Yesterday I spoke to 1,500 of America’s social workers, gathered in Washington to learn ways to stretch their shrinking budgets to better help their needy clients. Today, I talked with some members of congress and old friends from government about what’s happening in Washington (and also did ABC’s “This Week”). The contrast couldn’t have been greater.
The social workers are admirable. With ever-shrinking budgets they’re trying to cope with symptoms of growing poverty, widening inequality, increasing insecurity. The so-called recovery is bypassing most Americans.
Yet Washington is paralyzed, unable and unwilling to raise the minimum wage, expand the EITC, exempt the first $15,000 of income from the Social Security payroll tax and lift the cap on income subject to it, forgive student debts of graduates who go into teaching or social work or other low-paying but socially important professions, provide a minimum guaranteed income for all Americans, invest in world-class schools and roads, move toward single-payer health insurance, and raise taxes on the wealthiest to pay for all this.
A midterm election is almost three months away. Between now and then, please mobilize everyone you know to vote.