Republicans Attack Social Security, Medicare. Voters Bite Back.

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Schadenfreude, delight in an an adversary’s trouble, isn’t nice. Most of the time I am nice, or at least I try to be. Right now, though, I’m enjoying videos of town hall meetings conducted by certain Republican congress members; their constituents, many of whom identify themselves as former supporters, are chewing [...]

Any Bets on Whether Congress Cuts Farm Subsidies?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The current enthusiasm in Congress for slashing the Federal budget looks to the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) like an opportunity to inject some common sense into the way government spends money on agriculture. The organization, based in tiny Lyons, Nebraska (population 963) has some big ideas about where cuts in [...]

On Children, Pesticides, and Strawberries – UPDATED

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson UPDATE: Near the end of this post is a link to the EPA page where you can place a comment. It’s not obvious how to do this, so I’ve added instructions at the bottom of this page. Of the 80-thousand-plus chemicals in use today, most have never been tested, either for [...]

They Don’t Even See Us

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson When I wrote, in a recent post, that the rich and far-right-wing legislators “don’t even see us,” I was basing that statement on social science research, not mere opinion. A paper published by the Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research, located in the southern part of The Netherlands, found that people [...]

Happy Tax Day

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Today’s the day. If you wait til tomorrow to pay your Federal income tax bill you may be subject to interest and penalties.  If you’re lucky enough to earn enough to pay income taxes, you can still do it online for free, and make the deadline. As a public service, here [...]

Now There Are Four

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson You could say this is going to be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. But given the quality of the broth so far, you’d have a hard time convincing me that input from the left is going to spoil the mixture of budget proposals from the center right [...]

A Tale of Two Visions

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson President Barack Obama had just about lost me before he gave his budget policy speech on March 13 at George Washington University. I’m not saying he’s got me all the way back, that I’ll contribute to his re-election campaign more than I can afford, the way I did in 2007-8. For [...]

Senate Dems and Planned Parenthood — 2012 Scenarios

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson [See end of post for an update.] In return for getting the Republicans to drop their demand that Planned Parenthood’s funding be set to zero, President Obama (and, presumably, Majority Leader Harry Reid) agreed to let the matter come up for a vote in the Senate, the House having already decided [...]

It’s Not About the Money

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Usually, when people say it’s not about the money, you know it is about the money. But this time, it’s not about the money. I’m talking, of course, about the budget impasse that bids fair to shut down the government at midnight tonight. In February, House Republicans set a target of [...]

Shutdown: What about the USDA?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I checked with the USDA today to see what programs and services will continue to operate if a budget compromise isn’t achieved by Friday night. The agency official I spoke with, who asked that I identify him that way, told me plans are not final, but that “in the event of [...]