March 2, 2009 |
More than half of all Americans - about 160 million - think of themselves as middle class, according to a 2008 Pew survey. But recent events suggest officials in Washington have a much narrower definition, encompassing only the 16 million workers represented by a union. This definition gives new perspective to last week's first meeting of the Middle Class Working Families Task Force in Philadelphia. Headed by Vice President Biden, the task force certainly seems to be a high priority for the White House.
January 10, 2010 |
"I think it's an injustice. I'm a proud American who did the best I could for my country and this is how they reward me. " - Bradley Birkenfeld, a whistle-blower in a tax-evasion probe of UBS AG, as he reported to prison for helping clients hide hundreds of millions of dollars and evade U.S. taxes "Make no mistake about it, this case is about more than just hats. " - DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League Players Association, on the Supreme Court battle over who gets to make official NFL headgear logos "The Europeans should focus the conversation on the economic issues of climate change, the green jobs, the recovery.
March 17, 2009 |
MY TWO grandchildren are excited about celebrating the Irish part of their heritage today. Like millions of others, Dylan, who's 8, and Kaya, 5, want to paint the town green in commemoration of St. Patrick's Day, the celebration of the man who, according to legend, helped spread Christianity throughout Ireland near the end of the fourth century. I told the grandkids that although I'm donning green as well today, I will not be downing any green beer or green potatoes. Although I do have Irish in my bloodline, my reasons for going green have little to do with shamrocks and more to do with helping to save the environment.
October 20, 2012 |
Al Gore is about 50 times richer than he was when he left the vice presidency in 2001. According to an Oct. 11 report by the Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig, Gore accumulated a Romneyesque $100 million partly by investing in alternative-energy firms subsidized by the Obama administration. Two days after that story ran, Mitt Romney proclaimed at a rally in Ohio's Appalachian coal country: "We have a lot of coal; we are going to use it. We are going to keep those jobs. " Thousands cheered.
November 3, 2009
A COMMUNITY COLLEGE is the setting for a sitcom on NBC, but the health and improvement of the nation's community colleges is no joke. In fact, if President Obama has his way, community colleges will be an engine of the economic recovery. It looks as if millions of students already have the same idea: About 40 percent of 18-24 year olds - a record - are in college, says a new study by the Pew Research Center. Recent gains are attributed to a surge in enrollment at community colleges.
June 19, 2012 |
Again, Obama bypasses Congress Once again, President Obama has bypassed Congress, this time to establish a new immigration policy ("Obama shields younger migrants," Saturday). In December 2010, the U.S. Senate defeated the "DREAM Act," but the president has, once more, thumbed his nose at our elected officials. I am just amazed that he continues to ignore the U.S. Constitution. I wonder if this new policy is a reflection of his concerns about November 2012? James J. O'Donnell, Ocean City Tools of a dictatorship The Obama administration has usurped the authority of Congress with an executive order "DREAM Act" on immigration.
April 21, 2008 |
During the last 10 years the prices of oil, natural gas and now coal have increased about 400 percent. Higher fossil-fuel prices are adding to our economic pain and soon will be reflected in electricity bills, since we make 70 percent of our electricity by burning fossil fuels. Electricity rate caps in Pennsylvania that capped prices at 1996 levels have ended in six electricity-service territories and will end throughout the state by January 2011. Gov. Rendell has been sounding the alarm since February 2007 on energy prices, urging swift passage of a package of energy bills that would create great green jobs and give consumers practical tools to cut their electricity bills.
March 3, 2010 |
In his eighth and final budget address last month, Gov. Rendell repeatedly criticized "special interests" for stymieing his legislative proposals. He said, " ... the time has come to put stricter controls not simply on what they report, but on what they do. " And he called for a cap on special-interest groups' campaign contributions, implying that such limits would lower the hurdles for his policy proposals. So it was ironic when, just days after the governor hammered special interests, I heard from dozens of Rendell's fellow Democrats in the state House, who wanted me to contribute amounts ranging from $250 to $5,000 to their reelection campaigns.
June 7, 2011 |
Can you miss something you never really had? The Associated Press reported over the weekend that South Korean electric-vehicle maker CT&T Co. Ltd. won't be building final-assembly operations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Had the manufacturer of the e-Zone two-seater followed through on its intentions and set up in Philadelphia, it could have meant up to 200 jobs. (I wrote about CT&T's plans in September 2009 after its representatives had met with Mayor Nutter .) But Pennsylvania is far from the only state to see red when promised green jobs did not materialize.