KATHY RUFFING – Social Securityâ€™s trustees recently reported that â€” over the next 75 years â€” Social Security will have a shortfall of 2.67 percent of taxable payroll, or 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That is, raising taxes by an average of 1 percent of GDP could put Social Security on a sound footing over 75 years. How does that compare with the stakes involved with extending President Bushâ€™s tax cuts?
STIMSOM CENTER – In a unique study, three quarters of respondents favored cutting defense as a way to reduce the deficit, including two thirds of Republicans as well as nine in 10 Democrats.
ADAM KLASFELD – A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism.
EYDER PERALTA – A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay in 2011. As Congress struggles to rein in the federal deficit, a new survey finds Americans preferred to cut defense spending more than any other program.
DR. JOSEPH GERSON -Beyond this hysteria, peace, labor and immigrant rights activists and scholars are gathering in Chicago for the May 18-19 Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice, to present the case against NATO-driven militarism.
BIG NEWS NETWORK.COM – George W. Bush and several other members of his administration have been found guilty of war crimes by the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
JOHN ADDISON – Electric car sales triple in the U.S. each year â€“ 20,000 in 2011, 60,000 or more in 2012, 180,000 or more in 2013. Accenture forecasts 1.5 million electric vehicles in the United States by 2015. Over 10 million electric vehicles are possible by 2020, especially if oil prices rise as battery prices fall. Single electric utilities have scenarios for charging over one million electric vehicles in their own service area by 2020.
TAMATA STATON, LAURA CARVER & PHILIP CARVER -An economically efficient policy would place a price-adder (tax) on fossil fuels based on their carbon-content. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced legislation to price carbon emissions — the Save Our Climate Act of 2011, H.R. 3242. Revenue is collected at the point of first sale or import. In the first ten years, the IRS would return 80 percent of the revenue to the public on an equal, per-person basis. The other 20 percent would go toward deficit reduction.
DAVE JOHNSON- The highly-profitable company Verizon — the 16th largest corporation in America — is asking its workers for givebacks amounting to as much as $20,000 each, while tripling the compensation of CEO Lowell McAdam from $7.2 million to $23.1 million. The company made $22.5 billion in profits over the past four years while paying its top five executives $283 million over that period. Because of this the company has earned the nickname â€œVerigreedy.”
ERIN E NIEMELA – As the NATO summit approaches in May, throngs of peace protestors are expected to descend on Chicago to pressure the U.S.-led, 28-nation military alliance for an end to the war in Afghanistan. But for some activists, it will be too late to protest the greatest threat to a peaceful Afghanistan: the signing of the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS AND RYAN ALEXANDER – Since 1948 the federal government has spent more than $95 billion (in 2011 dollars) on nuclear energy R&D. That is more than four times the amount spent on solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, and hydropower combined.
Jim Cook – After all the talk about “the 1%”, who are these people really? Where do they work and how much do they really make? At the top of the list is Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs at Apple.
MICHAEL SHANK AND CRAIG BROWNSTEIN – The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) announces the second annual release of the United States Peace Index (USPI). The 2012 USPI provides a comprehensive assessment of U.S. peacefulness at the state and city levels and analysis of the costs associated with violence and the socio-economic measures associated with peace.
JOHN DARLING – Tea Party and Occupy supporters found that they have many similarities at a forum in Southern Oregon. In their first public outing together, Tea Party and Occupy backers â€” and an audience of 200 â€” found a lot of common ground. They agreed that corporations, lobbyists, the military and the federal government have a huge amount of power, are “bought,” and aren’t very responsive to the needs of the average person.