This November, we saw voters taking the first steps to repudiate the
rightwing ideology and institutions that have long dominated much of
the political landscape in our states. For too long, we have seen
rightwing politicians, backed by corporate money and by conservative
think tanks, blocking communities from improving wages, impeding
expansion of health care, and auctioning off public assets and public
contracts to big monied interests.
But now we can build on these progressive victories to build towards a progressive majority in all our states.
On issue after issue of concern to working families, there are solid
majorities for enacting progressive policies. What we need is a
coordinated strategy across states to highlight those issues that can
broaden the coalition of progressive voters and reframe the debate
across the nation about why it matters to working families that
progressives hold office in our statehouses.
Originally Published at TomPaine.com
July 5, 2006
by Matt Singer
Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue offered an astounding $400 million in incentives to Kia, the Korean automaker, to develop a plan that would employ 2,500 Georgians. Each of those jobs came with a $160,000 price tag. But it was nothing compared with what Mississippi was reportedly willing to offer the Korean car company: $1 billion in incentives, or roughly $400,000 per new job created.
In Perdue’s defense, Georgia had recently lost two American auto plants.
Back in April, the Stateside Dispatch profiled successful job creation programs
where states not only invest in dynamic high-tech and inner-city
startup companies, but make money for the taxpayer from many of their
At the core of many voters' frustrations with government is the sense
that, too often, politics is for sale. High-priced lobbyists offering
"gifts" to lawmakers swarm state legislatures; companies looking for
public contracts get too cozy with those handing out public money; and
corporate campaign contributions grease the wheels as public policy is
auctioned to the highest corporate bidder.
Every state with a sales tax imposes a tax burden on low-income families, but as a new report details, 19 out of the 42 states with income taxes levy taxes on two-parent families of four with incomes below the poverty line.
The report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights that some states impose the tax on those in severe poverty.
In Alabama, families with two children owe income tax when their earnings reach just $4,600.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) is pushing forward with a far-reaching proposal for two years of universal pre-kindergarten instruction, starting with three-year-olds.
The proposal has come under fire from both Republicans and some members of the Governor's own party (Chicago Tribune, Registration Required) for being an expensive proposal that won't pass.
Universal pre-K is an extremely popular program, leaving the Governor's critics in the difficu