Trumpcare Is a Giant Slush Fund

Republicans in the Senate have spent very little time crafting their health care bill, attempting to ram it through with scant input from experts or advocates. That frenzy to get something done without stopping to think about the consequences has landed the bill in trouble: On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the legislation after the Congressional Budget Office … [Read more...]

How the Pill Made the American Economy Great

While congressional Republicans are busy working on their secret health care bill, President Donald Trump is already undoing pieces of Obamacare on his own. He pledged during the campaign that he would roll back a regulation issued as part of the Affordable Care Act that requires contraception to be covered without co-pay in insurance plans. The rule had angered religious employers, who objected … [Read more...]

Unemployment just fell for all the wrong reasons

Thousands of people gave up on work.CREDIT: iStockThe economy added 138,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.3 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs added was less than the 185,000 analysts had expected.The unemployment rate is now at a 16-year low, but it appears to have fallen for mostly negative reasons last … [Read more...]

The National Endowment for the Arts fuels rural economies. Trump wants to eliminate it.

“We’ve done exactly what an investor would want to see: taken the [NEA] money and leveraged it into private investment.”CREDIT: Flickr/Knight FoundationBlayze Buseth was always an artsy kid while growing up in the small, rural town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. But he never imagined that he could turn his love of ceramics into a profession.“I really didn’t even consider creating artwork as being … [Read more...]

Google says it costs too much to prove that it has no gender pay gap

Google claims it analyzes its own pay data every year but that it would cost too much to hand it over to the government.Google CEO Sundar Pichai. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric RisbergEarlier this year, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) accused Google of having a “systemic” gap in pay between men and women. In its defense, Google shot back by saying that its own internal analysis shows that it has … [Read more...]

Democrats aren’t having it with Trump’s infrastructure plan

Trump is bent on privatizing America’s infrastructure, but Democrats aren’t going to get on board.President Trump speaking at a metals recycling facility during the presidential campaign. CREDIT: AP Photo/Keith SrakocicPresident Trump pledged on the campaign trail to create a trillion-dollar infrastructure program once elected, something that at first seemed like it might attract Democratic … [Read more...]

Trump wants to end a program that helps people in nearly every community in America

Trump’s budget eliminates the Community Development Block Grant, a massive and important source of funding for local needs.CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald HerbertJust before delivering her first son, Pam Lozano started looking for childcare. She only had a certain amount that she could spend on it, though, given that she was a student in medical assisting school. While she looked at several daycares in … [Read more...]

Trump’s budget would limit food stamp benefits for larger families

The proposal echoes racist, sexist myths about “welfare queens.”Budget director Mick Mulvaney holding a copy of President Trump’s budget. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew HarnikAs things currently stand, a household that qualifies for assistance to buy food gets a larger food stamp benefit if it has a larger family. The logic is pretty clear: the more people there are to feed, the more help a low-income … [Read more...]

Bank previously run by Trump’s treasury secretary pays big fine for defrauding the government

Steve Mnuchin oversaw OneWest during the time that the government said it got FHA money it didn’t qualify for.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin shaking hands with President Donald Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex BrandonThe reverse mortgage subsidiary of OneWest, the bank founded and formerly run by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that was later bought by CIT Group, agreed to an $89 million settlement … [Read more...]

America’s biggest employers leave their hourly workers out of paid family leave

Many companies offer corporate employees generous leave without extending it to the people who actually serve customers.Starbucks baristas Jessica Svabenik, left, who’s expecting a child, and Kristen Picciolo, right, who didn’t get any paid leave. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenNiko Walker has given Starbucks seven years of his hard work, moving up the ranks from barista to shift supervisor. As a … [Read more...]

Missouri lawmakers just took raises away from minimum wage workers

“They literally took money out of the pockets of individuals.”Fight for 15 protesters in a Kansas City, Missouri Taco Bell in 2014. CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie RiedelBettie Douglas was about to start her long walk to the bus to go to work on Monday morning when a man from the water company showed up at her house in St. Louis, Missouri. He was there to cut off her service.That news threw her into a … [Read more...]

States have green light to drug test the unemployed

An Obama-era rule that restricted drug testing for unemployment insurance is now history.Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) on the left, who authored the original provision. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteSince the 1960s, federal law has banned states from drug testing jobless people who apply for unemployment benefits. After the recession, however, Republicans wanted to allow … [Read more...]

The 2020 Census is in big trouble

The Census Bureau’s leader just stepped down just as it faces a huge funding crunch.A volunteer advertising the 2010 Census. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jason E. MiczekThe Census Bureau now has no leader after John Thompson resigned from his position as director on Tuesday. His resignation comes at a critical time as the agency gears up to conduct the 2020 Census — and was already facing big funding … [Read more...]

Bosses steal billions from their workers every year

Wage theft takes more from American workers than burglaries and robberies.CREDIT: AP Photo/Paul SancyaIt’s been illegal for a company to pay an employee less than the minimum wage — today, at least $7.25 an hour, although in many states it’s higher — for nearly 80 years. So when Daniel started working at a restaurant in New York City almost a decade ago, he expected that’s what he’d make.He was … [Read more...]

New York City bans salary histories

A new law will keep past pay out of the hiring process in an effort to give women and people of color a clean slate.New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) with Reps. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D) and Nita Lowey (D). CREDIT: AP Photo/Peter MorganIf you apply for a job in New York City after October, you might notice a change in the process: your potential employer won’t ask you what you made … [Read more...]

Flint activist who fought poisoned water now faces foreclosure for overdue water bill

The city has warned 8,000 residents that they could face foreclosure over refusing to pay for poisoned water.Flint resident Melissa Mays in 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carlos OsorioMelissa Mays and her family have been through a lot. They’ve been living in their four bedroom house with a big backyard in Flint, Michigan since 2009; they were there in early 2014, when the city’s water source changed and … [Read more...]

It shouldn’t have taken decades for Fox to fire its harassers

The network tolerated abusive behavior for years until it was no longer financially feasible.Bill O’Reilly, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes. (AP Images)Bill O’Reilly became the second high-profile Fox figure to be pushed out in less than a year when the company announced on Wednesday it was ending his employment. His departure comes just months after former Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes was … [Read more...]

Trump would eliminate some parents’ only source of affordable childcare

Despite his pledges to make childcare affordable, Trump’s budget would undo federal funding for afterschool programs.Students in New York City’s Citywide Afterschool program. CREDIT: Gary He/AP Images for BendaroosWanda Hill couldn’t work last year for the simple reason that her kids couldn’t get into a free afterschool program.She cares full-time for one of her children and four of her … [Read more...]