Congress Set to Decide Whether It Cares About Poor People or Corporations

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Brad Plumer lists seven things that Congress needs to do this month. Two of them amount to “don’t be stupid and shut down the government.” One is just miscellaneous stuff. And another is confirmation of Janet Yellen as Fed chairman, which is uncontroversial and should take only a day or two. So really, we’re left with three things:

  1. Decide whether to extend emergency unemployment insurance.
  2. Pass a farm bill.
  3. Decide whether to extend 55 different tax breaks.

Unemployment insurance is a social safety net program. The farm bill is stalled over whether to enact cuts to food stamps. The 55 tax breaks mostly benefit corporations and campaign donors.

Any guesses about which of these urgent priorities will produce adamantine opposition from Republicans and which will get broad support and pass without too much trouble? Did you guess that #3 would be the easy one, despite the fact that it costs about five times more than the other two combined? Congratulations! You too can be a political pundit.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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