CORP. TAX CUT = GROWTH? Um, Not So Much — Contrary to popular conservative dogma, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has found no substantial correlation between corporate tax reductions and economic growth since 1947.
SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL– 5.4 million LGBT men and women in the U.S. workforce regularly experience higher unemployment and workplace discrimination than their heterosexual counterparts. READ: “A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers,” co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for American Progress.
$1 TRILLION STUDENT LOAN CRISIS — The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report detailing the dire consequences if Congress fails to reauthorize the Higher Education Act on July 1st. Unless action is taken, Stafford student loan rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, adding to the already heavy burden of rising college tuition costs for the 10.6 million Americans under the age of 25 currently already unable to find full-time work. National student debt has already passed the $1 trillion mark, exceeding both credit card and automobile debt for the majority of borrowers.
CAP also joined Campus Progress to launch a campaign emphasizing the need for refinancing student loans. READ: “It’s Our Interest: The Need to Reduce Student Loan Interest Rates.” On Twitter, use #ItsOurInterest.
Check out an infographic by Demos on the true size of the student debt crisis here.
PLAN B CHALLENGE HALTED — The Obama Administration halted its efforts this week to keep age restrictions on sales of Plan B, a widely used morning-after contraception pill. The change of course came after months of setbacks in federal courts and claims by New York U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman that the restrictions were “politically motivated” and “scientifically unjustified.” President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards applauded the decision: “This is a huge breakthrough for access to birth control and a historic moment for women’s health and equality.”
A TARHEEL TASTE PART II — A sixth week of Moral Mondays continued this week in Raleigh, NC in protest of the Republican State Assembly’s regressive and oppressive policies. Bishops of five major denominations led the crowd of thousands, including members of the Episcopalian, Catholic, Lutheran, United Methodist and Presbyterian churches. 89 people were arrested, including a seventh grade teacher, a professor of divinity, a blogger, and Charlotte Observer reporter Tim Funk. This latest wave comes as Republicans desperately attempt to delegitimize and quiet the burgeoning movement.
The Advancement Project has been working with North Carolina’s NAACP chapter throughout the Moral Monday demonstrations. Advancement Project Co-Director Penda Hair tells PP: “The ballot box is supposed to be the one place where every citizen – rich or poor, young or old, and of every race – has an equal voice. But make no mistake about it. Everything from banning same-day registration and Sunday voting, which African-American voters are far more likely to use, to pushing for the most restrictive felony disenfranchisement law in the country, has been carefully crafted to restrict full participation in North Carolina.”
ACLU CHALLENGES BIG BROTHER — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a joint motion in Washington DC on Monday requesting that the Foreign Intelligence Court publish its opinions on Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The section ambiguously grants the FBI permission to obtain “any tangible things…to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities” from a citizen or entity without evidence of probable cause. It is also the basis for the NSA’s questionable surveillance of countless e-mails and millions of Verizon phone lines, recently leaked by Edward Snowden. ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer: “In a democracy, there should be no room for secret law. The public has a right to know what limits apply to the government’s surveillance authority, and what safeguards are in place to protect individual privacy.”
FROM THE WONK WIRE ..
… NOT WHAT WE WAGERED: Economic Policy Institute Economist and Top Wonk Heidi Shierholz uncovers that a big chunk of the shrinking wage gap between men and women since 1979 is due to men’s wage losses, not to women’s wage gains.
… THE STATE OF AMERICA: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich pins the root of the sequester on the growing policy divide between red and blue states, warning: “…America is splitting apart without going through all the trouble of a civil war.”
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