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Under the Mountain Bunker

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    SIX ISSUES the Teaparty-Republicans consider more important than jobs →

    Because there has been NO JOBS’ BILL created or even discussed, the House Republicans’ supposed “mandate” last November apparently meant they should spend 3 months on the following cultural / societal issues:

    1) Curtailing Abortion Rights

    2) Defunding Planned Parenthood

    3) Defunding NPR

    4) Investigating American Muslims

    5) Declaring English As America’s Official Language

    6) Reaffirming The “In God We Trust” Motto

    Read more…

    It’s true — who cares if you have a job and food as long as English hasn’t yet been declared the official language? All this and maybe a government shutdown too! One could say that House Republicans have their finger DIRECTLY on the pulse of America.

    And we’re all waiting for the GOP’s Merry Christmas Bill, where store clerks who say “Happy Holidays” are sent to Gitmo. The War on Christmas will not be ignored!

    — 3 years ago with 1 note
    #news  #politics  #tea party  #republicans  #gop  #jobs  #unemployment  #six issues  #societal / cultural issues  #what Americans care about  #fail 
    G.E. is trying its very best to suck America dry →

    Case study on why our treasury no longer has any treasure:

    Wonkette: “[T]he New York Times showed an incredibly rare bit of spine today by publishing a dull numbers story that is possibly the most enraging thing you’ll ever read:

    The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

    Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

    That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E.

    Listen, if you’re a teabagger who’s  worried about G.E.’s tax situation (Couldn’t that $3.2 billion tax benefit have been even larger?) — don’t despair! The Republicans are right behind you:

    Read more…

    — 3 years ago
    #news  #politics  #class war  #unemployment  #GOP  #Republicans  #tea party  #America  #Democrats  #patriotism  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #general electric  #g.e.  #no taxes  #federal government owes g.e. money!  #record profits  #Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) 
    AMERICA *IS* THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY!
Hold  on to your hats: McDonalds is having a NATIONAL HIRING DAY today in  America! Who needs labor unions and stupid shit like a “middle-class”  now, libtard demoRATs?  We’re number ONE!!
… and after you get your job at McDonalds, don’t forget to support Paul Ryan’s Republican Teaparty “2012 Path to Poverty / Soylent Green for Everyone” budget. The Rapture is well underway.

    AMERICA *IS* THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY!

    Hold on to your hats: McDonalds is having a NATIONAL HIRING DAY today in America! Who needs labor unions and stupid shit like a “middle-class” now, libtard demoRATs?  We’re number ONE!!

    … and after you get your job at McDonalds, don’t forget to support Paul Ryan’s Republican Teaparty “2012 Path to Poverty / Soylent Green for Everyone” budget. The Rapture is well underway.

    — 3 years ago with 5 notes
    #news  #politics  #class war  #unemployment  #America  #GOP  #land of opportunity  #McDonalds  #national hiring day  #number one!  #Republicans  #tea party  #thank the tea party 
    Ten years ago, Bush said “Tax relief will create new jobs, tax relief will generate new wealth…” →

    Yesterday’s lies are today’s lies. A decade of FAIL, brought to you by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the GOP. From Pat Garofalo | Think Progress — read the whole thing, but here are some highlights on this 10-year anniversary of fail:

    10 years ago tomorrow, the first of the Bush tax cuts was enacted. That 2001 tax cut was followed up by a second tax cut in 2003, passed after Vice-President Dick Cheney reportedly asserted that “deficits don’t matter.” The tax cuts were sold as necessary economic stimulus that would boost job creation and a moribund economy.Tax relief will create new jobs, tax relief will generate new wealth, and tax relief will open new opportunities,” Bush said on April 16, 2001 as he was pushing for the passage of the first tax cut. Two years later he said, “These tax reductions will bring real and immediate benefits to middle-income Americans… …

    DIDN’T CREATE JOBS:

    • Following the Bush tax cuts, “Overall monthly job growth was the worst of any cycle since at least February 1945, and household income growth was negative for the first cycle since tracking began in 1967.”
    • “The economy boasted 132 million jobs in June of 2001, the month that the first of the Bush tax cuts was signed into law. Three years later, in June of 2004, there were just 131.4 million jobs.

    BLEW UP THE DEFICIT:

    • During a 2001 address to Congress, Bush said, “At the end of those 10 years [in the 2001 budget], we will have paid down all the debt that is available to retire. That is more debt repaid more quickly than has ever been repaid by any nation at any time in history.”
    • However, thanks in large part to the Bush tax cuts, the debt ballooned under Bush, with debt held by the public increasing from $3.5 trillion to nearly $6 trillion and gross federal debt going from $5.6 trillion to nearly $10 trillion.

    TODAY’S GOP DOUBLES-DOWN:

    • Republicans only agreed to last December’s tax deal because it extended the Bush tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans.
    • Now, both the House Republican budget and the House Republican “jobs plan” released last week include further reductions in the top tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
    • In fact, the “jobs plan” document calls for tax cuts to “Increase American competitiveness to spur investment and create more American jobs.”

    REALITY:

    When [Pres. Obama] took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer. -Mitt Romney


    Related:

    — 3 years ago
    #politics  #news  #economy  #class war  #income redistribution  #create jobs  #DICK Cheney  #economic failure  #FAIL  #George W Bush  #GOP  #jobs  #lies  #no jobs  #pay down debt  #Republicans  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #tea party  #unemployment 
    image: socialistexan
Growth of U.S. family incomes vs. the top 5% and why the wealthy deserve even more
The wealthy have found a goldmine with Reagan and Bush’s  ‘trickle up’ economics (and anti-union attitudes). And in the last decade, when they’ve paid the  lowest tax rate EVER, they’ve created so many jobs here in the U.S. So. Many. Jobs.
It only makes sense to redistribute more of our tax revenue into more  tax cuts for the wealthy. They deserve to keep getting more. After all they’re smarter and work harder than the rest of us, according to Bill O’Reilly:

“…you gotta look people in the eye and  tell ‘em they’re irresponsible and lazy… Because that’s what poverty  is, ladies and gentlemen. In this country, you can succeed if you get  educated and work hard. Period. Period.”

    image: socialistexan

    Growth of U.S. family incomes vs. the top 5% and why the wealthy deserve even more

    The wealthy have found a goldmine with Reagan and Bush’s ‘trickle up’ economics (and anti-union attitudes). And in the last decade, when they’ve paid the lowest tax rate EVER, they’ve created so many jobs here in the U.S. So. Many. Jobs.

    It only makes sense to redistribute more of our tax revenue into more tax cuts for the wealthy. They deserve to keep getting more. After all they’re smarter and work harder than the rest of us, according to Bill O’Reilly:

    “…you gotta look people in the eye and tell ‘em they’re irresponsible and lazy… Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen. In this country, you can succeed if you get educated and work hard. Period. Period.”

    — 3 years ago with 7 notes
    #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #1947-1979  #1979-2008  #Bill O'Reilly  #Fox News  #GOP  #growth of incomes  #irresponsible and lazy  #poverty  #Republicans  #tea party  #the rest of us  #the rich 

    Bill Maher: “this is a country of the rich, by the rich, FOR the rich” (or how stupid are GOP voters?)

    From 7/8/2011 Real Time — this is sure to be taken down from YouTube very soon.

    Bill Maher: “If you can look at the deficit and not see that the problem is that the rich stopped paying taxes, you’re a Republican.”

    “The moneyed elite in this country are dragging a bag filled with your future down the steps, and [the average Republican voter’s] reaction is, ‘Hold on there, that looks heavy. Let me give you a hand getting it into your trunk.’”

    “Oh, I’m sorry — did I say rich? I meant “job creators”… when did the business community become so sensitive that we have to treat them like some kind of rare, exotic animal? Don’t startle them or they’ll fly away! We need to soothe them so they can nest here and lay their magic eggs full of jobs. WHICH NEVER HATCH, by the way.”

    — 3 years ago with 7 notes
    #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #Bill Maher  #casey anthony verdict  #don't complain about anthony jurors if you vote republican  #GOP  #real time  #how stupid are republican voters?  #republican voters  #Republicans  #tea party 
    The growing income gap, stalled economic growth, and financial deregulation →

    “The idea that people make the same or less today than they made 40 years ago is a stunning historical fact.” — Author Jeff Madrick

    NPR: As income gap balloons, is it holding back growth?

    “This inequality is destabilizing and undermines the ability of the economy to grow sustainably and efficiently,” [Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin] said. Income inequality, she continued, is “anathema to the social progress that is part and parcel of such growth.”

    The income gap in the United States has ballooned: It’s wider than any time since 1928, in the days before the stock market crash triggered the Great Depression.

    […] “In the 1970s, there was an assault on government oversight and regulation,” Madrick tells Raz. “And eventually, the financial community stopped playing by the rules. There was an economic theory that kept justifying what they were doing. And the American public was not fully aware of what was going on.”

    The traditional argument for deregulation states that those policies make America richer, and that a rising tide lifts all boats.

    But Madrick says that for the typical American worker, the wage tide has gone out since 1969.

    “The typical male worker makes less today, discounted for inflation, than the typical median worker made in 1969,” says Madrick. “The idea that people make the same or less today than they made 40 years ago is a stunning historical fact.”

    […] “[Bank failures] peak up in crisis years. They peak in the 1920s,” [David Moss, a professor of economics at Harvard Business School] tells Raz. “But then most striking, after 1933, when we saw the introduction of federal banking and financial regulation, these banking crises disappear almost completely. And then it continues very, very low until the 1980s, then they pick back up again.”

    Moss found it striking that banking failures go down after financial regulation and start rising after the introduction of deregulation.

    Then, one of Moss’ colleagues showed him a chart of income inequality over the same period. Moss took that curve and plotted it on the same page as his bank failure curve.

    “And lo and behold, it was a striking, striking connection,” Moss says.

    As bank failures went up in the 1920s, so did income inequality. As inequality came down in the 1930s, bank failures stayed down. They stayed down together until the advent of deregulation in the 1980s.

    For Moss, this coincidence raises more questions than it provides answers. He isn’t sure what exactly the correlation between income inequality and financial failure means.

    Read the rest…

    So there’s an historical correlation that financial regulation might be one of the best things that could happen for creating economic growth and closing the income gap? Maybe that’s because government regulation and oversight actually keeps financial institutions more honest and accountable than fictional concepts, such as some “invisible hand” guiding everything or Reagan’s “trickle down” fallacy. Maybe it also helps ensure that individuals in financial institutions won’t gamble away everyone else’s money on things like sub-prime mortgage loans while they walk away with their own fortunes intact.

    And I’m not even bringing up the 10.5 years of tax breaks for the job creators wealthy here, or that the wealthy compounded their fortunes during a time of economic loss for everyone else. They work harder than us, right?

    It’s almost TOO SIMPLE. That must be why the Tea Party base sides with millionaires like the Koch brothers to protest “big” government and regulation and expiring Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. Because they’re morans.

    The gap in income between the wealthiest Americans and all others has grown strikingly in recent decades, the CBO data show. In 1979, when the data begin, the average after-tax incomes of the top 1 percent of households were 7.9 times higher than those of the middle fifth of households. By 2007, top incomes were 23.9 times higher than those of the middle fifth — a more than tripling of the income gap.
    — 3 years ago
    #politics  #news  #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class  #GOP  #Republicans  #tea party  #NPR  #financial regulation  #Bush tax cuts  #tax cuts for the rich  #deregulation  #federal government  #income inequality  #big government  #income gap  #economic growth  #bank failures 
    Government privatization and Minnesota’s government shutdown: this is Sparta!
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, The Real News Network MICHAEL HUDSON, RESEARCH PROF., University of Missouri-Kansas City
JAY: So why should ordinary Americans or ordinary North Americans care about what’s going on in Greece?
HUDSON: Because what’s happening in Greece is a dress rehearsal for what’s going on in the United States. Already, a few weeks ago in Athens, the protestors had signs up  referring to Wisconsin and the problems here. What’s happening in Greece  in the last week is exactly what’s happened in Minnesota with the  close-down of government. And the demands of privatization–Greece sell  off its roads, its land, its port authority, its water and sewer–is just  what Illinois’s been doing, what Chicago’s been doing, what Minnesota’s  been told to do, and what American cities are trying to do. So you have  an identical strategy being used between Greece and the United States.  Greece is the first domino since Iceland. And the financial interests  that are looking at this post-2008 debt crisis as a grab bag think now  is the chance for us to make our move. Now we can take all this debt  that we’ve built up and we can get out of the financial system, we can  turn it into direct ownership of property. We can own the Greek islands,  we can own the Greek public domain, just like we can own what  Minnesota, Chicago, Wisconsin, and California own. And all of a sudden  you have a huge virtual foreclosure process.  Read more…
[dailyrenegade]
A coworker’s husband is a state employee in Minnesota. I forwarded this article to her: One by one, Minnesota bars run out of beer — and here’s part of her response:

“We’ve got 22,000 state workers out of  work, who are not paying MN tax, all road construction has stopped, so  the state and all of those workers are losing wages and tax. all state  parks are closed, no lottery sales, the horse race park has closed  losing all of those workers’ pay and the revenues from this. We’re on  day 13 of shutdown. The state workers can start claiming unemployment  next week, costing the state more monies, but the workers will lose half  of their normal pay, in additional to losing their contributions to  retirement accounts. No back pay will be paid to them. Many feel the  shutdown will last until the school year starts in September, because  maybe that would make the Legislature wake up. (But maybe the beer  shortage will have more impact.)”

This Republican solution in Minnesota is clearly a winner for everyone! What else can this political party f*ck up, I wonder?

    Government privatization and Minnesota’s government shutdown: this is Sparta!

    PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, The Real News Network
    MICHAEL HUDSON, RESEARCH PROF., University of Missouri-Kansas City

    JAY: So why should ordinary Americans or ordinary North Americans care about what’s going on in Greece?

    HUDSON: Because what’s happening in Greece is a dress rehearsal for what’s going on in the United States. Already, a few weeks ago in Athens, the protestors had signs up referring to Wisconsin and the problems here. What’s happening in Greece in the last week is exactly what’s happened in Minnesota with the close-down of government. And the demands of privatization–Greece sell off its roads, its land, its port authority, its water and sewer–is just what Illinois’s been doing, what Chicago’s been doing, what Minnesota’s been told to do, and what American cities are trying to do. So you have an identical strategy being used between Greece and the United States. Greece is the first domino since Iceland. And the financial interests that are looking at this post-2008 debt crisis as a grab bag think now is the chance for us to make our move. Now we can take all this debt that we’ve built up and we can get out of the financial system, we can turn it into direct ownership of property. We can own the Greek islands, we can own the Greek public domain, just like we can own what Minnesota, Chicago, Wisconsin, and California own. And all of a sudden you have a huge virtual foreclosure process.  Read more…

    [dailyrenegade]

    A coworker’s husband is a state employee in Minnesota. I forwarded this article to her: One by one, Minnesota bars run out of beer — and here’s part of her response:

    “We’ve got 22,000 state workers out of work, who are not paying MN tax, all road construction has stopped, so the state and all of those workers are losing wages and tax. all state parks are closed, no lottery sales, the horse race park has closed losing all of those workers’ pay and the revenues from this. We’re on day 13 of shutdown. The state workers can start claiming unemployment next week, costing the state more monies, but the workers will lose half of their normal pay, in additional to losing their contributions to retirement accounts. No back pay will be paid to them. Many feel the shutdown will last until the school year starts in September, because maybe that would make the Legislature wake up. (But maybe the beer shortage will have more impact.)”

    This Republican solution in Minnesota is clearly a winner for everyone! What else can this political party f*ck up, I wonder?

    — 3 years ago with 2 notes
    #news  #politics  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #american cities  #Chicago  #debt crisis  #GOP  #government privatization  #government shutdown  #greece  #illinois  #jobs  #minnesota  #Republicans  #riots  #sparta  #tea party 
    MillerCoors told to pull products in Minnesota because of government shutdown →

    Yet another example of just how great the Republican party is for jobs and business!

    MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s state government shutdown is causing a big problem for brewing giant MillerCoors.

    The state has told MillerCoors it needs to pull its products from stores, bars and restaurants statewide because of a licensing problem caused by the shutdown.

    Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville said Wednesday that MillerCoors’ “brand label registrations” with the state have expired. The employees who process renewals were laid off when state government shut down July 1 in a budget dispute.

    Neville says Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC has been told to come up with a plan for pulling its products in a few days.

    Keep going, GOP. You’re doing great!

    — 3 years ago with 5 notes
    #news  #politics  #unemployment  #business  #GOP  #government jobs  #government shutdown  #government workers  #jobs  #miller coors  #minnesota  #Republicans  #tea party 
    This is not good.

    scribnerbooks:

    Borders has announced that they are liquidating. (Official PR release and more readable, snarky Gawker update.)

    This means the loss of 11,000+ jobs, not to mention a major bookseller and price competitor.

    Ugh.

    Wow. All kinds of job loss news with the 6,500 layoffs announced by Cisco today. 

    — 3 years ago with 211 notes
    #news  #jobs  #layoffs  #borders  #liquidating  #unemployment 
    “Cut, Cap, Balance — and cause 700,000 Americans to lose their jobs — Act” →

    Oh, Republicans… you so crazy!

    The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” would require cuts totaling $111 billion immediately, in the fiscal year that starts 75 days from now, despite a 9.2 percent unemployment rate.  These cuts would equal 0.7 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product in fiscal year 2012 and would thus cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the current weak economy, relative to what the number of jobs otherwise would be.

    Brian Beutler explains that it’s the wingnuts at Club for Growth pushing this current insanity:

    “Cut, Cap, and Balance will fix our fiscal mess. The McConnell-Reid plan does not,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement accompanying an alert that these votes will be counted on the group’s scorecard. “McConnell-Reid simply punts our budget problem further down the road and is everything that’s wrong with Washington. Congress has proven that they are unable to balance the budget without reform. Cut, Cap and Balance is the only plan that permanently handcuffs politicians from spending more money than they take in.”

    If you’re a Republican, voting for Plan B means you’re that much likelier to face a primary. By holding the test votes on Cut, Cap, and Balance, and the Balanced Budget Amendment, they can at least meet the Club for Growth, and similar groups half way.

    They’ll hold the symbolic vote tomorrow. Republican politics over country — you can always count on that.

    — 3 years ago with 2 notes
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #700K jobs lost  #Bush tax cuts  #club for growth  #cut cap and balance  #debt ceiling  #debt crisis  #GOP  #job losses  #Kamikazes  #Republicans  #spending cuts  #tax cuts for the rich  #tea party  #vote 
    “Job creator” Goldman Sachs made only $1.09 billion last quarter: 1,000 employees to be dumped →

    Goldman Sachs is laying off 1,000 employees because they only made one billion dollars last quarter:

    Second-quarter fees from trading debt, currencies and commodities tumbled 63 percent from the previous quarter, more than twice the drop at other major U.S. banks. Net income was $1.09 billion, or $1.85 per share, the New York-based company said today in a statement, falling short of the $2.30 per-share average estimate of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

    […]  In the second quarter of 2011, Goldman Sachs cut risk-taking to the lowest level since 2006. Debt-trading revenue of $1.6 billion dropped below JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $4.28 billion, Citigroup Inc.’s $3.03 billion and Bank of America Corp.’s $2.7 billion.

    Such suffering. What will the Goldman Sachs’ CEO bonuses look like at the end of the year? It’s heartbreaking to even contemplate. Maybe we could cut spending on some more programs and services that the working and middle-class rely on — or maybe Congress could extend their tax cuts or give them new tax loopholes?

    — 3 years ago with 1 note
    #politics  #news  #unemployment  #income redistribution  #class war  #war on the middle class  #tax cuts for the wealthy  #Goldman Sachs  #lay offs  #one thousand employees  #only made $1 billion last quarter  #suffering 
    …
Don’t stop burning down the congressional switchboard
Tuesday, July 26:

WASHINGTON — With the United States poised on the brink of a potential default, President Barack Obama appealed to Americans to “make your voice heard” to members of Congress.
They appear to have listened.
Heavy traffic caused a number of websites of members of Congress to crash overnight and the congressional switchboard was deluged with phone calls on Tuesday.
The websites of several members of the House of Representatives and Senate, both Democrat and Republican, were sluggish or simply unavailable, apparently due to the greater than usual volume of visitors.

Let them know you exist and can vote:

Contact your House member: Directory of Representatives
Contact your Senators: Senators of the 112th Congress
What could happen if the debt ceiling isn’t raised next week? You may as well let your representatives in Congress know what should be paid if it’s not raised:
Salon | What happens if the debt ceiling bomb explodes?:

In some quarters of the American political system, there are people — predominantly of the Tea Party Republican persuasion — who believe that Congress doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling. If the U.S. government isn’t allowed to borrow any more money to pay its bills, runs their line of thinking, that’s fine and dandy. Finally, we’d be forced to tighten our belts and “live within our means!” Ignore the fearmongers predicting disaster — they’re just trying to scare markets and voters.
[…] Let’s start with the basic numbers. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Treasury will have about $172.4 billion in revenue in August that can be applied to $306.7 billion in outstanding bills. If the U.S. Treasury is forbidden from borrowing any additional funds, it will therefore have to cut total August spending by about $134 billion, or 44 percent. …Click on over to this cool interactive widget at Bloomberg Government and decide for yourself who gets paid and who doesn’t if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

Spreadsheet breakdown (we have a spending problem but WE ALSO HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM!):
Read the rest….
Related: Policy failures of the GOP: the debt could disappear if the rich paid taxes at 1960s levels

    Don’t stop burning down the congressional switchboard

    Tuesday, July 26:

    WASHINGTON — With the United States poised on the brink of a potential default, President Barack Obama appealed to Americans to “make your voice heard” to members of Congress.

    They appear to have listened.

    Heavy traffic caused a number of websites of members of Congress to crash overnight and the congressional switchboard was deluged with phone calls on Tuesday.

    The websites of several members of the House of Representatives and Senate, both Democrat and Republican, were sluggish or simply unavailable, apparently due to the greater than usual volume of visitors.

    Let them know you exist and can vote:

    What could happen if the debt ceiling isn’t raised next week? You may as well let your representatives in Congress know what should be paid if it’s not raised:

    Salon | What happens if the debt ceiling bomb explodes?:

    In some quarters of the American political system, there are people — predominantly of the Tea Party Republican persuasion — who believe that Congress doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling. If the U.S. government isn’t allowed to borrow any more money to pay its bills, runs their line of thinking, that’s fine and dandy. Finally, we’d be forced to tighten our belts and “live within our means!” Ignore the fearmongers predicting disaster — they’re just trying to scare markets and voters.

    […] Let’s start with the basic numbers. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Treasury will have about $172.4 billion in revenue in August that can be applied to $306.7 billion in outstanding bills. If the U.S. Treasury is forbidden from borrowing any additional funds, it will therefore have to cut total August spending by about $134 billion, or 44 percent. …Click on over to this cool interactive widget at Bloomberg Government and decide for yourself who gets paid and who doesn’t if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

    Spreadsheet breakdown (we have a spending problem but WE ALSO HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM!):

    Read the rest….

    Related: Policy failures of the GOP: the debt could disappear if the rich paid taxes at 1960s levels

    — 2 years ago with 18 notes
    #news  #politics  #class war  #income redistribution  #unemployment  #war on the middle class  #august budget  #call  #call congress  #congressional switchboard  #debt ceiling  #debt crisis  #House  #Senate  #switchboard