New Radio Ad Questions Ensign, Porter Votes Against Fair Pay Act

Americans United for Change debuted a new radio advertisement today rebuking Senator John Ensign (R-NV) and Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) for their votes against the Fair Pay Act. By standing with President Bush, Ensign and Porter voted against Nevada's women and minorities who have seen their right to earn a fair wage weakened. Across the nation, women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and African-American women earn just 63 centers for every dollar a man makes. Hispanic-American women earn just 52 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Senator Ensign recently voted to block the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – meaningful legislation that would level the playing field for women and men who have been victims of pay discrimination by allowing them to seek justice in the courts.  Rep. Porter voted against sister legislation which passed in the U.S. House in July. 

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04.30.08 | permalink

McCain’s fuzzy tax cut math

In December John McCain said, "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should."

McCain claims he was just joking, but looking at his actual economic plan, it certainly appears his initial claim was correct: When it comes to the economy, John McCain really doesn't know what he is talking about.

In today's column, Paul Krugman analyzes McCain's tax plan, and he concludes that it "doesn't seem to embody any coherent policy agenda. Instead, it looks like a giant exercise in pandering."

That's because McCain uses fuzzy math to hide the true cost of his irresponsible tax cuts. As Krugman writes,

According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the overall effect of the McCain tax plan would be to reduce federal revenue by more than $5 trillion over 10 years. That's a lot of revenue loss -- enough to pose big problems for the government's solvency.

Krugman explains that McCain and his advisers responded to this analysis by falsely criticizing the Tax Policy Center's methodology -- but avoiding the substance of its conclusions:

It's the sort of fiscal double-talk that has been a Bush administration hallmark. In any case, it offers no answer to the principal point raised by the Tax Policy Center analysis, which has nothing to do with scoring: the McCain tax plan would leave the federal government with far too little revenue to cover its expenses, leading to huge budget deficits unless there were deep cuts in spending.

And Mr. McCain has said nothing realistic about how he would close the giant budget gap his tax cuts would produce -- a gap so large that eliminating it would require cutting Social Security benefits by three-quarters, eliminating Medicare, or something equivalently drastic.

It's time John McCain starts being straight with the American people about the true costs of his economic plan.

04.28.08 | permalink

Experts react to Petraeus CentCom nomination

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said General David Petraeus will be promoted as the next commander of U.S. Central Command. Petraeus was the driving force behind last year's "surge" in Iraq, and earlier this month he told Congress that troop withdrawals after August are unlikely.

President Bush's nomination of Petraeus as CentCom commander raised eyebrows among retired military officers and national security experts. Chief among their concerns is Petraeus' heavy focus on the Iraq war and a potential lack of objectivity when it comes to broader strategic decisions -- particularly concerning the conflict in Afghanistan, where Petraeus has never served.

Major General Mel Montano (USANG, Ret.) said,

As CENTCOM commander, General Petraeus has the responsibility of the entire theater to manage... We keep hearing that Al Qaida is continuing to plan attacks on U. S. cities and allied countries. Well if we had concentrated on the command structure of Al Qaida in Afganistan there would not be any planning cells or Al Qaida leadership to do so.

Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, asked if

after a year and a half as the Commanding General of Multinational Forces in Iraq, can General Petraeus objectively asses priorities as the overall commander of the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan? If history is any guide, General Petraeus will have difficulty remaining impartial.

These are important questions, and Petraeus should have to address them during his confirmation hearings before the Senate.

Read the full statements after the jump.

Read the rest of this story ...

04.24.08 | permalink

Out of Touch or Out of His Mind?

John McCain talked about the economy on Bloomberg News last night. Here's what he had to say:

"You could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time (the past seven years)."

Well, you could make that argument, Senator McCain -- but you'd be wrong.

The past seven years have seen a steady erosion of the middle class. Though our nation's GDP has risen, average family incomes are down. Bush's tax cuts have disproportionately benefited the wealthy, while everyone else is left to struggle with rising health care costs, rising gas prices, foreclosures, and outsourced jobs.

The American people certainly aren’t buying John McCain's argument. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll released today shows that 90 percent of the American public gives the economy a negative rating, with a majority saying it's in "poor" shape. Yet McCain insists on standing by the failed record of George Bush.

It should be clear to any rational observer: This economy isn't working for the vast majority of Americans.

John McCain is either completely out of touch or out of his mind. If the American people have a better understanding of the economy than John McCain, then why should they trust his economic plan?

04.18.08 | permalink

New Ads Target Those Complicit in the Bush Legacy

Americans United for Change is rolling out a series of radio ads targeting two Senators and four Members of Congress who have contributed to the Bush Legacy on Iraq and the economy. The ads call on them to reverse course and put American families first.

Rep. Jon Porter

Porter Ad Transcript


Senator Norm Coleman

Coleman Ad Transcript


Senator John Sununu

Sununu Ad Transcript


Rep. Don Young

Young Ad Transcript


Rep. Tim Walberg

Walberg Ad Transcript


Rep. Steve Chabot

Chabot Ad Transcript


04.16.08 | permalink

MN Taxpayers Urge Sen. Norm Coleman to Invest in America

Minnesota rallyYesterday -- Tax Day -- Minnesota taxpayers gathered outside the office of Senator Norm Coleman to urge him to vote for investment in America, not endless war in Iraq.

At the gathering in Minnesota, taxpayers held up a check for $12.5 billion -- the amount the war has cost the state so far.

With a nationwide recession looking more and more likely, we cannot afford to continue spending more than ten billion dollars a month for a war with no end in sight. As Muriel Vaughan of the Minnesota Women's Political Alliance put it,

"As thousands of Minnesotans head to the post office today to file their taxes, we want answers from Senator Coleman as to how much longer we will continue to spend over $10 billion a month of our national treasure in Iraq while shortchanging critical priorities here at home, like education and healthcare for our kids, seniors and veterans."

Here's the breakdown of the cost of the Iraq war so far, from the Congressional Research Service:

  • $123.6 billion every year
  • $10.3 billion every month
  • $2.4 billion every week
  • $338.6 million every day
  • $14.1 million every hour
  • $235,160 every minute
  • $3,919 every second

And here's what we could fund with the money we spend each day in Iraq:

  • 2,060 more Border Patrol agents could be hired to protect our borders for a year.
  • 18,000 more students could receive Pell Grants to help them attend college for a year.
  • 48,000 homeless veterans could be provided with a place to live for a year.
  • 317,000 more kids could receive every recommended vaccination for a year.
  • 955,000 families could get help with their energy bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for a year.
  • Nearly 480,000 women, infants and children could receive nutritional help with the WIC program for a year.
  • 2.6 million Americans without adequate health insurance could have access to medical and dental care at community health centers for a year.
  • More than 100 local communities could make improvements to their drinking water with help from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for a year.
  • 937 additional National Institutes of Health grants for research into diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer and diabetes could be provided for a year.
Source: House Appropriations Committee

04.16.08 | permalink

April 15th

It's almost Tax Day - and Americans United for Change is reminding President Bush and his allies in Congress to "Invest in America, Not in Iraq."

The Iraq War has already cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering $526 billion in direct costs and roughly $1.3 trillion to the economy.  That is $16,500 for each U.S. family of four, or roughly $3 billion for each Congressional district in the country.

Meanwhile, middle class Americans are bracing for a recession here at home - and the Bush Administration hasn't been responding. As Reuters reported last month:

Washington's overall spending on domestic programs outside of defense, such as education, highways and law enforcement, has grown. But over the seven years of the Bush presidency, that funding represents a declining share of the budget and economy.

Tomorrow, Americans United for Change is teaming up with Members of Congress, veterans, military families, community leaders, faith leaders and concerned citizens to co-host nearly 50 events in front of post offices across the country. The events will be highlighting the enormous financial burden taxpayers are shouldering as the war in Iraq drags on into its 6th bloody and costly year.

Update: In addition to the nearly fifty Tax Day/Cost of War events taking place throughout the country tomorrow, Brave New Films is launching a new website called "The $3 Trillion Shopping Spree" -- -- a unique, virtual shopping experience for Americans who want to try to comprehend the astronomical price tag of this war by relating it to real world purchases.  Americans can now discover: "Just What could I do with a $3 trillion gift certificate to anything in the world?  How many plasma TVs could you buy?  How many Cadillac Escalades?  Or for that matter, how many deadly diseases could you cure?  How many new schools could you build?  How much HIV medication for AIDS victims around the world?"

04.14.08 | permalink

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