by on April 11, 2018
The City Council wants reduced fares for 800,000 low-income New Yorkers. Roughly 800,000 low-income New Yorkers would save $726 a year if a proposal by the New York City Council and advocates to fund half-priced Metrocards for the poorest New Yorkers is adopted as part of the city’s final budget. On Tuesday, the Council released its budget response to the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget, which he unveiled in February. The Council included $212 million in funding for Fair Fare...
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by on April 4, 2018
This weekend’s spending deal punted on fixing longstanding problems, thanks to the governor cutting a deal with Republicans. Sorry, kids, no campaign finance reform for you this year. In Albany, a budget is not simply a budget. It is a vast matrix, a behemoth stew, the mashup of unfathomable sums of money ($168 billion this year) and specific, often unrelated policies. Horses are not merely traded; they are herded and hidden and sometimes euthanized on a whim. For progressives...
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by on March 11, 2018
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN told a gathering of progressive lawmakers Friday that seeing her colleagues vote to advance a Wall Street deregulation bill this week was a “stab in the heart.” This week, 16 Senate Democrats voted for the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. It’s a cleverly misnamed bill that would peel back regulations on 25 of the 32 largest banks in the country, removing a slew of consumer protections while relaxing stress tests and other reporting requi...
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by on March 3, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to slap stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum has rattled financial markets and stirred fears that some trading partners might retaliate by dumping U.S. Treasuries. Should China, Japan and other nations, which have recycled their trade dollars through their Treasuries holdings, suddenly decide to whittle them down, markets could be in for a rough ride. Such a retaliatory move, in the wake of Trump’s first big protectionist action, comes at a time w...
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by on February 27, 2018
President Donald Trump and Boeing have struck a deal over the development of two new Air Force One planes at a price tag of $3.9 billion, the White House and Boeing said Tuesday, and the President has asked for the planes to be ready by 2021. Trump met with Boeing executives last Tuesday in the White House to finalize the deal. Two officials said the President asked for the new plane to be done by 2021, the beginning of what would be a second term, which is three years sooner than the ...
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by on February 27, 2018
Puerto Rico's governor said Tuesday that the U.S. Treasury Department has cut a $4.7 billion disaster relief loan available to the U.S. territory by more than half, and he demanded help from Congress.  Gov. Ricardo Rossello said federal officials reduced the amount to $2 billion without providing an explanation nearly five months after Congress approved the loan. He warned the move puts Puerto Rico in a "dangerous financial dilemma" and that his administration could be forced to cut some esse...
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by on February 20, 2018
Basic income is one of the hottest topics in Silicon Valley right now. With growing backlash against the tech industry and the specter of automation looming over millions of Americans, more and more tech titans are urging policymakers to consider guaranteeing every citizen a livable income in the form of direct cash welfare. Chris Hughes None of the tech industry's elite has given this more thought than Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes, who just published a new book on the topic, Fai...
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by on February 16, 2018
On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump promised to fill his Cabinet with the "best people in the world." As President, Trump has indeed hired a fleet of high-flyers -- though not in the way most voters might have hoped. Over the past year, a series of top administration officials have been caught out, shamed and, in the case of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, forced to resign over profligate travel spending. The latest revelation of unseemly business emer...
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by on February 10, 2018
The Department of Homeland Security—which awarded over $23 billion in contracts, grants, and other federal assistance in fiscal year 2017—needs to improve the way it keeps track of risky awardees, according to a recent report by the agency’s Inspector General. The watchdog concluded the Department’s suspension and debarment policies and practices are falling short, making it more difficult for the agency to ensure taxpayers’ money isn’t lost to fraud, waste, and abuse. Federal agencies use su...
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by on February 10, 2018
Protesters rallying for a DACA bill on Capitol Hill last December. Economist Francesc Ortega says the economy would benefit if Congress protected "Dreamers" from deportation.  THE ISSUE There are approximately 3 million residents of the United States who were brought here as children and whose parents do not have legal residence. These DREAMers account for 1.3 percent of the population. About 1.6 million of these individuals meet the eligibility requirements for DACA, the Deferred Ac...
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by on February 8, 2018
The solution starts at the top, with Governor Cuomo and MTA leadership. Why was the Second Avenue Subway the most expensive subway project per mile in human history? When he began looking into the MTA over the summer, New York Times reporter Brian Rosenthal didn’t set out to expose waste in the agency’s capital construction practices. Rosenthal and his colleagues simply wanted to understand why subway service was falling to pieces. “Through the process, we heard from a lot of people...
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by on February 3, 2018
2017 was a pivotal year for women, beginning with the historic marches that took place after Trump’s inauguration and continuing throughout the year with an unprecedented surge of women stepping up to run for office, organizing grassroots actions at a local level and supporting powerful movements, such as #MeToo, at a global level. We saw women everywhere become resolute, energized and acting as a collective transformative force, speaking out for justice, equality and change in our country and t...
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