A Skunk We Should Want? Live-Blogging a Joe Biden Discussion on Challenges Facing US Middle Class

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joe-biden.jpgWASHINGTON, DC — 10:00 am — Vice President Joe Biden was raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania and has lived for decades in Wilmington, Delaware — both working middle class communities that have been under siege from both domestic and international economic forces.
This morning at the Center for American Progress, Biden is going to host a discussion on the factors undermining America’s middle class with a number of scholars and public intellectuals. I’m here now at the meeting which is co-sponsored with the Economic Policy Institute.
I have no idea whether anything substantial will be disclosed today — but I wanted to hear Biden first hand discuss what he thinks needs to happen with the economy.
Joe Biden has been playing the role of “skunk at the picnic” in the tough internal strategy discussions on America’s Afghanistan course — and I applaud that. He deserves real credit for not jumping on policy bandwagons in the White House.
I’m hoping Joe Biden will increasingly be willing to play the role of “skunk at the picnic” in taking on the Lawrence Summers-dominated economic framework that the Obama administration has thus far strongly embraced.
Here is the link to the live webcast:

Others participating in the discussion will be Melody Barnes, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and a former senior staff member at the Center for American Progress; Lawrence Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute; Heather Boushey, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress; Jim Kessler, Vice President for Policy, Third Way; Isabel Sawhill, Senior Fellow on Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; Ralph Whitehead, Professor of Journalism, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Interesting group.
10:20 am
I’ll be posting updates as this moves along. SEIU’s chief Andy Stern just walked in. OMB Watch’s Dana Chasin is here too.
10:35 am
Vice President Biden has just arrived. We don’t see him yet — but I hear his voice. There are about 90 people in the room. Just saw now Leo Hindery in the front row. Hindery served as Senior Economic Policy Advisor to John Edwards during his most recent presidential campaign and then was on economic advisory team to candidate Barack Obama.
10:42 am
Chief Economic Advisor to the President Jared Bernstein just walked in the room — and connected with a lot of folks. He’s smart and personable — like Austan Goolsbee — which is rare for White House economists.
Center for American Progress EVP Sarah Wartell now introducing the Vice President. Good intro — focusing on themes of working families and middle class.
10:45 am
Joe Biden just recognized Change to Win Chair Anna Burger and SEIU President Andy Stern for being two of the primary drivers of the administration’s Middle Class Task Force.
Biden acknowledges that it was not because of this recession that it all of a sudden dawned on President Obama and himself that supporting the middle class was important now. They have been watching for years — and concerned about — the crushing health care costs, educational costs, and other pressures challenging the American middle class. The recession did not cause these recent problems — but it did seriously aggravate them.
Biden correctly notes that in many American middle class communities where a couple dozen years ago a single paycheck was enough to sustain a family in a nice home — but now one pay check won’t do it. This is a systemic problem — and Biden suggests that the administration — in all of its relevant departments and agencies — must do more to directly impact the deteriorating condition of the American middle class.
The issues of concern to Biden are that correcting these problems is not just about the size or number of paychecks in a family — its a broader challenge about quality of life involving pensions, education, health care, care for elderly parents. He’s talking about the components of the American social contract with its citizens and is suggesting that we need to change the terms, and improve the terms, of that social contract with American working families.
Biden mentioned taking the Middle East Task Force objectives on the road for the first eight months of the administration — talking about a St. Louis meeting that focused on college education. They went to Denver to talk about “green job opportunities.” These trips were followed by meetings in Toledo, Ohio talking about revitalizing “new” rather than “old” manufacturing — plate glass to solar panels. This was followed by meetings in Silver Springs, Maryland. . .
Biden now introducing the panelists listed above.
Makes the good point that many labor union paychecks can’t achieve the middle class life in the way that most Americans have come to consider that life.
11:00 am
In his intro of Melody Barnes, Biden said that while she was a valued Center for American Progress alum in the Obama administration, “She is not coming back to CAP.” Biden said “if she goes, I go” and paid tribute to her focus on working to bolster policy support for the American middle class. (too bad Lawrence Summers is not here taking notes)
Biden makes clear that American working families have not been fairly benefiting from the growth and gains that they have been helping to generate for the overall economy. He’s not talking about “income redistribution” according to Biden. He said, “we’re talking about giving working families a chance at getting on the middle class track” in real terms.
Biden thinks that the adminstration thinks it is making progress — and is thinking “beyond the recession.” He said the US economy grew 3.5% in last quarter — but that is not anything we can become content about.
Obama said “we need unions”, “investments in college affordability to promote mobility”, and other nodes of support to fix the ecosystem of support for the American middle class that is really broken.
Biden is saying that the fundamental challenge facing families today is that parents just don’t believe today that their children are going to be as well off as they are. The Vice President is arguing that there is a crisis of confidence in the future — and that many Americans are losing their homes, losing their middle class foundation that supports the hopes and dreams of their families. Biden is right.
Biden continues that jobs are not just about paychecks — jobs are about dignity. Biden acknowledges that there are an awful lot of Americans being stripped of their dignity and not being given an even shot that gets them in middle class circumstances if they work hard.
Now he is moving to the panel.
11:12 am
Ralph Whitehead now speaking. Each speaker will outline a few points in five minutes are so. Puts on the table that at one point in American history we used to have a goal of a “universal middle class”. Began to fall apart in the 1980s.
Lawrence Mishel now up. Says it is important that as we emerge from “the great recession” it is important to help families get an onramp back into middle class circumstances and opportunities. Mishel suggests that the reason the economic waters are so choppy is the long-term, incessant erosion of well-paying jobs. He suggests that this erosion of the American job base is due to policy choices made by government. Thinks growth in an economy can’t be driven by debt and asset bubbles — but rather by productivity increases in a real economy and a real job base. (Joe Biden’s body language is signaling that Mishel is going on a bit long. . .ironic actually)
11:24 am
Heather Boushey up. She is addressing the profound changes in the role of women in the working economy. Today only one in five families have a male parent earning a family paycheck with a stay at home mom. Most families in the country are not designed in this 1950s era model — and our laws and family support structures haven’t caught up with the realities of the modern working family. Heather notes that the average working familiy puts in 568 hours more work today than in the past — 14 weeks more today than thirty years ago — and this creates huge time squeezes and burdens at home.
Jim Kessler now speaking — says that median household income is $49,000 but that this represents 19-year old head of households as well as 79-year old head of households. Says we don’t have policy for these ranges. Says that there is a difference between economic strategies “to get by” and strategies “to get ahead.” These people don’t see how government makes their lives appreciably better — and don’t see the government as helping in a pathway to success. Says the problem in America today is that too many Americans no longer believe that they can live up to their own economic and lifestyle aspirations for themselves.
11:35 am
Melody Barnes now at bat — talking about her journeys around the country asking audiences whether they believed in the “American dream.” Hands always went up — but the fact is that there are a lot of policies in conflict with living the American dream and becoming part of the US middle class.
Says health care is one of the fundamental pillars of American families’ middle class goals. Stretching harder and harder to get in to the house in the community with good schools. Says that one job loss or one health incident and a family can fall over the cliff. Talking about Obama’s and Biden’s discussion about a cradle through career educational structure. Barnes suggests that this kind of educational arc can become a major pillar of support for the middle class.
Barnes says that Immigrants and new immigrants to the country have challenges on health care and education fronts — says that new US citizens — have a very tough time getting an on-ramp to the American middle class.
Now apparently going to a conversational format.
Biden says that he is going to be the “devil’s advocate” for a moment and pose in his queries as a person who is not in sync with the progressive goals outlined on the panel.
Biden said that an acquaintance of his believes that people have unrealistic aspirations — that are beyond what they should be — and that the gap between reality and aspirations is the real problem (but Biden is not saying that this is his own view). . .
Kessler responds that most people don’t have lofty aspirations — that they want a good home, want to be able to educate their children, want good health care, want to be able to take care of their elderly parents, and more of the like. So these basic aspirations have required more work to achieve — but they remain realistic and fair aspirations.
~~~~
I am going to cease live-blogging the rest of the program. It is an interesting discussion but most of the key points that are being raised by the interesting panel have already been raised before or are fairly easily predicted given the world view of this panel that jobs matter and that the American middle class matters.
What is really interesting about this meeting which does a good job explicating what the political objectives for the nation — and for the American middle class — ought to be, it is not in touch with the ideological divide that exists inside the administration today between those focused on macro factors and financial sector health as the primary parameters to work on vs. those who think that there must be a micro-orientation that is sensitive to supporting increasing high-paying jobs and trying to stimulate an innovation economy and related jobs that undergird a healthy middle class.
Biden is posturing as a skeptic in order to challenge the implied assumptions of those on the panel. He just did that querying whether technology — more than other forces — was undermining the American job base. ‘
But the bigger issue really focuses on the Obama administration’s own policy choices — that were targeted on using legislated monies to bail out financial firms — but not really re-writing the American domestic social contract or doing more to invest in a new infrastructure backbone in the nation on the scale needed to both generate lots of new jobs and create recurring returns for the US economy over future generations.
I really like Biden. I think he’s asking the right questions and speaks to the real issues that the American middle class is struggling with.
What is tough to take though is that this whole event would be dramatically different if Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner or Christina Romer were on the panel. These three have really been the primary architects of an economic policy that did not have as its north star the middle class, job generation, lifestyle enhancing objectives outlined by the Vice President and the speakers here today at the Center for American Progress.
The policy problem today is in part that the best economic policy practitioners in the Obama administration — across the full spectrum and not just the faction represented here today — are not pulling in the same direction.
Bravo to Biden, Jared Bernstein, and the rest for an interesting program — but other powerful branches of the White House really should be here taking notes and participating in a constructive way in this discussion.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

18 comments on “A Skunk We Should Want? Live-Blogging a Joe Biden Discussion on Challenges Facing US Middle Class

  1. Outraged American says:

    From the Huff Post
    Joe Biden: No True Friend of Working Men and Women
    (excerpt)
    It turns out the average annual income of Americans who file
    bankruptcy is less than $30K, not the loose affiliation of
    millionaires and billionaires gigging the system that we all heard
    about when this bill was debated. Also, the vast majority of
    people who file bankruptcy don’t do so to strategically hang on
    to their mansion on the hill, but because of medical bills, a job
    layoff, or both. Real people, real lives.
    I’ve never filed bankruptcy, but like Bill Clinton I’m moved by
    those demographics. Not so our Joe. Of all the presidential
    contenders lined up on the stage in Chicago, he was the only
    one who had voted for the bill. Not senators Dodd, Clinton and
    Obama (Edwards was no longer in the senate in ’05), and not
    House member Dennis Kucinich. Only Joe Biden.
    And he didn’t just vote for it, he helped carry the water on it.
    Some Democrats tried to soften the bill with a series of
    amendments; for example, exempting military personnel at war
    in Iraq. Biden joined the majority of his colleagues — all the
    Republicans and too many Democrats — in knocking down
    every possible change that was offered.
    For the record, Biden’s home state holds the incorporation
    papers of large credit card and financial services companies. He
    obviously knows how his bread is buttered in Delaware, which
    means a “profile in courage” by ‘ol Joe on the bankruptcy bill
    was out of the question.
    Sure, Biden has a certain rogue charisma combined with what
    he’s developed over the years as serious experience on the
    senate foreign relations committee. He’s no idiot, and I support
    the Democratic ticket. But if part of the calculation in picking
    him is that he’ll sell economic populism in the heartland, from
    Perkiomen to Peoria, that’s a cynical joke — whether it succeeds
    or not.
    (By the way, this is an issue Republicans probably won’t hit Biden
    on because they’re as much in the same industry’s pocket as he
    is, and McCain always loved the bankruptcy bill, too.)
    Still, anyone who cares about progressive politics, or the salt of
    the earth, knows that the bankruptcy bill is a disaster for
    average folks. Joe Biden is a big reason why this is so. He
    supported it and voted for it, many times over many years.
    whole article (from Aug 23, 2008)
    http://tinyurl.com/6jozvc

    Reply

  2. Outraged American says:

    What? Now Joe, “I am a Zionist” Biden is posting on this blog
    under the pen name “Stewart”? Or is Stewart just Biden’s wife-
    mistress?
    Biden, with the Bankruptcy Bill, destroyed the lives of millions of
    Americans who, through no fault of their own, had costly and
    long-term medical issues.
    I’m fanning myself, trying to wave away the disbelief caused by
    Stewart’s post, even though it’s like 60 in here. We don’t turn on
    the heat because we’re socialists who follow Hugo Chavez’s
    every mandate.
    Biden sold out the working and middle class, and anyone who
    didn’t make less than a few million a year, and even they can’t
    afford the cost of a long term medical issue.
    No, just no.

    Reply

  3. Stewart says:

    Thank you Mr. Clemons.
    I love Joe Biden. I’ve watched and followed him for years. I believe Mr. Biden to be the true progressive in the White House and a brilliant foreign policy expert. I remember the frustration watching the media and blogosphere fawning and pawing over Obama and Clinton during the campaign, thus leaving a good (and non wealthy) man like Biden without a chance. I greatly admire our president and believe as Biden says, that roles are as they should be. Biden is doing great things as our VP (although his numerous accomplishments, hard work and successes missing MSM and blog attention), I hope President Obama continues to rely on Biden’s opinions, as I am learning he does more and more. But I still wonder now and again if Joe had been given a fighting chance on his own; as VP he is loyal to Obama…he loves and respects all of America, but he has a special place in his heart for middle class America. Among all his various and numerous talents, I will always love him for having true affection for all, especially the underserved.

    Reply

  4. David says:

    I have to agree that the starting point has to be the present moment. And I have no problem with private medical boutiques. Let the wealthy pay whatever they will be charged for whatever services they desire. And as the national wealth continues to migrate upwards, that very privileged group will be able to pay quite handsomely for their special needs. Maybe the whole lot of them can just live in bubbles for the protected uberrich.
    Just don’t let practitioners who attend medical schools which enjoy any form of public support to go directly into boutique practices unless they immediately reimburse the schools for whatever of their education their tuition did not cover, including the infrastructure costs borne by the public. I would agree to something like 5 years in public health service, then on to whatever-in-hell they want to do so they can become rich, which is ultimately what America is actually all about anyway.
    As you can see, nadine, I believe there has been a major class war going on at least since Reagan’s tenure, and I think it is quite clear who won, even as they devastated the economy for the rest of us.

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  5. nadine says:

    Dan,
    Unless Obamacare intends to make it illegal for doctors to open cash-for-service medical boutiques (I wouldn’t put it past them to try) I expect large numbers of the best doctors to so. Many already are. Many of the older doctors can retire from actively practicing medicine, and will do so. There are many related fields where an MD is a useful entree.
    When you compare doctor salaries, you have to weigh in malpractice costs. Many specialists have to pay six figure malpractice insurance premiums before they can turn on their office lights.
    Yes, the AMA has a history of keeping doctor numbers down. There’s a lot of history explaining the whacked-out third-party-pays system we have in the US now, I think we can agree on that. But anything that goes forward must start from where we are now, not where we were in 1940.

    Reply

  6. Dan Kervick says:

    According to a recent Ynet article, a recent Israeli Health Ministry report concluded “Israel is experiencing a grave shortage in healthcare professionals.”
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3764054,00.html
    The report said that there has been an 8% drop in the number of doctors since 2000 and a 40% drop in the number of nurses.
    Nevertheless it is true that Israel currently has 3.5 doctors and 5.9 nurses for every 1000 individuals, while the US has 2.3 doctors per 1000. However, that can’t be due to the relative levels of government involvement in health care. Israel has what is effectively a heavily regulated single payer system with mandated individual insurance. There are four heavily regulated, national, not-for profit HMO’s who handle all of the health insurance in Israel. These “sick funds” are funded by the government via the mandated insurance payment – basically a health care tax – collected by the government. The HMOs are required to provide a substantial level of basic insurance to all of their members, without regard to age or condition. The government also owns most of the large hospitals. Israel’s system is substantially more socialized than even the most progressive of the plans being considered by the US House.
    Average physician salaries are also substantially lower in Israel than the US. To encourage more immigration of doctors, Israel has recently had to initiate a plan offering special bonuses to doctors willing to make aliyah.
    A recent poll of doctors by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation and NEJM found that 73% of doctors favored the inclusion of some form of public option in US health reform. As you can easily see from the following article, the methodology used by this poll is both more transparent and credible than the IBD poll – and at least from what can be gathered given that the IBD pollsters refuse to reveal their methodology, or even the exact wording of the questions they asked.
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/mp_20090918_4062.php
    We should have both more doctors in the US, and pay them less, the way Israel does. Our AMA-run medical priesthood is organized to limit the supply of doctors and elevate salaries. Costs of education and training are staggeringly and extravagantly high; and there is not enough diversity of different levels of practitioner, with correspondingly diverse levels of pay.
    The IBD survey was by all appearance a piece of crap push poll, with apparently something like a self-selected 6% response rate, and mysteriously secret methodology. Anyway, one would have to be suffering from a severe shortage of common sense to think that anywhere close to 45% of doctors are going to leave their extremely lucrative profession just because a public plan will help put a lid on further cost increases. What are they going to do? Switch to cab driving? Investment banking? Automobile manufacturing?

    Reply

  7. David says:

    Back to the point of Steve’s blog. It is worth knowing what Biden is saying and who and what organizations he is endorsing, especially by way of TWN rather than having to try to extract straightforward info from lazy, meme-driven, moth-to-the-flame, “on-your-side” sources.
    And I have to agree. Summers et al really needed to be at this session taking notes. All bubbles are bad, both the economic ones and the ones too many at the top live in.

    Reply

  8. David says:

    Yeah, right, half of doctors would retire (for any reason). God knows Cuba can’t find any of their citizens willing to be doctors. And America can’t find any citizens willing to be teachers.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Nadine, has anyone told you to go fuck yourself yet today??? Well, allow me to be the first.
    Go bitch and moan in Israel, you don’t qualify for the privilege here.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    OA, Israel is a small country and has something we in the US do not: a surplus of doctors. The US has a shortage of doctors. If we are crazy enough to pass Pelosi’s monstrosity of a bill, we will see that turn into a massive shortage of doctors as more patients flood into the system, while doctors run for the hills. A recent IBD survey of doctors found that fully HALF of them would consider retiring if they had to work for government healthcare.
    You don’t understand that Medicare only functions today because most people aren’t on it. The doctors and hospitals overcharge the private patients to be able to afford to see the Medicare patients. If everybody is on some form of Medicare, the doctors and hospitals will go broke.
    We’ll all wind up with a piece of paper that says we are entitled to great health insurance. But we won’t be able to see a doctor.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    So, we’re running our policy decisions by the goofball who said the surge would never work, Iraq should be divided into three countries? And that FDR went on TV in 1929 to reassure people about the stock market crash? How reassuring.
    Has Biden ever been right about anything?

    Reply

  12. Mr.Murder says:

    Biden should reframe the Health Care bill as a “health stimulus” bill as part of the job creation effort.

    Reply

  13. Louise Mowder says:

    What the US needs is a strong version of the CCC, which hires American middle-class workers directly. If Obama could get one piece of stimulus legislation passed, this would be it. And he should defend the deficit spending! Get David Blanchflower to explain Keynesian economics to the US public again – he did a great job of it on the BBC this morning. And Americans have forgotten the way it works; they think you only run deficits in order to blow things up.
    And Joe Biden should be ashamed of his former collusion with the credit card companies that have let them rob and pillage Americans. He should boldly speak out for corrective legislation. Could you perhaps ask about it?

    Reply

  14. Outraged American says:

    Biden was behind the Bankruptcy Bill. A very large % of US
    bankruptcies are due to medical issues. Biden reps credit card
    company central, i.e., Delaware.
    So it’s not surprising that Biden and his cohorts screwed so
    many people from all over the socio-economic spectrum except
    for the top income brackets. He should never tout his
    credentials representing the working or the middle class again.
    I will look it up, but in the meantime Steve, if you get an
    audience with Biden tell him the situation out here in The
    Heartland. Two words : no jobs.
    And tell him that single payer health care is the only way to go.
    Here it is — Biden’s role in the Bankruptcy Bill — note that this
    article was written in March of 2005 so before the real economic
    collapse. Now tens of millions of Americans have been screwed.
    Article excerpt:
    Bankruptcy filings have risen slightly in recent years. Credit card
    companies argue that it’s because people are gaming the
    system, going on irresponsible spending binges and then using
    bankruptcy to stick their creditors with the bill.
    The more likely explanation is that the rise in health insurance
    costs has driven more people into bankruptcy. A recent Harvard
    study found that half of Americans who declared bankruptcy did
    so because of illness or medical bills. Regardless of why you go
    bankrupt, though, the new bill would make it easier for creditors
    to seize your assets. Nice, huh?
    This isn’t to say there aren’t abuses in the bankruptcy system.
    There are. The bill simply does nothing to stop them.
    The worst abuses are loopholes allowing corporations or wealthy
    individuals to declare bankruptcy and keep millions of dollars
    safe from creditors. One such device is something called an
    “asset protection trust” — a kind of savings fund that can’t be
    touched by creditors. States actually compete with one another
    to offer the most generous trusts so they can lure businesses
    and affluent individuals to park their money in that state.
    The most popular state for such trusts is corporate-friendly
    Delaware.
    Delaware, of course, is home to Joe Biden. It’s also home to many
    credit card companies, the driving force behind the bankruptcy
    bill. You don’t have to connect a lot of dots to see the picture
    here.
    whole article
    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0304-26.htm
    I’ve talked about the single mother my brother and I have been
    helping out to try to get her back on her feet. My brother lets
    her live with him rent free, and I take care of and feed her kid a
    few days a week. And in return get a lice scare every other day.
    She just got laid off. A minimum wage job that she had to get
    up at 4:30 AM to get to.
    She has NOTHING, except for her friends, and I’m not even a
    “friend” of hers, although she’s perfectly nice, she’s just 25 years
    younger so I don’t “relate.” I take care of her kid because
    someone has to while she works. Plus he’s a sweet little guy and
    I couldn’t stand the thought of him going hungry.
    She cannot even afford a $1 burger and I’m not kidding.
    So we’ll take over feeding her five-year-old, and my brother will
    let her live there indefinitely and will feed her, I always give her
    food too, but here is my point, and I hope Steve reads this and
    talks to his big wig DC friends:
    We are going to spend trillions on wars (for Israel) which do not
    benefit us or all those we slaughter, in any way shape or form,
    yet this young AMERICAN woman, who is making a very honest
    and valiant attempt to give her child a good life, is thrown under
    the bus, and is dependent on the kindness of two people (three
    if you count my husband) so that she and her child don’t starve
    or become homeless.
    What’s wrong with this picture, Wig Wag? Shakespeare said it
    best — get thee to the nunnery Wig Wag, because you and
    almost every member of “our” Israel-first Congress are already..
    what begins with a “wh” and ends with a “re” with an “o” in the
    middle? Streetwalker?
    Israel has great health care, courtesy of the Red, White & Blue.
    This woman got a serious bladder infection and couldn’t afford
    to EVEN GO TO THE DOCTOR.
    BTW: my brother’s ex-girlfriend lost her job too, and might have
    to move in with him too, with her infant by another man. My
    brother’s running a truly non-profit homeless shelter over there,
    with my husband and I taking in the overflow.
    SAD TIMES. And yet we, can “afford” endless war and not
    education and not health care. And according to Questions, war
    doesn’t divert funds from communities.
    BULL FUCKING SHIT.

    Reply

  15. Mr.Murder says:

    Make overtime pay start at 32 hours in time. There goes the need to expand payroll, sign more onto contributor benefits, and people get more hcances for a third day off in their work week.
    More workers = more revnue to tax. More overtime for the ones remaining and higher pay scales in mimimum wage at the low end = more revenue.
    Give small business and family firms the chance to remain competitive with an insulation of where overtime pay meets the threshold.
    You’ve expanded pay for a large sector initially, and expanded payroll substantially. Your revenue increase would be enough to drive some of the other agendas in need of improvement. Also you’d add money to make public employment stronger at times of private sector slowdowns.
    To accelerate foreign policy changes start making trade agreements meet certain human rights or foreiign policy objectives. Money is an amazing motivator.

    Reply

  16. Mr.Murder says:

    Green energy and education are the two areas that could benefit working Americans the most. Oh, labor unions getting better protection to secure their jobs and market share could help.
    “Families that could not go more than two paychecks in a row missing that money…”
    The grinch that snarked Christmas has a heart! Where does Biden get the nerve to talk like that? The imperial unitary vice presidency of Cheney would be appalled.
    Start aiming to reduction of the overtime pay scale, thus you would lower the benchmark for full time benefits. Pair this with a minimum wage increase. Suddenly the economy booms.
    Also, you would expand the revenue pool and be able to offer a slight wage tax cut with a larger pool to tax revenue from.

    Reply

  17. Mr.Murder says:

    *pre-empting
    (pre-empty-ing?)

    Reply

  18. Mr.Murder says:

    The USA went to a hard right stance in support of Israel pre-emopting the gubanatorial races in two GOP strongholds.
    They went after votes they will likely never get, and lost a lot of “Joe Sixpack” types that always vote their wallet.
    Get on better terms with the Arab league and oil pricing tensions will ease.
    There goes the necessary item needed for domestic advance and a better economy.
    Look at the big picture.

    Reply

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