We elected these public servants. What do we expect our governments to do, from local fire districts and water districts to libraries to school boards, city councils, public utility districts, and county governments?
Republicans in the Congress have lost. The numbers in our state tell the story: In just five days, 9,500 people completed their health care enrollments. Of these, 2,600 got immediate coverage. For the rest of the new enrollees, coverage kicks in on Jan. 1. They want this coverage. One thousand have already made their payments -- two and a half months in advance. It is a story of hope and promise for our state and our country ... that is, if you believe that American citizens should have the right to affordable health care.
As the biggest welfare recipients in the history of our country, these banks have gained political power. They can ignore the long-term consequences of bad risk taking, knowing that before they fail, they will be bailed out. They can lean on government in times of crisis and make off with tremendous profits once the crisis is averted. Enough is enough.
Fifty years ago the Interstate Highway system didn't exist. It took the leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower (a Republican, by the way), to get the ball rolling. Now our country is crisscrossed with 47,000 miles of these high speed highways, thanks to the federal government. The cost was a little under $500 billion. We could never have built highways, or the FAA, if Congress had sequestered the money. And we're crazy to think we can keep those systems running without funds.
As the biggest welfare recipients in the history of our country, these banks have gained political power. They can ignore the long-term consequences of bad risk taking, knowing that before they fail, they will be bailed out. They can lean on government in their times of crisis and make off with tremendous profits once the crisis is averted. Enough is enough. It's time to turn around our priorities and protect families, not bankers.
Choices like this mean our Legislature will have to start raising tuition over and over again. They will have given themselves -- and us -- no choice. Next year, let's hope they begin thinking about how to fund higher education, not high finance. They can do better and we can do better for our children and the generations to come.
Oregon is proposing a radical rethink on paying for college: Free while you're there, maybe 3 percent of your income for 25 years after. John Burbank discusses one state’s stab at a national crisis.
We have many steps to go, to insure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." One hundred fifty years ago today, the soldiers of the Union reclaimed that government. A lot of us take our democracy for granted. We shouldn't. It requires our own contributions along the pathway toward justice. It's our work as Americans to build that democracy, day in and day out. That's a good thing to celebrate on the Fourth of July.
Soon, we hope, there will be fewer people in Tacoma sending sick kids to school and showing up to work when they should be home in bed. Under a new proposal announced by Healthy Tacoma, a coalition of more than 30 groups representing communities of color, labor, small business, civic, and faith organizations, all people working in Tacoma will be able to earn Paid Sick and Safe Time that can be used to care for their own illness, a sick family member, or to deal with the effects of domestic violence and stalking.
Our job now is not to backslide into the belief that we can do better without government. If we do away with regulation, funding for education, and the infrastructure we all take for granted, private industry won't come running in to fill that void.
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