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In 15 days, food stamp benefits will be cut by some 20 percent, thanks to Republicans in Congress who tossed this mean-spirited gem into one of GOP’s hostage bills that President Obama was forced to sign because a veto would result in the government shutting down, or the US reneging on its bills, or something equally destructive.
On October 1, millions will see their benefits stripped away or cut greatly.
Most unemployed people will get cut off. Many working poor, who rely on food stamps to make ends meet, will go hungry. So, too, will countless military families – a separate disgrace in and of itself. Far too many homeless families and individuals will find their chair at the dinner table yanked away just as they are sitting down to eat, a sight gag that hasn’t been funny since it was pulled on Fatty Arbuckle in some of his movies back in the Twenties.
Political money is a featured dish on the spending menu of Tampa-based Outback Steakhouse restaurants. The chain was controlled by Bain Capital until last month, when its parent, Bloomin’ Brands, went public in an Initial Public Offering. Bain and its investors stand to earn an estimated 88 percent return on their investment in the company.
Almost everyone now knows Bain’s critical role in building Mitt Romney’s wealth as a leading light of the 1 percent. And, Ann and Mitt Romney are investors in the particular Bain fund that bought and then sold Bloomin’ Brands.
But few noticed that Outback’s Political Action Committee (OSI PAC, also known as OSI Restaurant Partners) this year emerged as the restaurant industry’s biggest political donor. So far in 2012, OSI PAC has given more money to political candidates than the PACs of any of these bigger and better known firms: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Taco Bell,
Why does California reward ultra-rich companies that move jobs out of the state?
We’ll tell you why. In 2009, during secret, behind-closed-doors budget negotiations, a handful of state legislators and Gov. Schwarzenegger snuck in a colossal but little-known corporate tax giveaway into the budget in the dead of night. This loophole, known as the “elective single sales factor,” gives corporations the option to reduce the taxes they pay to California by keeping jobs and investment in other states – giving companies a huge incentive to hire outside of California. The loophole has already cost the state tens of thousands of jobs, and the only ones who are benefitting from it are California’s richest corporations. In fact, 80 percent of the benefits from this loophole go to the 0.1 percent of California corporations with gross incomes over $1 billion.
It’s high time we end the practice of shelling out taxpayer money to ultra-profitable companies that kill California jobs.
Los Angeles, long fighting its reputation as one of the least green cities in the country, is making real changes to improve its standing.
City leaders and members of RePower LA gathered Monday, September 17, to recognize the City’s major strides in energy efficiency. The event took place at a South L.A. home while workers demonstrated an energy efficiency upgrade on the residence. It was part of a Department of Water and Power (LADWP) program championed by the RePower LA coalition. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Herb Wesson, Councilmember Richard Alarcon, DWP General Manager Ron Nichols, business leaders and residents each spoke about the importance of energy efficiency and job creation, particularly in the current economy.
“We’re proud to announce a renewed commitment to energy efficiency from the Department of Water and Power,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “DWP has proposed to more than double its energy efficiency budget.
How different would California look with Proposition 32’s passage? To imagine, it’s not necessary to focus on a Golden State without the legacy of its unions, but rather to think of a California in which only the rich and powerful have a say in Sacramento and in the polling booth.
“It will have a devastating effect,” says John Logan, director of Labor Studies at San Francisco State University, of Prop. 32’s impact. “California would be transformed as a state.”
On environmental issues alone, Prop. 32 stands to roll back decades of progress in making California a global leader in green policy-making.
“You don’t have to go very far back to find likely examples of how it would change California,” Logan says, adding that Prop. 32 would remove labor’s voice from nearly all political conversations.
That voice is not always confined to lobbying efforts in the state legislature.