A Populist, Progressive Budget

More than a year ago, the Progressive Caucus in the U. S. House put together what they dubbed The People’s Budget.  Here, you can read that budget in its entirety.

Some of its original provisions have become moot (i.e., those involving bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan), but the budget retains these and other consequential planks:

1.      Eliminate the deficit by targeting its main drivers: the causes and effects of the recent recession.

2.      Train teachers and restores schools; rebuild roads and bridges and ensure that users help pay for them

3.      Invest in job creation, clean energy and broadband infrastructure, housing and R&D programs

4.      Create new tax brackets that range from 45% starting at $1 million to 49% for $1 billion or more.  Not at all unreasonable when one considers that as recently as 1986, an individual with earnings over $1,171,580.00 paid Federal income tax at a rate of 50%.

5.      Implement a progressive estate tax

6.      Enact a financial crisis responsibility fee and a financial speculation tax on derivatives and foreign exchange

7.      Eliminate the individual Social Security payroll cap to make sure upper income earners pay their fair share

8.      Increase Social Security benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side

The People’s Budget has as its bottom line the goals of:

·         Deficit reduction of $5.6 trillion

·         Spending cuts of $1.7 trillion

·         Revenue increase of $3.9 trillion

·         Public investment $1.7 trillion

Sounds like a solid plan.

Michele Petrovsky, Webmaster at Tools4Change Author of, Cathedral or Bazaar?  Fix Higher Education – Teach by the Seat of Your Pants , Donkey Dharma, and Quick Guide to Linux Glen Mills, Pa.

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Posted In: Free Speech Zone

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work