Rants & Raves for the Week of August 16th, 2010
State workers once again face a mandatory three-day-a-month furlough after the state Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s decision to temporarily halt the furloughs. The Governor ordered mandatory furloughs for 150,000 state workers in February 2009, supposedly to save money. The furloughs amount to roughly a 15% cut in pay for state workers, dealing a major blow to the economy in Sacramento and other areas that have large concentrations of state workers. Now ‘Furlough Fridays’ are resuming for state workers, despite studies that have shown that the furloughs do not save the state money and may actually cost the state in lost revenue due to work backlogs and loss of licensing and other fees.
Yet another greedy ex-CEO reveals her true colors on economic policy — GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina recently announced that she wants to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. The tax cuts have already cost our country trillions in lost revenue over the last nine years, and respected economists agree that they’ve done little to stimulate our economy (unlike tax cuts for the poor and middle-class, which have proven time and again to be far more beneficial in stimulating consumer spending and economic growth). Extending them for just one year would add $36 billion to the federal deficit. There’s no doubt that Fiorina supports Bush’s tax breaks for the wealthy because, well, she’s super-wealthy and benefits greatly from them. She completely fails to recognize how this massive tax loophole for rich people and corporations has effected our entire economy. In fact, if not for the Bush tax cuts, we might very well have a surplus right now, instead of a deficit.
Carwash workers in Los Angeles celebrated a huge victory this week when the LA City Attorney announced that two of LA’s worst carwash owners — brothers Benny and Nissan Pirian – have both been sentenced to a year in jail for egregious workplace violations. This major legal victory is in large part due to the carwash workers and allies with the CLEAN carwash campaign, who reported the numerous labor violations that led to the criminal complaint and subsequent conviction. CLEAN carwash campaign director Henry Huerta said it best — “Carwash owners should take notice that workers can—and will—continue to expose illegal workplace conditions in their fight for a voice at work.”
Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed deep cuts to many crucial social services, including In-Home Supportive Services, a program that provides aide workers to allow low-income seniors and the disabled to stay in their homes. This week, the people who depend on IHSS and other state programs came to Sacramento to send a strong message to the Governor—No More Cuts! The theme of the rally was that cuts to services are throwing the most vulnerable Californians into the streets. Protestors illustrated their message blocking the street with their wheelchairs. Police arrested 22 protestors, including eight people in wheelchairs, for civil disobedience. The protestors, however, were willing to take the arrests in order to demonstrate how the cuts will force them out of their homes and into nursing homes or worse yet, leave them out on the streets.
For the first time, we’re raving about Meg Whitman this week, because it turns out her non-stop advertisements are actually working to our benefit. New polling data from the Jerry Brown campaign verifies what we knew all along – Whitman’s ad blitz is repelling more voters than it’s enticing. Most people who have seen a Whitman ad don’t believe her claims are true. Nearly a third of those polled said that Whitman’s ads actual worsened their opinion of her (comparison, only 4 percent of those polled said that Whitman’s ads worsened their opinion of Jerry Brown, despite the fact that the vast majority of her ads are attacking Brown). When will Whitman realize California voters can’t be bought, no matter how many flashy ads you inundate them with?
Highlights from Our Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers–
- From Luke Mauerman [via Facebook]: I sent Mz Whitman an email telling her that if she's able to buy the governorship then the least she could do was also to buy me a pony. She hasn't responded.
- From @sheaanderson [via Twitter]: Every time you see a lying @Whitman2010 ad, donate $1 to @JerryBrown2010. (Will make Jerry a billionaire.)
- From Richard Hausman [via Facebook]: Should [Whitman] become Governor, she'll issue a special coin: her face will be on one side and her other face on the other.