FROM Arthur Delaney
When Trump went after a union man Donald Trump took credit for preventing 1100 jobs at Carrier Air Conditioning from going from Indiana to Mexico, but a Steelworkers Union leader says 350 were never scheduled to leave in the first place and that 550 are still scheduled to go. Last night, speaking to CNN Local President Chuck Jones called Trump a liar for inflating the number of jobs saved. The President-elect tweeted almost immediately that Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers," and that if the workers were "any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana." Later on MSNBC , Jones said he'd received threats in the aftermath of Trump's tweets. Arthur Delaney, who covers politics and the economy for the Huffington Post , picks up the story.
Poverty and Politics in an Election Year Fifty years after Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, President Obama says "the defining challenge of our generation” is income inequality. Both parties claim they want action, but even extending benefits to the 1.3 million long-term unemployed may be more than the Senate and Congress can manage. If there's no action on Capitol Hill, that number will rise by 72,000 people a week. Last week, six Republican Senators agreed to allow a bill to come to the floor. Now they're outraged at Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. Have Democrats mismanaged an issue that could help them in November's elections? Will Republicans take the blame anyway? We hear the latest about voter sentiment and a clash of opinions on other proposals, including a raise in the minimum wage.
Food Stamps and the Politics of Hunger Families with children, the elderly and the disabled are feeling the first cut ever in the Food Stamp program. Automatic reductions of $5 billion took place on Friday, cutting monthly benefits for 48 million people. For a family of four, that's a reduction of $36 a month, about $1.40 per meal. Democrats are fighting Republican efforts to cut much more, but the Democrats themselves are responsible for what's happening now. As part of the economic stimulus program — and to ease the hardship caused by the Great Recession -- Congress increased Food Stamp benefits in 2009. The number of recipients has doubled in the past six years. Food banks say they may not be able to meet increased need, and low-cost retailers are bracing to take a big hit. Conservatives say cuts have been too long in coming, that Food Stamps create a "culture of dependency." We hear a dispute about economics and hunger.
Is AARP Leading the Way to Cuts in Social Security? Last week, the Wall Street Journal quoted John Rother, policy director of the AARP saying, "The ship was sailing. I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens." What he was talking about was AARP's decision that cuts in Social Security might be necessary. In Washington, and around the country, the reaction was deafening. Had AARP changed its position? Should Social Security become part of deficit reduction? We hear an argument directly affecting America's most reliable voting bloc.
Social Security, the AARP and the Deficit With 37 million members and a massive budget, AARP claims it's the voice in Washington for senior citizens, America's most reliable voting bloc. But last week, AARP created a firestorm by saying it would consider "modest" cuts in Social Security benefits. The Wall Street Journal quoted AARP Policy Director John Rother saying, "The ship was sailing. I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens." In Washington, and around the country, the reaction was deafening. Deficit hawks said it's about time, but other defenders of Social Security accused the organization of selling out the very people it claims to represent. Has AARP provided an opening for America's most popular social program to be put on the deficit chopping block?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?