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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  December 14, 2016 7:40am-9:01am EST

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than the absolute horrific crime of modern slavery than actually sitting down and the hearing testimony about the term. they have gone through the most horrendous to humanizing experience is very often and it's absolutely right we look at how it provided the national referral mechanism and the whole number of steps and we will work with the dwp and the kid. my honorable friend refers to jobs that is that it isn't just a job census. one day we need to do is make sure those who come into contact with people are able to recognize those signs nra bold to treat it in the way and deal with people sensitively and sympathetically in an appropriate way. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i don't think the prime minister has any idea the level of suffering and pain to the
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patented businesses beyond suffering. this has been going on for well over eight to nine. so the passive transport secretary currently have no intention of dealing with this utterly at home to take on any. prepare for long-suffering passengers. >> first cell, my right honorable friend has been taken steps in relation to the southern railway. which stepped in to invest 20 million pounds to specifically tackle the issue every rapid improvement services. we now pay 15 from 11% which would make it easier to claim compensation. we then also give a refund for a month travel. so we've been looking at the wider issue. the honorable lady raises the
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question of the current strike. there is only one body responsible for the current strike that will frighten the trade union and she should be standing up in condemning that site. [cheers and applause] >> hugos squier. >> the 1.5 billion additional funding for the better care find better care fund is both needed and welcome. the problem is this money is not available in 2019. will my right honorable friend there for a look at seen whether this funding can they draw down earlier than that in order to alleviate the pressure on social care in areas where there's a very high level of elderly people. >> my right honorable friend raises an important point about the short-term pressures on social care. that said the government has been looking at what measures can be taken to immediate
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short-term pressures. as i say the secretary will be making a statement on the finance element tomorrow. we need to look at the medium-term issues have delivered medium-term issues that delivered him a long-term reassurance we can provide people and ensuring they have a sustainable system of social care that gives people the comfort of knowing they will be cared for their old age. >> can i join colleagues were urged people in this house and beyond to go out and buy the jo cox foundation single mp for not just available on download as you can see, but hard copy for those of us who prefer that kind of thing. every day since the results on the 23rd of june is a good day for very bad news. the worse news is then our social system. the way the tragedies and near misses to 2.5 billion pounds and
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social care funding and thousands of operations council. today mr. speaker the secretary of health that the nhs is social care needed her money. and yet, the chancellor at the exchequer did not offer a single extra penny for health or social care. which of the two do she agree with? will she take the opportunity? [shouting] >> the local government will make a statement tomorrow on the finance summit. i i suggest the right honorable gentleman wafer that statement. >> finally, mr. billy davis. [shouting] >> the overseas budget was around 7 billion pounds a year. by 2020 we will have more than doubled to 50 million pounds a year. the shortfall in social care fund by 2020 is estimated about
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2.5 billion pounds a year. surely the government priority should look at the disabled people in our own country before we have other countries. will the prime minister take some of that money, a small amount of increase from the budget and spend it on elderly disabled people and around country. surely begins at home. >> is absolutely right the government is taking steps in relation to the pressures on social care if you're in the united kingdom, but i was dead think it's also important for us that we do take consideration of those who are in different circumstances across the world. i think the record that this government has been ensuring .7% of our gdp is spent on overseas aid is of records second to none. we should all be proud of the hopkins corp. we are giving to people around the world off
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incredibly difficult circumstances. with that after old people here in the u.k. we also take that responsibility for people around the world as well. >> order. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> here and c-span2 will the british house of commons as members move on to other business. even watching prime minister's question time aired live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. a quick reminder you can do this
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session again on c-span. for more information, go to and click on serious to view every program was aired from the british house of commons since october 1989. we invite your comments about house of commons via twitter you seen how should pmq's.
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>> hello, everyone is welcome. i am the vice president of poverty to prosperity programs at the center for american progress. president electron campaign on a pledge to make america great again and promised working families he was on their side. unfortunately, he has never taken the oath of office yet and it's becoming more and more apparent that his entire campaign was a bait and switch. he campaigned on creating good jobs are better than proposing policies to crack down on fair trade practices and level the playing field upward, he's taken his own wonders of moors, lavishing tax giveaways and refusing to divest from this mass of the conflict that real estate empire. he campaigned on raising wages of his cabinet picks are who's who of ceos on wall street tycoons hostile to working families. while he is tweeting the cast of "saturday night live," the dirty work going down in the swamp, speaker brian and peter
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mcconnell are pulling together plans to take health care coverage away, rollback consumer protections and dismantle affordable housing, nutrition assistant and other services famous turn to when times are tough. especially when they are only working for a wealthy few while proposing tax giveaways to billionaires. the attacks on working families are coming fast and on multiple fronts. progressive community is not standing by. i'm pleased to introduce "washington post" reporter greg sargent, leather of the plumbline who will be interviewing ceo of on exactly what is at stake for working families and the trump administration were progressives go for care. >> good morning, everybody.
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hey, great. >> how are you doing? >> ready to get thank you, melissa for that great intro. >> so now what? >> is that your first question? >> yes. >> now i think we have told donald trump accountable for the premise to be made to working-class families and hold them accountable for the agenda that he's putting forward so far. he's made a lot of promises to be the spokes person in the advocate for families struggling and at least so far we have seen this promises to have been false. if it's an agenda and if that agenda includes medicaid, massive taxes to the wealthy, then it is our job to advocate
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for those families and make sure they do better and not worse. >> is sort of interesting. you have to distinguish between the promises he actually did make and the ones he did make. he told everyone pretty clearly that he was going to repeal obamacare and give a much larger tax break than any republican candidate. where do you take that from their? >> that is an important point to distinguish. we are now hearing about block grant in our private medicare. donald trump actually campaigned as a person who would support the safety net. while he did mention block granting medicaid, i have to say that there was not a robust policy debate on what that would really mean for people. he did talk about repealing the
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epa, but one of the challenges was that a lot of people who voted for him didn't take his policies particularly seriously. you've even highlighted some of the voters who would lose health care under the affordable care are two are announcing they didn't expect him to do it. >> i will just tell the audience that fast gallop to or numbers to get as close as we can to a rough estimate of how many -- is very imperfect than what they came up with was that of the doubt to drop in the uninsured rate among noncollege rice with a household income below 36,000. it turned out the uninsured rate had dropped 10 points among that demographic. we don't know if they're all trump voters and so forth and someone back to the degree they voted, they did probably vote >> disproportionately at the very least. >> was interesting about that and i want to ask you how this
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can be used in the debate. it is often seen as something especially medicaid expansion help minorities, especially latinos and african-americans and no question the drop in the rate has been enormous and demographics but also enormous amount of noncollege lights were low in comes. you know, you've got many republican legislators who has stayed current lot of people lose coverage whether the medicaid expansion or subsidy. how do you make that date? these voters, are they in a position to hold their representatives accountable? >> the thing is one thing that i focus on is we had in it to a few years ago which only affect dead about 200, 300,000 voters.
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and as you recall, there is a chat kerfuffle around that. there's another word i could use but i will go with kerfuffle. i think the issue for us is right now just a layout for the debate is, republicans would like to do is repeal and then are replaced for years later. that is relatively unprecedented to do a giant policy change in one year and then wait for the answer to that policy change after the next election. they want to do it precisely after the midterm. in the meantime, there will be a lot of people who boost health care a few days after the election would show the insurance markets will move into chaos once repeal has been issued as well. our point is that we think that
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the voters will be affect it in those two years and that voters people will be affect it in that period. and it will be because of what republicans did. a couple hundred thousand, millions of people who will be priced out of the market for the insurance markets will start collapsing. people who are receiving health care that they need to survive and we have 1100 stories of people all around the country who are relying on health care now for life-saving medication. and coverage of those people are going to be at risk. that goes to the broader point which is this is not a policy which debate in the election as you well covered by strength voters voted for the agenda, we did a poll on election day in a few days afterwards that a lot
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of trump voters, 49% of trump voters were sending a message of change to washington. only 29% for supporting his agenda. and make sure voters who supported his agenda and people who thought he wasn't serious about a lot of the things he said. a lot of the chickens are coming home to roost. >> some of it anecdotal reporting that i remember there is one rest stop voter and the times right after the elections they are to much that a relative who was very sick was going to lose health care as the laws were repealed. i believe this woman said i don't believe he'll do it. i think he was bluffing. what i wanted to ask you this is going to be about provoking question about what happened in this election. hillary clinton and surrogates and so forth, every democrat who amplified his or her voice said
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over and over that this guy is a scam. he's going to shaft working people. why didn't working-class white voters in particular here that message? is there a flaw with the democratic agenda? you mentioned your polls show that a lot of these people were sending the message that just generic change. did democrats signaled clearly enough that they are dissatisfied with the status quo and why did they feed that grounded trump? >> so in any really close election like this for the 70,000 boat difference you see a multitude of things you can look to you. it seems relatively clear to me that as pointed out in a pool, a lot of people were voting on particular issues, but more of a change message.
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i take that point that perhaps progressives are the candidate for the whole party didn't have a change message. i would say that there's a million reasons you can point to we are learning some additional news over the weekend, but for us going forward, the goal really has to be now that democrats are a minority party can we do have an opportunity to be clear by to be a clear path on economics as well as political reform and change in mrs. dunn. we have a candidate -- we had a candidate who now has an incoming ministration in which he's promised to drain the swamp and that's actually an analysis cabinet appointments whether it's the department of labor from the treasury, et cetera seems to be filling the swamp with people who are his donors who have a record of opposing
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and actually a record of making work working people's lives harder but it's the treasury secretary who foreclosed on people during the financial crisis of the secretary of labor who actually was fined by the department of labor for not paying the wages he owed his workers. -- mac
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i think the midterms are looking pretty tough for donald trump, although it looks to me like the 2018 gubernatorial elections are going to be a chance for some major gains and a chance to sort of try and home this oppositional response. so how can democrats improve come in the short term they will be able to be the party that is standing up for medicare, against privatization and potentially social security, and against taking healthcare away from 20 million. what beyond that going into 2020, what needs improvement here? how can democrats craft a stronger, more ambitious, much more reform minded kind of agenda? >> so i think we will have additional thoughts on this later this week, but our view is at the center for american progress, we are putting forward
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a memo on this later later, buti think our view is that we do need to claim the mantle of reform, reforming our economics, reforming our politics. in that space i think we have two argue really two things, that we have an agenda that does speak to voters and their economics and making their lives better. we will have a much stronger contrast now than you were able to offer at the end of a democratic administration. we will have a strong contrast with republicans. i think we have to focus on how to improve people's daily lives with harder, clear arguments. one of the things donald trump showed us in this election is a very message i'm going to improve your life, i'm going to get a job for you, versus a mark obligated answer about wages and
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costs is a challenge. that's something we're working on now and we will have answers for folks going into the future. >> i guess one of my concerns on that front is that trump, he did talk about preserving medicare and social security but more broadly speaking it was really just about jobs. it wasn't about where as if you're going to respond any more nuanced way to globalization and automation, and the need to transition call, a nuanced response iq is not that satisfying. it comes across as sorry. >> i take the point it's a little bit harder in peoples lives. i think the reality is that, i'm proud of the work c.a.p. is done over the passover yours to point out and we talked about this before that the real challenge is around the middle class which is stagnant wages and rising costs.
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i also take the blame that sometimes a clear answer to folks is easier than a 10 point plan. that something progressives have to focus on. also a lot of voters voted for him because they thought he was a different kind of politician. he was attacking republicans. he wasn't taking money from people himself. the whole drain the swamp message. that message has been almost immediately belied by just the last several weeks of this transition. in terms of the people he's putting in power. if you told people that ahead of time that he would have the richest it that most of us cap\cap would be donors to him, that it would be not just millionaires and billionaires, i think that w would have given se people pause in voting for this change agent spirit i guess i wonder, this question is a real one, so he explicitly said
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during the election that i have milk the system. i ripped it off. i have turned politicians into my little ponds turkey said that. openly. again and again and again. we all laughed and said what a joke but now he one. i guess i wonder whether there's going to be a similar dynamic setting in with some of these cabinet picks. i mean, may be the same types of voters don't really buy our argument that their corporate connections and so forth somehow will show the actual priorities. >> i think that's a fair question. if you listen to trump, he said that the part, i think it was both things, i knew how knew how to make the system, i knew how to use the system, if any said
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now i'm going to use it, take my knowledge and work for you. i think that's the part that we have to really test, which is it does not seem to me that he is using the system to work for us. rather, using the system to work for him. and all his folks. and i think you're absolutely right. we need to test that propositionproposition, and we e wrong, but you can't argue that this is an economically populist election, and that populism is on the rise and then say really what people voted for was ensuring that gives billionaires control all the power in our country. we could test that proposition. my sense is if he continues to have a pretty low approval ratings i think he still governing and a very divided way and i think we have to see, i
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think it will be tested how much people approve it. people do not seem to be like broadly in support of this cap\cap and he's assembling. i think that's the role of organizations like ours to point out come not just that they are bad people what they will do, what it means in the lives of real people and real families. the department of labor is supposed to be a department that advocates for working families. it advocates are working families by ensuring that they get the wages they need, that they protected and workplace and he is put someone in the department to run it that his entire philosophy is antithetical to that. whether it's popular or not, organizations like ours point out that is wrong and this does not meet the needs of families at a think we're up to the public is whether that makes sense or not. >> can i ask either some perils aheadahead, sort of what comes f democratic unity?
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in 2010 you have a number of democratic senators who are up in red states. i wonder if there be some kind of temptation on their part may be to not draw as hard a line as say the democratic leadership might want. so let's say he goes forward with privatizing medicare and let say he goes, what we know they will go forward with obamacare repeal. is there a danger some democrats kind of get -- chuck schumer said they would not participate in any obamacare replacement that false and if it was short human welfare. whether the temptation on the part of some of these squishy or democrats to maybe go a long? >> yes. >> the infrastructure is a real problem because of the roles that some sort of privatization croniecronyism scheme you may he some democrats who want a photo
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op with him in a red state. >> i think the issue here is it really matters what the issue is. the affordable care act is a perfect example. i was really pleased to see senator schumer talked about keeping democrats together on that. i think what will you see is over the next couple of weeks, next couple of months if they do pass a repeal and replace later, what you hope they don't do because that would be utterly responsible to their own constituents. let's remember every member of congress has constituents who are receiving the healthcare via the affordable care act and seems to be like a fundamental responsible of government to tell people what you will do. it's my view but like 90% of americans think that's what they should do. the reality of that is that if they do do a repeal and replace two years later you will see
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unraveling and healthcare market. and then i don't know that it will be a democrats best interest to say i'm part of this problem, too. by rolling up their sleeves to solve a bit i think would be up to republicans to solve it. medicare is another example, or privatization schemes. i don't think there's a lot of appetite amongst democrats even in red states to take on medicare because truthfully know americans thought privatizing medicare was part of the debate. no one expected that to happen, and they didn't really take it seriously as an option. i don't think, on infrastructure, really depends on what the proposal is. a lot of democrats will say will offer an alternative which is an actual infrastructure plan. so my view of this is about even in the last couple of weeks donald trump could've done a lot more to help unify the country but we've seen with his radical
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pics and his proposals to undo the social safety net or the republicans proposal to undo the safety self cigna -- safety net and not govern for the whole country then it's up to progressives to offer that alternative which i think we will see much clearer and easier to do any trump administration. >> i guess in the context of obamacare one can envision a scenario where they do go forward with repeal, there some chaos an. some republicans to try to replace it with something that is along the lines of tom prices plan that covers far fewer people and as much fewer protections, something like that. i guess there's a role at the point since a lot of conservatives will not support any replacement because it spends money on helping people, healthcare. there might be a role for progressives to roll out these alternatives that you're talking about, like a real infrastructure plan.
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i don't know what a real obamacare replacement would look like, but like a real -- >> and real plan on wages. absolutely. i think that as, obviously the next you much we're going to be really focused on fighting off as many of the terrible things they want to do to the social safety net. again, i do not think americans thought that we would have such a radical departure on some really basic issues like medicare and medicaid. but i do think that democrats will be able to offer really clear alternatives. infrastructure is a perfect example. donald trump's proposal on infrastructure so far is one in which he gets massive tax credits to private companies, a lot of hedge funds and private equity firms to induce them into a market, and the only way they
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can recoup those funds is these on middle-class basically told and fees on users. basically a taxpayer is paying on both ends. their paying through a tax credit and then paying higher fees. that makes literally no sense. it's much better to direct investment. i think that's an opportunity for democrats to put forward a robust, not a small, not incremental, a robust infrastructure package which will help people around the country. one of the ironies is that and it was such a program as envisioned by donald trump will do very little for rural parts of the country only really helps big programs in cities which i'm in favor but i think we should also do more for folks around the country. and so that's why i think that gives people an opportunity to really let out progressively out an alternative vision of how they're going to better represent people. when you stand back, it is a lot
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easier to offer that alternative when you're dealing with a trump administration. >> i wonder if there's a role for progressive groups in the event that democrats, some democrats to get a little -- >> you have to push hard. >> to demand the democratic party remain united in what you're calling robust public expenditure plans. >> there's absolutely a role. if you think about where we are a cuticle at this time, people, you had a democratic president who was elected by a strong majority of the country. if people want the country to pull together. i think in this moment you have a person who was elected by a minority of the country and hasn't done anything to kind of try to be the leader for the whole country, not just in his tweets but in his cabinet appointments, all the language and the things he says every day.
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it's pretty clear he is trying to govern for the people, for just half of the country. not even that in some of his policies. i think it's up to progressives to provide a strong alternative vision and to safety democratic leaders that we need you to hold strong in these core values. >> i think you'll see some potentially really racially charged stuff happening. i think his tweaked the other day where he said millions of voters illegally stuck me in a number of voting rights advocates that i talked to a sort of a signal, a major wave of voter suppression is coming. we've seen they use such application for a lot of these on the state level. that, in addition to persecutions of muslims spirit what is he going to do with undocumented? >> right. this will be an occasion for
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democrats, defense of persecuted minorities. >> i think there's been a debate in sort of, i think a little bit of unhealthy debate in the democratic party or amongst progressives between his so-called identity politics and struggles for economic justice. to me in my view, the democratic party cannot turn its back on some of these core values. this is the party that is represented the struggle for civil rights for 50 years, and to turn its back on those fights as we see particular groups under attack whether if muslims are undocumented immigrants or an effort to disenfranchise minority voters or people of color would be a travesty and would actually prove to people that people are just politicians, not worthy of core
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beliefs. at the same time we're going to have to be called on to do both, protect civil rights and also articulate an affirmative argument against him on economic, and i would also argue political reform grounds. and truthfully we have called that kind of work in the past where you knit together as civil rights strategy with an economic justice strategy, the bobby kennedy coalition. you pull together people who are both working class families of all colors, white, african-american, latino and also focus, never turn your back on the struggles of people of color. i think he racialized this race and he created a lockout, he created a lot of anger between different groups. but he do think there are a lot of his voters who we can reach with a stronger again economic
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political reform message. >> i agree that debate has been largely a false choice between, on the one hand speaking to the economic anxieties of blue-collar whites, and on the other playing identity politics. but couldn't democrats and all of us be doing a better job of explaining that a lot of the stuff that we are saying on behalf of minority groups actually is an economic argument? >> absolutely. i could totally agree. >> i don't know how to fix that. >> this is a perfect example. we have championing for a higher minimum wage for a long time. a lot of the we champion around
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childcare and paid leave, all those policies help families of color but also help white families. i think that the truth is that we can view, we can be bolder in what we are saying and more clear on a message, absolutely. but i don't think we should fall to the charge that that was targeted at any particular group. these programs that we put forward have always been around helping all families. i think it's sad and honestly pathetic that he was able to racialized this race in so many ways. but although think you will not have the burden of government and people will be able to see whether his policies truly help them or not. so far it seems like much of the republican agenda is going to hurt the very people that he
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said he would help. and that's a tragedy. thanks, greg. >> okay. >> and on a happy note for those guys here thanks, guys. come on up. [applause] >> before we turn to the panel discussion and delve into some of these things and want to introduce stephanie land who will offer up a personal reflection that will ground the discussion. while we have all the data in the world to underscore by the trump agenda is a is that a disr for working families, stephanie knows firsthand how important it is to provide basic living standards to make ends meet. the rollback of labor rights, the cuts to core supports for working families, the appointment of an attorney general who repeatedly voted
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against the violence fo of for women act. these are not abstractions. we have feature to work on numerous occasions and her work has appeared in the "new york times," the "washington post," the guardian, fox and many other outlets. should focus on social and economic justice through the center for community change and to the economic hardship reporting project. her memoir made a single mothers journey from cleaning house to find eco-, and shields about just agree with the creative writing emphasis from university of montana and lives with her two daughters in missoula. welcomewelcome, stephanie, and k you so much for joining us. [applause] >> thank you to the center for american progress for this opportunity to speak in front of all of you today. six years ago i lived with my then three -year-old daughter in a studio apartment. during the day i worked
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full-time as a maid cleaning the houses of the wealthy, and at night i stayed up completing coursework for several online college classes. i worked full-time and i was able to do that because of support that helped me a for child care. i worked full-time and yet i still had to turn to food assistance to help feed myself and my daughter, because after paying rent, gas and utilities,, most my title had $50 left for things like toilet paper and soap. that december it got so cold i i had to close the french doors to keep the area we both slept in. i'm so sorry. i had to close the french doors to the area we both slept in and fold u out the small couch i fod for free gaza couldn't afford to keep our entire space warm. it snowed quite a bit that winter, more than my 1983 honda civic could handle. for an entire week i tried to
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will the snow plows to come down the steep little alley my apartment set above. everyday i missed work meant another bill i could not pay. first electric and then rent. the reason i was in this situation, a couple of years earlier i fled from my daughters father when an argument we had wanted me to call the police for safety. suddenly i found myself homeless with a six month old. i worked as a landscaper while we moved from a homeless shelter to transitional housing, and finally our own apartment. we could not have made it out of the shelter without help from an elusive grant called tenet-based rental assistance. eventually i was able to find a full-time job that paid $8 an hour while going to school full-time. for $8 an hour is not enough to provide for a family. even with a full-time job we had to go without basics.
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i had to budget for when i could purchase a new sponge or even paper towels. finally, after that cold winter in our tiny apartment, thanks to the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit i was able to buy toothbrushes, curtains, a desk to desk to do homework on, blankets and the bed i still sleep on today. i bought a heated mattress pad for it i didn't have to heat the whole room. my daughter and i slept at night cozy and warm but i still lived in a fog of hopelessness, anxiety and out. i didn't have a family who could financially or even emotionally support me. my daughters father still tried to cut me down every chance that he could. lifelines like food assistance, rental assistance and tax credits were the things that kept us afloat and helped me get back on my feet. and now the assistance that helped us thrive faces the biggest threat to the existence when donald trump and his cabinet coming at a time
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families need it the most. the safety net has already been under attack by republican legislatures such as house speaker paul ryan. these politicians will likely walk the programs that were our lifeblood to the death march. we can't let this happen and that's why i continue to tell my story. a month after i graduated college i gave birth to a second little girl. eventually we were able to move into warm, safe and secure housing i could afford, and admit i could focus on my chosen career as a writer. somehow my gamble in getting an english degree a doctor in jul july 2015 an article i wrote about those years i spent as a maid went viral. not only brought in interest of one of the top literary agents in the country, it launched my career. over the next few months my bylines grew rapidly. i started working as a writing fellow for the center for community change. and with barbara's economic
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hardship reporting project, i published pieces were i admitted something i was most ashamed of. i went i fell on hard times, i relied on food stamps. i wrote about our struggle to survive and the constant stress when the wages were not enough to provide for my family. through my possession, positioned at the center for community change i learned how to write opinion pieces and economic hardship reporting projects supported a piece that ended up in the "new york times." last summer on my youngest daughters second birthday i accepted an offer from patient book group for my memoir made. it's the story of not only finding happiness in the little things but of the great it takes to find resources to survive, they leapt to the other side where you no longer need them. i worked my way through school all while raising two children. but i also know that it couldn't have done that with a basic living standards that help you
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get ahead. paul ryan may think his plan is a better way, but it is anything but. his agenda does nothing to create jobs or raise wages. instead they cut a center resources like food stamps and medicaid, kicking people when they're already down. this is a population who needs good quality food, and that whatever has the most calories at the cheapest price. they need regular checkups and access to prescription medications because they can't afford vitamins are regular exercise. their backs ache from long hours at jobs that no one else wants to do but are vital to keep our society running smoothly. maybe donald trump and paul ryan need to work one of those jobs. maybe they need to stand out in the cold of december ringing a bell in a santa suit. maybe they need to go home to an unheated house with a bare cupboards. still hungry from the one meal a day at a soup kitchen. they need to go home to children who will not have dinner.
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children try to sit in an office during recess because the family couldn't afford to give them a code that winter. maybe donald trump and paul ryan need to spend a night on a foldout couch snuggled up to the family for warmth, only to wake up the next day and do it all over again. thank you for listening. [applause] >> my name is rebecca, i am the managing director here at the center for american progress. it's my privilege to introduce and then to moderate a discussion among a distinguished panel of experts. robert greenstein is apprised of the center on budget and policy priorities which he founded in
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1981 and formerly served as administrator of the food and nutrition service at the u.s. department of agriculture under president carter. he's also a recipient of the macarthur fellowship. to his right and steve kreisberg, afscme director of collective bargaining where he oversees the unions collective bargaining health and pension benefits and development of public policy and health care and retirement security. bishop dwayne royster to my right is the political director of pico, a national network of congregations representing 50 different denominations at state traditions across 150 cities and 17 state park is also is also senior pastor and founder emeritus of living water united church of christ in philadelphia, one of my savored cities personal. michelle taylor is imagine what
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this is to hunger, a project founded in philadelphia original and now spreading to other cities. witnesses partners with a real expert on hunger, mothers and caregivers of young children who have experienced hunger and poverty and use typography to frame the issues most important among the children she is an award-winning writer. finally last but very much not least, steve savner all of it on the the director of public policy at the center for community change which sponsors the writing fellow program that stephanie participates in. ccc is a national or position focused on building the power and capacity of low income workers to change in their communities and public policies for the better, and he has a long career of fighting for policy to a working families including at the center for law and social policy and the national employment law project. that was a mouthful. this is a bit of that deserves to be lauded a little bit. i want to get right into it. we've heard a lot so far about both the importance of policies
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that are critical to working families as well as programs that support them when wages are not enough. stephanie, we heard a little bit from her with your conversation with greg sargent about promises donald trump made when he was campaigning to those workers. steve, i want to start with you by asking, do you think trump will keep those promises to save jobs and make life better for working families at the head of the workers party? >> no. speed would you care to elaborate? >> i think we probably should not listen as much to him as watching. neera spoke a little bit about his cabinet appointees at the direction that process has taken us, but i think we can step back a little bit from trump. i think he is much more of a
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product or consistent with the moderate republican party for julie. he's really not a radical act other than his rhetoric. and by that i mean the republicans right now have a vision of governance which is that they believe the purpose of government is to facilitate commerce and the making of money, with the belief the more money we make in society the more that will trickle down. they may reject that characterization but i believe it is a fair one. the democratic party i think is a much more muddled message, and don't think it's monolithic. what it ought to be at its core is government ought to be used to do with what economists call externalities. in other words, we ought to mitigate some of the unintended consequences and adverse effects of our capitalist system so all can be lifted that there were out of clean water, clean air, deal with climate change. those are democratic principles as we recognize that if we continue just search for
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commercial department and extra profits we will not address the societal problems. if we bring that to the working class it's a broader issue than the working class. we know we have a labor secretary nominee who doesn't believe in labor negotiation. we had someone and epa who doesn't believe in -- we can go on and on and on through these appointees but what do they really mean? it means that those of us in society who don't have independent means of wealth are not going to have the opportunity to succeed and get it. i firmly believe this trump administration is part of a broader republican agenda that is essentially has a blind eye towards a just society considers economic justice, human rights and really externalities that are complicit in a capitalist system. >> bob, i want to turn to you
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next as we continue the discussion sort of what we expect to come and what's at stake for working families. you have done a number of public appearances over the past few weeks were yet spoken very boldly about in your 30-4 30-40r career working on these issues. you have never seen a greater threat to safety net programs which as stephanie discussed are really there for people when wages are not enough our work is not possible. why have you characterized what we are seeing as the greatest threat to these programs, and particularly fall of the election of a man who claimed and promised he wasn't going to cut social security, medicare, medicaid and so forth? >> i'm not sure he ever promised that he wasn't going to cut medicaid and he seems going straight down the path to do just that. if you look at the whole picture, let's start with last years house republican budget
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and some of the budget proposals that president-elect trump issued during the campaign and that are on his website. so we notice significant part of the budget that has the walkie inside the beltway term nondefense discretionary programs, it usually means everything in the budget outside the fence, it has in it that rental based assistance that you talk about it has education, job training, enforcement of labor standards, thstandards, enforcef environmental standards, childcare. all of these are part of the budget. it's already been cut in recent years, we all know that. where we are now heading is at best towards the full budget cuts under what's called sequestration, taking effect for the first time starting in october. that would take total funding for this important part of the
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budget to its lowest level as a share of the economy on record with data back to 1962. however, the house republican budget of last year and the trump campaign proposal proposed to cut this part of the budget way below the sequestration level. actually almost 30% below the sequestration level by the end of the decade. so we're talking about pretty massive cuts in areas like education, childcare low income housing assistance and a variety of other things. that's just that part of the budget. then you come to some of the court assistance for people who work for low wages or lose their jobs during recessions. things like health care coverage under medicaid, food assistance to snap which we used to call food stamps. these programs are set up in a way that there are national at least minimal national
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eligibility standards for anyone who is eligible if you fall on hard times you lose your job in a recession, you are not put on a waiting list, you get the assistance. if need goes up like when the economy goes down, the programs respond automatically. last years house republican budget would have gutted the structure both of those programs. this goes beyond repeating the affordable care act and converting these programs into block grants or mechanism cap\cp mechanisms what is a fixed amount of money each state gets for the year that does not keep pace with need, for example, doesn't keep pace with healthcare costs. last years house republicans budget took about $1 trillion over 10 years in cats out of healthcare and food assistance for low income families by block granting these programs on top of the savings from repealing the affordable care act and
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wiping out the health coverage expansions which were primarily overwhelmingly for working people that were in the affordable care act. and trump has essentially endorsed block granting the medicaid program against -- again since the election. if you put all of these pieces together, i've been working in this area since the early '70s, i don't remember any time when there was a simultaneous assault on so many of these key supports for people who were unemployed, who work for low wages, who has hard times making ends meet, all at the same time and cuts call for better such massive debt. it adds insult to injury that alongside this our proposal for some of the biggest tax cuts for people at the top that we've seen in modern memory. right alongside proposals for really huge cuts for people who work for low wages and struggle
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to make ends meet every week. >> i think you have terrified everyone in this room sufficiently, but steve savner, i want to turn to you to sort of help us understand a little bit something that is often framed as any sort of dichotomy terms. there's often a discussion that happens about workers and then a discussion that happens about the so-called poor as though they are different conversations or should be, and often the two questions i just asked of steve and bob are rarely actually seated next to each other and happening in the same room. is there really a dichotomy between so-called workers and so-called rapport? is the action of relationship between what we just heard from the two speakers before you? >> i think that largely there is no distinction between people who are in the working-class or
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working poor and people who are poor. most people who receive public assistance, whether it's food stamps or snap or medicaid, medicaid as an public assistance that is health insurance, people who receive better in an out of the labor market in low-wage jobs. i think it's a false distinction to be making. there are a set of people who are in very deep poverty who had very limited opportunity, who live in communities that have been disinterested, disproportionate african-americans and immigrants. but the broader characterization i think feeds into a story that poverty is really a function of personal responsibility and the failure of people to act appropriately. and that's just not true. we know that's not true we know that people get much of the public assistance that they want to cut like a set are in and out of the labor market. we're not talking about two distinct set of people.
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talking about a mass of people who are struggling to find stability in the labor market that is changing dramatically, and which doesn't provide stability in wages and compensation for most workers. so i think it's not the way to be looking at this. the tragedy, and we've seen it before in these debates about welfare in the nineties, is that there's an effort, a very conscious effort to blame people of color and poor people for the insecurity and fear that working people quickly have because the economy is changing and because their security is that my what's going on in the labor market. we all know the story and it's very difficult to combat. i think we've seen that most extremely during the current campaign and the visibility and enabling of white nationalists as part, not the whole that part of the of people and voters who vote for trump. >> as we start to look forward
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and bishop duane, i want to direct to this question to you, as we start to look forward at how progressives can effectively defend working-class voters, many of them did place their bets on power, to save their jobs and make their lives better, how do we start to build a coalition that bridges that divide so that it isn't an us and them, or to groups were a level of resentment has been fueled really by folks on the other side of the aisle trying to divide and conquer? >> thanks for the question and thank you for the invitation to come. pico national network is the largest faith based network in the country. we represent christian, jewish, muslim, diverse list. we have a vast diversity of people, black, white, native american, latino, asian and white folks are all a a part of
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our coalition work that we represent about 2 million families from across the nation. one of the things that's critical in this moment and i think even at to talk about this is to not run from race but run into race. part of the challenge is we talked about this earlier that trump has racialized this moment. he's use a lot of dog whistle language to be able to really get working-class white folk to be afraid, and part of the challenge of aggressors and the smoke is we have to be able to working-class white folk understand they have more in common with working-class black folk and working-class latino folk and working-class native folk and working-class asian folk then they do sort of the 1% yours or the oligarchs or whatever term you want to use that's part of this moment to define those that are really in the trump cap right now. i think it's very critical that we understand that we don't have too sort of do flavor of the month activities in terms of
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working on policies, though we can't abandon race. i think neera said it earlier, in terms of a civil rights agenda. we need to do them at the same time and we have to really began to disabuse america of this notion that somehow or another undocumented immigrants whose families are full of dignity and worth and value are really tearing up the fabric of this nation or the african-american families who have been here for hundreds of years whose very backs up and beaten in building this country are somehow or another all criminals or all out to destroy communities, or there is communities, native communities. we have to be able to remind folks is all families, they are dignity, they have worth, value. they bring a lot to the american table. it's not just white folk that do that. we have to find ways to bridge the gap to have a conversation that talks about policy like raising the minimum wage,
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policies that make sure everyone has health care health care, pot talk about child care for all families that impacts all communities and not again run from race or try to become race-neutral or colorblind but to do the things run to it and have a conversation about the impact of race in this country. everybody has pain and we need to validate everybody's pain. we are big enough to do that but we have to be very clear that part of that, we are dealing with is an issue of the racialized fan of, racial oppression that has existed in this country since its very founding. >> michelle, i want to bring you in as well. a big part of what your organization, witnesses to hunger, does it to bring people who themselves have been impacted by these policies, by insufficient wages, my lifeline programs like nutrition assistance which we been hearing about, bring those people together and elevate their voices as the real experts. what can we as progressives learn from witnesses model and
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how can your organization and others serving that same goal and working in the same way be part of building a movement that fights back against this onslaught? >> absolute. thank you so much for having us here. i think so much of this is about the stigmatizing poverty and a language that we use but for example, everyone in this room is on welfare and everyone has experienced it. everybody gets some form of social welfare and if anybody study social welfare policy for a few minutes they know this. someone receiving $160 a month in month in canada over one year gets way less than one taking a mortgage tax credit which is welfare. remind yourself of that. your student loan tax credit is welfare. all of the sink to get for having a child is welfare. i think we start to change the conversation to think about those people over there and make it about all of us here and now
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we all benefit from the government wanting to provide social welfare benefits then we can start to think about this anymore humane way. what the witnesses to hunger do is present the human face. we can say in philadelphia that a 26% poverty rate and a 13% rate but what does it look like works these are figures on a paper but have you ever spoken to someone who lived the effects of that on a daily basis? one of the things we have to do in these conversations is separating poor from working. stop with the language of no one who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty. no one should live in poverty. full stop. no one should live in poverty, full stop. when we had a conversation is forcing this idea that work is the solution to avoid problems and that is not a what if you are disabled, unable to legal because you're at a core phobia? ones i supposed to do? when what i buy the wages repay people i think it's because america has never recovered from
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putting itself with the bottom line that didn't include labor of cost. you had free labor. how do we rebound from hundreds of years of building an economic system based on free labor. we are struggling to do that. as was mentioned yet the country was founded on genocide and it's like. that's your roots. here we are finally, finally seeing what centuries of perpetrating this kind of approach to human beings is starting to look. [inaudible] he is, he tells another lie. lockey barges came up, loss $4 billion because of a tweet to put up. this is where we are in our world. how do we work against that? we have ticketed organizations are doing the work and get the support then my biggest fear, funding for our organization. how do we get the funding to continue to elevate and amplify the voices of the true experts?
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we can have poverty panels we wn the doctor this and doctor that, all experts who are valued for their intelligence. we value the experience of the notice of people who actually live in poverty. that's what we have to do, we have to get into the communities, talk to people and see what they need and stop projecting our own do-gooder, like this is what we think they need so let's get them this. i'll give one example. we have expressed there are some issues with the school book bag lunch program. for those of you don't know there are some children who on friday they can take a book bag all that is filled with food and they can have it for the weekend because we know many children will not eat if they cannot get to public school. that is the way of the future, that's how we will fix this. some of the witnesses are saying wait a minute, what's the psychological impact of giving a child a bag of food to take on the still have to share with their family and they become responsible for feeding their family at the age of seven, eight and nine?
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what happens if they can be attacked and now that bag stolen? to have to walk on and say my family can eat this weekend because i didn't bring the back home? have these conversations so we can pick up on these nuanced things and understand there's more to poverty than a fast and the figures, the lowest quintile, this and that. the people, these are real people. if we do more that i think we we will get somewhere. >> one of the threads throughout this postelection analysis. we've all been living through as well as a threat throughout the smallest conversation has been around how do we communicate more effectively? how do we communicate in different ways than maybe we have been that will have a better chance of reaching people who may be didn't hear progressive message and say that's the answer to my problems? we are simultaneously as we have this conversation realizing that we are also living a post-truth world. which was miriam webster's word
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of the year aptly. in a world where fake news is beating out real news and real facts and figures, and i'm going to be self-aware as i asked this question, at a think tank, how do progressives and had to folks in organizations like a center for american progress where we are so accustomed to thinking facts and figures are going to win the day because they are true, how do we live in this new world and a way that's going to reach people who haven't been won over with facts and figures? steve, i will start with you. >> that's a good question. we have to live our values and that's about commitments. and arguing what unites us this is a diverse union. we are majority women. we are all different races, different immigration status, different sexual orientations. none of that matters because we are united around specific goals and we work together and work together well.
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people may have individual views about all sorts of things but we know what unites us. i think more generally speaking, people who are workers in this country understand what it is they are seeking a broad societal basis for themselves. they are seeking a better life for themselves and their children oftentimes i think what we count on the progressive side is economic message gets awfully confusing and muddled. it would be absolutely wrong for us to dismiss president obama obsession with the transpacific partnership of not having an impact on this election. and i say that not as criticism of president obama or of the dpp. but what it did is it undermined the economic message as most working people were hearing. i think what we have to understand is that people are looking for a commitment. they are looking for someone who's willing to fight for their values. it's not always about a new want any clinical system. and we often answer simple
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questions with five paragraphs because it is so difficult. but we do need to figure out a much more straight-line way of committee getting to people. we do that oftentimes in the labor movement. but how do you transfer that kind of key medication that we in sometimes a closed system to a more open type of debate? like i said at the beginning of this statement, it's about living our values and having a clue set an understanding of what those are and trying to ensure we had a consensus around it. most people want what we claim progressives want want, which ia fair and just society. a society where people are not exploited, a society that is nurturing. we want that and we have a number of federal policies in place to get us there. some of them are being undermined and have been undermined. we are about to embark on a journey where 80 years literally 80 years of consensus policy
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adopted the new deal is at stake. and communicating that with facts and figures and charts is not always the best way to do. i think it's more visceral than that for a lot of folks. when we communicate with our members and our union tried to make it as real and this is testable for them as possible so tthat understand how it affects pocketbook issues, how it affects their neighbors, how it affects the services that we provide because people have tremendous commitments of what they do on their jobs. most people take pride in the work whether they're working in a fast food for carl junior or their working for nasa. people take pride in their work. we have to listen to that and given that pride. oftentimes we are dismissive of many of these concerns in search of a bigger agenda and to think where to get much more basic in our communication and hear people and got credibility with our economic message because we don't have it and when you do get it.
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>> bob, i don't think anyone in this room has forgotten the signs, get your government hands off my medicare, that it really come to serve as symbols of the submerged state, a lot of what michelle was describing. people are unaware of the programs and policies that they benefit from and not even just in a sense of the home mortgage interest deduction which a midget, michelle. for example, example even receiving health insurance that comes from the federal government, or public school. how do we accomplish the goals that steve just laid out, ambitious goals that they are, of helping people to understand that the safety net as it's often called is actually for them and that an attack on a safety net like we're expected to see under a trump and writing regime is an assault on workers? >> i think we have to marry, improved ways of communicating. some of the things steve was
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talking about, with still a variety of facts and figures. we absolutely can't -- >> with those facts and figures. >> if you look at the campaign, trump had to go in domestic arena very few specific policies. it was just a lot of fun as an big rhetoric. when the congress begins to act, when the president begins to put proposals forward, there are specific proposals. they will get voted on on the heel. and part of all our job is to analyze them, to look at what they do and to communicate that effectively. let me give you a bit of an analogy. as you know in 2015 there was an elderly successful effort to make, have congress make permanent improvements for low and moderate income working families for the earned income tax credit and the child tax
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credit. we found when we begin early in 2015 to talk to various republican members, particularly in the house, generally they and their staff are under the impression this is a low income program, it's primarily for the cities. in fact a larger share of household get the earned income credit in rural areas than in urban areas because wage rates tend to be lower in rural areas and more people qualify. we found a number of these offices were stunned when you show them the actual figures in their areas. i think in the period ahead, whatever the policy or program it is that under attack, it serves low and moderate income working families, we need to put the information together, what does it do state-by-state, locality by locality? what does it do in these rural
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economically challenged areas where there were big votes among other things are present in electron, but areas in which people often rely on these programs to a greater degree than people in urban areas do. we haven't succeeded in trying, i'm not sure we tried hard enough, to really commit to get that. and that leads to the second part which is as specific cuts come on the table we need everything from cuban stories of what they would do, to actual information and data that bring it home to people in rural areas, in urban areas, and that is what people work for low wages, to counter this also impression that it doesn't affect them at all, it affects other people that don't look like them that they may be don't think they want to help, not even understanding the degree to
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which so many of these kinds of support and other sorts of assistance are funded at all for them. that will entail less doing not only the normal kind of analysis, but since many of the cuts that are likely to come are likely to come either in appropriate programs that are effectively grants to aids to state services, or if a program like medicaid is block granted to states with inadequate funding, the states and have to live within the inadequate funds and they are the ones who make the specific cuts. we have to communicate where this is coming from, which argues decisions out of washington, should they be made. finally, i think we do need to tie this to some of the debate on tax policy, starting next month. so the bill that is expected to come before congress next month
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to repeal the affordable care act, a built the urban institute just said last week would likely raise the number of uninsured by 30 million people, this bill includes a provision to repeal the application of the medicare tax, the tax that goes right into the medicare hospital insurance trust fund on the investment income of very wealthy people here ca this provision if enacted will mean a worker making 30, 40, 50, 60,000 a year has to continue paying the medicare tax on all of their wages while somebody making $5 million a year in capital gains and dividends doesn't take any medicare tax. ..


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