Hair Force One … The Progress Report


The Mis-Education Of The Republican Party

The GOP presidential field needs an education, but for the moment their only teacher is Donald Trump. With President Ronald Reagan’s Air Force One casting a shadow over them, eleven GOP candidates spent three hours debating largely about Donald Trump and failing to address the many key issues facing working families. On education, raising wages, and health care, the GOP candidates said close to nothing, instead doubling down on attacks on immigrants, women’s health, working families, and the Iran nuclear deal. Over three grueling hours of television, the Republican candidates mentioned “middle class” just three times, “health care” twice, and “students” just once.

What the GOP Candidates Failed to Mention:

Ensuring Access to an Affordable, Quality Education. Families are finding it harder and harder to access an affordable, quality education. Between 2000 and 2011, the cost of higher education grew three times faster than overall inflation and students are being saddled with debt. However, the Republican candidates were silent on whether they would support measures such as allowing Americans to refinance their student loans and restoring public investment in education. Not only did Republicans ignore the plight of students seeking a higher education, they also ignored the needs of our youngest learners. High-quality public preschool programs range from $6,500 to $11,000 across the country—putting them out of reach for many families. But on solutions like providing universal pre-school, the Republicans were mum.

Raising Wages for Working Families. Higher wages are what working families need most. Instead of seeing their incomes improve, middle class households saw their incomes fall 2 percent between 2000 and 2011. However, the Republican presidential contenders overwhelmingly failed to offer, or support, real solutions that would improve incomes for families, such as raising the minimum wage or reforming overtime rules.

A Plan to Improve Access to Health Care. On a day when new data became available showing that the number of Americans lacking health insurance dropped by more than eight million people in 2014, Republicans once again attacked the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but offered no alternatives. Before the implementation of the ACA, health care costs were skyrocketing. From 2002 to 2012, health care costs paid by a family of four with an average employer-sponsored PPO plan rose by 85 percent. The ACA, however, has helped control rising health care costs. At the same time, the ACA has improved access to health care. Overall, 15.8 million people have gained coverage since the ACA’s marketplaces opened. Republicans, however, have offered no ideas on how to keep improving upon the successes of the ACA, instead continuing to call for repealing the ACA.

What the GOP Candidates Did Say:

Follow Trump’s Lead on Immigration. Trump’s extreme rhetoric on immigration is often credited with putting immigration right at the center of the GOP presidential primary. But at the debate on Wednesday night, several Republican candidates went out of their way to show that they stand with Trump on his extreme positions.

  • Trump doubled down on his claim that birthright citizenship isn’t settled in the Constitution, saying, “Well, first of all, the — the 14th Amendment says very, very clearly to a lot of great legal scholars — not television scholars, but legal scholars — that it is wrong.” Trump wasn’t alone–Rand Paul, the author of a constitutional amendment to repeal birthright citizenship, restated his support for ending it.
  • Trump again raised his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to deter illegal immigration, even though the border is more secure than ever. The other GOP candidates, however, raced to outdo Trump: Chris Christie jumped at the opportunity to say that he would push to establish “more than just a wall,” pledging “electronics” and “drones,” while Ben Carson said he would turn off the “spigot that dispenses all the goodies so we don’t have people coming in here.”

Defund Planned Parenthood. During the debate, the GOP candidates spent much of their air time attacking women’s health. In rushing to declare that they support defunding Planned Parenthood, they ignored the fact that Planned Parenthood provides critical health care services for millions of women.

  • Jeb Bush believes “that Planned Parenthood should[n’t] get a penny from the federal government.” This is not a surprising statement from a man who previously said he was “not sure we need a half billion for women’s health issues.” However, Planned Parenthood helps millions of women—in 2013 alone it served more than 2.7 million patients and provided 10.6 million services, including the treatment of chronic diseases and authorization for hospital care.
  • Ted Cruz called Planned Parenthood a “criminal enterprise” and says he’s “proud to stand for life.” But 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activity is preventive care. Defunding Planned Parenthood would limit women’s access to lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and more.

Give Tax Breaks to the Wealthy Few. Several GOP candidates talked about their tax plans and records on taxes at the debate, but their rhetoric was the same rehash of tired Republican talking points: cut taxes on the wealthy to boost the economy. That didn’t work before, and it won’t work again.

  • Bush promoted the $19 billion in tax cuts he pushed as Governor of Florida, but analysis of his time in Florida show that he catered his tax cuts to the wealthy. What’s more, Bush’s tax plan, just released last week, would be a massive giveaway to the wealthiest Americans, would blow a hole in the deficit, and give Bush a personal tax savings of $774,000.
  • Walker claimed that under his watch, Wisconsin passed $4.7 billion in tax cuts “to help working families, family farmers, small business owners and senior citizens,” but the richest 20 percent reaped a full half of the benefits of his income tax package — all while Wisconsin ranked 44th in the country in middle class income growth under Walker.
  • John Kasich boasted about having the “largest amount tax cuts of any sitting governor,” but he neglected to mention that his so-called “tax cuts” benefitted wealthy Ohioans. Under Kasich’s tax proposals, the average tax bill went up for the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers, while the top one percent of taxpayers saw an average tax cut of nearly $12k.

Tear Up the Iran Deal. Last night, many of the GOP candidates offered much of the same, similar-sounding bluster we have heard on the campaign trail: tear up the Iran deal on “day one.” Their empty rhetoric presented no real leadership, just more partisan attacks on a tough-minded deal.

  • Cruz claimed that the Iran deal “will only accelerate Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons.” He continued to say that if elected, he would “rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.” Far from being a bad deal, the agreement cuts off all pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon and is verifiable through rigorous international inspections of Iran’s nuclear supply chain and facilities. This accord proves that American diplomacy — and not war — can bring meaningful change to make our homeland and the world safer and more secure.
  • Walker casually remarked, “I’d love to play cards with this guy because Barack Obama folds on everything with Iran.” That is simply not true. The Iran deal is the result of years of tough-minded American diplomacy and a comprehensive strategy. The deal is backed by our partners and allies across the world, but conservative GOP candidates are putting politics over patriotism.

BOTTOM LINE: The eleven GOP candidates had an opportunity last night to offer real solutions to the key issues they face. But on education, working families, and health care, the GOP candidates came up empty. Instead, they spent their stage time fighting with each other and catering to the most extreme wing of the Republican Party. What we need are real leaders ready to tackle the problems facing working families, not panderers who are alienating entire communities of Americans.

JEB! a repost

Hey! Jeb Bush has officially decided that he wants to be President of the United States — you know, just like his brother, George W. Bush, and his dad, George H.W. Bush. The thing is, we know how badly the last Bush presidencies turned out!

It should go without saying that he’s not interested in fighting for hardworking Americans like you — his record as governor certainly showed his preference for giving tax breaks to his wealthy friends and deep-pocketed donors over the middle class, and he cashed in on Wall Street as Americans were hit by the financial crisis. And that’s why we need to get the word out about who Jeb Bush really is, and why he’s the wrong choice for America.

Jeb Bush:

  • Defends voter ID laws that disproportionately affect women, minority, and student voters
  • Thinks citizenship for undocumented immigrants is an “undeserving reward”
  • Said businesses “absolutely” should be able to discriminate against gay Americans
  • Has advocated for the public shaming of single mothers
  • Is completely unfamiliar with the Paycheck Fairness Act
  • Takes policy advice from his brother — and recently defended invading Iraq
  • Supported a budget that guts Medicare and education funding

Jeb Bush isn’t right for the middle class. You know that, we know that, and now Factivists like you have to make sure others are on the same page with us. So right now, forward this along to three of your friends, and make sure they know facts about Jeb Bush.

2016 DNC Factivists

P.S. — Know anyone else who wants to help get out the truth about Jeb Bush and his fellow Republicans? Have them become a Factivist here:

Jeb Bush’s Broken Down Energy Plan


Jeb Bush Releases His Energy Plan, A Rehash of Old and Deceitful Conservative Policies

Another day, another Republican presidential candidate releasing a policy proposal that doesn’t fit with the priorities of working Americans. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush released his energy plan today, and while he presented it as a plan to get the economy humming along, the reality is that it is out-of-date, broken, and unworkable.

Bush’s four-point plan would lift restrictions on exports of oil and natural gas; weaken or eliminate key public health standards including cuts to dangerous carbon pollution from power plants; allow states and tribes to dump unlimited pollution; and approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Eliminating limits on carbon pollution is a predictable gift for polluters and dirty energy producers, like the Koch brothers. But what breaks Jeb’s plan beyond repair is what it leaves out. The plan fails to address climate change. It would take us backward by undoing the Clean Power Plan and America’s leadership on climate action. Finally, despite promising to “unleash the energy revolution,” Jeb leaves out the actual energy revolution: clean energy.

Simply put, Jeb Bush’s energy plan won’t drive us toward a 21st century economy. Here’s why:

It overheats: Jeb’s plan fails to even address man-made climate change
Jeb’s been hazy at best when it comes to his stance on climate change. Earlier this spring Bush said he is “concerned” about climate change, but a month later he sang a different tune saying, “For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you.”

As the former Governor of Florida, one would hope Bush knows about the consequences of ignoring climate change. The Southeastern United States, and Florida in particular, are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, from sea level rise to extreme heat events to hurricanes. In South Florida the streets already flood on some sunny days at high tide and climate change promises to make that flooding more severe. In addition to its environmental costs, climate change poses a huge economic threat to the country and to Florida specifically. Flooding from sea-level rise is expected to cost the state up to $15 billion by 2030 and up to $23 billion by 2050. Florida alone has a trillion-dollar real-estate bubble waiting to burst as a result of sea level rise or the next superstorm surge. And Florida isn’t alone in its vulnerability to climate change, the total annual price tag for hurricanes and other coastal storms is estimated to be up to $35 billion.

It spews exhaust: Jeb’s plan doesn’t mention anything about clean energy
The first sentence of Jeb Bush’s energy plan references economic growth. Indeed, the promise of 4 percent economic growth has been a centerpiece of his whole campaign. But the energy plan Bush put forward, shockingly, makes no mention of the fastest growing sector of the industry: renewable energy. In fact, half the new electricity generation in the United States comes from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro. Solar energy on its own accounted for one out of every 78 new jobs created last year in entire United States economy, beating out oil both gas pipeline construction and crude oil and natural gas extraction.

Jeb can’t be ignoring clean energy because it hurts the economy. Is he ignoring it because he thinks it’s bad politics? That doesn’t make any sense either, as a national poll released yesterday by conservative foundation ClearPath demonstrates: more than three-quarters of Republican voters believe that accelerating the growth of clean energy would “create economic growth and jobs at home.”

It stalls out: Jeb’s plan would undo key public health standards
Not only does Jeb’s plan not address actions to address the warming climate, his proposal would actually take steps backward with its short-sighted focus. Three of the four points included in Jeb’s plan lift important public health standards put in place to protect Americans against the negative health and economic impacts of climate change.

One of those points is the elimination of the Clean Power Plan, a move that could lead to thousands of premature deaths and forfeit the Clean Power Plan’s estimated health and climate benefits worth up to $54 billion a year in 2030. Bush also argued that the Clean Power Plan will increase electricity costs, ignoring the fact that the cost of climate change is widely expected to be more than the cost of clean energy. In his arguments against federal legislation on climate change, Jeb has expressed concern for our “ability to compete in an increasingly competitive world.” But it was the Obama administration’s strong leadership with the Clean Power Plan that inspired China to establish its own aggressive steps to limit carbon pollution.

BOTTOM LINE: Jeb!’s energy plan fails to address man-made climate change, forgets to mention clean energy, and discards key public health standards, begging the question: is this the energy plan you want to drive you into the future?


Jeb’s New Tax Plan: Another Bush Family Favor To The Wealthy Few


New Analysis Of Jeb’s Tax Plan Details Massive Tax Giveaways To Wealthiest Americans

Yesterday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush released a tax plan that he pledged would “unleash 4% growth.” Bush took pains to emphasize that his plan would benefit working families, much like many of his opponents for the Republican nomination. But a new Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis has crunched the numbers, and despite Bush’s rhetoric, the reality is that his new tax plan is a huge giveaway to the country’s wealthiest at the expense of everyone else.

The facts are that Bush’s tax plan:

1. Cuts the Top Tax Rates for the Wealthy Few: Under the Bush plan, the top tax rate would be capped at 28 percent, or a nearly one-third drop from the 39.6 percent top rate in the law now. Cutting top tax rates would mean a huge tax windfall for the wealthiest taxpayers—and could exacerbate rising economic inequality while doing nothing to spur economic growth. The analysis supporting Bush’s plan obscures this massive giveaway for high incomes by only looking at the tax plan’s impact on people earning up to $250,000.

2. Slashes the Corporate Tax Rate and Other Corporate Taxes: The Bush tax plan also proposes dropping the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from the current rate of 35 percent. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the top 20 percent of income earners effectively pay almost four-fifths of the country’s corporate taxes, while the bottom 80 percent of households pays just 21.4 percent. Nearly half of the corporate tax burden—48.7 percent—falls on the top 1 of households alone. No surprise here: corporate ownership is concentrated among high-income households, so cutting taxes on corporations would be a very large giveaway to the wealthy.

3. Lowers Tax Rates on Capital Gains and Dividends: Bush is also pitching to lower the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends, from 23.8 percent to 20 percent. Income from capital gains and dividends goes overwhelmingly to the wealthy. CAP has previously shown that a lower tax rate on dividends and capital gains is one of the ways the U.S. tax code helps those who are wealthy enough to own capital accumulate even more wealth, worsening income inequality. Jeb’s tax plan would go even farther.

The problems with the tax plan don’t end there. All these tax cuts for the rich will be costly. Even the four conservative economists who wrote a white paper defending the Bush plan say so. They say the plan will add $1.2 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years, using a vague model that presupposes significant economic growth resulting from the plan. When using a more traditional way of evaluating the plan, these same conservative economists say it would cost an astounding $3.4 trillion— that is about $45,946 per child under 18 in the United States.

Additionally, the tax plan’s supporters have vastly inflated claims of the economic growth it would create. We know from Jeb’s brother George W. that substantial tax cuts, combined with slashed regulations as Jeb has also promised but not specified yet, do not result in the booming economy we are promised. This tired rationale for selling tax cuts should not be used again after it has been consistently debunked. But it’s what we are getting from Jeb’s economic advisors, two of which were also advisors to his brother.

We aren’t alone in exposing Jeb’s tax plan for what it is. The New York Times calls the plan a “large tax cut for the wealthiest” and estimates that taxpayers who earned over $10 million dollars in 2013 would have saved an average of $1.5 million with this tax plan in place.

BOTTOM LINE: Though Jeb Bush and his Super PAC have boasted the theme of a “right to rise” as a central campaign message, his tax plan proves that his policy priorities are squarely focused on improving the fortunes of the country’s wealthiest—even though everyone else will be left with the bill. We’ve seen how much that fails most Americans, and how it fails our economy overall. We need policies that help working families by growing the economy from the middle-out, not the top down.

Jeb`, did you really say that

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallIf you want to know the truth about Jeb Bush, there’s one person you should be paying really, really close attention to: Jeb Bush. It seems like every time he opens his mouth, he sticks his foot in it.

Here are just a few examples — forward this email so everyone you know is hearing what Jeb Bush believes, straight from the horse’s — well, Jeb’s — mouth:

  • On how to grow our economy: “People need to work longer hours.”
  •  On his brother’s disastrous, failed foreign policy: “When it comes to my brother, there’s one thing I know for sure. He kept us safe.”
  • On the Washington NFL team’s name, a term many Native Americans find racist: “I don’t think it should change … I don’t find it offensive.”
  • And most egregiously, on yesterday’s mass shooting in Oregon: “Stuff happens.”

So here’s what we’ll say, : We just can’t let this guy anywhere near the White House.

Factivists like you can make sure that happens by sharing the facts about Jeb Bush. Forward this email to three friends right now to do your part.

Thanks for being a part of this.

2016 DNC Factivists

politics, pop culture, petitions & pollution


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