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Budgets

How Cities Use Participatory Budgeting To Build Place

Cities around the world today are beset with problems of unequal development and spatial inequality. While the details of American suburban sprawl and urban decline might be unique to this country, the broader struggle over deeply unequal, segregated cities and regions is, unfortunately, one experienced around the world. Whether in the spreading rustbelts across shrinking industrial cities or in the mega­ cities and informal communities of the Global South, inequality is played out at the level of neighborhood and street — and it is visible everywhere. At the root of these struggles over physical spaces and the right to the city are questions of governance that are local yet also global: How should governments, residents, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and others work together in ways that produce more meaningful, just, and prosperous connections between people and places?

Damning Report Shows Unions Have Plenty Of Money To Organize

Many people who are passionate about the labor movement, myself included, have long had the vague but haunting sense that the most powerful institutions in the union world are not doing enough to stem the bleeding that has been sucking power from unions for decades. Well, there’s good news and bad news on that front. The bad news is: that sickening feeling was correct. The good news is: now we can put some numbers on it. A new report from Chris Bohner, who runs the labor research firm Radish Research, has done an amazing service by systematically assembling thousands of financial records from unions over the past decade to assemble a report that gives the most comprehensive picture that I have ever seen of the current financial state of unions in America.

There Have Been 21 Debate Questions About Paying For Social Programs, Zero About Paying For War

Democratic debate moderators are sending the message that we can afford policies that spread militarism—but not those that protect human life. The implication of these moderators’ questions—that the cost of Medicare for All is so great it will hurt ordinary people—disregards the tremendous harm being inflicted on ordinary people right now by a staggeringly expensive healthcare system.

Boondoggle: Inc. Making Sense Of The $1.25 Trillion National Security State Budget

In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And keep one thing in mind: that $750 billion represents only part of the actual annual cost of our national security state.

Democrats Cave In Secret Budget Deal With Trump

While attention was focused on the House of Representatives’ impeachment of Donald J. Trump, legislators from both parties were secretly huddling with White House aides to seal a $1.4 trillion budget deal to fund the government until next September. They were rushing to do this to avoid a partial government shutdown starting December 21, 2019. Had the budget been deliberated in open Congressional hearings, the media would have reported on this backroom deal and the people of this country would have had a chance to weigh in during the proceedings.

The US Is Spending 1.25 Trillion Annually On War

In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And keep one thing in mind: that $750 billion represents only part of the actual annual cost of our national security state. There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought.

One Million Protest In Brazil Against Education Budget Cuts And Pension Reform

Hundreds of thousands of school and university students, teachers, professors, and staff took to the streets on Wednesday, May 15, all over Brazil to protest against the education budget cuts announced by the government. According to Brazil’s National Confederation of Workers in Education (CNTE), more than one million people took part in the demonstrations. Based on reports from all over the country, Brasil de Fato estimates that there were protests in more than 180 cities. On Apr. 30, Brazil’s Education minister, Abraham Weintraub, announced budget cuts for all levels of public education.

Boondoggle, Inc. Making Sense Of The $1.25 Trillion National Security State Budget

In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And keep one thing in mind: that $750 billion represents only part of the actual annual cost of our national security state. There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought.

Hey America, Here’s What Your Budget Buys + Big Brother’s New Censorship Tool

Rob from the poor to give to our wars. We take a dive into the grotesque sludge that is Trump's proposed budget - and why we should really care regardless of whether it passes Congress or not. Next up, Mnar Muhawesh with Mint Press News introduces us to NewsGuard, the new Big Brother that's here to tell you what to believe via a neo-con backed news ranking system. Hint: they wouldn't like our show.

Want To Improve Education? Empower The Students.

Autumn is here — and with it, a renewed conversation about how educators, parents, and communities improve their students’ education. Often in this discussion, solutions come down from on high through public officials or people within the educational system. This fall, visionary school leaders will be challenging that top-down norm by showing that empowering students and families to directly decide what their schools need, through participatory budgeting (PB), can drastically improve the quality of their schooling. What is PB? Instead of government and school officials making every budgetary decision, PB gives real people real power over budget decisions in their schools and communities.

Our Poor, Defenseless Military Industrial Complex

It is a sign of our times that our media attempt to decipher future government policy by analyzing the president’s tweets, like some bizarre game of telephone. Throughout November, there was speculation of a coming reduction in military spending, and when Donald Trump took to Twitter (12/3/18) to describe the $716 billion budget as “crazy,” media took this as confirmation. The prospect of a cut to the military elicited a storm of condemnation across the media landscape. The National Review (11/17/18) wrote that “cutting the resources available to the Pentagon is a bad idea,” noting that, “for decades, America has short-changed defense” meaning “America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt.”

The Pentagon Failed Its Audit Amid A $21 Trillion Scandal (Yes, Trillion)

New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was ruthlessly attacked recently, and I feel a bit responsible. I might have accidentally tainted her Twitter feed with truth serum. But that sounds weird—so let me back up. A few months ago, I covered the story of the $21 trillion that has gone unaccounted for at the Pentagon. That’s right—trillion with a T—an amount of money you can’t possibly come to terms with, so stop trying. Seriously, stop. It’s like trying to comprehend the age of the earth.

Cost Of War On Terror Soon To Be Over $6 Trillion

The United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $5.9 trillion (in current dollars) on the war on terror through Fiscal Year 2019, including direct war and war-related spending and obligations for future spending on post-9/11 war veterans (see Table 1). This number differs substantially from the Pentagon’s estimates of the costs of the post-9/11warsbecause it includes not only war appropriations made to the Department of Defense –spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and in other places the government designates as sites of “overseas contingency operations,” –but also includes spending across the federal government that is a consequence of these wars.

Military-Friendly: Zooming Into The State-Level War Machine

It’s a pretty boring drive. My friends in Sweden always engage their rose-colored paradigms when I talk about driving in the US. They think it’s like Thelma and Louise or that Johnny Depp commercial where he’s driving out in the desert at sunset, burying some jewelry in the midst of a wide expanse of red earth and rock. But, no. This is not a way-out-west badass, cool guyliner kinda drive. It’s a snoozer, tunnel-vision-maker of a drive – with too many cops and not enough Sheetz locations. Come to think of it, I’m pretty surprised that I even noticed the sign. At the same time, I’m rather surprised I’ve never seen it before.

Here’s What We Could Have If We Slashed The Military Budget

The Pentagon is set to receive $717 billion in 2019 — more than half of the roughly trillion-dollar annual budget. That level of Pentagon funding is immense by any standard. Next year’s budget will be roughly twice the size of military appropriations in the mid-1990s, before George W. Bush and his twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it will be higher than the peak of Pentagon spending during the Vietnam War. None of this is necessary. The Pentagon is the least accountable part of the federal government, wasting billions of dollars on needless bureaucracy, pouring billions more into dangerous (and redundant) nuclear weapons, and cozying up to contractors who siphon off roughly half of the Pentagon’s budget each year.
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