Business

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel

 

            LOS ANGELES,Calif.– For a fourth year in a row, the African American poverty rate more than doubled that of non-Hispanic white Americans, according to 2010 data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

At 27.4 percent, the African American poverty rate also nearly doubled the overallU.S.poverty rate - 15.1 percent.

"The figures are both startling and very telling," said Rev. Derrick Boykin, associate for African American Leadership Outreach at Bread for the World. 

"That the African American poverty rate is twice as high as the poverty rate for whites reveals that African Americans continue to suffer disproportionately from social injustices."

African American children suffered from poverty at an even higher rate - 39.1 percent.  In mid September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released annual food insecurity data revealing that 25.1 percent of African Americans were reported hungry in 2010. 

Widespread and prolonged unemployment, among other factors, contributed to these high figures. At the same time, real median household income for African Americans declined to $32,068 in 2010-less than two-thirds the real median income of White households.

Accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would show 5.4 million fewer people - including 3 million children - living in poverty.  The figures would have been much higher without federally funded safety net programs which help keep poverty and food insecurity numbers down as families work to get on their feet. 

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - or "Super Committee" - met recently to determine how to balance the federal budget and reduce the deficit.

The committee must identify $1.5 trillion in federal deficit reductions, and funding is at risk for federal safety - net programs that helped many Americans offset the ongoing impacts of the recession and stay out of poverty last year.

"If it weren't for safety net programs like WIC, SNAP, and others, many more African-American households would be suffering," added Boykin.

"We urge the Super Committee to consider other alternatives to cutting programs that support vulnerable people as lawmakers work to reduce our Nation’s deficit."

Equally alarming, the Census Bureau report also revealed that the Hispanic poverty rate increased to 26.6 percent, up from 25.3 percent in 2009.  The poverty rate for Hispanic children increased to 35 percent.

 

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

WASHINGTON, D.C.African Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment.

Likewise, when consumers are more aware of their buying power it can help them make informed decisions about the companies they want to support. So says The State of the African American Consumer Report, released recently, collaboratively by Nielsen and The National Newspaper Publishers Association.

                “Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).

“It is our hope that by collaborating with Nielsen, we’ll be able to tell the African American consumer story in a manner in which businesses will understand. And that this understanding will propel those in the C-Suite to develop stronger, more inclusive strategies that optimize their market growth in Black communities, which would be a win-win for all of us.”

                The report, the first of three annual installments in a three year alliance between Nielsen and NNPA, showcases the buying and media habits and consumer trends of African-Americans.

                The 41st Annual Legislative Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference week’s activities set the backdrop for the announcement. Flanked by civic, business and legislative leaders, Nielsen and NNPA executives spoke about the relevance and importance of the information shared in the report and the fact that it will be distributed in NNPA’s 200+ publications, reaching millions of readers.

“We see this alliance with NNPA as an opportunity to share valuable insights, unique consumer behavior patterns and purchasing trends with millions of readers,” said Susan Whiting, vice chair, Nielsen. 

“By sharing, for example, that African Americans over-index in several key areas, including television viewing and mobile phone usage, we’ve provided a better picture of where the African American community can leverage that buying power to help their communities.

“Likewise the information literally points businesses in the right direction for growing market share and developing long range strategies for reaching this important demographic group.”

Consumer trends included in the report include eye-opening facts such as:

 

  • With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.
  • There were 23.9 million active African American Internet users in July 2011 – 76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
  • Thirty-three percent of all African Americans own a smart phone.
  • African Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites – 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.
  • African Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African Americans also spend 300 percent more in higher end retail grocers like Whole Foods® than any other high income household.
  • A record number of 12.5 million African American viewers helped make this year’s Super Bowl the most watched program ever.
  • The number of African American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64 percent, a rate close to 12 percent greater than the change in the overall population’s earning between 2000 and 2009. This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community’s economic power.
  • The percentage of African Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44 percent for men and 53 percent for women.
  • African American women account for 64 percent of theU.S.labor workforce compared to only 60 percent of non-African American women.

                In addition to NNPA’s distribution of the report to its millions of readers through 200+ newspapers and online viewers nationwide, the report is also available at www.nielsen.com and www.nielsen.com/African-American – Nielsen’s microsite which highlights tailored information to the African-American community.

 

 

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Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

The White House Summary

The American Jobs Act reflects a commitment to strengthen the recovery and help increase access to jobs for all Americans. With unemployment among African Americans at an unacceptably high rate of 16.7 percent – and 1.4 million African Americans out of work for more than six months – the President believes that inaction is not an option.

President Obama is putting out a plan to increase the pace of job creation. These measures – which will expand opportunities for the long-term unemployed to reenter the workforce, provide incentives for businesses to hire, and make investments in revitalizing schools, infrastructure and neighborhoods – will help create new job opportunities in African American communities and across the country.

For example:

The extension of unemployment insurance will benefit 1.4 million African Americans and their families.

At the same time, the President is proposing bipartisan reforms that will enable that – as these families continue to receive UI benefits – the program is better tailored to support reemployment for the long-term unemployed.

Targeted support for the long-term unemployed could help the 1.4 million African Americans who have been looking for work for more than six months: To help them in their search for work, the President is calling for a new tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed.

A commitment to rebuilding and revitalizing communities across the country will target investments to the communities hardest-hit by the recession.

The President’s investments in infrastructure include a school construction initiative with a significant commitment to the largest urban school districts, an investment in revitalizing communities that have been devastated by foreclosures, and a new initiative to expand infrastructure employment opportunities for minorities, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Support for subsidized jobs and summer/year-round jobs for African American youth – for whom unemployment is above 30 percent.

In an environment with an unemployment rate of 32.4 percent for African American youths, the President is proposing to build on successful programs like the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund to create jobs and provide training for those hardest-hit by the recession.

An extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut for nearly 20 million African American workers.

By extending the payroll tax cut for employees next year and expanding it to cut payroll taxes in half, the President’s plan will help increase the paychecks of nearly 20 million African American workers – providing them with more money to spend in their communities.

Tax Cuts to Help African American Owned Small Businesses Hire and Grow:

Providing Tax Cuts That Will Help Over 100,000 African American Owned Small Businesses: The President is proposing tax cuts that will go to every small business nationwide – including over 100,000 African American-owned small businesses.

These tax cuts will cut employer payroll taxes in half for these businesses, provide them with an added bonus for increasing their payroll, and extend 100 percent expensing provisions that provide an incentive for investment.

Example: A small business has 40 employees, with an average salary of $40,000 a year – meaning a total payroll of $1.6 million. The business adds another 20 employees with the same average salary.

Under the President’s plan, the business would receive a $49,600 tax cut on the payroll taxes of its existing employees, and another $49,600 tax cut due to the new employees.

Helping African American-owned Small Businesses Access Capital and Grow: The President’s plan includes administrative, regulatory and legislative measures – including those developed and recommended by the President’s Jobs Council – to help small firms start and expand.

This includes changing the way the government does business with small firms and working with the SEC to conduct a comprehensive review of securities regulations from the perspective of these small companies to reduce the regulatory burdens on small business capital formation in ways that are consistent with investor protection.

In addition, the President is calling for comprehensive patent reform, increased guarantees for bonds to help small businesses compete for infrastructure projects and the removal of burdensome withholding requirements that keep capital out of the hands of job creators.

Putting African American Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America:

Project Rebuild: Putting People Back to Work Rehabilitating Homes, Businesses and Communities. The President is proposing to invest $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses.

Building on proven approaches to stabilizing neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures, Project Rebuild will bring in expertise and capital from the private sector, focus on commercial and residential property improvements, and expand innovative property solutions like land banks.

This approach will not only create construction jobs but will help reduce blight and crime and stabilize housing prices in areas hardest hit by the housing crisis.

Targeted Investments to Modernize Schools Serving Low-Income Students – From Science Labs and Internet-Ready Classrooms to Renovated Facilities:

The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st Century needs.

Funds could be used for a range of emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos abatement and removal, and modernization efforts to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade technology in our schools.

And they would be targeted at the lowest-income districts – with 40 percent, or $10 billion, directed towards the 100 largest high-need public school districts.

The President also is proposing a $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges, bolstering their infrastructure in this time of need while ensuring their ability to serve future generations of students and communities.

Putting Construction Workers Back on the Job By Modernizing Infrastructure – With a Focus on Expanding Access to These Jobs:

 In order to jump start critical infrastructure projects and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, the President’s plan includes $50 billion in immediate investments for highway, highway safety, transit, passenger rail, and aviation activities – with one fifth of the funding advancing a transformation of how we finance transportation infrastructure and what we finance.

To ensure that the employment benefits of these projects can be broadly shared, the President’s plan would invest an additional $50 million in 2012 to enhance employment and job training opportunities for minorities, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in transportation related activities, including construction, contract administration, inspection, and security.

His plan will also invest an additional $10 million in 2012 to help minority-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises gain better access to transportation contracts. And it will ensure that infrastructure investments allow for the hiring of local workers, to maximize economic benefits for communities where projects are located.

Preventing Layoffs of Teachers, Cops and Firefighters: The President is proposing to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job.

These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, requiring that funds be drawn down quickly. Under the President’s proposal, $30 billion be directed towards educators and $5 billion would go to the cops and firefighters who keep our communities safe.

Tax Credits and Career Readiness Efforts to Support Veterans’ Hiring:

The President is proposing a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit of up to $9,600 for hiring unemployed workers with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months, while creating a new task force to maximize career readiness of service members.

Pathways Back to Work for African Americans Looking for Jobs

Extending Unemployment Insurance So That 1.4 Million African-Americans Looking For Work Do Not Lose Their Benefits: In December, the President successfully fought for unemployment insurance to be extended.

The President has called for a further extension into 2012 to prevent 1.4 million African Americans from losing their benefits next year.

Targeted Support to Help The Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work: The recession pushed long-term unemployment rates to its highest levels since the Great Depression – with an estimated 1.4 million African Americans out of work for more than six months. The President’s plan is targeted directly at helping these Americans get back to work by, for example:

o Tax Credits for Hiring the Long-Term Unemployed: The President is proposing a tax credit to provide up to $4,000 for hiring workers who have been looking for a job for over six months.

o “Bridge to Work” Programs: States will be able to put in place reforms that build off what works in programs like Georgia Works or Opportunity North Carolina, while instituting important fixes and reforms that ensure minimum wage and fair labor protections are being enforced.

These approaches permits long-term unemployed workers to continue receiving UI while they take temporary, voluntary work or pursue work-based training. The President’s plan requires compliance with applicable minimum wage and other worker rights laws.

o Wage Insurance: States will be able to use UI to encourage older, long-term unemployed Americans to return to work in new industries or occupations.

o Startup Assistance: States will have flexibility to help long-term unemployed workers create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses.

o Other Reemployment Reforms: States will be able to seek waivers from the Secretary of Labor to implement other innovative reforms to connect the long-term unemployed to work opportunities.

Prohibiting Employers from Discriminating Against Unemployed Workers: The President’s plan calls for legislation that would make it unlawful to refuse to hire applicants solely because they are unemployed or to include in a job posting a provision that unemployed persons will not be considered.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have also proposed making discrimination against the unemployed illegal, in response to "widespread reports of job listings that explicitly exclude unemployed applicants."

Investing in Low-Income Youth and Adults: The President is proposing a new Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. The Initiative will do three things:

o Support for Summer and Year-Round Jobs for Youth: The Recovery Act provided over 367,000 summer job opportunities through the public workforce investment system to young people in the summers of 2009 and 2010. Such programs not only provided young people with their first paycheck, but taught them life-long employment skills.

Building on this success, the new Pathways Back to Work Fund will provide states with support for summer job programs for low-income youth in 2012, and year-round employment for economically disadvantaged young adults.

o Subsidized Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals Who Are Unemployed: This effort builds off the successful TANF Emergency Contingency Fund wage subsidy program that supported 260,000 jobs through the recovery. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), this flexible program allowed States to reduce the cost and risk associated with new hiring, encouraging private-sector businesses to hire new workers.

o Support for Local Efforts to Implement Promising Work-Based Strategies and to Provide Training Opportunities: This initiative would support efforts that have good records of placing low-income adults and youths in jobs quickly.

Local officials, in partnership with local workforce boards, business, community colleges, and other partners, will be able to apply for funding to support promising strategies designed to lead to employment in the short-term.

More Money in the Pockets of Every African American Worker, Supporting Local Communities

Cutting the Payroll Tax Next Year — Benefitting Nearly 20 Million African-American Workers: The President is proposing to extend and expand the payroll tax cut passed last December, increasing it to 3.1 percent for 2012. In total, this will help nearly 20 million African American workers who pay payroll taxes.

Example: A household with $33,000 in income – near the median for African-American households nationwide – would typically pay about $2,050 in Social Security taxes. In 2011, that household would receive a payroll tax cut of $660. By expanding the payroll tax cut, that household will receive over $1,000.

Fully Paid for As Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan

• To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target.

The White House Summary

The American Jobs Act reflects a commitment to strengthen the recovery and help increase access to jobs for all Americans. With unemployment among African Americans at an unacceptably high rate of 16.7 percent – and 1.4 million African Americans out of work for more than six months – the President believes that inaction is not an option.

President Obama is putting out a plan to increase the pace of job creation. These measures – which will expand opportunities for the long-term unemployed to reenter the workforce, provide incentives for businesses to hire, and make investments in revitalizing schools, infrastructure and neighborhoods – will help create new job opportunities in African American communities and across the country.

For example:

The extension of unemployment insurance will benefit 1.4 million African Americans and their families.

At the same time, the President is proposing bipartisan reforms that will enable that – as these families continue to receive UI benefits – the program is better tailored to support reemployment for the long-term unemployed.

Targeted support for the long-term unemployed could help the 1.4 million African Americans who have been looking for work for more than six months: To help them in their search for work, the President is calling for a new tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed.

A commitment to rebuilding and revitalizing communities across the country will target investments to the communities hardest-hit by the recession.

The President’s investments in infrastructure include a school construction initiative with a significant commitment to the largest urban school districts, an investment in revitalizing communities that have been devastated by foreclosures, and a new initiative to expand infrastructure employment opportunities for minorities, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Support for subsidized jobs and summer/year-round jobs for African American youth – for whom unemployment is above 30 percent.

In an environment with an unemployment rate of 32.4 percent for African American youths, the President is proposing to build on successful programs like the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund to create jobs and provide training for those hardest-hit by the recession.

An extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut for nearly 20 million African American workers.

By extending the payroll tax cut for employees next year and expanding it to cut payroll taxes in half, the President’s plan will help increase the paychecks of nearly 20 million African American workers – providing them with more money to spend in their communities.

Tax Cuts to Help African American Owned Small Businesses Hire and Grow:

Providing Tax Cuts That Will Help Over 100,000 African American Owned Small Businesses: The President is proposing tax cuts that will go to every small business nationwide – including over 100,000 African American-owned small businesses.

These tax cuts will cut employer payroll taxes in half for these businesses, provide them with an added bonus for increasing their payroll, and extend 100 percent expensing provisions that provide an incentive for investment.

Example: A small business has 40 employees, with an average salary of $40,000 a year – meaning a total payroll of $1.6 million. The business adds another 20 employees with the same average salary.

Under the President’s plan, the business would receive a $49,600 tax cut on the payroll taxes of its existing employees, and another $49,600 tax cut due to the new employees.

Helping African American-owned Small Businesses Access Capital and Grow: The President’s plan includes administrative, regulatory and legislative measures – including those developed and recommended by the President’s Jobs Council – to help small firms start and expand.

This includes changing the way the government does business with small firms and working with the SEC to conduct a comprehensive review of securities regulations from the perspective of these small companies to reduce the regulatory burdens on small business capital formation in ways that are consistent with investor protection.

In addition, the President is calling for comprehensive patent reform, increased guarantees for bonds to help small businesses compete for infrastructure projects and the removal of burdensome withholding requirements that keep capital out of the hands of job creators.

Putting African American Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America:

Project Rebuild: Putting People Back to Work Rehabilitating Homes, Businesses and Communities. The President is proposing to invest $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses.

Building on proven approaches to stabilizing neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures, Project Rebuild will bring in expertise and capital from the private sector, focus on commercial and residential property improvements, and expand innovative property solutions like land banks.

This approach will not only create construction jobs but will help reduce blight and crime and stabilize housing prices in areas hardest hit by the housing crisis.

Targeted Investments to Modernize Schools Serving Low-Income Students – From Science Labs and Internet-Ready Classrooms to Renovated Facilities:

The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st Century needs.

Funds could be used for a range of emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos abatement and removal, and modernization efforts to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade technology in our schools.

And they would be targeted at the lowest-income districts – with 40 percent, or $10 billion, directed towards the 100 largest high-need public school districts.

The President also is proposing a $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges, bolstering their infrastructure in this time of need while ensuring their ability to serve future generations of students and communities.

Putting Construction Workers Back on the Job By Modernizing Infrastructure – With a Focus on Expanding Access to These Jobs:

 In order to jump start critical infrastructure projects and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, the President’s plan includes $50 billion in immediate investments for highway, highway safety, transit, passenger rail, and aviation activities – with one fifth of the funding advancing a transformation of how we finance transportation infrastructure and what we finance.

To ensure that the employment benefits of these projects can be broadly shared, the President’s plan would invest an additional $50 million in 2012 to enhance employment and job training opportunities for minorities, women, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in transportation related activities, including construction, contract administration, inspection, and security.

His plan will also invest an additional $10 million in 2012 to help minority-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises gain better access to transportation contracts. And it will ensure that infrastructure investments allow for the hiring of local workers, to maximize economic benefits for communities where projects are located.

Preventing Layoffs of Teachers, Cops and Firefighters: The President is proposing to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job.

These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, requiring that funds be drawn down quickly. Under the President’s proposal, $30 billion be directed towards educators and $5 billion would go to the cops and firefighters who keep our communities safe.

Tax Credits and Career Readiness Efforts to Support Veterans’ Hiring:

The President is proposing a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit of up to $9,600 for hiring unemployed workers with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months, while creating a new task force to maximize career readiness of service members.

Pathways Back to Work for African Americans Looking for Jobs

Extending Unemployment Insurance So That 1.4 Million African-Americans Looking For Work Do Not Lose Their Benefits: In December, the President successfully fought for unemployment insurance to be extended.

The President has called for a further extension into 2012 to prevent 1.4 million African Americans from losing their benefits next year.

Targeted Support to Help The Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work: The recession pushed long-term unemployment rates to its highest levels since the Great Depression – with an estimated 1.4 million African Americans out of work for more than six months. The President’s plan is targeted directly at helping these Americans get back to work by, for example:

o Tax Credits for Hiring the Long-Term Unemployed: The President is proposing a tax credit to provide up to $4,000 for hiring workers who have been looking for a job for over six months.

o “Bridge to Work” Programs: States will be able to put in place reforms that build off what works in programs like Georgia Works or Opportunity North Carolina, while instituting important fixes and reforms that ensure minimum wage and fair labor protections are being enforced.

These approaches permits long-term unemployed workers to continue receiving UI while they take temporary, voluntary work or pursue work-based training. The President’s plan requires compliance with applicable minimum wage and other worker rights laws.

o Wage Insurance: States will be able to use UI to encourage older, long-term unemployed Americans to return to work in new industries or occupations.

o Startup Assistance: States will have flexibility to help long-term unemployed workers create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses.

o Other Reemployment Reforms: States will be able to seek waivers from the Secretary of Labor to implement other innovative reforms to connect the long-term unemployed to work opportunities.

Prohibiting Employers from Discriminating Against Unemployed Workers: The President’s plan calls for legislation that would make it unlawful to refuse to hire applicants solely because they are unemployed or to include in a job posting a provision that unemployed persons will not be considered.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have also proposed making discrimination against the unemployed illegal, in response to "widespread reports of job listings that explicitly exclude unemployed applicants."

Investing in Low-Income Youth and Adults: The President is proposing a new Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. The Initiative will do three things:

o Support for Summer and Year-Round Jobs for Youth: The Recovery Act provided over 367,000 summer job opportunities through the public workforce investment system to young people in the summers of 2009 and 2010. Such programs not only provided young people with their first paycheck, but taught them life-long employment skills.

Building on this success, the new Pathways Back to Work Fund will provide states with support for summer job programs for low-income youth in 2012, and year-round employment for economically disadvantaged young adults.

o Subsidized Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals Who Are Unemployed: This effort builds off the successful TANF Emergency Contingency Fund wage subsidy program that supported 260,000 jobs through the recovery. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), this flexible program allowed States to reduce the cost and risk associated with new hiring, encouraging private-sector businesses to hire new workers.

o Support for Local Efforts to Implement Promising Work-Based Strategies and to Provide Training Opportunities: This initiative would support efforts that have good records of placing low-income adults and youths in jobs quickly.

Local officials, in partnership with local workforce boards, business, community colleges, and other partners, will be able to apply for funding to support promising strategies designed to lead to employment in the short-term.

More Money in the Pockets of Every African American Worker, Supporting Local Communities

Cutting the Payroll Tax Next Year — Benefitting Nearly 20 Million African-American Workers: The President is proposing to extend and expand the payroll tax cut passed last December, increasing it to 3.1 percent for 2012. In total, this will help nearly 20 million African American workers who pay payroll taxes.

Example: A household with $33,000 in income – near the median for African-American households nationwide – would typically pay about $2,050 in Social Security taxes. In 2011, that household would receive a payroll tax cut of $660. By expanding the payroll tax cut, that household will receive over $1,000.

Fully Paid for As Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan

• To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target.

 

 

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By Samuel Ayyub Bilal

 

CHICAGO, Illinois — As we have enjoyed the day off work to celebrate Labor Day, let us remember   that we shall not be a properly grateful people, unless we first give praise to G-d and then acknowledge those heroic union people whose collective bargaining action forced the U.S. government   to establish Labor Day as a national holiday, in 1894, many observers assert.

To be sure, Labor Day is not a free “day off work with pay” because of the goodness and charity of big business and corporations toward their workers, as a brief review of how Labor Day came about will show. 

Critical observers  argue that   President Grover Cleveland and the U.S. Congress  chose to  make the first Monday of  September a  national holiday as a  dubious way to head off further  organized labor  struggles,  which had been building in industrializing Europe since the  mid-19th Century.

EARLY INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ EFFORTS TO

EXERCISE THEIR COLLECTIVE WORKER POWER IN

EUROPE AND IN THE UNITED STATES

International Workers’ Day, aka May Day, was more of a European labor movement than the trade (labor) union in the United States.  In the late 19th  Century,  trade unions  in the United  States  began  pushing  for ”eight  hours to work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for sleep.”

At first, they marched; an example being the march as done by Peter T. McGuire and Brotherhood of Carpenters’ Union, who led 100,000 workers on a march through the streets of New York City.

But if New York organized workers liked to march, know that the Chicago organized workers liked to strike.

Many states, like New York, New Jersey, Colorado and Nebraska, had begun celebrating state “Labor Day” observances. And governors, corporations and big business certainly preferred “Labor Day” to “International Worker’s Day/May Day, which had been celebrated for many years in Europe and was a more militant labor holiday.

Thus, after organized labor had marched for about 12 years, during the 1870s and 1880s, in the late 1880s, they began striking and physically defending their right to strike . To prevent the exercise of effective organized, collective bargaining rights by the STRIKE, through striking, the U.S. government was called upon by big businesses and corporations to intervene with the striking workers.

The federal government obediently responded to corporations-and-big-business demands for federal armed intervention in strikes. The U.S. sent U.S. Marshalls and other military personnel into cities where the workers were striking.

Clearly, the STRIKE was/is a much more effective and powerful tactic than marches. Therefore,   corporations and big businesses began pressuring the government, during the Cleveland Administration, for example, to send armed federal forces into places of striking workers and bust up the workers’ strike.

When the striking workers heroically resisted the federal armed forces, violent confrontations ensued. Most alarming to big business, corporations and the U.S. government were two major strikes   wherein blood was shed, in the late 19th Century:  The Haymarket rally on May 4, 1896, which turned into a violent confrontation.

This became known as the Haymarket Massacre, as there were deaths between the police and rallying workers.  And there is the Pullman Strike in 1894, which the federal government tried to break up with deadly armed federal force.

HAYMARKET  “MASSACRE” of 1886

Though The Haymarket Rally and the McCormick Strike were held in May, 1886, the Strike had been set in motion by the Organized Trade and Labor Union two years earlier, in October of 1884. Meanwhile, at the McCormick strike on May 3, the company had brought in strikebreakers to disrupt the McCormick strike.

In response to the May 3 strikebreaking activity, more militant labor and political people set up the May 4 Haymarket Rally, in support of the striking McCormick workers.  Certainly, corporations and big business leaders were more alarmed over the Haymarket demonstrators’ show of solidarity with the McCormick strikers.

Hence, the Chicago police were sent to the Haymarket Rally. When the police intervened, 60 of them were injured and  eight of them (police) were killed. Four workers or pro-union strikers were killed. It was called a “massacre” by supporters of the company, corporations and police. But the slain workers were considered “martyrs” to the cause of collective bargaining rights and the exercise of those rights.

In 1894, U.S. President Grover Cleveland called for the establishment of Labor Day “to compete with” International Workers Day (May Day). It was the power and spirit of collective workers which was expressed in the spirit of International Workers Day activities, ideology, etc., which frightened  President  Cleveland and his corporate/big business masters.

THE PULLMAN STRIKE

In 1893, Cleveland had tried to break railway workers (union) strike by sending 12,000 federal troops (Marshalls and military) to Chicago, where the workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company had started a strike.

The strike came after the company’s owner and boss George Pullman decided to reduce the workers’ wages. The Pullman workers’ strike began to spread to other cities, more than 20 throughout the U.S. The Marshalls and military forces killed several Pullman Strikers.

Fearing that the unions and other workers would turn against him at the polls, Cleveland hastily called for and developed legislation for the establishment of a national Labor Day, some observers assert. 

But others assert that even more severe than Cleveland’s fear, was the big business and corporation fear that the organized, collective worker spirit of unity and solidarity seen in the Haymarket rally and the Pullman strikes would lead to an organized workers’ demand that the more militant International Workers Day/May Day become a national holiday.

If that more noble and heroic movement  to celebrate May 1 as our national day off  work to  celebrate  workers came about,  then May Day would be our national collective bargaining day off with pay, rather than the September celebration.

President Cleveland, the U.S. Congress and their big business masters quickly opted to give the masses the milder, less meaningful Labor Day on the First Monday in September and to take off work.

Thus, we should truly celebrate the collective bargaining RIGHT, which the marching, striking workers struggled, marched, worked and fought for and won/earned, beginning in the mid-19th Century, in the United States.

Above all, we must thank G-d Allah, but also remember the eternal Islamic saying: “He who is not grateful to man is not grateful to G-d!”

 

0 22
Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

By Zayd Ahmad Khan 

It was in the year 1000 B.C., according to some authorities, that an inspired writing generally attributed to Prophet Moses (AS), brought into existence the first organized code of food selection and regulation.

This writing of the Bible was initially called Torah (meaning path) by the Jews and later the Pentateuch (meaning five books in Greek).

The third book in the sequence, called Leviticus, “Book Of Legal Matters,” painstakingly outlines a number of rules and injunctions governing food.

The fifth book called Deuteronomy, meaning “the secondary law,” includes quite a complete supplemental commentary on food prohibition.

LATER in the Jewish history non prophetically, inspired  writings, derived from their oral tradition  would form an augmentary body of information on food use. In a section of this writing called The Talmud, information on food use is detailed.

These directives form the basis for the presently existing ritual and procedural approaches that the Jewish community follows in identifying Kosher (actually written Kasher) as acceptable food.

The word “kosher” roughly translated means “ritually correct.” The basis for the procedure of kosher, interestingly, is highly integrated with very practical and scientifically based procedures.  But Kosher practice is also full of deep and ceremonial almost superstitious methods.

The Jew will not use swine or pork by products in any form. This aversion to pork is not difficult to understand, even if we were to use only modern day available data from medical and scientific sources.

However, I questioned a noted Rabbi and rabbinical specialist about a more obscure idea: The idea of  forbidding  Jews from eating meat and dairy products at the same time. Equally questionable is the practice of waiting three hours between the consumption of either of these foods. The Rabbi was unable to provide a viable explanation.

Early Jewish history clearly records a time when food preservation was a major challenge. The rule was said to have originated during early Jewish history when food preservation, especially meat and dairy products, were extremely difficult.

The feeling was that possible complications that might arise from the consumption of possibly spoiled meat might not be compounded by the further ingestion of another delicate (easy to spoil) food.

This was the explanation offered by the authority Rabbi Rosen, formerly of the Sinai Kosher Meat Company, of Chicago, Ill.  In today’s modern society, this appears to no longer be a problem, but the Jewish law on this matter persists, giving indication that there is some more profound significance to the matter.

The saga of Jewish food development in America had its “genesis” when 23 Sephardic Jews settled in New Amsterdam in 1654.  As a result of their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, Sephardic Jews emigrated to Greece, the Middle East, England, the Netherlands, and the Americas.

This particular New Amsterdam contingent first sought refuge from the Spanish Inquisition in Recife, Brazil.

In 1739, New York Jews would begin to rely almost exclusively on the Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue founded in 1654 for providing available Kosher Meat.

By the middle of the 18th Century, Jews were exporting kosher beef from New York to Jamaica and Curacao.

One of the earliest meat processing plants was Hebrew National Foods. It also had its beginnings in New York, where one Isadore Pinkowitz started producing kosher frankfurters.

His son Leonard Pines would take over the business after Pinkowitz’s death in 1936, and the enterprise continued to grow now having a line that includes Kosher salami products.

The history of the commercial aspect of the business of kosher certification has been reputed to have been started by New York Jewish entrepreneur, Joseph Jacobs.  In 1919, he is said to have begun his Joseph Jacobs Organization, Inc.

It is indicated that he initiated this plan as a purely money making venture.  Not being a Rabbi, but using basic Jewish dietary laws, his focus was to persuade manufacturers of food products to indicate the fact that their particular food product was fit for consumption by Jews.

The Jewish law does indicate that meats should be “marked.” And using this premise, Mr. Jacobs is said to have begun his program.  He would give qualifying companies a mark to print onto their labels.

Additionally, they would receive advertisements on a local Jewish radio station as well as plugs in all local Jewish publications. The Joseph Jacobs Organization confined the thrust of their program to the New York City area and on a very small scale.

Ultimately, in 1924, organized rabbinical organizations took over the operation from Jacobs and eliminated the other services. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregation of America, founded in 1898 as a means of bringing cohesion to the fragmented immigrant Jewish populations, would begin to offer Rabbinic supervision for food production.

In 1924, the Union’s official Kashrut supervision and certification program was introduced. Their mark is the letter “U” in a Circle.”

The ultimate procedure would evolve to selling only the mark and require the strict and continuous inspection of any participating manufacturing facilities.

In fact, it would be required that a Rabbi be on the premises at all times of production. Accommodations for his living had to be provided.

To Be Continued….

 

0 25
Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

 By Zayd Ahmad Khan   

It was in the year 1000 B.C., according to some authorities, that an inspired writing generally attributed to Prophet Moses (AS), brought into existence the first organized code of food selection and regulation.

This writing of the Bible was initially called Torah (meaning path) by the Jews and later the Pentateuch (meaning five books in Greek).

The third book in the sequence, called Leviticus, “Book Of Legal Matters,” painstakingly outlines a number of rules and injunctions governing food.

The fifth book called Deuteronomy, meaning “the secondary law,” includes quite a complete supplemental commentary on food prohibition.

LATER in the Jewish history non prophetically, inspired  writings, derived from their oral tradition  would form an augmentary body of information on food use. In a section of this writing called The Talmud, information on food use is detailed.

These directives form the basis for the presently existing ritual and procedural approaches that the Jewish community follows in identifying Kosher (actually written Kasher) as acceptable food.

The word “kosher” roughly translated means “ritually correct.” The basis for the procedure of kosher, interestingly, is highly integrated with very practical and scientifically based procedures.  But Kosher practice is also full of deep and ceremonial almost superstitious methods.

The Jew will not use swine or pork by products in any form. This aversion to pork is not difficult to understand, even if we were to use only modern day available data from medical and scientific sources.

However, I questioned a noted Rabbi and rabbinical specialist about a more obscure idea: The idea of  forbidding  Jews from eating meat and dairy products at the same time. Equally questionable is the practice of waiting three hours between the consumption of either of these foods. The Rabbi was unable to provide a viable explanation.

Early Jewish history clearly records a time when food preservation was a major challenge. The rule was said to have originated during early Jewish history when food preservation, especially meat and dairy products, were extremely difficult.

The feeling was that possible complications that might arise from the consumption of possibly spoiled meat might not be compounded by the further ingestion of another delicate (easy to spoil) food.

This was the explanation offered by the authority Rabbi Rosen, formerly of the Sinai Kosher Meat Company, of Chicago, Ill.  In today’s modern society, this appears to no longer be a problem, but the Jewish law on this matter persists, giving indication that there is some more profound significance to the matter.

The saga of Jewish food development in America had its “genesis” when 23 Sephardic Jews settled in New Amsterdam in 1654.  As a result of their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, Sephardic Jews emigrated to Greece, the Middle East, England, the Netherlands, and the Americas.

This particular New Amsterdam contingent first sought refuge from the Spanish Inquisition in Recife, Brazil.

In 1739, New York Jews would begin to rely almost exclusively on the Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue founded in 1654 for providing available Kosher Meat.

By the middle of the 18th Century, Jews were exporting kosher beef from New York to Jamaica and Curacao.

One of the earliest meat processing plants was Hebrew National Foods. It also had its beginnings in New York, where one Isadore Pinkowitz started producing kosher frankfurters.

His son Leonard Pines would take over the business after Pinkowitz’s death in 1936, and the enterprise continued to grow now having a line that includes Kosher salami products.

The history of the commercial aspect of the business of kosher certification has been reputed to have been started by New York Jewish entrepreneur, Joseph Jacobs.  In 1919, he is said to have begun his Joseph Jacobs Organization, Inc.

It is indicated that he initiated this plan as a purely money making venture.  Not being a Rabbi, but using basic Jewish dietary laws, his focus was to persuade manufacturers of food products to indicate the fact that their particular food product was fit for consumption by Jews.

The Jewish law does indicate that meats should be “marked.” And using this premise, Mr. Jacobs is said to have begun his program.  He would give qualifying companies a mark to print onto their labels.

Additionally, they would receive advertisements on a local Jewish radio station as well as plugs in all local Jewish publications. The Joseph Jacobs Organization confined the thrust of their program to the New York City area and on a very small scale.

Ultimately, in 1924, organized rabbinical organizations took over the operation from Jacobs and eliminated the other services. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregation of America, founded in 1898 as a means of bringing cohesion to the fragmented immigrant Jewish populations, would begin to offer Rabbinic supervision for food production.

In 1924, the Union’s official Kashrut supervision and certification program was introduced. Their mark is the letter “U” in a Circle.”

The ultimate procedure would evolve to selling only the mark and require the strict and continuous inspection of any participating manufacturing facilities.

In fact, it would be required that a Rabbi be on the premises at all times of production. Accommodations for his living had to be provided.

To Be Continued….

 

0 23
Muslim Journal Business Category
Busiiness In Our Lives

CHICAGO, Ill. - With consumers concerned about harmful exposure to cell phone emissions, many scammers looking to make a quick buck are promoting “shields.” These shields claim to protect cell phone users from the cancer causing waves emitting from their phones.

The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) is warning consumers to be on the lookout for these shields and advising them to turn to free options when looking to limit exposure to cell phone electromagnetic emissions.

Like many other too good to be true products, there is no scientific proof that these shields are actually effective. While it is always good to protect yourself from potentially harmful emissions, there are other ways to do it besides investing in a shield for your cell phone.

The Federal Trade Commission also notes that these shields may interfere with your cell phone’s reception.

Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois said, “It’s important for consumers to do their research before investing in any new technological product. More times than not, victims will end up with a faulty goods.”

The BBB advises consumers to consider these free options for limiting cell phone electromagnetic emissions:

            Go hands free. When chatting on the phone for long periods of time, consider using a hands-free device, like an earpiece or the speakerphone. For short conversations, texting the message allows for a quick response and keeps the phone away from your head.

            Wait for a good signal. When you have a weak signal, your phone works harder, emitting more radiation. Phones also give off more radiation when transmitting than when receiving, so tilt the phone away from your head when you’re talking, and bring it back to your ear when you’re listening.

            Shop around. When looking for a new cell phone, consider investing in one that has a low specific absorption rate (SAR) before you buy. Measured in watts per kilogram of tissue, the SAR reveals how much radiation the body absorbs while using the mobile device.

The Federal Communications Commission has record of this information for phones that were made in the last two years. You can find the FCC ID number on the inside of your cell phone’s case. Legally, in the U.S., a phone can’t emit more than 1.6 watts per kilogram.

“As we become increasingly dependent on cell phone use, it’s critical that people take the appropriate precautions in order to better protect their wallet and health,” added Bernas.

For more information on cell phone emissions, visit www.bbb.org

          As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration.

          BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.

 

 

0 23
Maxine Waters

Special to the NNPA from Blackvoicenews.com

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) blasted President Barack Obama’s brokered deal to raise the debt ceiling, insisting “the rich will feel no pain and the vulnerable will pay for their spoils.”

“The cuts will be deep, they will be lasting, and they will weaken an already-depressed economy,” Waters said during a House floor speech against the “Budget Control Act” or 2011 Debt Ceiling Deal.

After weeks of high stakes wrangling, President Obama and Congressional leaders hammered out a deal to raise the government’s debt ceiling while cutting spending about $2.4 trillion, and avoided a government default – but setting the stage for a new round of fierce debate.

House Democrats, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus expressed outrage at the White House for how it handled the debt ceiling negotiations, claiming the Administration caved to the GOP and left them in the dark.

“Our negotiators weren’t tough enough,” Rep. Waters said. “They didn’t do the work.” Waters and other Progressives have been steaming for months after they were largely left out of the negotiations to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and craft policy on long term government funding.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), railed against the deal, accusing the Administration of taking their support for granted, ignoring their policy concerns and bowing to the demands of Republicans without putting up much of a fight.

Cleaver told the online Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, that the deal was a “sugar-coated ‘Satan’ sandwich.”

“What you see is antithetical to everything the religions of the world teach: Take care of the poor, take care of the aged.”

Crafted largely by Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the proposal locks in roughly $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years.

Congressional leaders would then appoint a bipartisan panel to identify roughly $2 trillion in additional deficit reduction over the same span.  If it fails, then automatic cuts of the same level would kick in — including steep reductions in military and Medicare spending.

“What’s clear is that the Tea Party is so ideologically driven to kill government, that they’re willing to kill the private sector, kill jobs and kill growth in the process,” Waters told colleagues in the House.

Locals were relieved, empathic and disappointed at a San Bernardino Starbucks. William and Peggy Denney, like most Americans, seemed relieved that the wrangling over the debt limit is over. As for the deal itself, ….

“We’re no fans,” said William. “I think the President sold out.  It’s pretty clear who’s driving this train. They ain’t for the people out here looking for work.”

“On to the next government debacle,” added Eric, an off duty barista.

“It’s an extraordinary display of brinksmanship, but at what cost,” said Eduardo Mitchell of Redlands.  “I’m all for cutting spending, but I don’t think people should be made to suffer as a result.”

Still there was a show of both sympathy and empathy for lawmakers who brokered the deal.

“I just pray that from these polarizing dark times, our political leaders will see the price of power is responsibility for the public good,” said Louis Sykes, an educator and local youth leader.

“There’s plenty of blame to go around.  But you have to give them credit for getting a hard job done,” said Shirley Weems.

President Obama said he had hoped for a more sweeping deal that didn’t delegate many cuts to a special committee: “It’s nowhere near perfect, but it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told House Republicans, “This isn’t the greatest deal in the world …, but it shows how much we’ve changed the debate.”

Most Democrats and Republicans agree, the deal leaves many unanswered questions and sets in motion years of fiscal pain.  It forces spending caps but puts decisions on what social programs to cut in the hands of Congressional Committees.

 

Photo caption:

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) prepared to vote on President Barack Obama’s brokered agreement to extend the federal debt limit and exact spending cuts.

 

0 22

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a statement issued by The White House, “The Debt Deal announced today (Aug. 1, 2011, one day before the U.S. would face defaulting on its loans) is a victory for bipartisan compromise, for the economy and for the American people.

The agreement, according to The White House statement:

  • Removes the cloud of uncertainty over our economy at this critical time, by ensuring that no one will be able to use the threat of the Nation’s first default now, or in only a few months, for political gain;
  • Locks in a down payment on significant deficit reduction, with savings from both domestic and Pentagon spending, and is designed to protect crucial investments like aid for college students;
  • Establishes a bipartisan process to seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform;
  • Deploys an enforcement mechanism that gives all sides an incentive to reach bipartisan compromise on historic deficit reduction, while protecting Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and low-income programs;
  • Stays true to the President’s commitment to shared sacrifice by preventing the middle class, seniors and those who are most vulnerable from shouldering the burden of deficit reduction.

The President did not agree to any entitlement reforms outside of the context of a bipartisan committee process where tax reform will be on the table and the President will insist on shared sacrifice from the most well-off and those with the most indefensible tax breaks.

Mechanics of the Debt Deal:

  • Immediately enacted 10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; balanced between defense and non-defense spending;
  • President authorized to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, eliminating the need for further increases until 2013;
  • Bipartisan committee process tasked with identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, including from entitlement and tax reform.

Committee is required to report legislation by November 23, 2011, which receives fast-track protections. Congress is required to vote on Committee recommendations by December 23, 2011;

  • Enforcement mechanism established to force all parties – Republican and Democrat – to agree to balanced deficit reduction. If Committee fails, enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending.

Enforcement protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts.    

 

 1.      REMOVING UNCERTAINTY TO SUPPORT THE AMERICAN ECONOMY:

Deal Removes Cloud of Uncertainty Until 2013, Eliminating Key Headwind on the Economy: Independent analysts, economists, and ratings agencies have all made clear that a short-term debt limit increase would create unacceptable economic uncertainty by risking default again within only a matter of months.

As S&P stated, it would also increase the chance of a downgrade. By ensuring a debt limit increase of at least $2.1 trillion, this deal removes the specter of default, providing important certainty to our economy at a fragile moment.

Mechanism to Ensure Further Deficit Reduction is Designed to Phase-In Beginning in 2013 to Avoid Harming the Recovery: The deal includes a mechanism to ensure additional deficit reduction, consistent with the economic recovery.

The enforcement mechanism would not be made effective until 2013, avoiding any immediate contraction that could harm the recovery. And savings from the down payment will be enacted over 10 years, consistent with supporting the economic recovery.

 

 

2.      A DOWNPAYMENT ON DEFICIT REDUCTION BY LOCKING IN HISTORIC SPENDING DISCIPLINE – BALANCED BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND PENTAGON SPENDING:

More than $900 Billion in Savings over 10 Years By Capping Discretionary Spending: The deal includes caps on discretionary spending that will produce more than $900 billion in savings over the next 10 years compared to the CBO March baseline, even as it protects core investments from deep and economically damaging cuts.

Includes Savings of $350 Billion from the Base Defense Budget – the First Defense Cut Since the 1990s: The deal puts us on track to cut $350 billion from the defense budget over 10 years.

These reductions will be implemented based on the outcome of a review of our missions, roles, and capabilities that will reflect the President’s commitment to protecting our national security.

Reduces Domestic Discretionary Spending to the Lowest Level Since Eisenhower: These discretionary caps will put us on track to reduce non-defense discretionary spending to its lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower was President.

Includes Funding to Protect the President’s Historic Investment in Pell Grants: Since taking office, President Barack Obama has increased the maximum Pell award by $819 to a maximum award $5,550, helping over 9 million students pay for college tuition bills.

The deal provides specific protection in the discretionary budget to ensure that the there will be sufficient funding for the President’s historic investment in Pell Grants without undermining other critical investments.

 3.      ESTABLISHING A BIPARTISAN PROCESS TO ACHIEVE $1.5 TRILLION IN ADDITIONAL BALANCED DEFICIT REDUCTION BY THE END OF 2011:

The Deal Locks in a Process to Enact $1.5 Trillion in Additional Deficit Reduction Through a Bipartisan, Bicameral Congressional Committee: The deal creates a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Committee that is charged with enacting $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction by the end of the year.

This Committee will work without the looming specter of default, ensuring time to carefully consider essential reforms without the disruption and brinksmanship of the past few months.

This Committee is Empowered Beyond Previous Bipartisan Attempts at Deficit Reduction: Any recommendation of the Committee would be given fast-track privilege in the House and Senate, assuring it of an up or down vote and preventing some from using procedural gimmicks to block action.

            To Meet This Target, the Committee Will Consider Responsible Entitlement and Tax Reform: This means putting all the priorities of both parties on the table – including both entitlement reform and revenue-raising tax reform.

 4.      A STRONG ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM TO MAKE ALL SIDES COME TOGETHER:

The Deal Includes An Automatic Sequester to Ensure That At Least $1.2 Trillion in Deficit Reduction Is Achieved By 2013 Beyond the Discretionary Caps: The deal includes an automatic sequester on certain spending programs to ensure that — between the Committee and the trigger —the Administration at least put in place an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by 2013.

Consistent With Past Practice, Sequester Would Be Divided Equally Between Defense and Non-Defense Programs and Exempt Social Security, Medicaid, and Low-Income Programs:

Consistent with the bipartisan precedents established in the 1980s and 1990s, the sequester would be divided equally between defense and non-defense program. And it would exempt Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement.

Likewise, any cuts to Medicare would be capped and limited to the provider side.

Sequester Would Provide a Strong Incentive for Both Sides to Come to the Table:  If the fiscal committee took no action, the deal would automatically add nearly $500 billion in defense cuts on top of cuts already made, and, at the same time, it would cut critical programs like infrastructure or education.

That outcome would be unacceptable to many Republicans and Democrats alike – creating pressure for a bipartisan agreement without requiring the threat of a default with unthinkable consequences for our economy.

5.      A BALANCED DEAL CONSISTENT WITH THE PRESIDENT’S COMMITMENT TO SHARED SACRIFICE

            The Deal Sets the Stage for Balanced Deficit Reduction, Consistent with the President’s Values:

The deal is designed to achieve balanced deficit reduction, consistent with the values the President articulated in his April Fiscal Framework. The discretionary savings are spread between both domestic and defense spending.

Also the President will demand that the Committee pursue a balanced deficit reduction package, where any entitlement reforms are coupled with revenue-raising tax reform that asks for the most fortunate Americans to sacrifice.

The Enforcement Mechanism Complements the Forcing Event Already In Law – the Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts – To Create Pressure for a Balanced Deal: The Bush tax cuts expire as of Jan. 1, 2013, the same date that the spending sequester would go into effect.

These two events together will force balanced deficit reduction. Absent a balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts.

In Securing this Bipartisan Deal, the President Rejected Proposals that Would Have Placed the Sole Burden of Deficit Reduction on Low-Income or Middle-Class Families:

The President stood firmly against proposals that would have placed the sole burden of deficit reduction on lower-income and middle-class families.

This includes not only proposals in the House Republican Budget that would have undermined the core commitments of Medicare to our seniors and forced tens of millions of low-income Americans to go without health insurance, but also enforcement mechanisms that would have forced automatic cuts to low-income programs.

The enforcement mechanism in the deal exempts Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare benefits, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement.

0 26

Danny Bakewell,
Chairman, National Newspaper
Publishers Association,
a network of some 200 African American Newspapers spread nationwide.

A coalition of advocacy groups, including the NAACP, Black Leadership Forum, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the National Council of Negro Women among others, encouraged the Federal Communications Commission to approve AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA, saying the merger was in the best interests of millions of African Americans.
The coalition told the FCC that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal will bring wireless Internet access to areas now lacking broadband, will save users money and will create new jobs nationwide.
“The merger of AT&T with T-Mobile USA stands to bring some much-needed relief to the African American community by helping to close the digital divide and increasing access to vital services in urban and rural communities,” wrote Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy for the NAACP, in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
The coalition pointed out that although African Americans are leaders in adopting wireless Internet access, they often must contend with poor service.
“Despite their high wireless adoption rate,” the coalition members told the FCC chairman, “African American wireless Internet users frequently contend with substandard and inconsistent access that plagues many urban and rural areas.”
The AT&T/T-Mobile merger can bring significant improvements, according to the coalition, because “if the T-Mobile purchase is approved, AT&T has made commitments to substantially increase broadband access to underserved areas and invest billions in infrastructure upgrades.”
The AT&T investment will provide upgrades to service, the coalition’s letter said, and “will lead to shovel-ready opportunities that put the unemployed back to work.”
The coalition also pointed out that AT&T has a demonstrated commitment to diversity in its hiring and in its selection of suppliers. “Minority-owned firms make up 20 percent of the company’s suppliers,” the coalition said, “and nearly 40 percent of AT&T’s employees are people of color.”
Joining Shelton of the NAACP in the letter were:
[fancylist]
•Representative Barbara Ballard, President, National Black Caucus of State Legislators;
•Senator SharonWeston Broome, President, National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women;
•Vanessa Williams, Executive Director, National Conference of Black Mayors;
•Commissioner Arlanda Williams, President, National Association of Black County Officials;
•Danny Bakewell, Chairman, National Newspaper Publishers Association;
•Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation;
• Dr. John Boyd, Prsident, National Black Farmers Association;
•Dr. Valerie White, Chairwoman, Black College Communication Association;
•Tommy Dortch, Chairman, National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame;
• Ricardo Byrd, President, National Association of Neighborhoods;
• Albert E. Dotson Jr., Chairman, 100 Black Men of America;
• Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Executive Director, National Council of Negro Women;
• Gary Flowers, CEO, Black Leadership Forum;
•Susan Taylor, Founder and President, National Cares Mentoring Movement;
• Jesse Lee, Executive Director, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives;
•Dr. Howard Creecy, President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference.[/fancylist]
AT&T is one of the oldest of American communications companies, and T-Mobile USA is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications giant. In March, AT&T offered to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stocks.
If approved by the Federal Communications Commission, the deal will create the largest provider of wireless service in the Nation, with a combined 130 million subscribers.

Politics

0 41
By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (nusayba@uscpr.org) WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...
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