Back from the holidays, Congress is hearing calls to raise the minimum wage, renew long-term unemployment insurance and spare food stamps from sharp budget cuts. But with most members now in the millionaire club, these issues are more and more abstract, writes Michael Winship.
While many reformers have focused on money in politics, a parallel danger comes from the billions of dollars that right-wing ideologues have poured into media. The likes of Rupert Murdoch have made an art form out of peddling “populism” that serves the financial elites, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
The U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government to “provide for the … general Welfare,” but free-market ideologues have distorted the Founding document’s plain language to fit their desires, including their new demands that food-safety rules be gutted, as Michael Winship explains.
The anger of Tea Partiers, as they precipitate a federal government shutdown, still burns from the IRS “scandal” of earlier this year, even though the supposed singling out of conservative groups proved to be a myth. But the furor disrupted IRS policing of political money abuses, writes Michael Winship.
Pro football is big business and America’s fascination with often violent sports has made Disney’s ESPN a lucrative franchise. So there is much money on the line over the issue of concussion-related disabilities, explaining the NFL’s desire to keep the medical science secret, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
Between a Congress dominated by Tea Party extremists and a Supreme Court controlled by corporate partisans, hopes for addressing America’s worsening income inequality are dim. But union leader Richard Trumka says the fight is more crucial than ever, writes Michael Winship.