first_imgIt should come as no surprise to anyone following the GOP’s tax bill that the party’s policy ideas have no basis in reality. Yes, the Clinton-era changes did reduce the number of people on welfare, as Republicans predicted.But citing that as a positive would be like saying Americans are healthier when there are fewer people on Medicare.In fact, poverty has increased since the bill’s passage even while the government is spending more on anti-poverty programs.Adding work requirements for food stamps and cutting subsidized housing make little sense, either.The majority of people benefiting from food stamps are children, elderly or disabled.Of those who can work, most are already employed or find employment within one year of going on food stamps. “The greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest member,” goes the apocryphal quote.Even if you don’t agree with that sentiment, it should be clear that the GOP won’t attack the only poorest among us.They will move up the class ladder. Ryan promises that Medicare cuts will follow Medicaid cuts, and Social Security cuts are likely to follow.Demonizing the poor is simply Republicans’ way of easing into that.Now it’s up to voters to stop them.James Downie is The Washington Post’s Digital Opinions Editor. He previously wrote for The New Republic and Foreign Policy magazine.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes It’s a GOP classic: Through the 1980s and 1990s, Republicans encouraged the “welfare queen” stereotype — lazy minorities living high and mighty off tax dollars — to drive down support for welfare (and win elections).It worked.Opposition to the program became so overwhelming that in 1996, Democrat Bill Clinton signed a Republican-written “reform” bill instituting work requirements, time limits on assistance and stricter enforcement.Republicans argue today, as they did then, that these changes would get people back to work, helping both themselves and the economy.As Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) puts it, “For us to achieve 3 percent GDP growth over the next 10 years from tax reform, we have to have welfare reform.”The list of targeted programs has broadened.A bill introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would add work requirements for food stamps, implement more work requirements for welfare and slash federal spending on subsidized housing programs by 50 percent over 10 years. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIt’s no secret that the GOP tax plan working its way through Congress is weighted toward the wealthy.The richest Americans get the bulk of the tax cuts, and the poorest Americans see a tax increase. But Republicans aren’t satisfied with one blow for inequality:They’re openly positioning to attack the poor on several fronts.The first attack will be welfare reform.RELATED: Republicans nearing agreement on final tax billcenter_img Kentucky alone projects that 95,000 fewer people will us Medicaid if work requirements are implemented.In many cases, this will create a terrible cycle: People too ill to work will lose their best hope of regaining their ability to work.Back in Washington, the “reforms” described earlier are just a prelude to what House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and allies really want: the destruction of America’s social safety net.“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said Wednesday.“Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In other words, it’s not just Medicaid in the crosshairs — it’s Medicare as well.Even before the House and Senate finished passing their versions of the tax cut, Republicans were dancing a familiar step: increase the deficit by slashing revenues, then turn around and claim the country needs to cut spending by cutting entitlements.“You also have to bring spending under control,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said last week. “The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.”(Note the phrase “for future beneficiaries” — the GOP won’t touch the benefits of its older base.) And at a time when housing shortages are driving up prices in many major urban centers, the government should be investing more, not less, in subsidized housing.But evidence won’t stop the GOP from plowing ahead.Republicans at the state level aren’t even waiting for Congress to act.Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, under whom the state’s poverty rate has reached its highest in 30 years, now wants to drug-test some food stamp recipients, despite the failure of a similar program in Florida.The Agriculture Department looks set to give Wisconsin and other states the go-ahead to do so.Last month, the Trump administration announced that it would allow states to add work requirements for Medicaid enrollees.At least a half-dozen GOP-controlled states are expected to do so, even though three-quarters of Medicaid recipients are in households where at least one member has a part-time or full-time job.last_img read more

first_imgIn his Jan. 25 letter, Mr. Ray Weidman suggests that even if President Trump instead referred to African countries as “highly dysfunctional hellholes,” he still would have been persecuted by the media. And he is correct.Perhaps if he ever visited any of these countries, he would know why. These are beautiful places with amazing people. I have been to 10 African nations and I can tell you firsthand none of them were hellholes or s**tholes. Every country has its own problems (including our own), but this does not warrant a sitting U.S. president (formerly a highly respected position) referring to them as s**tholes.Mr. Weidman, change the channel (keep it changed) and open your eyes.David P. GillikinWest GlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGrateful to motorist who helped after fallAs I was preparing to cross Route 236 after walking in the beautiful Halfmoon Town Park, I lost my balance and fell. I could not get up.A young man stopped his car and got me back on my feet. He helped me to his car and drove me back to my apartment about 2 minutes away.Age and illness are taking some of my independence away, but my heart is stronger today because of this wonderful act of kindness by a stranger. Thank you.Janet GlynnHalfmoon Country is in trouble if Trump doesn’t winIn response to Gary Philip Guido’s Oct. 20 letter (“Praying for Trump and his speedy trial”), you and the rest of the Democratic liberals are so off base.Did you want Hillary in there when she had our men killed. The deal she and Obama made with Iran was bad.I’m a 100 percent disabled World War II vet and can see what Trump is trying to do. You Democratic liberals should let him do what he said he would do if elected. I’m a good Democrat.The Democratic Party used to be a good party. They did what was good for the people and the country. Trump doesn’t need the money, he loves this country and is trying to protect us. What have you done for this country?This country is in trouble if he doesn’t get elected again. Freedom is not free.Vincent BelardoAlbanyRiggi, Perazzo serve all of city’s residentsMembers of the Schenectady City Council are ‘members-at-large,’ which means ‘as a whole,’ as opposed to divided into districts.Candidates are voted in to represent the best interests of all city residents.Having attended City Council meetings or watched the meetings on channel 1303 over many years, I am extremely impressed with two council members who are running for re-election.Leesa Perazzo and Vincent Riggi are the ultimate of what a ‘members-at-large’ City Council member strives to be and have shown their love and dedication for the city and its residents.Both return calls, listen attentively, attempt to resolve the concerns of residents (or instruct them where to go for answers), speak out for those who feel too intimidated to come forward, and ask for more time when deciding important issues (when deemed necessary).Leesa Perazzo has been to numerous neighborhoods bringing along groups of volunteers to clean up graffiti and garbage on multiple occasions. Both have shown the courage to think outside the box with innovative ideas.I believe that Mayor Gary McCarthy is pointing the city in a positive direction with new initiatives.      Flora L. RamonowskiSchenectadyOstrelich an honest, pragmatic legislatorI have known Michelle Ostrelich for about 12 years. When I met her, she was involved in many community organizations.Since I met her, she has played several important roles in the Schenectady community.She was an outstanding president of the local community center I belong to, a PTO member and president in Niskayuna, and most importantly a good, caring friend.Michelle has always been kind, compassionate and caring, but she is also pragmatic and honest.These are qualities that I would look for in a colleague, partner, friend, family member and most certainly elected representative I spent a day campaigning with her in her state Senate quest. We traveled hundreds of miles through Hamilton, Herkimer, Saratoga  and Fulton counties in one day.She knocked on lots of doors and met hundreds of citizens. She listened to their concerns and created a platform to best serve those constituents.Her pragmatic and ethical approach to life will serve Schenectady County well.Vote for Michelle Ostrelich for county legislator, Schenectady deserves her.Christopher OgnibeneNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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first_imgFacebook LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Log in with your social account Linkedin Tanah-Abang Tanah-Abang-Market Tanah-Abang-station traffic-congestion Jakarta-traffic The Jakarta administration’s plan to resolve persistent traffic congestion near Tanah Abang railway station in Central Jakarta faces objections from vendors who have protested a plan to relocate them to ease the flow of traffic.As one of the capital’s major transit stations, Tanah Abang Station serves an average of 1.5 million passengers a month. Just across the station, Tanah Abang Market, the busiest textile market in Southeast Asia, coupled with dozens of street vendors and road users surrounding the area have resulted in daily traffic congestion.Jl. Jatibaru is never empty of angkot (public minivans), bajaj (three-wheeled taxi), Transjakarta buses and app-based ojek (motorcycle taxi) scrambling to pick up passengers.Despite various efforts in place, traffic congestion remains severe in the area. These efforts include building a sky bridge to accommodate street… Google Forgot Password ?last_img read more

first_imgThe Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) has reported that two people living in South Tangerang at the Batan Indah housing complex in Banten, where radioactive materials were recently found discarded, had tested positive for exposure to Caesium-137.“Two out of nine people were exposed to Caesium-137 but the level was still under the limit, so the exposure won’t cause any bodily harm,” Bapeten chief secretary Hendriyanto Hadi Tjahyono said on Friday as reported by Antara news agency.Hendriyanto said nine people had undergone a thorough examination, seven of whom were deemed clear, while two others had been exposed to the highest dosage level of 0.12 milli-sievert. “The nine people were randomly selected. They are living in residential areas near the contaminated area,” he said.He claimed that human beings could handle radiation of 1 milli-sievert per year, meaning that the two South Tangerang residents had been exposed to less than 10 percent of the dosage limit.He also said that the exposure was so low that their levels of Potassium-40, a natural radioactive product present in all bodies, was five to 10 times higher than their exposure to Caesium-137.Read also: ‘Don’t panic’: Nuclear agency urges controlled reaction to radiation in South Tangerang housing complex Hendriyanto said that although two people had been cleared, Bapeten would continue to monitor and reexamine them.“The point is that they have experienced no problems but we will have to check on them in a month or two,” he said.Bapeten discovered dangerous substances had been dumped in a vacant lot next to a volleyball court in the housing complex during its regular detection survey on Jan. 30- 31.A week later, the agency found materials believed to be the source of the radiation in the lot and confirmed that the dangerous substance was the highly radioactive Caesium-137, which is commonly used for industrial purposes. The discovery generated allegations that the radioactive materials came from industrial sources and not the nearby nuclear reactor, as it angered energy and urban activists and experts who demanded that authorities conduct a thorough inspection on the reactor.Hendriyanto said Bapeten and the National Police had been investigating to find those responsible for the waste disposal. “We fully support the criminal investigation,” he said. (syk)Topics :last_img read more