FROM John Makin
The Backlash Against Austerity International May Day rallies are supposed to celebrate the dignity of human labor, but with 26 million Europeans out of work and unemployment at 27 percent in Greece and Spain, today's rallies were protests against the consequences of massive spending cuts and increased taxes. Unemployment is setting records in Eurozone countries, and the focus is shifting from reducing debt to growing troubled economies. Some economists are saying "we told you so," bolstered, believe it or not, by discovery of an Excel spread-sheet error in an influential research paper. What will the "austerity" backlash mean for the "sequester" in this country? Are politicians catching up with new ideas of what works and what doesn't?
President Obama and the American Jobs Act President Obama challenged Congress last night to shut down the "political circus" in Washington and work together--before next year's election. He said everything in his American Jobs Act had been approved in the past by both Democrats and Republicans. He told them to pass it no less than 15 times. He asked Americans to demand action and today — as promised --he took his $447-billion program out on the road. The first stop is Richmond, Virginia,in the district of the Republican minority leader in Congress, Eric Cantor. Is it "bold" enough for Democrats to rally behind it? Is there any chance for support from the GOP? Will voters decide that the "circus" is still going on?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.