The Round Table (Rational Pagans Forum)

Gray Panther Stuff
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Author:  jess [ 31 Jan 2009, 20:29 ]
Post subject:  Gray Panther Stuff

(the woman who founded it was a Buffalonian)

Economic Stimulus Package: Have YOUR Voice Heard!

The state of the economy is one of the most critical issues facing our new President, and poses an early test of his administration’s effectiveness. In response, President Obama has developed the American Recovery & Reinvestment Plan, an economic stimulus package worth $819 billion. This legislation has already been passed in the House and is now been sent to the Senate for approval. As President Obama has emphasized, if we do not act quickly and effectively, the economic recession could persist for years.


The recovery package allocates money to states to use in the areas of employment, health care, and education. Several sources, including the website, report that this economic plan will create or save more than 3 million jobs. Among its components are these:
· $90 billion to fund Medicaid assistance and computerize health care records;

· $85 billion to fund infrastructure improvements and increase funding for unemployment insurance, food stamps, and child care;

· $80 billion to renovate 10,000 public schools and to double the size of the Early Head Start Program; and

· A $2,500 “American Opportunity Tax Credit” to help make education more affordable.

Renewable energy funding is another significant component of the plan – one that fits well with the new Gray Panthers priority focus on the environment. The package proposes doubling the production of alternative energy, developing modernized electric transmission lines, and weatherizing 75% of federal buildings along with two million homes.

In addition to spending, the President’s stimulus plan proposes to cut taxes by $1,000 for 95 percent of working families, and to extend the child tax credit to millions more American families. Gray Panthers supports tax cuts for poor and middle-class families. We also support the package’s alternative minimum tax provision, which is designed to prevent upper-middle-class wage earners from moving into a higher tax bracket and to ensure that the wealthy are not able to shelter their earnings from the IRS.

The funding of these programs is essential. But it is critical that the allocation of funds be based on need, and that spending be closely monitored. Gray Panthers supports the development of an oversight board to monitor spending and to provide information about allocations at the new public website,


As concerned citizens, we must act immediately to influence legislation. We must call upon President Obama and members of Congress to support an economic stimulus package that will:

1. Jumpstart our investment in safe, affordable and sustainable sources of energy;

2. Expand access to health care for all Americans;

3. Make peace a priority by decreasing military spending; and

4. Stimulate our economy and reduce poverty by:


creating more good jobs for Americans and extending unemployment benefits;

protecting families against foreclosures and providing affordable housing; and

expanding access to affordable quality child care for low and moderate income families.

Immediate Action Needed:

Right now the Senate’s focus is on the economic stimulus package and they plan to vote on this legislation as early as Tuesday, February 3, 2009. As Congress continues to alter the details of the plan, it is important that Gray Panthers support the components that address our priorities. Make our voices heard! Take action now and influence your Senators in the passing of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Plan.

Deadline for responding: Please take action NOW!

Author:  HavenMage [ 01 Feb 2009, 10:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

An interesting side note for those that have not heard recent news on the subject: There is some controversy over the "Buy American" part of the plan that would favor American materials and manufactured goods. The problem is that this goes against several treaties that this country has developed with international trading partners and may result in retaliatory legislation in that area. Our government will have to balance and prioritize the stimulus effect on our economy with the impact on our markets. This may be just another media sound bite, but bears watching...

Author:  Uthgar the Brazen [ 02 Feb 2009, 18:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

I'd read that the Europeans were feeling very put out by the Buy American provision, and that there was concern China would produce sub-standard cheap plastic shit for somebody else instead of us.

Author:  jess [ 02 Feb 2009, 19:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

I can't see how an urge to buy our own products is insulting to anyone...

Most countries probably do it...

Author:  Uthgar the Brazen [ 02 Feb 2009, 20:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

I think it had something to do with the Germans being particularly miffed, since outside of cars and other gadgetry they don't have much to offer for exportation.

Author:  jess [ 02 Feb 2009, 21:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff


Don't they have over 1500 types of sausages?

Author:  HavenMage [ 03 Feb 2009, 07:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

The problem, if I understand it correctly, is that after WW2 we became the world's consumer market. In order to expand our own markets for sale, we negotiated treaties that limited the tariffs and taxes on our own goods. we gave up putting our own tariffs and taxes on imports to our own markets because, at the time, we were such a powerful economic force, we did not need them... :imeter:

Author:  Uthgar the Brazen [ 03 Feb 2009, 12:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

You'd think it would be pretty clear to the miffed markets that the magic money-engine is out of power. We're not the only ones who will have to re-visit our accustomed lifestyles, so perhaps it's just local (if foreign to me) politics. Huffing and puffing before they finally tell the folks back home that the party's over.

Author:  jess [ 03 Feb 2009, 12:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

I for one would love to see us become self sufficient again.

Author:  HavenMage [ 04 Feb 2009, 07:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

I am not sure that "exclusion" policies are the right way to go. I am not an economic specialist, but reason tells me that if our own government is finding that foreign competitors are out bidding and out performing the American companies, we would find a way to make our market more competitive rather than throw money at the problem to get the less competitive product...

One way to do that is to look at taking a part of the cost of doing business that our market puts on the employer and shifting it elsewhere, as the competitor markets have done. Health care comes to mind, pension and retirement are another one. The big auto companies are really pushing for this now, along with organized labor. These costs are killing our ability to remain competitive in the world market.

Author:  jess [ 04 Apr 2009, 22:11 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

Gray Panthers continue to support progressive healthcare reform as an issue priority. We also continue to send President Obama information on Gray Panthers and our positions. Below is a copy of our latest message sent through our National Gray Panthers Web Manager Shadia Henson to the contact page pertaining to keeping a government-sponsored public plan option on the table in health care reform discussions:

"Gray Panthers believes that healthcare is a human right, not an option. All Americans should have access to quality and affordable healthcare. A single-payer national healthcare program is the only solution in healthcare reform.

The current employer-based healthcare system has failed Americans who continue to lose their jobs during this economic crisis. For this reason, the option for a government-sponsored healthcare program must NOT be taken off of the table for consideration. This type of system would undercut the cost of private insurance plans. Although this is not favorable to the current corporate healthcare system, you must not be persuaded by the greedy and profit-driven interests. Instead consider the interests of the over 47 million Americans who are uninsured or underinsured.

Now more than ever, Americans need reassurance that they will be protected during difficult times. Please honor your campaign promise to endorse a “public plan option” by giving Americans a federally funded option to cover their healthcare needs."

We encourage you as activists to use the site to move our issues forward and to hold President Obama and his administration accountable. Thanks for all you do!

Peace & Justice,

National Gray Panthers

P.s. To get Gray Panthers new window sign protesting healthcare profits, click here !

Author:  jess [ 22 Apr 2009, 19:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gray Panther Stuff

Break Down the Doors!
Public Healthcare Plan NOT Private Persuasion!

Gray Panthers has been advocating for a single payer health care system since our inception in the 1970’s. We believe that taking the profit out of health care is the only way to provide comprehensive health care to all residents. Many of our legislators are now fighting for the same thing. The Washington Post report that over 70 House Democrats have vowed not to support a broad health care reform bill that does not include a government sponsored option for consumers. There also currently 74 legislators who have signed on to co-sponsor H.R. 676 and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently introduced the American Health Security Act of 2009 (S.703). Yet there is still growing tension over including a public option in the new health care plan.


As promised, President Obama has made health care reform a priority and as such has been meeting with various stakeholders to review options for reform. Obama’s outreach has been broad except for the inclusion of single payer advocates, who have only been included in discussions after Gray Panthers and others challenged him to do so. Obama campaigned on a promise of a government- sponsored plan that would serve as an alternative to our current inefficient and overly expensive for-profit health care system. But as he continues to be pressured by his allies in the insurance industry who have a seat at the table for health care reform dialogue, he has been sending out signals that he may not adhere to his promise. Many of our allies in the fight for universal health care are now fearful that Obama may feel that it is more important to pacify insurance companies than to help the millions of uninsured Americans, growing by the day.

If a public option is taken off the discussion table, Obama’s health care reform will not be reform at all – it will be yet another band aid on an inefficient and ineffective system. Including a public option in the new health care plan is more important than ever before because of the large number of people losing their jobs and thus, their employer-based health care. Because a public plan would significantly reduce costs, private insurance companies are fearful that a public plan option would lead to millions of people dropping private insurance plans.


As healthcare reform efforts commence, now is the time to ensure that Obama is not persuaded to give in to “private negotiations” with industry lobbyists at the expense of taxpaying citizens. This administration’s pledge of transparency and accessibility must allow the single-payer perspective to be included in all healthcare reform discussions. We must ensure that he is held accountable for keeping his healthcare campaign promises.

Action Needed:

Please take action now by urging Obama to support universal single-payer health care to ensure quality and affordable health care for ALL.

Deadline for responding: Please take action As Soon As Possible!

P.S. As allies in the fight for single-payer health care, several organizations are sponsoring single-payer events nationwide. The Progressive Democrats of America are organizing a week of action for HR 676 this week. Events are being planned all over the country. Also, Healthcare-NOW!, in cooperation with the National Single-Payer Alliance, is organizing a National Day of Action on May 30th. Events are being organized in over 20 cities! Please support our allies in single-payer health care efforts.

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