I know a better, safer, stronger, more secure world is possible. We do not have to accept this world as it is, we can create the world we want in our own image. Nothing is beyond our ability, I truly believe that. We simply need to find our resolve to do it.
While Illinoisians rang in the New Year with family and friends, a little-noticed new forecast released by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) on the first of the year leaves no room for celebration.
When Congress returns from its holiday vacation in 2014, following an historic unproductive session, waiting for them should be a thunderous voice demanding results, not excuses, from the 23.2 million strong American veteran population.
If the public was angry at the government shutdown and the degree of recklessness displayed by the GOP last time around, their reaction is sure to be even more retributive this time. So go ahead, Mr. Ryan, put your hand in the fire again.
As millions of Americans struggle with inadequate health care, low wages, deteriorating public services and uncertainty about their futures as the wage gap between the wealthy elite and the working poor widens, billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars are pouring into the coffers of the Department of Defense every year.
You've asked a lot of us. You've asked for 12 years of war. You've asked for 5,000 of our lives. You've asked for 50,000 of us to deal with Traumatic Brain Injury. You've asked for 250,000 of us to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You've asked for over 2 million of us to deploy.
On the defense budget, over the next two budget years, which the agreement covers, the accord will nearly wipe away the effects of the sequester "decision rule" -- under which across-the-board cuts had to be made.
Raising the minimum wage is a better way to cut spending on assistance programs because higher wages cut the need for assistance such as food stamps. Raising the minimum wage increases other wages as well, for example low-paid supervisors of minimum-wage employees.
This Thanksgiving, Congress should set aside dysfunction and the austerity mindset and give the American people a reason to be thankful: a federal spending and revenue plan that takes our best interests to heart.
While we applaud Senator Warren and Paul Krugman for their unequivocal stance not to cut but to expand the benefits of social security, we believe we can be much bolder.
When health care systems are designed with the aim of ensuring the most vulnerable patients receive timely, accessible, high quality care, the result is a better, safer health care experience for every single one of us.
The Budget Control Act, for all its flaws, has managed to deliver something once thought impossible: actual spending cuts. Our military remains second to none, despite those cuts, and might be stronger in the future because of them.
We do have choices to make as a nation about spending and taxing. But as a Catholic, animated by the teachings of Jesus, I cannot for the life of me see how we can target food stamps going to the "least among us" while leaving private equity and hedge fund managers' favored tax rates untouched.
For all the future 'real world simulations' the Army will conduct at its training centers, there's no replacing what these officers' eyes have seen, the orders they've given, and the consequences they've dealt with in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Eric Cantor and Lamar Smith's apparently reasonable claim for fiscal sobriety conceals their skepticism about the value of social science, and it underscores an anti-scholarly agenda that aspires to erode the nation's longstanding commitment to science.
It takes bold leadership for Congress to take the long view. Historically, such leadership has happened when there has been a clear and present danger to the nation.