Thursday, August 12, 2010

Boxer v. Fiorina- what is at stake?





Boxer v. Fiorina
In considering this important election, we should clearly look at the recent voting record. 
Given the economic crisis caused by finance capital, the stimulus was too small, and had too many tax cuts in it.  It was small because  Republicans blocked a larger stimulus from  getting through the Senate.   But, Boxer and the Senate passed  the biggest jobs bill in U.S. history, and the biggest investment in public goods (schools, teachers, roads, bridges, clean energy, firefighters, cops, broadband, etc.). The health care bill had big flaws, including the lack of a public option. We should have gone for Single Payer to save money and to improve the system.  But, Single Payer could not get through the Senate- Republicans would not even allow it to come up for a vote.  Obama  and the Democrats  including Barbara Boxer succeeded at extending health  coverage to virtually everyone and reining in major insurance abuses (on pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, etc.).  Every  prior Democratic President for almost 60 years had tried and failed.
The financial reform bill is a good start. There were very significant victories in reining in the financial sector, and the Administration went the right direction on financial regulation .  ( See my essay “The best way to rob a bank is to own one.” )  Boxer and the Democrats passed the bill. The financial reform bill should have been stronger, re-implementing Glass-Steagall type protection, but the Republican Senators would not permit it, and they would not permit a vote on it.
Democrats and progressives  won a major victory on, and expansion of, the student loan program for college students.  The  Lilly Leadbetter equal pay law got passed, S-CHIP got expanded, the hate crimes bill got signed.    At the same time, major legislation has been stopped- climate change, immigration, and more jobs by Republicans.  And, U.S. combat forces are leaving Iraq.
Last week the Senate and the House passed, and President Obama signed an additional stimulus of 26 billion dollars to fund teachers, Medicaid, and public service jobs.  (see posts below) None of this would have happened if Carly Fiorina was the second senator from California.
 We are now entering another slow down of the economy.  This slow down was caused by the Republicans refusal to pass additional stimulus money for jobs, health care, and public works.

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