Skyline of Richmond, Virginia




By Dave Johnson

There are a number things the public “knows” as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.

Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.

Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.

Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn’t work.

Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.

Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.

Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.

Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.

Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

This stuff really matters.

If the public votes in a new Congress because a majority of voters think this one tripled the deficit, and as a result the new people follow the policies that actually tripled the deficit, the country could go broke.

If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn’t work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.

If the public votes in a new Congress because they think the health care reform will increase the deficit when it is actually projected to reduce the deficit, then the new Congress could repeal health care reform and thereby make the deficit worse. And on it goes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has many embedded links and readers should click on the link at the beginning of this article to see and explore them.

CWA Targets Rep. Harris and Other Members in House Battleground Districts over Their Role in FAA Shutdown


CWA Targets Rep. Harris and Other Members in House Battleground Districts over Their Role in FAA Shutdown

25 House Districts Targeted in New Component of “Countdown to Shutdown” Campaign

Washington – Today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced a new campaign to target two dozen House Republicans, including Rep. Andrew Harris (R-MD-01), for their willingness to shut down the Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) over a union-busting provision inserted into the House version of the multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill. CWA calls on Rep. Harris and other targeted House members to deliver the benefits of a FAA bill without the contentious and unrelated union elections provision.

With less than 30 days until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) faces another potential shutdown due to the union-busting ideology of Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee John Mica (R-FL) and many of his Republican House colleagues like Rep. Harris, CWA’s “Countdown to Shutdown” campaign is spending over half a million dollars on efforts to educate voters about the causes and consequences of the FAA shutdown. Included in this effort is the new direct mail effort, which will target over 600,000 voters in key battleground House districts.

The direct mailing highlights that “Americans are losing jobs because Congress is playing politics. Call Congress now and tell them to stop grounding our economy. Pass the FAA Reauthorization Bill.”

The mailing explains that “the FAA got shut down because Chairman John Mica and some Republicans would rather play politics with real people’s lives and the FAA Reauthorization bill. At the request of their big corporate airline donors, like Delta, Republicans snuck unrelated union provisions into this critical legislation. Then Congress took off on vacation and shut down the FAA. The result of their political games…”

100,000 hard working employees out of work
$400 million in taxpayer money pocketed by airline executives
$11 billion in stalled construction projects
“Another shutdown could happen Sept. 16 because of their political games. Tell them no more FAA shutdowns and to pass a clean FAA Reauthorization bill free of special interest provisions.”

The announcement of the targeted mailings follows after the announcement of a new MicaWatch website, highlighting the union-busting ideology of Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee John Mica (R-FL). In conjunction with Delta Air Lines, Rep. Mica was the lead driver behind the recent FAA shutdown that put nearly 100,000 people out of work and cost the U.S. government $400 million. Instead of forging a bi-partisan solution that would deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs and aviation infrastructure upgrades through the long-term FAA bill, Rep. Mica and Rep. Harris continue to insist that the legislation include an unrelated union-busting provision requested by Delta. This provision would change the rules for union elections overseen by the National Mediation Board (NMB) and seeks to count ballots not actually cast – in violation of democratic principles and the rules of every other type of American election.

In addition to Rep. Mica, some of his Republican colleagues in the House, including Rep. Harris, have been all too willing to go along with Rep. Mica’s ideological intransigence and insistence that the unrelated union provision be included in the FAA Reauthorization bill. In addition to Rep. Harris, Republican targets of the mailing include: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-01), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-05), Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA-03), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA-45), Rep. Thomas Latham (R-IA-04), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14), Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03), Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN-08), Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH-01), Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH-02), Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ-07), Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV-03), Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY-24), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY-29), Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA-06), Rep, Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA-08), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA-11), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA-15), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27), Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA-03), and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI-07). All Democratic and independent households in Rep. Mica’s district (FL-07) also will receive a mailing highlighting their Member’s lead role in blocking hundreds of thousands of new jobs and aviation infrastructure upgrades that would be generated by the FAA Reauthorization bill.

The targeted mailings are part of the larger CWA “Countdown to Shutdown” campaign, which, among other components, features a petition highlighting Delta’s role in pushing the union-busting provision; flyering and events at airports throughout the nation; the MicaWatch website; and other targeted district events such as phone calls and picketing.

Moonstone Arts Center have put together a five part series called Class Warfare in Philadelphia


Dear Friends,

The last couple of years have been both angering and frustrating. What the hell is going on? How do you make sense out of it? Who understands the economy? Is it really as complicated as they make it seem? What do we do about it?

Our friends at the Moonstone Arts Center have put together a five part series called Class Warfare in Philadelphia to help us understand what has been happening and how people have been responding.

“The last several decades have seen a steady increase in the attack on the middle and lower classes. In the middle of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, the rich are getting much, much richer while everyone else sinks toward the economic bottom. This is a frontal attack by the rich on the rest of us. What can we call it except Class Warfare? We are under attack and have not recognized it; we are headed back to the “Gilded Age” of the 1890’s. But the Gilded Age gave rise to the Progressive Age, the rise of Unions, and Social Welfare. We can learn from the past and create solutions to the present problems.”

The programs take place on:

September 8 – The Financial Sector
September 22 – Foreclosures
October 6 – Vacant Land
October 20 – Unions & the Public Sector
November 3 – Communities Confront Class Warfare

Plus Sheriff candidates’ debate eviction on October 26

You can get more information on these programs on-line at and flyers are available at Moonstone, 110A S. 13th Street, 2nd floor, 215-735-9600. Attached is a flyer for the first program on September 8, 2011. I hope you can join us. Any help you can give to spread the word would be appreciated.

AFT President Randi Weingarten Praises Community Engagement In Public Schools During Two Stops in West Virginia


AFT President Randi Weingarten Praises Community Engagement In Public Schools During Two Stops in West Virginia

2011 Back-to-School Tour Begins at Schools in Charleston and McDowell County

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, a national leader in efforts to improve schools, launched a coast-to-coast, back-to-school tour Monday with two stops in West Virginia.

At schools in Charleston and McDowell County, Weingarten highlighted collaborative efforts by school, union, parent, political, business and community leaders to strengthen schools and help students succeed by confronting poverty and other challenges with targeted programs and services.

In Charleston, Weingarten toured West Side Elementary School, one of two in the city that are becoming true community schools with the support of a grant from the AFT Innovation Fund and the help of an array of community partners, including the faith-based Hope Community Development Corp. She was accompanied for the tour and a round-table discussion at the school by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Tomblin, former first lady Gayle Manchin, state schools Superintendent Jorea Marple and many others involved with the community school project.

“It takes the commitment of the entire community to ensure that its public schools are the best they can be,” Weingarten said. “That support is clearly in place at West Side Elementary as it becomes the hub of its community—a place not only for academics, but also a center where children can visit a health clinic and obtain other social and recreational services that will help them succeed.”

At a news conference, Weingarten, AFT-West Virginia President Judy Hale and school officials announced a partnership with First Book, a national organization that provides books to low-income children. On Monday, every student at West Side Elementary was able to take home two new books, all donated by First Book. The organization will make a similar donation to students at Stonewall Jackson Middle School. In addition, the AFT Innovation Fund presented the library at each school with a $1,000 grant to be used to purchase books at reduced prices through First Book’s marketplace, and First Book matched the grants with a $1,000 credit to each school.

In McDowell County, Weingarten visited Mount View High School, where she, Manchin and Marple had invited a diverse group of community partners to a round-table discussion of ideas and strategies for how the county school system can help overcome the difficult challenges of high unemployment and poverty that face McDowell students and their families. The county’s school system has struggled in an environment that includes one of the nation’s highest suicide rates and illegal drug use.

“With this meeting, we are opening a dialogue with state and local officials, parents and teachers, and many committed community partners to consider strategies for improving McDowell schools,” Weingarten said. “Our goal is to figure out what we might be able to do together to make the opportunities for kids better in McDowell County.”

Those participating in the discussion on Monday included representatives from Cisco and Frontier Communications, foundations and community groups, Save the Children, school board members and state legislators, as well as the president of Bluefield State College and the chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.

“It is so exciting to see this broad-based support for public schools,” Weingarten said. “Rather than demonizing teachers and defunding public education as is happening in so many places across the country, West Virginia leaders, parents and teachers are stepping up to the challenge of making schools better.”

For stories and photos of the “Making a Difference Every Day” tour, see: The tour includes stops in Charleston and McDowell County, W. Va.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Hartford, Conn.; Tacoma and Seattle, Wash.; Detroit; Austin, Texas; and Long Island, N.Y.


The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.