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VIDEO: This senior's Social Security story moved her to tears


Sheryl Tenicat, of Des Moines, starts her story at the 2:00 mark... 

“$624 a month. That’s what I live on. 99 of that goes to my Medicare Part ‘A’ and ‘B’. After I get my check in two weeks, it’s gone. I have nothing. I live on what I eat here (at the senior center). I don’t want my cost of living cut because I’ve paid in since I was 16.”

Sheryl's story is all too common. Many seniors' sole source of income is through Social Security, and threats to cut their benefits force them to risk poverty and make them food-insecure. 

Add your name, and send a message to Washington that we need to expand Social Security benefits, not cut them!

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Categories: Social Security


It gets worse -- for Mitch McConnell

Note: This is from Jay Henderson, field deputy

Thanks to you and all of us at DFA, Senator Mitch McConnell had a very bad week.

After we released polling showing McConnell losing his bid for reelection, their campaign spent the rest of the week on defense fending off question after question from the local Louisville Courier-Journal to the national U.S. News and World Report.

The Huffington Post, Politico, The Hill, Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic, Washington Times... if you name a major media outlet, they probably covered it. McConnell's defense? "They have concocted another fictitious poll that has no basis in reality."

Keep dreaming Mitch. As members of the media pointed out, our polling firm was "lauded for its accuracy during the 2012 election cycle."

Contribute right now to keep the pressure on and send Mitch McConnell packing. 

Oh, but it gets worse -- for Mitch McConnell.

On the heels of our polling, a second poll was released showing the same results. Suddenly the campaign isn't being quite so bullish to claim fraud and even the Cook Political Report, a prominent nonpartisan outlet that analyzes elections and is followed closely by the Washington establishment, moved the race into the "Toss Up" category.

The fact is five-term incumbent, Senate Minority Leader, king of the filibuster, and chief architect of Republican gridlock Mitch McConnell is losing his race for reelection in Kentucky.

This is a huge opportunity. If we can keep Republicans on defense, even in a red state, their path to winning control of the Senate gets that much harder.

Help us send Mitch packing with a contribution of $15.

This was a bad week for Mitch McConnell. Let's make sure the rest of the year only gets worse.

Jay

Jay Henderson, Field Deputy
Democracy For America
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Categories: Elections


Congress went on recess and pretty much ignored the country.

August, the time of year when Congress leaves town for five weeks. Usually it gives them the chance to step away from the breakneck pace of the Legislative Calendar, and gives them a chance to reconnect with their constituents. Except under this failed GOP leadership, it's where we get to call them to task for barely doing anything for the American people. Here's a list of everything they left unfinished. 

1. The Sequester


It's still there, and it's still killing over a million jobs (1.6 million by the end of 2014). The automatic spending cuts are already striking into the economy, and slowing growth. While the Tea Party continues to demand that it stays, or even doesn't go far enough, there's still a lot to say about moments like this one:
“Thus I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration — and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts — must be brought to an end.” - Rep. Hal Rogers (R. KY)

You know something's up when the GOP head of the House Appropriations Committee speaks out against spending cuts. 

2. Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development


The quote from the Kentucky representative is actually about the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill (THUD). The bill serves to fund a part of the government next year, so of course congress couldn't get its act together. But why? The bill would go higher than what sequestration allows. 

Good job GOP.

3. The Budget

Congress needs to pass 12 appropriations bills to fund the government. Who made that dumb law?

Oh... the framers...

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution says,

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

So it's slightly mandatory for Congress to get its act together on this one. The fiscal year ends on October 1st. Because congress comes back on September 9th, and barely meets anyway, there will only be 9 days for them to pass a budget. 


4. Immigration


In a rare move, Obama and the House GOP leadership came to an agreement to set a deadline for immigration reform in the House. Guess what deadline came and went with nothing to show. 

What's more? The deal powered its way through the Senate. What does this mean? It means that the House definition of "bipartisan" is actually "liberal."

Conclusion?

The 113th congress had, until this week, only passed 13 bills. At the rate it's going it's likely going to be less productive than the 112th Congress, which was the least productive since World War 2, and take the mantle of being the least productive in the history of the United States.

What did they actually get done before the August recess? They passed their 14th bill - student loan reform that will actually raise rates over the years for millions of students. 

Oh, and the House passed its 40th repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Sweet. 

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Categories: Budget and Taxes Economy and Jobs Education


This probably isn't the week Mitch McConnell wanted

Polls, challengers, and rebellions. Oh my!

1. The DFA/PCCC polling
We've been loving our polling numbers in Kentucky lately. So has the rest of the internet. The Huffington Post says it best though:


Looks great, doesn't it? It just has this really smooth look to it. "MCCONNELL DOWN 1." You can see the full story on our poll here.

2. Attorney General Alison Lundergan Grimes' polling

The leading lady in Kentucky released her own polling numbers, which we also love. From the Courier Journal:
Grimes released the results of a telephone poll that showed her with a 2 point lead over McConnell among Kentucky registered voters. The poll of 750 voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

We know there's still a lot of time between now and the 2014 election, but this is a pretty great start. 

3. McConnell's staff shakedown

Obviously these numbers aren't great to see for the 30-year Senate veteran. He has to be panicked if he's sending his chief of staff to oversee the reelection efforts. 

Mitch has a history of completely carpet-bombing opponents. Apparently it isn't working. (...especially if early polling shows him behind. Did we mention he's down in the polls?). The general perception, now, is that his reelection may be the last chance the GOP has at securing the Senate for years to come

4. Challenge from the Tea Party

Alison Lundergan Grimes isn't the only challenge McConnell has in the race. He's facing a primary challenge from the fringes of the Tea Party that's already picked up national esteem. Matt Bevin, a New Hampshire native has become the Tea Party's darling in the state, and is looking to unseat McConnell. Bevin really doesn't have a chance, but he is taking firm advantage over McConnell's record-low approval ratings. 

5. Nobody seems to like him

Sure, Rand Paul endorsed Mitch, but they're from the same state. It's pretty much expected. 

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz, who's just plain terrible, wouldn't even endorse McConnell, neither would Senator Mike Lee of Utah, or Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Really

edit: it gets better and better... 

6. Olfactory-Gate

The smell heard 'round the world picked up steam (ew?) last week when McConnell's campaign manager Jesse Benton had this wonderful quote:

“Between you and me, I’m sort of holding my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in ’16, so that’s my long vision,” (source)
According to the Washington Post, this quote is from months ago, and he's a longtime Ron Paul/Rand Paul loyalist. The best part? It's a call recorded by a Ron Paul aid. 
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There's Even More Troubling News for Mitch McConnell in the New Polls Released Today. MORE HERE:

You probably saw this shocker of a headline today: 

Well there's more troubling numbers for Mitch McConnell, and and we've got the full report here. As you see, he's not only wildly unpopular, but his stance on Social Security is wildly out of touch with his constituents. Give a read and let us know what your analysis is in the comments. 

Kentucky Senate Race Questions

If the general election for U.S. Senate were held today, and the choices were Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, for whom would you vote?

Mitch McConnell ........................................................... 44%

Alison Lundergan Grimes ............................................. 45%

Undecided .................................................................... 11%

(Asked of 1,210 Kentucky voters MOE 2.8%)

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republican Mitch McConnell is handling his job as U.S. Senator?

Approve ................................................................ 40%

Disapprove ........................................................... 51%

No opinion .............................................................. 9%

(Asked of 1,210 Kentucky voters MOE 2.8%)

After 30 years in the U.S. Senate, do you believe Republican Mitch McConnell deserves re-election, or not?

Believe he does  ................................................................  38%

Believe he does not ...........................................................  54%

Not sure ..............................................................................  8%

(Asked of 625 Kentucky voters MOE 3.9%)

If Republican Mitch McConnell supported any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits, including raising the retirement age or reducing cost-of-living adjustments, would you be more or less likely to support his candidacy for U.S. Senate, or would it not make a difference?

More likely....................................................... 15%

Less likely ....................................................... 52%

Wouldn't make a difference............................. 33%

(Asked of 585 Kentucky voters - MOE 4.1%)



Social Security Questions

A proposal in Congress would increase Social Security benefits, resulting in a worker at age 75 receiving $452 more in benefits per year and a worker at age 85 receiving $807 more per year. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

Support ...........................................................  51%

Oppose ...........................................................  24%

Not sure ..........................................................  24%

(Asked of 585 Kentucky voters - MOE 4.1%)

Right now, wealthy Americans only pay Social Security taxes on the first $113,000 of their income. In order to strengthen Social Security, do you support or oppose scrapping this cap so that wealthy Americans pay the same rate on their income as ordinary Americans?

Support  ................................. 62%

Oppose  ................................. 20%

Not Sure ................................. 18%

(Asked of 625 Kentucky voters - MOE 3.9%)

In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Social Security benefits, which is the government retirement program for the elderly?

Support ........................................................... 11%

Oppose ........................................................... 79%

Not sure.......................................................... 9%

(Asked of 1,210 Kentucky voters MOE 2.8%)

Do you support or oppose the recent White House proposal to cut the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits, resulting in a worker at age 75 receiving $658 less in benefits per year?

Support ........................................................... 13%

Oppose ........................................................... 74%

Not sure .......................................................... 13%

(Asked of 625 Kentucky voters MOE 3.9%)

Poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Democracy For America (DFA) and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) on July 19-21, 2013. PPP was#1 most accurate pollster of 2012.

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Categories: Social Security Elections


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