Protest in Madison (Darren Hauck / Reuters)
On Saturday afternoon, more than 100,000 people marched to the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, to protest Governor Scott Walker's union-busting bill ... you may have heard about it online, and seen some great photo diaries here. But not if you get your news from the traditional media.
Because why would they bother to cover the largest labor rally in recent memory? After all, it didn't feature tricorn hats and people screaming about Kenya.
"This is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history," a giddy Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told the man he thought was David Koch, the gas and chemical magnate whose ability to pollute our air and keep us addicted to fossil fuels would be greatly enhanced if public sector unions were eliminated as an organized political force.
And now that Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans have stripped unions of their bargaining rights in a brutal display of disregard for democracy and fair play, government workers in the Badger State can now quite literally call themselves public "servants."
In order to shift the balance of power from middle-class workers toward plutocrats like Charles and David Koch, Walker and Wisconsin Republicans disguised audacity as austerity when they launched their concerted attack against Wisconsin's public sector unions, a fight that was always much more about power than budgets according to any fair-minded review of the record.
When the original justification for passing the union-busting bill as an emergency fiscal measure got in the way of Republican ambitions to subordinate middle-class needs to corporate and business interests, Republicans shamelessly jettisoned their integrity and principles by passing a bill which they now hypocritically claim has no fiscal impact after all.
Likewise, union-busting Republicans must have been momentarily stunned when the public overwhelmingly sided with the unions once the GOP's real intentions were known. But that barely slowed Republicans from doing as they were told by their corporate bosses as they took apart police and fire unions whose public support exceeded 70%, all the while falsely claiming a popular mandate to slash the budget and anyone who stood in the way.
It's true that no one likes to pay taxes, even as polls consistently show that the majority of voters support those programs that these hated taxes make possible. It's also true that people resent getting pushed around by those who have more power than they do, which helps explain why working-class folks are often antagonistic towards those who are members of working-class unions.
And it's in the spaces within these contradictions that conservatives seem to thrive, for if there is one talent conservatives have acquired better than all others since they began their campaign to transform America's middle-class democracy into one more congenial to upper-class interests, it's conservative's ability to frame issues in narrow ways that always favor their interests.
That is how America's more than two hundred year-old conflict between capital and labor, between democracy and free market capitalism, gets translated by conservatives into a two-dimensional morality play in which virtuous producers struggle to guard the fruits of their labor from slothful parasites who would steal it from them using rapacious government as accomplice in the larceny.
And this cartoonish drivel is gobbled up by millions of gullible Americans who now think it's perfectly okay to run the government by dipping into the retirement accounts of humble Americans while handing out enormous tax giveaways to America's high and mighty.
* While wages at the top have soared over the past 30 years as those in the middle and below have stagnated;
* While most productivity gains have been grabbed by those at the top;
* While unions have been broken and now represent just 7% of workers in the private sector;
* While manufacturing jobs have been sent overseas in order that lost American wages could be given to CEOs and stockholders;
* While underfunded 401Ks replace defined benefit retirement plans;
* While 40 million Americans go without health care;
* While America struggles with 9% unemployment;
* While banks get to recapitalize lost earnings from a collapse of their own doing with low interest taxpayer loans;
While all of this is going on, Republicans now have the gall to frame the battle in Wisconsin as one in which arrogant union bosses grabbing gold-plated benefits for their members are pitted against unemployed taxpayers whose own prospects in life have been greatly diminished thanks to the very same constituents on whose behalf Republicans are waging this furious war against unions.
Every state is struggling to make ends meet as they are caught between the rock of a budget-shrinking recession and the hard place of anti-government hysteria that will continue to make raising new revenues virtually impossible until Democrats find their voice - and their guts -- to make a compelling case about why this community needs to stand together and why democratic government is the best means for leading the effort.
These fiscal issues are real and each state must approach them prudently and responsibly. But to see the campaign Republicans are waging against public sector unions as being exclusively, or even primarily, about fiscal prudence is to overlook the real shift in power that is going on.
Karl Rove can almost smell his permanent Republican governing majority as he and other Republicans pull out all the stops to portray Governor Walker's power grab as nothing more than putting overpaid unions in their places on behalf of beleaguered and overburdened taxpayers.
But this is not about balancing Wisconsin's budget. It's about national priorities, a truth that becomes glaringly apparent when you do a side-by-side comparison showing the kind of country Republicans would like this one to be.
If Republicans get their way, America will cut $11.2 billion for early childhood programs so we can preserve $11.5 billion in tax cuts for millionaire estate planning.
We'd cut $8.9 billion for low-income housing so we can maintain an $8.9 billion mortgage interest deduction for people rich enough to afford a second vacation home.
If Republicans win, America will slash $7.6 billion for supplemental nutrition under the WIC program and cut $4.6 billion for teacher afterschool training while spending $5.2 billion to remove the limit on itemized deductions for high-income earners.
We'd cut $4.1 billion in job training for the unemployed so we can give oil companies $4.1 billion in tax breaks for off-shore drilling.
And, if Republicans are successful, we'd cut $2.5 billion in low-income energy assistance so that the oil industry can, again, write off an additional $2.5 billion for drilling.
This is the real balance sheet of union-busting efforts in Wisconsin, not the comparative nickels and dimes the state can save by taking away bargaining rights - I mean, if breaking the unions really was about saving money, which Republicans now admit it isn't.
But the only way to make sense of this grossly one-sided comparison of priorities is by looking at the Republicans as nothing more than lobbyists for wealthy interests, whatever those interests happen to be and however much advancing them might conflict with the Republican's own stated positions and principles.
That is the only way to explain how Republicans can so angrily demand that steps be taken to reduce the deficit while blowing a $700 billion hole in the nation's debt with their tax cuts for the rich. It's the only way to make sense of Republicans who are willing to let the government shut down or default on its debt unless budget cuts are made, while at the same time refusing to trim defense contracts or subsidies for Big Oil.
Smashing the unions might look like a triumph for emancipating public policy from special interests, says Jonathan Chait of the New Republic, until you understand that public unions carry weight far beyond narrow questions of membership benefits and compensation. For at the end of the day, unions are a force for middle-class economic interests generally.
"In the real world," says Chait, "politics is dominated by the influence of the rich and the business lobby, with unions providing a small countervailing force. Breaking up the public sector unions would have many results, but one of those surely would be to increase the relative power of the business lobby even more."
The radical free market promoter Joseph Schumpeter, who famously described the dynamics of capitalism as one of "creative destruction," said that business corporations under capitalism do not so much compete within markets as they compete for markets, and the profits they can gain by monopolizing those markets, however temporarily.
That same monopolizing spirit now dominates the Republican Party when it comes to politics. The Republican Party, as professors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson among others have argued persuasively, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of America's ever-strengthening corporate and financial oligarchy.
That's been true since the early 1970s when business made the fateful decision that Great Society-like liberalism had gone too far and that Corporate America now needed to take matters into its own hands and -- standing shoulder-to-shoulder in both the Public Square and in the smoke-filled back rooms of politics -- make sure America was run on sound business principles: a nation of big business, by big business and for big business.
And a key objective of this newly-motivated business coalition was always the evisceration of labor as an organized opposition. Thus, say Hacker and Pierson, from 1960 until 1980 there was a four-fold increase in charges of unfair labor practices filed with an increasingly enfeebled National Labor Relations Board. There was a three-fold rise in charges of unlawful termination. There was a five-fold increase in the number of workers who were awarded back pay or granted reinstatement orders by the courts.
But this didn't stop the relentless anti-union efforts. Businesses simply paid their fines and moved on, calculating that the penalties they had to occasionally pay for breaking labor laws was cheaper than letting unions organize in the first place.
Conservatives credit Ronald Reagan (as always) for opening up this new spring offensive against organized labor when he fired the PATCO air traffic controllers for their wildcat strike in 1981. But the widening gap in power between labor and business first became apparent during the Carter administration, argue Hacker and Pierson, when labor suffered a series of devastating legislative setbacks despite having Democratic control of both Congress and the White House.
After failing to win passage of a long-shot effort to gain "common situs" picketing rights that would have allowed unions to combine their strength in shows of solidarity against single employers, American labor sustained a much deeper wound in 1978 when a reform bill that would have made it easier for unions to organize went down to defeat in the face of fierce and unprecedented business lobbying, which was able to outspend labor 3-1 and flood Congress with more than eight million pieces of mail.
UAW leader Douglas Fraser was so disgusted by the rout and the unequal fight Democrats managed to put up that he resigned from President Carter's Labor-Management group, writing a passionate parting shot explaining why.
"I believe leaders of the business community have chosen to wage a one-sided class war against working people and even many in the middle-class of our society," wrote a disconsolate Fraser. "The leaders of industry, commerce and finance in the United States have broken and discarded the fragile, unwritten compact previously existing during the past period of growth and progress."
Fraser called business efforts to kill the reform bill "the most vicious, unfair attack upon the labor movement in more than 30 years." At virtually every level, he said, there was "a demand by business for docile government and unrestrained corporate individualism. Where industry once yearned for subservient unions it now wants no unions at all."
At the same time that big business was enlisting government to help destroy the union movement, Corporate America sought to further widen inequities in America "by advocating for a capital gains tax rollback that will bring them a huge bonanza," the union leader said.
For all these reasons, Fraser said he saw no point in sitting down at the same table with big business to philosophize pointlessly "about the future of the country and the world" while American industry "tries to destroy us and ruin the lives of the people I represent."
And just as Fraser foretold, not long after driving a stake into the ability of labor to organize, a Democratic Congress passed, and a Democratic president signed, a tax bill whose centerpiece was a reduction of the top rate of capital gains from 48% to 28%, write Hacker and Pierson.
This was followed just a few years later by even bigger gains for businesses and corporations once Ronald Reagan became president.
"The hogs were really feeding," wrote Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, at the ugly spectacle of special interests now pigging out at the public trough.
This is the nature of oligarchy. It seeks the very same monopoly in politics that it is sometimes able to achieve in the marketplace. And it's not too particular about the tactics, falsehoods or hypocrisies it uses to get it.
There's a reason thinkers like James Madison put so much emphasis on a balance of power and of "factions" when they contemplated the fragility of democratic republics and the forces which bring them down. "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition," Madison said in the end, for democracy can exist on no other basis.
Yet, thanks to pliant and compliant Republicans, and inept and cowardly Democrats, there is now an American oligarchy out there which is growing in power and influence, determined to make sure its ambition is the only one that counts.
Read The Full Article:
After reviewing widely circulated claims that James O'Keefe misled viewers in his sting operation on NPR, a spokeswoman for the news organization condemned the "inappropriately edited" video yesterday. Nonetheless, NPR maintains that the executive caught on tape, Ron Schiller, still behaved inappropriately.
In an interview with NPR's own media reporter David Folkenflik, NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said that O'Keefe's Project Veritas "inappropriately edited the videos with an intent to discredit" the news organization. But she said that Schiller still made "egregious statements."
Folkenflik cited two experts who examined the tapes and concluded that O'Keefe had moved clips out of sequence and ignored mitigating statements from the complete footage in the shorter, edited version that was released first. Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute pointed out to him that Schiller repeatedly -- six times, by his count -- tells the phony prospective donors in the video that NPR maintains a strict firewall between its donation and coverage and that "reporters will not be swayed."
Ironically, the most widely-cited defense of NPR so far has come from The Blaze, a website started by Glenn Beck. Folkenflik interviewed Blaze editor Scott Baker, whose analysis of the complete footage of the O'Keefe sting identified several problematic areas, most notably the use of only vague references to the Muslim Brotherhood despite O'Keefe's insistence that the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center was supposed to be an obvious front group for the Islamic group. Critics have also noted that some of Schiller's quotes about the Tea Party were describing secondhand some of the views he's heard expressed by Republicans.
To be fair to NPR, most of the early coverage of the tapes, as well as NPR's own statements, did not center on the tenuous Muslim Brotherhood connection. The most damaging line from Schiller was arguably his suggestion that NPR would be better off in the long run without funding, which he made amidst an ongoing battle with Republicans in Congress over whether to defund the news organization. Nonetheless, any evidence of video trickery is likely to hurt NPR's efforts at keeping up morale within the organization after CEO Vivian Schiller's resignation. Public radio star Ira Glass is going after NPR executives for their defensive crouch, complaining this week that they were hurting themselves by not standing up to critics.
Update: Reader advices that in Wisconsin vacancies in the Legislature must be filled by a special election called by the Governor, per state statute.
Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) is one of eight Republican recall targets in the Wisconsin state senate.
A reliable Scott Walker ally, it appears this political alliance is one among a host of other liabilities in a changed political environment where issues once ignored are gaining prominence.
Hopper's political liabilities are now under increasing scrutiny, going viral on social networking sites.
And his political crises have become the source of speculation that Hopper?elected in 2008 with under a 200-vote margin?may now resign in what the GOP would likely hope is a new state senator for District 18 [includes Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and the northern part of Waupun; a new candidate would have to run in a mandated special election]). A new candidate is seen by informed political operatives as having a slightly better chance of holding the seat for the Republican Party in what early indications point to as a marked flip of the state Senate into democratic control in the anticipated Summer recall elections in August.
Among Randy Hopper's problems:
"The size and the scope of what the Koch brothers are trying to do is unprecedented in the history of our country," said Robert Greenwald of the Brave New Foundation.
Stunning shots from post-tsunami Japan:My wife made the point over the weekend that we are all to one degree or another inured to the images coming out of Japan because of our long-term exposure to disaster movies, which I think is right. If you try to[...]
Read The Full Article:
If you're not from Chicagoland you probably haven't heard of John Atkinson (yet). If you do live around the Windy City there's a chance you remember the full page ad (above) from last year, which ran in the Tribune, the Sun-Times and the Southtown Economist. The ads were put together and paid for by John and his wife Bonnie; I'm figuring they cost between $25 and $30,000. But they didn't work, Lipinski still bragging to this day-- and using Republican talking points in the process-- that he not only voted for the anti-Choice Stupak Amendment but that he was one of only 33 Democrats to cross the aisle and vote with Boehner against healthcare reform a year ago this month. Lipinski's ignoring the ads was part of the impetus that has made John throw his hat into the ring in seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by Lipinski, one of the most corrupt and reactionary Democrats in Congress.
This weekend, John officially registered with ActBlue and he's looking like a progressive and principled candidate for sending a Democratic Establishment that countenances corporate shills and bigots like Lipinksi a good strong message. You can contribute to his campaign at the Blue America Democratic message page.
President Obama won Illinois' 3rd CD with 64% of the vote, about 5 points better than either Gore or Kerry did. It's a solid Democratic district and there is no reason the party needs to keep nominating a Republican-lite shill like Lipinski, whose politics are more in tune with his home in Tennessee than with Cook County. The 3rd has one of the highest concentrations of Muslim-Americans of any district in the country and yet Lipinski, who never shuts up about super-serving Polish-Americans and other ethnic groups represented in the district, has been silent about the plight of Muslim-Americans unfairly targeted by Republican bigot Peter King in his McCarthy-like Homeland Security hearings. The day after King began his anti-Muslim hysteria, I asked John Atkinson if he would be handling this situation differently than Lipinski. He graciously agreed to write a guest post for us:
Representative Peter King (R-NY)-- in the latest example of his Party's relentless pursuit of a narrow ideological agenda-- has found yet another way to distract this new Congress from focusing on the issues that really matter to American families and businesses. Instead of working together to create jobs, pass a responsible budget, address growing concerns about our dependence on nonrenewable resources and foreign oil, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is spending their time investigating what they're calling "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."
Unfortunately, these hearings aren't just a waste of taxpayer dollars, the King hearings are an affront to our hard-working, patriotic Muslim American neighbors; and an embarrassment to anyone who believes in the American principles of fairness and religious freedom. We have Muslim Americans dying in defense of our country, teaching our children, healing our sick, serving in Congress, and living next door. They are our friends and our fellow citizens. And, according to law enforcement officials, they are on the front lines of homeland security, working hard to identify and stop those who are or may be engaged in terrorist activities.
It is outrageous enough that Peter King and his Republican colleagues are leading the charge against our Muslim American neighbors. Something is deeply wrong in this country when we begin drawing lines to separate us from each other. We deserve leaders who will bring us together-- black and white, gay and straight, people of all religions and no religion at all, people of every language and every ethnicity-- to help us work together to meet the challenges that confront us all.
There is no question that extremism is a threat to our security-? but extremism is not limited to any single group. On the day before Peter King opened these hearings, law enforcement officials arrested a neo-Nazi in a plot to murder 1500 Martin Luther King Jr. Day marchers in Spokane, Washington. And on the day the hearings opened, police arrested five people, including the head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, an anti-government "Patriots" group, in a plot to murder judges and state troopers. (Source: Southern Poverty Law Center, http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/03/11/the-screaming-hypocrisy-of-peter-king/#more-6017)
Mr. King, why aren't we investigating "The Extent of Radicalization in the "you name the group" Community and that Community's Response"? Because, Mr. King, in America it is not OK to indict a whole community of people because of the illegal actions of a few.
There have been times in our history when we look back and we know that our leaders, who claimed at the time to be acting in the interest of national security, got it horribly wrong. This is one of those times.
I do enjoy the later evenings. But maybe we could just leave the clock ahead an hour permanently. That might mean more A/C in the summer (since you're home an hour earlier and it's warmer), but it also means more heat usage in the winter since we get home an hour later (and it's colder as the evening goes on). Or do we switch the time change for summer and winter - spring behind and fall ahead?
Their finding: Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity bills. They conclude that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.
The energy-savings numbers often cited by lawmakers and others come from research conducted in the 1970s. Yet a key difference between now and the '70s -- or, for that matter, Ben Franklin's time -- is the prevalence of air conditioning.
There may also be social benefits to daylight-saving time that weren't covered in the research. When the extension of daylight-saving time was proposed by Mr. Markey, he cited studies that noted "less crime, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity" with the extra sunlight in the evening.
What this twitterer said is something I'm suddenly hearing a lot, so I'm assuming it's the next new reason why everyone should hate unions. Frank Luntz really ought to consider doing some deeper research before going in this direction. This particular tweet was sent in response to the following question asked by another twitterer and passed along by me:
When did it become OK to hate teachers& firefighters &cops? When did this happen? Did CEO's rush into WTC as it collapsed?
Think about that answer. The answer is that hating is bad, but 80% of private workers don't have pensions, and resent union members who do.
Rhetorical question: Wouldn't it be better to join a union and strengthen it so more workers have pensions, rather than the other way around? Part of the reason union pension funds are struggling in the private sector is the drop in covered employees, which can be attributed directly to the demonization of unions and efforts to break them. But only a part is attributable to that.
The much larger reason for union pensions' underfunding -- public AND private -- relates to Wall Street. Look at reductions in 401k balances from 2007 to 2008. The very same reductions happened to pension trust funds which are required by law to invest in cash, stocks, bonds and certain real estate investments. Only in their case, they were hit twice. Once by the market crash and then by layoffs which took even more employees out of the contribution mix and increased the demand for early retirement benefits.
Because of laws passed in the Reagan/Bush I era, and then amplified by the Bush II era, accounting for liabilities on pension balance sheets falls to the very worst-case scenario. Add to that the lag between stock recoveries and how assets and liabilities of pensions are reported, and you have a ripe scenario for crisis creation where none really exists.
But I digress. Back to the question of jealousy over public pensions. Private-sector workers should understand that it wasn't always this way.
In 1980, two out of three American workers were in defined benefit pension plans with guaranteed lifetime benefits. Now it?s one in five and falling. I know, personally. When plants closed in Chicago, I used to file suits to get pieces of pensions for the older workers. But now in the current collapse, there are no bits and pieces to get.
There are two reasons for the statistic in bold. First, 401k plans were substituted for defined benefit plans as a way to shift risk from employers to workers. It worked really well, too. (Again, compare your 2007 401k to your 2008). Of course, the problem with 401k plans for employees also presents their attraction to employers. All risk shifts to the employee, along with responsibility for investment decisions. Employees are not all financial wizards. If they were, we wouldn't have all those investment managers on Wall Street making a bloody fortune. Still, 401k plans were a sweet deal for employers because they moved retirement benefits off the books (no liabilities), they were cheaper than defined benefit plans, employers could stop making any contribution to them at any time, and they were portable for employees who didn't stay with the company.
To be fair, it wasn't all employers' fault 401k plans took hold. Employees like seeing balances on their statements rather than a monthly benefit. In a day and age of instant gratification, it's a lot nicer to see that ending balance than a promised benefit in another 30 years or so, despite the fact that the benefit is worth a whole lot more than the balance is. As long as employers were willing to pony up some kind of a matching contribution, it was like investing with a guaranteed return on their contributions. Sort of.
Except for this: For the past 25 years, over half of private-sector workers have not been covered by any kind of pension plan, 401k or otherwise. (Center for Retirement Research, March 2009 - PDF)
Over the past 25 years, the pension landscape has remained remarkably unchanged in one respect. Less than half of private sector workers ? at any moment in time ? are participating in any form of employer- sponsored plan (see Figure 1). Since median job tenure for those 25 years and older is only 5 years, many workers will move in and out of coverage.4 As a result, more than half of the workforce will end up with some pension accumulations at retirement, but many will find it difficult to ensure continuous cover-age.
Compound that with the fact that many large employers suspended their matching contribution and have not yet resumed, and you can see why private-sector workers might be envious of those who work for unions and do receive the right to a guaranteed pension over time.
What's that you say? Those workers can have IRAs to save for retirement? Sure they can, and they can make a whopping $2,000/year contribution ($4,000 for married couples). But they don't. From the Employee Benefits Research Institute:
IRA owners were more likely to be male, especially those having a rollover or a SEP/SIMPLE IRA. Among all IRA participants in the database, nearly one-half (48.3 percent) were ages 45?64. Only 16.7 percent of those owning a traditional IRA were under age 45, compared with 46.5 percent for those with a Roth, 30.4 percent for rollovers, and 34.8 percent for those with a SEP or SIMPLE.
All of this is to affirm the original respondent's statement: Most private sector workers do not enjoy the right to a pension benefit in addition to Social Security. This is a problem that should unite people, not cause them to divide. A fact: Union members have better, more secure health and pension benefits than non-union members, whether in the private or public sector.
Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and other states' decisions to attack public sector workers with regard to pensions is part of the larger effort to make the last bar on the chart below even higher. This was through 2004.
Here is the question each and every one of us who is not a zillionaire should be asking: How can we solve the problem of diminishing pension coverage for workers?
As we’ve been documenting, several conservative governors have proposed placing the brunt of deficit reduction onto the backs of their state’s public employees, students, and middle-class taxpayers, while simultaneously trying to enact corporate tax cuts and giveaways. Govs. Rick Scott (R-FL), Tom Corbett (R-PA), and Jan Brewer (R-AZ) have all gone down this road.
Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan:
Business taxes would be cut by 86 percent from an estimated $2.1 billion in FY 2011 to $292.7 million in FY 2013, the first full year of the proposed tax changes…Taxes on individuals from the state income tax would rise by $1.7 billion or nearly 31 percent, from an estimated $5.75 billion in FY 2011 to $7.5 billion in FY 2013, the first full year of the tax changes.
As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found, the practical upshot of Snyder’s tax increases is to place even more of a burden on Michigan’s poorest residents, who will see a bigger hike than those at the upper end of the income scale:
Michigan already has a regressive tax system, which Snyder’s proposal will only make worse. Currently, someone in the poorest 20 percent of Michigan taxpayers pays a tax rate of 8.9 percent, while someone in the richest one percent pays 5.3 percent.
In addition to trying to make an unfair tax system even more problematic for Michigan’s low-income residents, Snyder has also asked that the state be given the power to dismiss local government and appoint emergency “town managers” who could break contracts and “strip powers from elected officials.”
Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.