For years, conservatives have assailed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a dysfunctional bureaucracy. They said private enterprise would mean better, easier-to-access health care for veterans. President Donald Trump embraced that position, enthusiastically moving to expand the private sector’s role.
The privatization myth: Here are 5 ways conservatives' free-market ideology can destroy public goods
Privatization. Privatization. Privatization. It’s all you hear from Republicans. But what does it actually mean?
Save the U.S. Postal Service: Here's the corrupt scheme to privatize a precious American institution - and why we have to stop it
Unable to find a fatal flaw in our far-flung public mail delivery network, the anti-Postal Service forces manufactured a fake flaw. In 2006, then-president George W. Bush, congressional Republican leaders, the powerful "privatizer lobby" (including FedEx, UPS and Wall Street speculators) and Koch-funded think tanks and Astroturf front groups colluded to put a one-of-a-kind paper "debt" on the books of USPS. Congress enacted a postal-service "enhancement" provision requiring the public postal corporation to pre-fund the health and pension benefits for all postal-service retirees 75 years in advance! Think about that. This arbitrary, wholly unprecedented, legislated requirement to pay now for the retirement benefits of future employees (including those not even born yet) has piled a false cost of about $5 billion a year on the debit side of the agency's balance sheet.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that President Donald Trump's ouster of Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is rooted in a Koch brothers-led effort to hand federal agencies over to private corporations.
In the latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast, AlterNet education contributor Jennifer Berkshire and co-host Jack Schneider examine the DeVos education agenda, one year in. They revisit some of her most controversial statements, including her comparison of public education to food trucks and her infamous hat tip to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Among their key takeaways: while DeVos continues to be painted as an inexperienced naif, she is a profoundly political actor, and deeply involved in the efforts to transform the U.S. along right-wing, libertarian lines.
Kicking Charter School Money Out Might Be California Democrats’ Best Chance For Unifying Their Party
The mood was festive at the annual Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner in Los Angeles. About 600 Democrats gathered in a hotel ballroom on an October evening to begin wrapping up the year. Community activists and party worker-bees mingled with political luminaries to celebrate top volunteers. Anybody with a (D) after their name and $135 for a ticket was welcome at this event in blue, blue California.
The election of Donald J. Trump as president offers the best opportunity in decades to shrink the size and power of government and increase individual liberty.
The Trump administration’s FCC recently changed local media ownership rules, paving the way for Sinclair Broadcasting to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion dollars. When the deal goes through, Sinclair has access to 72 percent of households nationwide. The Hunt Valley-based Sinclair is the largest distributor of local news in the country, and forces its stations to run commentary from pundits such as former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn and frequently offers up news with an unabashed, pro-administration spin (“Did the FBI have a personal vendetta in pursuing the Russia investigation of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn?”).
Republican leaders in Congress make no secret of prioritizing tax cuts for their wealthy donors and corporate allies over the needs of people who work for a living. Donald Trump presented himself as a different kind of Republican—a populist who would look out for ordinary Americans. But, with the president’s full-throated support, Republicans are poised to pass a reverse Robin Hood tax plan that lavishes benefits on corporations and the very wealthy at the expense of Americans just trying to get by.
More than two decades ago, Deborah Meier warned that the idea of democracy was in peril. “Is it ever otherwise?” she asked in the preface to The Power of Their Ideas, her elegantly argued manifesto for public education. A self-described preacher on its behalf, she has spent half a century nurturing “everyone’s inalienable capacity to be an inventor, dreamer, and theorist—to count in the larger scheme of things.”