010.

The Great Lakes provide 20 million Americans with drinking water and underpin a multi-billion dollar economy.  In February 2009, President Obama proposed the GLRI, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

The Action Plan, which covers FY 2010 through 2014, was developed by a task force of 16 federal departments and agencies to implement the president’s historic initiative.  It calls for aggressive efforts to address five urgent priority ‘Focus Areas’:

Cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spot areas of concern
• Combating invasive species
• Promoting near-shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted run-off
• Restoring wetlands and other habitats
• Tracking progress, education and working with strategic partners

If you fell over in a faint, you’ve been taking much too seriously that yapping campaign crowd that likes to refer to the ‘failed stimulus’ and thought that saying it is so makes it so, which your momma should have told you just isn’t so.   Read the rest of this entry →

You Really Don’t Want Rick Perry in the White House

12:49 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Primary begins.

(Picture courtesy of flickr.com.)

The Götterdämmerung that is the Republican Party’s campaign for the presidency in 2012 has been wild enough to give hope for a round of presidentin’ to everyone who’s enjoyed a few minutes in media’s glare.   That includes TX gov. Perry, recently much touted for offering to secede, and throwing court challenges against EPA’s right to protect TX citizens from the polluters that fund his campaigns.

It is no secret that this state has a lot of business pleasing qualities, such as a total lack of state income tax and of environmental protections.  Famously, we were the first to give industry self-regulation.   Now while reported pollution of air and water is significantly improved, actual figures from the field show our cities are unlivable.   Of course, we knew that.   Texas leads the nation in shunting back any potential services for the working people that it lives off of.

What this nation really doesn’t need is another TX governor exporting the wild and wooly creations of this corporate welfare haven to the national level, at great cost to public interests.

Those celebrating him as the architect of our low-tax state would be forced to acknowledge that this is nothing new, and that Texas is also an extreme low-services state, with serious consequences for Texas families.
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Making Mockery of Deficit and Bartiromo “Logic”: Barney Frank

12:40 am in Business, Economy, Government, Legislature, Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

Barney Frank Decimates Wingnut Economics (click for video)

In an interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, Rep. Frank made mincemeat not just of the deficit hawks now pouring on the debt to give more to the rich.   While he was at it, he also made a bit of hash of interviewer Bartiromo.

While pointing out that any attack on social security is an attack on the most successful system the government operates.  He went on to point out that the cuts on taxes Bush passed were scheduled to end now, ten years after introduced, because it would have been reported otherwise by CBO that they were unaffordable.

Bartiromo asked about job creation, and Frank points out that the wingers were ceding unemployment which would actually be stimulative.  He would have added getting out of Iraq in order to afford more, but should commit to replacing moneys lost to social security by payroll tax cuts.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Mounting Interest Hurtles Debt Higher

7:00 am in Uncategorized by Ruth Calvo

The constant accusations by the right wing that this administration is busting the budget are obviously cynical distortions in the face of the debt that the right wing began and accumulated. Ignoring the amount contributed to our debt by the interest itself, the interest we pay constantly on accumulated war and related spending and other debts the right wing took on, amounts to a growing burden. Like a child that has lit a fire that leaps out of control, the wingers watch with fright the results they brought on and yelp with fear. To combat their disaster, the adults have lit a backfire and the kids are scared and mad about losing their pretty fire.

At 19% of our debt figure, credit interest obligation mounts daily to new heights. Just as a credit card that acquires new indebtedness daily takes on debt life of its own if we don’t pay it off, our national bonded state daily increases the debt the wingnuts originated. While the right wing accuses this Obama administration of increasing our burden and deplores that as a national hazard, their own obligations add daily to the deficit figure that they claim to deplore; they ignore that old debt that they themselves piled onto this country.

For a sobering effect, there is a debt clock we can watch as it mounts constantly, functioning all on its own since started by the original irresponsible borrowing. Until the economy creates jobs, the debt mounts, because taxes are the source of repayment – taxes on wages and earnings. While the right wing fights spending on the stimulus and creating the source of payments on debt interest, that debt will continue to mount. Click on "debt" in the previous sentence and watch the figures roll on.

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