THE FARM BILL’S ROTTEN ROOTS – The House Agriculture Committee’s new farm bill slashes food stamps for nearly two million poor Americans, according to a new report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The bill also stops 21,000 children from receiving free meals at school.
The bill plans to cut a total of $21 billion from the SNAP (food stamp) program over the next decade. The proposed $21 billion cut falls on top of a planned reduction in food stamp benefits that will begin to affect all food stamp recipients in November when a temporary provision of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expires. CBPP pegs the planned reduction at $25 less for food stamps per month for a family of four. FACT - The average food stamp recipient currently receives $133.42 per month, barely enough to afford groceries for two weeks.
NYT, US News & World Report, ThinkProgress, and MSNBC covered CBPP’s report.
DOCUMENT THIS — If the 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in America received legal status and a pathway to citizenship, the cumulative economic benefits would include an $832 billion increase in GDP, $470 billion increase in personal income of all Americans, $109 billion increase in tax revenue, and 121,000 new jobs every year…Center for American Progress crunched the numbers.
BREAK THE SILENCE, RAISE THEIR STORY — Missing from the contentious debate on immigration reform are the 1.2 million undocumented Asians struggling to pay for higher education, exercise their rights in the workplace, and openly discuss their immigration status. The Asian American Legal Defense Fund’s youth group RAISE launched a new Tumblr featuring undocumented Asian immigrants describing their real experiences. THE PEOPLE WITHOUT THE PAPERS: Martiza Lam, age 23, New York: “During my sophomore year in high school, I realized I was “undocumented.” I was used to supporting myself and my family, but suddenly there seemed so many things I could not do…When it was time to apply for college it hit me that I couldn’t apply for financial aid because I didn’t have a social security number. I enrolled in community college and kept working to pay the bills, but my parents and younger sisters needed the money I was earning, too…I had to leave school, and I started working in restaurants.” See RAISE’s Tumblr in NY Daily News and Color Lines.
On Twitter, use hashtags #undocuAsians and #RaiseOutStory. Tweet @RaiseOutStory.
READ: “Why I Share My Status” by Hong Mei Pang and “Hope for the Future” by Martiza Lam.
EXCLUSIVE PP TIP…NOW HEAR THIS – The influential members of Voices for Progress will meet with five senators and two chiefs of staff this Thursday to push for immigration reform, rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, stronger regulations against carbon pollution, replacing sequestration, and paying for new investments by closing tax loopholes that benefit wealthy corporations. Voices for Progress founder Sandy Newman tells PP: “Until we can get big money out of politics and big access out of policy, we need to provide a counterweight to all the greedy folks who are busy lobbying for their narrow financial self-interest instead of for the common good. The country, the planet, and especially the most vulnerable can’t afford for us to squander the influence we could be using on their behalf.”
To get involved in Voices for Progress advocacy, contact Mark Donovan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAKE A BITE OUT OF THIS APPLE – Citizens for Tax Justice discovered Apple has paid close to zero income tax on $102 billion in offshore profits. CTJ also revealed that Apple’s $102 billion offshore profits were most likely shifted from the countries where they were earned into tax havens. CTJ believes Apple’s offshore profits were most likely earned here in the United States.
Yesterday, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations grilled Apple CEO Tim Cook on the company’s scandalous tax evasions. Cook weakly mustered: “We don’t depend on tax gimmicks.”
MEDIA MATTERS ASKS THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK – Why has Fox spent less than nineteen minutes covering major sexual assault cases in the military?
FINANCIAL FISTFIGHT (AFR IS ROLLING UP THEIR SLEEVES) — Americans for Financial Reform and its member organizations held a private call with Senator Warren on Monday to discuss future plans for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.The new consumer watchdog group has been under attack since it was created. In February, 43 Republican senators signed a letter refusing to allow an up or down vote on any director unless the Bureau is crippled first. The fight is just heating up. A vote was expected on the renomination of Richard Cordray as Director of the Bureau this week, but the vote has been postponed most likely till July. Without the CFPB’s consumer protection rules, aggressive lenders in the financial industry will continue to use abusive practices that harm regular Americans. READ: AFR’s “Ten Reasons We need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
THE GOOD, BAD, AND THE UGLY-- Demos President Miles Rappaport has a candid opinion about the passage of the Motor Voter Law on its 20th anniversary.
FROM THE WONK WIRE…
….Banking with Blair: Roosevelt Institute fellow and Top Wonk Michael Konczal interviews former FDIC director Sheila Blair on Dodd-Frank’s Title II resolution authority, the end of taxpayer bailouts, the role of higher leverage requirements in preventing bank failures, and the need to keep swaps outside of FDIC insured banks.
…The Art of Leaking: Columbia Law Professor and Top Wonk David Pozen tells Forbes that the Obama administration’s power increases when the press leaks its classified information. Pozen says: “without leaks, we wouldn’t know much much about the workings of the national security state…because of all the leaks that come out, key constituencies feel sufficiently well served by the amount of information they acquire…they don’t feel compelled to demand additional reforms.” For more on the love-hate relationship between the government and the press, read Pozen’s article to be published by the Harvard Law Review.
…Take a Second Bite Out of Apple: CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk Eileen Appelbaum questions the benefits of a territorial tax system in light of Apple’s recent tax evasions. Under the terriotial tax system, corporate profits overseas would be slightly taxed and all overseas profits would be repatriated without any taxes paid – a repeat of the failed 2004 tax holiday. Appelbaum proposes ending tax deferrals permitted for overseas profits and levying taxes based on where the profits are physically earned for a more balanced tax code.
… Magic in the Middle: Center for American Progress Chief Economist and Top Wonk Heather Boushey says the best way to kickstart economic growth is to increase the size and strength of the middle class. Boushey’s top policy recommendations: incentivize colleges to limit the net price of secondary education to 15% of family income, invest $2 billion annually in high-skilled job training programs, encourage businesses to adopt profit sharing and worker cooperatives, provide automatic enrollment in the federal thrift savings plan, enforce market safeguards that protect against commodity price volatility, and stick a $120 billion stimulus injection into infrastructure. Read some of the best policy proposals at Policy Networks and Global Progress’ ‘Memos to the Left.’
…Bearcats Don’t Cheat: Century Foundation Vice President and Top Wonk Greg Anrig finds the perfect ed reform story in the Cincinnati school district. Stepping away from aggressive market-based reform initiatives, Anrig praises Cincinnati for adopting a data-driven collaborative strategy that relies on the full cooperation of teachers, administrators, and the community for higher test scores and effective teaching.
Congratulations to Top Wonks Mark C. Alexander, Guy-Uriel Charles,Taeku Lee, Spencer Overton, and Ciara Torres-Spelliscy for their outstanding recognition in The Lawyers of Color 50 under 50 list.
Find out more at www.topwonks.org.
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