48 MILLION HUNGRY AMERICANS – including 900,000 veterans — will be short changed tomorrow when $5 billion is cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) due to Congress’ failure to provide additional funding after a temporary boost provided by the 2009 Recovery Act. 87 percent of SNAP recipients live in households with children, seniors, or people with disabilities and over 80 percent live below the federal poverty line, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. So much for compassionate conservatism.
Demos Policy and Outreach Vice President and Top Wonk Heather McGhee: “This is going to have an effect not just on families and children and neighborhoods but also on our economy overall. Food stamps are one of the most powerful stimulus programs that you can have because people who receive food stamps spend them directly in their neighborhoods. You get more than a dollar in bang for your buck for every dollar that we spend. So as we start to see these cuts, we’re going to start to see the job numbers go down.”
SIGN UltraViolet’s petition to Congress HERE and READ “The Food Stamp Cuts the Media Won’t Tell You About” by Media Matters.
THEY’RE STILL WATCHING YOU — Last Saturday the Stop Watching Us Coalition led thousands of demonstrators in DC in a rally against the National Security Administration’s (NSA) sweeping surveillance programs. The demonstration marked the twelfth anniversary of the Patriot Act and came in the wake of growing criticism toward the NSA’s domestic and foreign spying tactics. Members of the Stop Watching Us Coalition include Free Press, Freedom Works, the ACLU, Demand Progress, and Students for Liberty. WATCH a recap of the march HERE.
READ: “Who Buys the Spies? The Hidden Corporate Cash Behind America’s Out-of-Control National Surveillance State,” the first in a new series from Alternet’s New Economic Dialogue Project, edited by Lynn Parramore.
SYSTEM DOWN BUT NOT OUT — The Center for American Progress (CAP) published a new issue brief yesterday warning that any delay in the individual mandate under the the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would lead to harmful economic and political consequences. Opponents of the ACA are using the massive technological glitches of the HealthCare.gov website to push for a delay, despite recent findings that price competition among health plans has already led to lowered premiums that will total $190 billion in federal savings over the next decade.
Zoe Carpenter over at The Nation says it best: “Healthcare.gov’s problems — and their solutions — are technical, not political. They may reflect unreadiness and even incompetence, but not cruelty and dishonesty.”
READ: “49 Stories That the Media’s Focus on ACA Glitches Ignores” and “Top 8 Questions about the Affordable Care Act.” The New York Times, CNN, and Politico also covered the story.
CLEAR OUR PATH — Hundreds from a diverse range of immigration reform advocacy groups gathered on Tuesday in Orlando, FL to press for a clear pathway to citizenship and comprehensive immigration reform. Fifteen were arrested during the protest while urging Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues in the House to bring the vote to the floor. Organizations that participated include Mi Familia Vota, SEIU, PICO Florida, Dreamer’s Moms, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Advancement Project, the Alliance for Citizenship, and members from the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
CHECKING UP ON WORKERS’ RIGHTS — American workers are afraid to report health and safety violations for fear of employer retaliation, according to a new study published by the Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch). President and CEO Katherine McFate summed it up: “American workers who report health and safety risks need better protections against employer retaliation. Federal workplace health and safety laws are weak and outdated and leave workers who experience retaliation without adequate remedy.” READ: “Securing the Right to a Safe and Healthy Workplace: Improve State Laws to Protect Workers.”
JOBS TO MOVE AMERICA — The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s (LAANE) “Jobs to Move America” coalition successfully convinced the Chicago Transit Authority to encourage companies vying for a $2 billion transit contract to include comprehensive job programs in their bids. LAANE used a similar altered bidding model in Los Angeles, which resulted in increased domestic manufacturing and job creation. LAANE and Jobs to Move America will be urging public transportation agencies throughout the country to work with companies who can provide energy efficient domestic manufacturing that secures jobs through public dollars. TWEET @LAANE and FIND out more HERE.
ON OUR AGENDA, FROM THE WONK WIRE …
TOP WONKS: THE ENVIRONMENT … The first ever complete on-line searchable directory of the most Important thinkers in the country on Climate Change and the Environment … COMING SOON … stay tuned!
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.