Democratic Congressional Candidate Billy Kovacs
Democratic candidate Billy Kovacs outlined a detailed plan for how he would grow Arizona’s economy as Tucson’s Congressman.
“We can grow our economy without giving massive tax breaks for corporations,” he said at a recent meeting of the Democrats of Greater Tucson.
Among the five serious candidates, Kovacs is the only one emphasizing the economy in Congressional District 2. As Bill Clinton pointed out in 1992, winning elections is about “the economy, stupid!”
In a nutshell, his plan focuses on:
- Education – creating an educated workforce.
- Renewable resources – solar energy and energy storage.
- Public transportation – expanding the Tucson streetcar in all directions and preserving Amtrak in Arizona.
- Infrastructure – creating millions of jobs with a $1 trillion investment over 10 years.
- Immigration – creating a path to citizenship for 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants.
“We need to attract companies and workers to Arizona, and I’m talking about smaller companies that want to live in Arizona because of our natural resources and trained personnel from the university — and not for tax breaks,” he said.
According to Kovacs, the US Department of Education is gutting public education with budget cuts to after-school programs, teacher training, Pell Grants, literacy programs and even school lunches. He calls for:
Posted in Arizona Congressional Races, Campaigns, Congress, Economics, Education, Elections, Immigration, Infrastructure, Larry Bodine, Political Events, Transportation, Tucson
Tagged Billy Kovacs, DACA, education, immigration, infrastructure, public transportation, renewable resources, solar energy, tucson streetcar
So how about that “Infrastructure Week” that wasn’t?
Trump’s ‘Infrastructure Week’ collapsed around him. “It was a given from the moment Donald Trump opened his mouth to defend rallying white supremacists and Nazi groups in Charlottesville that the administration’s “Infrastructure Week” was going to be a hot, molten mess.”
It also resulted in the collapse of his would-be Advisory Council on Infrastructure before it managed even a single meeting.
Infrastructure remains stuck near the rear of the legislative line, according to two dozen administration officials, legislators and labor leaders involved in coming up with a concrete proposal. Trump’s ‘Great National Infrastructure Program’? Stalled.
“It awaits the resolution of tough negotiations over the budget, the debt ceiling, a tax overhaul, a new push to toughen immigration laws — and the enervating slog to enact a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.”
Mr. Trump’s team has yet to produce the detailed plan he has promised to deliver “very soon.”
It’s just not going to happen.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Economics, environment, Infrastructure, Legislation, Media, Party Politics, President, Taxes, Transportation, Water
Tagged electrical grid
Donald Trump is completely bonkers, but then you already knew that. What is happening with his Muslim “travel ban” over the weekend only confirms this.
First some background on the status of the Muslim “travel ban.” Trump’s original executive order in January was blocked by the federal district court for the state of Washington as unconstitutional religious discrimination, and that court order was affirmed by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
This elicited this response from Trump:
That didn’t happen. Instead, the Trump Justice Department dismissed the appeal and reissued a “revised travel ban” in March. The original executive order and lawsuit no longer exist for any purposes (something Trump does not seem to comprehend, as I will explain below).
The “revised travel ban” was also challenged in court, where it has advanced to two courts of appeal. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal district court for Maryland in an en banc decision blocking the “revised travel ban” as unconstitutional religious discrimination. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on May 15 in an appeal from the federal district court for Hawaii, and appparenty took additional arguments last week. 9th Circuit hears travel ban appeal, again. That decision is pending.
The Trump Justice Department filed for review before the U.S. Supreme Court late Thursday. Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog explains the posture of this case before the Supreme Court. Trump administration asks justices to weigh in on travel ban:
[T]he federal government asked the Supreme Court to step into the legal dispute over the constitutionality of the executive order [the “revised travel ban”] that the president signed on March 6. The government also asked the court to put on hold two lower-court rulings blocking the implementation of the executive order, telling the justices that those rulings undermine “the President’s constitutional and statutory power to protect” the United States.
Last night’s filings came in two separate challenges to the March 6 order, popularly known as the “travel ban.” One challenge originated in Maryland, where a federal district judge blocked the implementation of the order on March 16; last week the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit largely upheld the Maryland judge’s order. Another challenge came from Hawaii: A district judge there also ruled for the challengers, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard oral argument in the government’s appeal on May 15, but the appeals court has not yet issued its decision. Yesterday the government urged the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit’s ruling on the merits and to freeze the district court’s order barring the implementation of the travel ban. The government also asked the justices to freeze the Hawaii court’s ruling blocking the travel ban until the 9th Circuit appeal is resolved – and, if necessary, while the government seeks review of that decision in the Supreme Court.
Amy Howe notes that “The justices have asked the challengers to file responses to the petition for review and the requests for stays of the lower courts’ rulings. Those responses are due on or before 3 p.m. on Monday, June 12.“
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Ethics, International, Justice, Party Politics, President, Racism, Religion, Scandals, Transportation
Tagged bigotry, Muslim travel ban
Arizona’s total debt service rose 94% between 2007-2014. Why is the state paying $312 million per year in interest on Wall Street debt when we could self-fund projects with public banking?
The cornerstone of my economic reform ideas is establishment of public banking at the state, county, and/or municipal levels.
In a nutshell, public banking advocates believe that austerity is a lie and that budget-cutting and layoffs by governments is unnecessary and harmful to citizens. There is plenty of money. The problem is that our taxpayer funds are held in too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street and invested for the benefit of the banks’ shareholders– instead of being held here in Arizona and invested for the benefit of the citizens of Arizona. Public banks invest on Main Street for the public good — rather than allowing OUR MONEY to be gambled (and potentially lost… again) on Wall Street.
There are many ways a public bank could be constituted. For example, in my speech to the LD9 precinct committee members, I suggested taking 10% of the state’s surplus rainy day funds and using that to establish an infrastructure bank. This state bank could self-fund much needed improvements and new roads to make the state more competitive and easier to traverse. It also could lend money to counties and cities to build their projects. In turn, the state would make a modest interest rate on the loans.
Creation of a state public infrastructure bank would address several economic problems in one fell swoop:
Cross posted from RestoreReason.com. There is a path to getting America back on track, but it has nothing to do with whom we elect to be our next president. The singular most significant action each of us can take this year is to demand the members of Congress put the good of the country ahead of partisan gamesmanship and special interests. And, if they don’t, vote them out of office!
Here’s the deal. Experts agree the best way to get out economy moving again is for the Federal government to invest big in repairing the country’s infrastructure. It is up to the government to do it because of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls “a deficiency of aggregate demand, brought on by a combination of growing inequality and a mindless wave of fiscal austerity.” Basically, no matter how much they spend, the wealthy just can’t spend enough to adequately stimulate the economy. At the same time, as of the second quarter of 2015, corporate America had more cash on-hand that the economies of Belgium and Sweden combined ($1.43 trillion for S&P companies excluding those in the financial sector.) Tech companies are especially cash rich with Microsoft having $96 billion in cash, Google $70 billion and Cisco $60 billion. Although this hoarding means companies are positioned to weather tough economic times, it hurts the economy (especially since most of this money is held in off-shore accounts to reduce tax liability.)
We are all aware that our country’s infrastructure is in bad shape. Are roads are pothole laden and our bridges are structurally unsound. The most recent Infrastructure Report Card from the Americans Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives our Nation’s infrastructure a D+, and states that we need to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 just to get it up to standard. The number one solution toward beginning to raise the grade according to ASCE is to “increase leadership in infrastructure renewal” and the organization maintains, “America’s infrastructure needs bold leadership and a compelling vision at the national level. Continue reading