• Sanders Unveils Plan to End Cash Bail, Ban Private Prisons, and 'Fundamentally Transform' US Criminal Justice System
    https://youtu.be/ha9RVJxee28
    Jake Johnson, staff writer

    Decrying America's status as the "world's leading jailer," Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday released a comprehensive plan to confront the crisis of mass incarceration, end the criminalization of poverty, and dramatically overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system.

    "We have a criminal justice system that is racist and broken, and working together we're going to fundamentally transform it," said Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

    The platform, which Sanders unveiled at an event in Columbia, South Carolina on Sunday, condemns America's "overly-punitive approach to public safety" and urges investments "to rebuild the communities that mass incarceration continues to decimate."

    "We have over two million people in jail and prison, more than any other nation on earth, and they are disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American," Sanders wrote in an email to supporters on Sunday. "We spend $80 billion a year keeping people behind bars, money which could be used for education, job creation, and affordable housing."

    People for Bernie ✔ @People4Bernie
    "We spent, and I want everybody to hear this, $80 billion a year in tax dollars at the local, state, and federal level to lock up fellow Americans... It might be a better idea to take some of that $80 billion and start investing in our young people." @BernieSanders
    Embedded video: https://twitter.com/People4Bernie/status/1163164345850720256
    2:02 PM - Aug 18, 2019

    To remedy this dysfunctional and devastating system, Sanders' platform—detailed on his website—calls for:

    A ban on private prisons as part of a broader effort to "end profiteering in our criminal justice system";
    An end to cash bail, which traps poor Americans in a cycle of debt;
    Halting excessive sentencing "with the goal of cutting the incarcerated population in half";
    Transformation of policing by ensuring oversight and accountability for law enforcement, banning use of facial recognition software by law enforcement, and ending "programs that provide military equipment to local police";
    Abolishing the death penalty;
    Legalization of marijuana and erasure of past marijuana convictions; and
    An end to the criminalization of addiction by funding adequate treatment for those addicted to opioids.
    "If we stand together, we can eliminate private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up," Sanders said during his speech in South Carolina.

    "If we stand together we can end the disastrous 'war on drugs,'" the senator added. "If we stand together we can end cash bail. No more keeping people in jail because they're too poor. If we stand together we can enact real police department reform and prosecute police brutality. If we stand together, there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish."

    Watch the speech: https://youtu.be/ha9RVJxee28
    Sanders Unveils Plan to End Cash Bail, Ban Private Prisons, and 'Fundamentally Transform' US Criminal Justice System https://youtu.be/ha9RVJxee28 Jake Johnson, staff writer Decrying America's status as the "world's leading jailer," Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday released a comprehensive plan to confront the crisis of mass incarceration, end the criminalization of poverty, and dramatically overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system. "We have a criminal justice system that is racist and broken, and working together we're going to fundamentally transform it," said Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. The platform, which Sanders unveiled at an event in Columbia, South Carolina on Sunday, condemns America's "overly-punitive approach to public safety" and urges investments "to rebuild the communities that mass incarceration continues to decimate." "We have over two million people in jail and prison, more than any other nation on earth, and they are disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American," Sanders wrote in an email to supporters on Sunday. "We spend $80 billion a year keeping people behind bars, money which could be used for education, job creation, and affordable housing." People for Bernie ✔ @People4Bernie "We spent, and I want everybody to hear this, $80 billion a year in tax dollars at the local, state, and federal level to lock up fellow Americans... It might be a better idea to take some of that $80 billion and start investing in our young people." @BernieSanders Embedded video: https://twitter.com/People4Bernie/status/1163164345850720256 2:02 PM - Aug 18, 2019 To remedy this dysfunctional and devastating system, Sanders' platform—detailed on his website—calls for: A ban on private prisons as part of a broader effort to "end profiteering in our criminal justice system"; An end to cash bail, which traps poor Americans in a cycle of debt; Halting excessive sentencing "with the goal of cutting the incarcerated population in half"; Transformation of policing by ensuring oversight and accountability for law enforcement, banning use of facial recognition software by law enforcement, and ending "programs that provide military equipment to local police"; Abolishing the death penalty; Legalization of marijuana and erasure of past marijuana convictions; and An end to the criminalization of addiction by funding adequate treatment for those addicted to opioids. "If we stand together, we can eliminate private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up," Sanders said during his speech in South Carolina. "If we stand together we can end the disastrous 'war on drugs,'" the senator added. "If we stand together we can end cash bail. No more keeping people in jail because they're too poor. If we stand together we can enact real police department reform and prosecute police brutality. If we stand together, there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish." Watch the speech: https://youtu.be/ha9RVJxee28
    Bernie Sanders Unveils Justice and Safety for All Plan
    Donate at: https://live.berniesanders.com/ Bernie Sanders announces a comprehensive plan to reform the entire American criminal justice system in the Greenvi...
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  • Abject Poverty In America: Debt Bubble Ready To Blow, Cause & Effect w/ Solution-Spouting Red Scare Propaganda
    #TrumpCrap #StatusCoup #AbjectPoverty
    https://youtu.be/72zMamGTWQA
    Status Coup 8/16/19
    Abject Poverty In America: Debt Bubble Ready To Blow, Cause & Effect w/ Solution-Spouting Red Scare Propaganda #TrumpCrap #StatusCoup #AbjectPoverty https://youtu.be/72zMamGTWQA Status Coup 8/16/19
    Abject Poverty In America: Debt Bubble Ready To Blow, Cause & Effect w/ Solution
    Marcus Conte Reporting... https://patreon.com/marcusconte https://paypal.me/theghostofbrooklyn https://ebay.com (Marcus Conte Stickers) SOCIAL Marcus Conte T...
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  • "I don’t know if this means the Democrats are purposefully throwing the election, or if they just want to normalize this rhetoric because they feel confident they can win due to an impending wave of highly suspicious “White Supremacist” mass shootings." - Andrew Anglin

    https://dailystormer.name/biden-demands-ultimate-immigrant-flood-two-million-poverty-stricken-brown-people-incoming/
    "I don’t know if this means the Democrats are purposefully throwing the election, or if they just want to normalize this rhetoric because they feel confident they can win due to an impending wave of highly suspicious “White Supremacist” mass shootings." - Andrew Anglin https://dailystormer.name/biden-demands-ultimate-immigrant-flood-two-million-poverty-stricken-brown-people-incoming/
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  • Restricting SNAP Benefits Could Hurt Millions of Americans—and Local Communities
    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/03/restricting-snap-benefits-could-hurt-millions-americans-and-local-communities
    Cindy Leung, Julia Wolfson

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to restrict access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

    SNAP is the primary way the government helps low-income Americans put food on the table. According to the government’s own calculations, an estimated 3.1 million people could lose SNAP benefits, commonly referred to as food stamps, through a new proposal that would change some application procedures and eligibility requirements.

    We are nutrition and food policy researchers who have studied the effects of SNAP on the health and well-being of low-income Americans.

    Should this change go into effect, we believe millions of Americans, especially children, and local communities would suffer.

    Helping families and the economy

    SNAP helped 39.7 million Americans buy food in 2018.

    Federal research has found that the program reduces hunger, particularly in children – who make up 44% of its beneficiaries.

    Hunger and poor nutrition harm children’s health and hinder their development. Kids who don’t get enough to eat have more trouble at school and are more likely to experience mental health problems.

    One research team found that people who had access to SNAP as children earned higher incomes and were less likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes once they grew up.

    “My eating habits have improved where I can eat more healthy than before,” a Massachusetts woman who had recently been approved for SNAP told us. “It is like night and day – the difference between surviving and not surviving.”

    SNAP benefits also ripple through the economy.

    They lead to money being spent at local stores, freeing up cash to pay rent and other bills.

    Every US$1 invested in SNAP generates $1.79 in economic activity, according to the USDA.

    Trying again and again

    The Trump administration has repeatedly attempted to slash SNAP and make it harder for people who qualify for benefits to get them.

    Its 2018, 2019 and 2020 budget proposals all called for cutting spending on food stamps by about 25%.

    The Trump administration also worked with Republicans in Congress to try to tighten eligibility requirements.

    Had this policy been implemented, all beneficiaries between the ages of 18 and 59 deemed “able-bodied” would have had to prove they were working at least 20 hours per week or were enrolled in school.

    According to government projections, some 1.2 million Americans would have eventually lost their benefits as a result.

    Congress, which would have needed to approve the change for it to take effect, rejected it in December 2018.

    The White House then sought to change work requirements through a new rule that has not yet taken effect.

    In July 2019, the Trump administration again sought to restrict access to food stamps without any input from Congress, this time by going through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – a program that gives low-income families with children cash to cover childcare and other expenses.

    Currently, most states automatically enroll families in SNAP once they obtain TANF benefits. The new rule would prevent states from doing this.

    Even though 85% of TANF families also get SNAP benefits, the vast majority of them still live in poverty.

    The government is seeking comments from the public about this proposed change through September 23, 2019.

    Replacing food stamps with ‘harvest boxes’

    Other changes to SNAP could also take a toll.

    The Trump administration’s proposed budgets have also called for changing how the government helps low-income families get food they have trouble affording.

    Its 2019 budget proposal called for replacing half of SNAP benefits with what it called “harvest boxes” of nonperishable items like cereals, beans and canned goods.

    According to research we conducted with low-income Americans, 79% of SNAP participants opposed this proposal, with one of the primary reasons being not being able to choose their own foods.

    “People who are struggling are already demoralized,” a New Mexico woman who uses SNAP benefits told us. “Being able to make our own food decisions is something that keeps us feeling like human beings.”

    Congress rejected the concept but the White House included it again in its 2020 budget draft.

    Advocates for food aid fear that recent proposals to change how SNAP works would reduce the share of Americans who get these benefits by making it harder to qualify and enroll in the program. Should this major transformation ever occur, children and families won’t have access to critical benefits that help them avoid going hungry.

    Tracking the demand for food stamps

    Although the Trump administration has until now largely failed in its effort to cut SNAP spending, the number of people getting food stamps is already declining. This trend began during the Obama administration, in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

    Since the economy is doing well overall, the number of people on food assistance programs has fallen.

    The reason for the decline is that the number of people who are eligible for these benefits rises when the economy falters and falls when conditions improve.

    As a result, the government is spending less on food stamps without cutting the SNAP budget.

    Case in point, 7 million people have already left SNAP due to better economic stability. In parallel, federal spending on SNAP budget has dropped from $78 billion in 2013 to $64 billion in 2019.

    If the Trump administration wants to shrink SNAP, reduce costs and have fewer low-income Americans receive benefits, we believe that the best thing it can do is to keep working to improve the economy – particularly for low-income Americans, who have been reaping fewer benefits from the improving economy than others in recent years.
    Restricting SNAP Benefits Could Hurt Millions of Americans—and Local Communities https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/03/restricting-snap-benefits-could-hurt-millions-americans-and-local-communities Cindy Leung, Julia Wolfson The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to restrict access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. SNAP is the primary way the government helps low-income Americans put food on the table. According to the government’s own calculations, an estimated 3.1 million people could lose SNAP benefits, commonly referred to as food stamps, through a new proposal that would change some application procedures and eligibility requirements. We are nutrition and food policy researchers who have studied the effects of SNAP on the health and well-being of low-income Americans. Should this change go into effect, we believe millions of Americans, especially children, and local communities would suffer. Helping families and the economy SNAP helped 39.7 million Americans buy food in 2018. Federal research has found that the program reduces hunger, particularly in children – who make up 44% of its beneficiaries. Hunger and poor nutrition harm children’s health and hinder their development. Kids who don’t get enough to eat have more trouble at school and are more likely to experience mental health problems. One research team found that people who had access to SNAP as children earned higher incomes and were less likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes once they grew up. “My eating habits have improved where I can eat more healthy than before,” a Massachusetts woman who had recently been approved for SNAP told us. “It is like night and day – the difference between surviving and not surviving.” SNAP benefits also ripple through the economy. They lead to money being spent at local stores, freeing up cash to pay rent and other bills. Every US$1 invested in SNAP generates $1.79 in economic activity, according to the USDA. Trying again and again The Trump administration has repeatedly attempted to slash SNAP and make it harder for people who qualify for benefits to get them. Its 2018, 2019 and 2020 budget proposals all called for cutting spending on food stamps by about 25%. The Trump administration also worked with Republicans in Congress to try to tighten eligibility requirements. Had this policy been implemented, all beneficiaries between the ages of 18 and 59 deemed “able-bodied” would have had to prove they were working at least 20 hours per week or were enrolled in school. According to government projections, some 1.2 million Americans would have eventually lost their benefits as a result. Congress, which would have needed to approve the change for it to take effect, rejected it in December 2018. The White House then sought to change work requirements through a new rule that has not yet taken effect. In July 2019, the Trump administration again sought to restrict access to food stamps without any input from Congress, this time by going through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – a program that gives low-income families with children cash to cover childcare and other expenses. Currently, most states automatically enroll families in SNAP once they obtain TANF benefits. The new rule would prevent states from doing this. Even though 85% of TANF families also get SNAP benefits, the vast majority of them still live in poverty. The government is seeking comments from the public about this proposed change through September 23, 2019. Replacing food stamps with ‘harvest boxes’ Other changes to SNAP could also take a toll. The Trump administration’s proposed budgets have also called for changing how the government helps low-income families get food they have trouble affording. Its 2019 budget proposal called for replacing half of SNAP benefits with what it called “harvest boxes” of nonperishable items like cereals, beans and canned goods. According to research we conducted with low-income Americans, 79% of SNAP participants opposed this proposal, with one of the primary reasons being not being able to choose their own foods. “People who are struggling are already demoralized,” a New Mexico woman who uses SNAP benefits told us. “Being able to make our own food decisions is something that keeps us feeling like human beings.” Congress rejected the concept but the White House included it again in its 2020 budget draft. Advocates for food aid fear that recent proposals to change how SNAP works would reduce the share of Americans who get these benefits by making it harder to qualify and enroll in the program. Should this major transformation ever occur, children and families won’t have access to critical benefits that help them avoid going hungry. Tracking the demand for food stamps Although the Trump administration has until now largely failed in its effort to cut SNAP spending, the number of people getting food stamps is already declining. This trend began during the Obama administration, in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Since the economy is doing well overall, the number of people on food assistance programs has fallen. The reason for the decline is that the number of people who are eligible for these benefits rises when the economy falters and falls when conditions improve. As a result, the government is spending less on food stamps without cutting the SNAP budget. Case in point, 7 million people have already left SNAP due to better economic stability. In parallel, federal spending on SNAP budget has dropped from $78 billion in 2013 to $64 billion in 2019. If the Trump administration wants to shrink SNAP, reduce costs and have fewer low-income Americans receive benefits, we believe that the best thing it can do is to keep working to improve the economy – particularly for low-income Americans, who have been reaping fewer benefits from the improving economy than others in recent years.
    Restricting SNAP Benefits Could Hurt Millions of Americans—and Local Communities
    "People who are struggling are already demoralized. Being able to make our own food decisions is something that keeps us feeling like human beings.".. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to restrict access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
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  • You Don’t Save Money By Forcing People to Go Hungry
    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/01/you-dont-save-money-forcing-people-go-hungry
    Jill Richardson

    The Trump administration has proposed a rule that will cut an estimated 3 million eligible people off food stamps while depriving half a million eligible children of school lunch.

    I’ve been on food stamps.

    I spent most of my life with mental illness, and it was not diagnosed until a few years ago. Not knowing there was a reason everything was so difficult for me, I pushed myself until I could push no more.

    I got good grades in school, and went to college on a scholarship. I got my degree and then got a full-time job like I thought I was supposed to.

    I began getting severe migraines every day at the age of 14. That was my body telling me that I was doing more than I could handle and I needed to stop and heal. I had a migraine every day for 23 years. Working was hellish and painful, and I still tried.

    For every $5 the U.S. government spends on food stamps, it generates $9 in economic activity. That’s an incredibly effective stimulus.

    When I could no longer handle an office job, I tried being self-employed and working from home. I could never make enough to really get by on. Then I went on food stamps. It didn’t mean I could stop working. I got $70 a month so I could eat, but I still had to pay rent and put gas in my car, and for that, I worked.

    Food stamps did its job for me. It helped me get through a tough time until I could get back on my own two feet.

    I’m fortunate I didn’t have children. If I did, my kids would have suffered through my financial insecurity through no fault of their own. But food stamps and school lunch would have helped ensure they had a chance in life despite being born to a mom too sick to make ends meet.

    While the moral righteousness of food stamps justifies the program on its own, there are other benefits to it as well.

    Food stamps are a huge stimulus to the economy. Families spend their SNAP benefits to buy food from local businesses like grocery stores, and that creates jobs — from the store clerk stocking the shelves, to the truck driver transporting the food, to the farmers and ranchers producing the food.

    For every $5 the U.S. government spends on food stamps, it generates $9 in economic activity. That’s an incredibly effective stimulus.

    Federal school breakfast and lunch programs do more than help food security too — they help kids succeed. Imagine trying to pay attention or take a test while you’re hungry. School breakfast and lunch helps kids from low income families break the cycle of poverty when they grow up, because it helps them benefit more from their education.

    The movement to cut low-income people who are eligible for food stamps and school lunch off of those programs isn’t just immoral, it’s short-sighted.

    The Trump administration claims the measure will save money because there will be less federal spending on helping hungry people eat. In addition to the cruelty of “saving money” by taking food from the hungry, it will also ultimately harm the nation by removing the economic stimulus that food stamps provide and making it that much harder for half a million already poor kids to do well in school.

    Forcing kids to go hungry is a lose-lose.
    You Don’t Save Money By Forcing People to Go Hungry https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/01/you-dont-save-money-forcing-people-go-hungry Jill Richardson The Trump administration has proposed a rule that will cut an estimated 3 million eligible people off food stamps while depriving half a million eligible children of school lunch. I’ve been on food stamps. I spent most of my life with mental illness, and it was not diagnosed until a few years ago. Not knowing there was a reason everything was so difficult for me, I pushed myself until I could push no more. I got good grades in school, and went to college on a scholarship. I got my degree and then got a full-time job like I thought I was supposed to. I began getting severe migraines every day at the age of 14. That was my body telling me that I was doing more than I could handle and I needed to stop and heal. I had a migraine every day for 23 years. Working was hellish and painful, and I still tried. For every $5 the U.S. government spends on food stamps, it generates $9 in economic activity. That’s an incredibly effective stimulus. When I could no longer handle an office job, I tried being self-employed and working from home. I could never make enough to really get by on. Then I went on food stamps. It didn’t mean I could stop working. I got $70 a month so I could eat, but I still had to pay rent and put gas in my car, and for that, I worked. Food stamps did its job for me. It helped me get through a tough time until I could get back on my own two feet. I’m fortunate I didn’t have children. If I did, my kids would have suffered through my financial insecurity through no fault of their own. But food stamps and school lunch would have helped ensure they had a chance in life despite being born to a mom too sick to make ends meet. While the moral righteousness of food stamps justifies the program on its own, there are other benefits to it as well. Food stamps are a huge stimulus to the economy. Families spend their SNAP benefits to buy food from local businesses like grocery stores, and that creates jobs — from the store clerk stocking the shelves, to the truck driver transporting the food, to the farmers and ranchers producing the food. For every $5 the U.S. government spends on food stamps, it generates $9 in economic activity. That’s an incredibly effective stimulus. Federal school breakfast and lunch programs do more than help food security too — they help kids succeed. Imagine trying to pay attention or take a test while you’re hungry. School breakfast and lunch helps kids from low income families break the cycle of poverty when they grow up, because it helps them benefit more from their education. The movement to cut low-income people who are eligible for food stamps and school lunch off of those programs isn’t just immoral, it’s short-sighted. The Trump administration claims the measure will save money because there will be less federal spending on helping hungry people eat. In addition to the cruelty of “saving money” by taking food from the hungry, it will also ultimately harm the nation by removing the economic stimulus that food stamps provide and making it that much harder for half a million already poor kids to do well in school. Forcing kids to go hungry is a lose-lose.
    You Don’t Save Money By Forcing People to Go Hungry
    Food stamps helped me get back on my feet during a tough time. Cutting them is lose-lose... The Trump administration has proposed a rule that will cut an estimated 3 million eligible people off food stamps while depriving half a million eligible children of school lunch.I’ve been on food stamps.
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  • https://www.newswars.com/pelosi-lectures-trump-on-baltimore-poverty-from-5-star-hotel-in-italy/ 🤔 👊 💥
    #Lecture #Optics #Frisco
    Well, a burnt kettle calling a stainless steel cauldron a melted pot. Humm, I wonder how long it will that for the kettle to melt.
    https://www.newswars.com/pelosi-lectures-trump-on-baltimore-poverty-from-5-star-hotel-in-italy/ 🤔 👊 💥 #Lecture #Optics #Frisco Well, a burnt kettle calling a stainless steel cauldron a melted pot. Humm, I wonder how long it will that for the kettle to melt.
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  • 'No One Should Retire Into Poverty': At Historic Hearing, Progressives Make Case for Expanding—Not Cutting—Social Security Benefits
    https://youtu.be/UnL8SFdbLuo
    Jake Johnson, staff writer

    Progressive advocates and experts made the case for expanding Social Security during a historic House committee hearing on Thursday, providing a stark contrast to President Donald Trump's call for billions of dollars in cuts to the popular New Deal-era program in his 2020 budget proposal.

    The Ways and Means hearing on Rep. John Larson's (D-Conn.) Social Security 2100 Act—which would boost benefits by hiking taxes on the rich and ensure the program's solvency through the end of the century—represents the first time a congressional committee has considered legislation to expand Social Security in nearly 50 years.

    Nancy Altman, president of advocacy group Social Security Works, called the event a "critical milestone in the fight to increase, not cut, Social Security's modest benefits."

    During her testimony in support of the Social Security 2100 Act on Thursday, Altman said the legislation would help solve America retirement income crisis.

    To bolster her argument that expanding Social Security is both good policy and good politics, Altman pointed to survey data showing that expanding Social Security is popular across party lines.

    "Social Security is intended to provide, as its name suggests, a sense of security, peace of mind," Altman said. "But that invaluable benefit has been lost because too many Americans have been convinced that Social Security won't be there for them. Passage of the Social Security 2100 Act is an important step to restoring that peace of mind."

    Abigail Zapote, executive director of advocacy group Latinos for a Secure Retirement, also testified (pdf) in support of Larson's bill on Thursday, calling it an important step toward a secure retirement for seniors and future generations.

    "Social Security is a vital safety net that protects American families," said Zapote. "Children are protected in the event they are orphaned, or their parents become disabled. Workers are protected if they can no longer work because of disability and parents and grandparents are protected when they become too old to continue working. Social Security is a sacred trust between generations and represents our Latino family values."

    Contrary to continued right-wing fearmongering about the looming collapse of Social Security, recent analyses have found the program is in good financial shape. But, as Altman wrote for Forbes Thursday, the program's benefits "are modest by virtually any measure" and should, in fact, be increased.

    "Social Security's modest benefits should be expanded, not cut," Altman wrote. "When President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, he called it 'a cornerstone' on which to build. Yet the last time Congress enacted increases was 1972."

    "Social Security has stood the test of time," added Altman. "Next month, we will celebrate the 84th anniversary of the system’s enactment. It is more universal, efficient, secure, and fair than its private sector counterparts are or could be."

    Larson's legislation—which was introduced in January, on FDR's 137th birthday—would increase Social Security benefits for all current and future recipients, set the minimum benefit level to 25 percent greater than the federal poverty line, and improve the annual cost of living adjustment to ensure benefits are not eroded by inflation.

    To finance the benefit expansion, Larson's bill would subject all earnings above $400,000 to a payroll tax.

    "No one should retire into poverty," advocacy group MoveOn tweeted Thursday. "Rep. John Larson's Secure 2100 Act increases the minimum monthly Social Security benefit, ensuring seniors can retire in dignity."

    Watch the full Ways and Means Committee hearing: https://youtu.be/UnL8SFdbLuo
    'No One Should Retire Into Poverty': At Historic Hearing, Progressives Make Case for Expanding—Not Cutting—Social Security Benefits https://youtu.be/UnL8SFdbLuo Jake Johnson, staff writer Progressive advocates and experts made the case for expanding Social Security during a historic House committee hearing on Thursday, providing a stark contrast to President Donald Trump's call for billions of dollars in cuts to the popular New Deal-era program in his 2020 budget proposal. The Ways and Means hearing on Rep. John Larson's (D-Conn.) Social Security 2100 Act—which would boost benefits by hiking taxes on the rich and ensure the program's solvency through the end of the century—represents the first time a congressional committee has considered legislation to expand Social Security in nearly 50 years. Nancy Altman, president of advocacy group Social Security Works, called the event a "critical milestone in the fight to increase, not cut, Social Security's modest benefits." During her testimony in support of the Social Security 2100 Act on Thursday, Altman said the legislation would help solve America retirement income crisis. To bolster her argument that expanding Social Security is both good policy and good politics, Altman pointed to survey data showing that expanding Social Security is popular across party lines. "Social Security is intended to provide, as its name suggests, a sense of security, peace of mind," Altman said. "But that invaluable benefit has been lost because too many Americans have been convinced that Social Security won't be there for them. Passage of the Social Security 2100 Act is an important step to restoring that peace of mind." Abigail Zapote, executive director of advocacy group Latinos for a Secure Retirement, also testified (pdf) in support of Larson's bill on Thursday, calling it an important step toward a secure retirement for seniors and future generations. "Social Security is a vital safety net that protects American families," said Zapote. "Children are protected in the event they are orphaned, or their parents become disabled. Workers are protected if they can no longer work because of disability and parents and grandparents are protected when they become too old to continue working. Social Security is a sacred trust between generations and represents our Latino family values." Contrary to continued right-wing fearmongering about the looming collapse of Social Security, recent analyses have found the program is in good financial shape. But, as Altman wrote for Forbes Thursday, the program's benefits "are modest by virtually any measure" and should, in fact, be increased. "Social Security's modest benefits should be expanded, not cut," Altman wrote. "When President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, he called it 'a cornerstone' on which to build. Yet the last time Congress enacted increases was 1972." "Social Security has stood the test of time," added Altman. "Next month, we will celebrate the 84th anniversary of the system’s enactment. It is more universal, efficient, secure, and fair than its private sector counterparts are or could be." Larson's legislation—which was introduced in January, on FDR's 137th birthday—would increase Social Security benefits for all current and future recipients, set the minimum benefit level to 25 percent greater than the federal poverty line, and improve the annual cost of living adjustment to ensure benefits are not eroded by inflation. To finance the benefit expansion, Larson's bill would subject all earnings above $400,000 to a payroll tax. "No one should retire into poverty," advocacy group MoveOn tweeted Thursday. "Rep. John Larson's Secure 2100 Act increases the minimum monthly Social Security benefit, ensuring seniors can retire in dignity." Watch the full Ways and Means Committee hearing: https://youtu.be/UnL8SFdbLuo
    W&M Hearing on the Social Security 2100 Act (1)
    House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) held a hearing entitled “The Social Security 2100 Act” on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m...
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  • https://hannity.com/media-room/trouble-in-bernieland-staffers-fleeing-sanders-campaign-over-poverty-wages/
    https://hannity.com/media-room/trouble-in-bernieland-staffers-fleeing-sanders-campaign-over-poverty-wages/
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  • With Support of Just 3 Republicans, House Democrats Pass 'Historic' Raise the Wage Act to Guarantee Workers $15 Minimum Wage
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/18/support-just-3-republicans-house-democrats-pass-historic-raise-wage-act-guarantee
    Julia Conley, staff writer

    Progressives in Congress were joined by workers, business owners, and labor rights advocates in celebrating the "historic" passage on Thursday of the Raise the Wage Act, aimed at guaranteeing all American workers a minimum wage of $15.

    Two hundred thirty House Democrats were joined by only three Republicans—Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas, and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey—in supporting the Raise the Wage Act (RTWA), which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025 and end the use of sub-minimum wages for tipped workers.

    Despite the bill's popularity across political affiliations and numerous studies showing it would strengthen small businesses and communities, Republicans on Thursday claimed the passage of the RTWA was akin to sacrificing "the wages, families, and livelihoods of American workers...upon the altar of socialist ideology."

    As Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wrote on Twitter, just 1.5 percent of the Republicans in the House expressed agreement with the Democrats and the majority of the U.S. public that the minimum wage—which studies have shown cannot support a family of four—should be raised.

    "We just voted to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade and Republicans are on the floor wailing, 'socialism.' How pathetic," Pascrell said. "If we're being generous with rounding, 98 percent of House Republicans don't believe in raising Americans' pay."

    The nationwide grassroots group Fight for $15, which since 2012 has pushed for a living wage for all workers and whose campaigning helped force Disneyland and a number of states to raise their minimum wages, was among the groups who applauded the RTWA's passage as "historic."

    Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, credited Fight for $15 and other workers' rights groups with persisting in their demand that lawmakers pass a fair wage for all employees.

    "This victory is only possible thanks to the bravery and resolve of all the workers who have stood up over the past six years and stopped asking only for the crumbs they thought were politically palatable, and instead, demanded what they deserve," Owens said. "We are proud to stand with all of them, the real leaders of this movement."

    The federal minimum wage has been stagnant for a decade at $7.25 per hour. As the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) noted Thursday, adjusting for inflation, workers today earn less than they did five decades ago—while the costs of housing, education, and basic necessities have skyrocketed in that time.

    "The real (inflation-adjusted) minimum wage is now roughly 30 percent lower than it was in 1968, and it has been more than 10 years since Congress raised the minimum wage—the longest stretch in history," EPI said in a statement.

    "To end this shameful streak, it is incumbent upon the Senate to take up and pass the Raise the Wage Act immediately," the group added.

    The RTWA now goes to the Senate, where the NELP said Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will "face strong and sustained pressure from workers, advocates, progressive lawmakers, and constituents to increase the minimum wage after the longest period in U.S. history without a raise."

    "We applaud the House for doing its job," said Owens. "Now there's no other moral choice but for the Senate to take up the Raise the Wage Act and move it forward."

    As Common Dreams reported, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the lead sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act in the Senate (S.150), expressed agreement with EPI and NELP, demanding that McConnell bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote and move workers a step closer to narrowing the wealth gap.

    After House Passes $15 Minimum Wage Bill, Bernie Sanders Demands McConnell Let Senate Vote [https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/18/after-house-passes-15-minimum-wage-bill-bernie-sanders-demands-mcconnell-let-senate]

    Bernie Sanders ✔ @SenSanders
    If the Majority Leader wants to defend starvation wages to the people of Kentucky, that is his right.

    But I say to Mitch McConnell: let the American people have a vote on a $15 minimum wage.

    Sanders reiterated in his statement on Thursday. "But he should not deny the rest of the Senate the opportunity to vote for this bill and increase wages for 40 million Americans. No one who has a job in America should be living in poverty. Let the Senate vote."
    With Support of Just 3 Republicans, House Democrats Pass 'Historic' Raise the Wage Act to Guarantee Workers $15 Minimum Wage https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/18/support-just-3-republicans-house-democrats-pass-historic-raise-wage-act-guarantee Julia Conley, staff writer Progressives in Congress were joined by workers, business owners, and labor rights advocates in celebrating the "historic" passage on Thursday of the Raise the Wage Act, aimed at guaranteeing all American workers a minimum wage of $15. Two hundred thirty House Democrats were joined by only three Republicans—Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas, and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey—in supporting the Raise the Wage Act (RTWA), which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025 and end the use of sub-minimum wages for tipped workers. Despite the bill's popularity across political affiliations and numerous studies showing it would strengthen small businesses and communities, Republicans on Thursday claimed the passage of the RTWA was akin to sacrificing "the wages, families, and livelihoods of American workers...upon the altar of socialist ideology." As Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wrote on Twitter, just 1.5 percent of the Republicans in the House expressed agreement with the Democrats and the majority of the U.S. public that the minimum wage—which studies have shown cannot support a family of four—should be raised. "We just voted to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade and Republicans are on the floor wailing, 'socialism.' How pathetic," Pascrell said. "If we're being generous with rounding, 98 percent of House Republicans don't believe in raising Americans' pay." The nationwide grassroots group Fight for $15, which since 2012 has pushed for a living wage for all workers and whose campaigning helped force Disneyland and a number of states to raise their minimum wages, was among the groups who applauded the RTWA's passage as "historic." Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, credited Fight for $15 and other workers' rights groups with persisting in their demand that lawmakers pass a fair wage for all employees. "This victory is only possible thanks to the bravery and resolve of all the workers who have stood up over the past six years and stopped asking only for the crumbs they thought were politically palatable, and instead, demanded what they deserve," Owens said. "We are proud to stand with all of them, the real leaders of this movement." The federal minimum wage has been stagnant for a decade at $7.25 per hour. As the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) noted Thursday, adjusting for inflation, workers today earn less than they did five decades ago—while the costs of housing, education, and basic necessities have skyrocketed in that time. "The real (inflation-adjusted) minimum wage is now roughly 30 percent lower than it was in 1968, and it has been more than 10 years since Congress raised the minimum wage—the longest stretch in history," EPI said in a statement. "To end this shameful streak, it is incumbent upon the Senate to take up and pass the Raise the Wage Act immediately," the group added. The RTWA now goes to the Senate, where the NELP said Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will "face strong and sustained pressure from workers, advocates, progressive lawmakers, and constituents to increase the minimum wage after the longest period in U.S. history without a raise." "We applaud the House for doing its job," said Owens. "Now there's no other moral choice but for the Senate to take up the Raise the Wage Act and move it forward." As Common Dreams reported, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the lead sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act in the Senate (S.150), expressed agreement with EPI and NELP, demanding that McConnell bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote and move workers a step closer to narrowing the wealth gap. After House Passes $15 Minimum Wage Bill, Bernie Sanders Demands McConnell Let Senate Vote [https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/18/after-house-passes-15-minimum-wage-bill-bernie-sanders-demands-mcconnell-let-senate] Bernie Sanders ✔ @SenSanders If the Majority Leader wants to defend starvation wages to the people of Kentucky, that is his right. But I say to Mitch McConnell: let the American people have a vote on a $15 minimum wage. Sanders reiterated in his statement on Thursday. "But he should not deny the rest of the Senate the opportunity to vote for this bill and increase wages for 40 million Americans. No one who has a job in America should be living in poverty. Let the Senate vote."
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  • 'Racist' and 'Patently Unlawful': Trump Unveils New Rule to Block Asylum-Seekers at Southern Border
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/15/racist-and-patently-unlawful-trump-unveils-new-rule-block-asylum-seekers-southern
    Jessica Corbett, staff writer

    Immigrant rights advocates vowed to challenge a new "racist" and "patently unlawful" policy from the Trump administration—set to take effect Tuesday—that aims to block many refugees from being eligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border.

    The highly anticipated and widely decried interim final rule (pdf), slated to be published in the Federal Register Tuesday by the Justice and Homeland Security departments, states that most asylum-seekers—including unaccompanied children—who travel through another country before reaching the U.S.-Mexico land border won't be eligible for asylum in the United States.

    The Associated Press reported Monday that "there are some exceptions, including for victims of human trafficking and asylum-seekers who were denied protection in a country. If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties governing how refugees are managed (though most Western countries signed them) a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum."

    "This rule is an outrageous violation of our obligation to protect families and individuals seeking safety," Amnesty International USA advocacy director for the Americas Charanya Krishnaswami declared Monday.

    "This is nothing short of deliberate cruelty. While the Trump administration argues that this policy upholds the integrity of the asylum system, it actually destroys the institution of asylum as we know it," said Krishnaswami.

    "Everyone seeking safety has the right to humane treatment and a fair asylum process, per international and domestic standards."

    U.S. Attorney General William Barr claimed in a statement announcing the policy that the country "is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border" and the rule "will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States."

    Legal advocates for asylum-seekers warn that the attempted rule change is just the Trump administration's latest illegal attack on migrants—particularly those coming to the United States from Central America—and would have sweeping implications for those pleading for refuge from violence and poverty. As ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt put it to the AP, "the rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border."

    "The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country's legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger," Gelernt added in a statement. "This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly."

    RAICES, a Texas-based legal services nonprofit for immigrants and refugees, charged in a series of tweets Monday that "this is ending asylum protections for all minorities."

    "It's racist and wrong on every level... It's also blatantly illegal," said RAICES. "We'll be challenging it in the courts and in the streets."

    RAICES and other critics connected the rule to President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on progressive Democratic Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).

    The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights tweeted Monday, "The president's agenda continues to be an immoral public expression of a white supremacist fantasy."

    This is far from the Trump administration's first attempt to curb asylum protections. The so-called "Remain in Mexico" policy, enacted in January, forces asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their applications are processed. Last year, the administration attempted to "obliterate" protections for survivors of domestic and gang violence by declaring they would no longer automatically qualify for asylum. Those policies provoked court battles, just as the new rule is expected to do.

    The unveiling of the new asylum rule follows a fresh round of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in major cities nationwide that kicked off over the weekend. Though the raids so far have not resulted in the mass arrests and deportations that Trump has threatened, they have had the effect of generating widespread fear. Edgar Barrera, a 59-year-old business manager who is in the country illegally, told the Los Angeles Times that "people are terrified to go out on the streets."

    The rule and raids come as the Trump administration continues to face global criticism for holding migrants in inhumane conditions and detaining children. As Common Dreams previously reported, Ocasio-Cortez, who recently visited a detention facility in Texas, testified to a House committee on Friday that "this is a manufactured crisis, because the cruelty is manufactured. This is a manufactured crisis because there's no need for us to do this."

    "Turning away asylum-seekers at the border is cruel, inhumane, and illegal," CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess said in a statement Monday.

    "This latest, racist stunt by Donald Trump to further close our doors to migrants is proof-positive that he is willing to abuse all powers afforded to the presidency in order to further his bigoted and hateful views," she said. "House Democrats must stand with immigrant families and communities of color attacked by Trump every day and put a stop to his rampant destruction of our country's values by opening an impeachment inquiry immediately."
    'Racist' and 'Patently Unlawful': Trump Unveils New Rule to Block Asylum-Seekers at Southern Border https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/15/racist-and-patently-unlawful-trump-unveils-new-rule-block-asylum-seekers-southern Jessica Corbett, staff writer Immigrant rights advocates vowed to challenge a new "racist" and "patently unlawful" policy from the Trump administration—set to take effect Tuesday—that aims to block many refugees from being eligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The highly anticipated and widely decried interim final rule (pdf), slated to be published in the Federal Register Tuesday by the Justice and Homeland Security departments, states that most asylum-seekers—including unaccompanied children—who travel through another country before reaching the U.S.-Mexico land border won't be eligible for asylum in the United States. The Associated Press reported Monday that "there are some exceptions, including for victims of human trafficking and asylum-seekers who were denied protection in a country. If the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties governing how refugees are managed (though most Western countries signed them) a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum." "This rule is an outrageous violation of our obligation to protect families and individuals seeking safety," Amnesty International USA advocacy director for the Americas Charanya Krishnaswami declared Monday. "This is nothing short of deliberate cruelty. While the Trump administration argues that this policy upholds the integrity of the asylum system, it actually destroys the institution of asylum as we know it," said Krishnaswami. "Everyone seeking safety has the right to humane treatment and a fair asylum process, per international and domestic standards." U.S. Attorney General William Barr claimed in a statement announcing the policy that the country "is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border" and the rule "will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States." Legal advocates for asylum-seekers warn that the attempted rule change is just the Trump administration's latest illegal attack on migrants—particularly those coming to the United States from Central America—and would have sweeping implications for those pleading for refuge from violence and poverty. As ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt put it to the AP, "the rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border." "The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country's legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger," Gelernt added in a statement. "This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly." RAICES, a Texas-based legal services nonprofit for immigrants and refugees, charged in a series of tweets Monday that "this is ending asylum protections for all minorities." "It's racist and wrong on every level... It's also blatantly illegal," said RAICES. "We'll be challenging it in the courts and in the streets." RAICES and other critics connected the rule to President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on progressive Democratic Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.). The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights tweeted Monday, "The president's agenda continues to be an immoral public expression of a white supremacist fantasy." This is far from the Trump administration's first attempt to curb asylum protections. The so-called "Remain in Mexico" policy, enacted in January, forces asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their applications are processed. Last year, the administration attempted to "obliterate" protections for survivors of domestic and gang violence by declaring they would no longer automatically qualify for asylum. Those policies provoked court battles, just as the new rule is expected to do. The unveiling of the new asylum rule follows a fresh round of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in major cities nationwide that kicked off over the weekend. Though the raids so far have not resulted in the mass arrests and deportations that Trump has threatened, they have had the effect of generating widespread fear. Edgar Barrera, a 59-year-old business manager who is in the country illegally, told the Los Angeles Times that "people are terrified to go out on the streets." The rule and raids come as the Trump administration continues to face global criticism for holding migrants in inhumane conditions and detaining children. As Common Dreams previously reported, Ocasio-Cortez, who recently visited a detention facility in Texas, testified to a House committee on Friday that "this is a manufactured crisis, because the cruelty is manufactured. This is a manufactured crisis because there's no need for us to do this." "Turning away asylum-seekers at the border is cruel, inhumane, and illegal," CREDO Action co-director Heidi Hess said in a statement Monday. "This latest, racist stunt by Donald Trump to further close our doors to migrants is proof-positive that he is willing to abuse all powers afforded to the presidency in order to further his bigoted and hateful views," she said. "House Democrats must stand with immigrant families and communities of color attacked by Trump every day and put a stop to his rampant destruction of our country's values by opening an impeachment inquiry immediately."
    'Racist' and 'Patently Unlawful': Trump Unveils New Rule to Block Asylum-Seekers at Southern Border
    "We'll be challenging it in the courts and in the streets."
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
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