Paul Giorgio: The State of Disunity
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
His goal is simple enough–raise the living standards of the working poor and the middle class-and in doing that he hopes to raise a generation of Americans out of poverty.
We have a disparity of wealth in this country, where the top one percent controls 40% of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 80% control just 7%. In most of the world, that would be called an oligarchy. That is wrong. I am not against wealth. It is just that this country cannot survive or thrive if this continues.
Unemployment and minimum wage
So what are President Obama’s goals for the coming year? They are to raise the Federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.75 per hour or $310 per 40 hour work week, and below our state wage of $8.00. The second goal is to extend unemployment benefits to millions of American who had them cut at the end of 2013. The third goal is to provide access to a college education for more of our young people.
These are laudable and simple goals to achieve. But not with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and a Senate where every action is blocked by Mitch McConnell. McConnell, the Republican Leader, said when President Obama was sworn in that his “only goal was to block anything this president tried to do.”
McConnell has kept his word, and, in doing so, has hurt countless Americans.
Barack Obama inherited the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. He has steadily worked to bring the economy back, without the help of the Republicans and without what Franklin Roosevelt had-World War II. Five years into his presidency, the economy is stronger, unemployment is dropping and the Dow Jones is at 16,000 up from the7949 on January 20, 2009.
How have the Republicans helped the situation? They voted against the jobs bill and the economic recovery act, then complained that unemployment was too high, then voted against extending unemployment benefits.
Will the Republicans reach across the aisle to help their fellow American and President Obama achieve his goals? I think not. They are already warning the President that if he tries to go it alone he will sacrifice whatever he hopes to accomplish. This is a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.
Executive action to help average Americans
President Obama has told us that he will use executive action, wherever and whenever it is permitted, to help average Americans. On Tuesday morning he raised the Federal minimum wage on all Federal contracts. More such extraordinary action is planned.
How have the Republicans shown that they want to help their fellow countryman and work with the President? In the days proceeding, last night’s Sate of the Union address, they are proposing an $8 billion cut in the food stamp program.
Cutting food stamps hurts the poor. But it also hurts farmers, farm supply companies and retailers just as hard. There is a multiplier effect to that money.
President Obama can thank the American Public when his plan succeeds, because they actually get it. They see the poverty around them. They see the disparity in wealth.
As usual, the President ended his speech with the words “The State of the Union is fine.” But we do need Congress to act to make the State of our Union great and fair.
Related Slideshow: 13 Best MINDSETTER™ Columns of 2013
By Tom Finneran
The Brothers Tsarnaev set off more than the two bombs they are alleged to have planted at the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago. In fact, it appears that they have also detonated a political bomb that will tumble candidates and shape debates through the next presidential election cycle.
By John Monfredo
Statistics show that students with more than 20 absences per year have less than a 1-in-5 chance of graduating. By ninth grade, school attendance is a better predictor of graduation than eighth-grade test scores, according a study by the University of Chicago.
By Grace Ross
One cannot help but be impressed by the things the Governor got right in his State of the State address this year nor avoid being disappointed by the things he seems to still misrepresent.
As the very famous Republican, Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
By Arthur Christopher Schaper
With the 2013 US Senate primaries ended in Massachusetts, the residents of the Bay State have their choices to replace out-going (hardly outgoing) US Senator John Kerry: Gabriel Gomez of Cohasset, or Congressman Edward Markey of Medford, or is it Malden, or is it Maryland (Chevy Chase, to be precise, and this is no National Lampoon, either). Frankly, the first question Massachusetts residents ask has to do with his primary residence. In other words: "Where does Markey make his mark?" On the street, they would say: "Where do you stay, Markey?"
By Matthew Helman
Stephen Lynch has long been the most conservative member of Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation. As Lynch himself crassly put it, “Calling me the least liberal member from Massachusetts is like calling me the slowest Kenyan in the Boston Marathon.”
But, whether you agree with Lynch’s conservative politics or oppose them, at least we used to know where he stood. That is, until he entered the Democratic primary in the upcoming special election for U.S. Senate.
By Don Roach
Last week I had the opportunity to have meet Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and hear him speak on a number of issues facing the state.
For full disclosure I had not heard of Charlie Baker prior to meeting him last week. I’m not a big Massachusetts political aficionado as my state political knowledge ends at the town limits of Burriville. Nonetheless, I did some homework before seeing Baker finding that he was known for four things, his time as part of the Weld administration, the Big Dig, turning around Harvard Pilgrim, and losing to a seemingly beatable Deval Patrick in 2010. Well, there’s one more thing and that is, among Republicans, Baker has been viewed as the ‘next big thing’ in Massachusetts for quite some time.
By Bill Randell
Over the past few months, I have gotten a lot of feedback.
- We need other destinations; for example, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Florida Gulf Coast destinations and New York City.
- Tickets are lower out of Boston.
- Direct Air had better prices.
First, starting November 7, 2013 daily service begins to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with JetBlue. If we can make these two routes successful, I am sure all of these other destinations will look into ORH.
By Paul Giorgio
Let’s get this straight, Scott Brown is delusional. He is nothing more than Sarah Palin in a suit. No, scratch that--Sarah Palin in a Barn Jacket is more apropos. His latest gambit in his attempt to be relevant is laughable. '
Last week former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown showed up in Iowa ostensibly to test the presidential waters. Then again, maybe he might have thought that the Marshfield Fair didn’t offer corn dogs as good as those at the Iowa State Fair.
By John Monfredo
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (known as the Nation’s Report Card), data revealed that only about one-quarter of American students scored at or above proficient in their knowledge of United States History.
Student’s lack of basic civic knowledge should be a concern for everyone. Nationwide, the worst performance was by seniors in high school with 12% reaching proficiency. We all know that most of education reform has focused on closing the achievement gap in English Language Arts, Math and Science. However, we also need to look at the basic knowledge that our children are acquiring in knowing the concepts of American History.
By Rena Grasso
hree months past Newtown, we have yet to satisfy the national cry to “do something” about our epidemic gun violence. In the past, ghastly mass shootings have spurred efforts that have dead ended in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), flawed by loopholes, and a now defunct ban on semi-automatics.
Moreover, Americans are divided on what to do, except to strengthen NICS, with which 90% of Americans including 72% of NRA members, agree. These numbers will probably pressure Congress to improve the NCIS, despite NRA opposition.
By Tom Finneran
Of all the dumb statements that people make, the “jobs that Americans won’t do” statement takes the cake. Of course, I can’t say for sure that it’s entirely untrue. But if it is true, I quake for our country. Which brings me to my friend Ulysses. Ulysses is black. Ulysses is old—70 plus years. He grew up in North Carolina at a time when racial bias and hostility were much more pronounced and severe than today. Yet growing up, Ulysses and his friends, all black, regularly worked side by side with white kids from the same community.
By Arthur Christopher Schaper
Congressman James McGovern (or "McGovernment", as one GoLocal reader pithily commented), has opened up a new office in Worcester. An incumbent Massachusetts Democrat (yes, a deadening tautology, but bear with me), Rep. McGovern now has three offices in his 2nd Congressional District. My Congressman, Henry Waxman, only has two offices, yet his Congressional district spans the entire Santa Monica Bay, from the South Bay to the Valley.
By Michael Graham
t's a perfect political storm: President Obama's popularity is down, voters are angry over his unpopular health care law, and Republicans are energized and excited about voting. Just the conditions a minority party like the Massachusetts GOP needs to pick up a governorship and send a couple of Republicans to Congress.
Only one problem. I'm not writing about 2014. I'm writing about 2010. And while the Republican tide swept over nearly the entire country, it stopped dead at the border of Massachusetts.
- Paul Giorgio: I Don’t Give a Duck!
- Paul Giorgio: Romney Re-Emerges
- Paul Giorgio: The Real EBT Scammers Are the Vendors, Not the Poor
- Paul Giorgio: Is There Really a War on Christmas?
- Paul Giorgio: Scott Brown is Sarah Palin in a Suit
- Paul Giorgio: We Have Too Many Not-for-Profits
- Paul Giorgio: JFK’s Assassination Through The Eyes of a Child
- Paul Giorgio: Scott Brown: Desperately Seeking Relevance
- Paul Giorgio: Why Ed Augustus Would Be a Great City Manager
- Paul Giorgio: Massachusetts Needs To Reform Its Gun Laws
- Paul Giorgio: Should Worcester Look at Electing a Strong Mayor?
- Paul Giorgio: What I Learned From The Government Shutdown
- Paul Giorgio: Obamacare, The Debt Ceiling + Tea Party Republicans
- Paul Giorgio: Syria Redux
- Paul Giorgio: Will Bridgegate Cost Christie the GOP Nod in 2016?
- Paul Giorgio: Republicans Hit A New Low
- Paul Giorgio: Tea Party Turning US Into A Banana Republic
- Paul Giorgio: World Cop or World Conscience In Syria?
- Paul Giorgio: Food Trucks Don’t Save Cities
- Paul Giorgio: Republicans Need To End Discrimination In Workforce
- Paul Giorgio: The Biggest Political Winners and Losers in 2013
- Paul Giorgio: GOP’s Rising Stars Need New Ideas
- Paul Giorgio: Roger Ailes, A Bully with a Bully Pulpit
- Paul Giorgio: The Handshake Heard Around the World