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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This Is What The President Needs To Say In His State Of The Union Address

In his State of the Union address next week, we expect that President Obama will discuss the Affordable Care Act, NSA reform, immigration reform, and climate change. More important, we anticipate that he will renew his commitment to mitigating economic inequality — a theme he began emphasizing last month. We have discussed here and elsewhere the perilous trend of rising inequality. Stan and James devoted much of their book It’s the Middle Class, Stupid to diagnosing and offering solutions for this defining issue of our time.

When the president turns to this theme next week, we hope that he does not dwell on the successes of the economy, which may be apparent in employment statistics, the GDP, and stock market gains, but are not felt at the grocery store.…

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Republicans, Take Some Free Advice: Raise the Minimum Wage

We do not expect House Republicans to take up an increase in the minimum wage during this Congress. But if they did, they would find themselves on the right side of history and public opinion.

A survey of American adults released last week by Quinnipiac University found that 71 percent — including majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — support raising the minimum wage; 51 percent believe it should be raised to $10.10 an hour or higher.

Our own research has found that raising the minimum wage is consistently and increasingly one of the most powerful policies that we test on our national surveys.…

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Boehner’s Stance On Unemployment Insurance Must Be A Joke

Earlier this week, the Senate passed a bill to extend long-term unemployment insurance, a measure that would restore assistance to the estimated 1.3 million workers whose benefits expired at the end of December. And while just six Republican senators joined the majority, the bill was pronounced “bipartisan.” Apparently this is what passes for Republican participation these days.

House Speaker John Boehner’s response to the Senate’s action was that the UI extension would need to be paid for with cuts elsewhere, and also include incentives for the unemployed to get back to work. Instead of trying to extend unemployment insurance, Boehner said, the House should “remain focused on growing the economy.” As the Speaker himself might put it: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?…

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