I get the feeling that people don’t care about what Pelosi says and does or her history as much as she is a figure head, a symbol to partisan centrists and liberals.
(The 2 Aug 13) release of the July unemployment numbers is a case in point. “Today’s employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” the White House blog proclaimed, noting the headline unemployment number had fallen from 7.6 to 7.4%.
However, about half of the rather meager 162,000 jobs created were in the low-wage areas of retail, leisure, travel and dining, and just under two-thirds of the new positions were part-time. It’s an ongoing trend. More than three-quarters of jobs created this year were less than full-time work, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.
Lowly pay scales are also part of our post-2008 reality. As Pat Garofolo reminded me, the National Employment Law Project reported in 2011 that the majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession paid between $13.53 and $20.66 an hour. The majority of their replacements, however, offer pay between $7.51 and $13.52 per hour.
These are the sorts of jobs that not only don’t replace previous salaries, they all too frequently leave workers dependent on government and social service programs, ranging from food stamps to Medicare.
Run tell that to Democrats who crow about Obama’s economic recovery. Remind them that it’s not a chocolate / vanilla problem: it has to do with the political duopoly, it has to do with systemic flaws in our political system and their illiteracy about Keynesian economics.
One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.
In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)
The lobbying campaign shows how, three years after Congress passed the most comprehensive overhaul of regulation since the Depression, Wall Street is finding Washington a friendlier place.
The cordial relations now include a growing number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, whose support the banks need if they want to roll back parts of the 2010 financial overhaul, known as Dodd-Frank.
This legislative push is a second front, with Wall Street’s other battle being waged against regulators who are drafting detailed rules allowing them to enforce the law.
And as its lobbying campaign steps up, the financial industry has doubled its already considerable giving to political causes. The lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them, according to an analysis of campaign finance records performed by MapLight, a nonprofit group.
When Republicans stand strong on principles while Democrats obsess about political practicality, Democrats repeatedly concede too much and Republicans repeatedly win more than policy and politics would otherwise dictate. The immigration reform markup is only the latest example of this larger, depressing state of affairs. Maybe it’s time for the Democrats to remember their safe word. Might I suggest “ENOUGH!”?
That’s what I say about Democrats all the time: they function as a product of pragmatism over principles.
I would not be surprised if the modern Democratic Party’s strategy is secretly being bankrolled by Eli Lilly as a ploy to sell Prozac to liberals.
In the latest example of this disconcerting trend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) proposed an amendment to the Senate immigration markup that would arguably harm American workers. In fact, it wasn’t just Democrats and labor unions that opposed this amendment; Republican Sen. Charles Grassley also opposed the amendment. But Democrats nonetheless backed the change in order to woo Hatch’s committee vote. Meanwhile, not only was Hatch’s committee vote not needed to approve the bill but Hatch has explicitly said he may still not vote for the legislation unless other changes are made. In other words, Hatch got to water down the legislation and Democrats got, er, well… nothing.