facebook.edu: Campaigning for Higher Education

When I came to Cal, I purged my closet of all things red, of course in solidarity with thousands of Cal students before me turning up their noses at the Stanford Stink.  But I’m sure over the last year people reading this have rallied with me in that hated color, forgetting the pettiness of rivalship, and repping a different sort of solidarity.  Over the last year, many of us have yelled, marched, and advocated for a cause few of us can ignore.  On March 22, my red shirt again blended in with th...
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We’re Not the Only State with a Budget Crisis…

...but we are the only state held hostage by minority rule that refuses to consider any measure to raise some revenue in order to close the budget gap and thereby prevent teachers from being laid off, health services from being cut, criminals from being released early and parks from closing (as well as myriad other problems associated with drastically cutting spending in the midst of a recession). I bring this up, of course, because last night the news from Michigan indicated that their stat...
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Walkout Advocacy Letters

At our meeting last Thursday, almost 100 Cal Dems signed letters urging their representatives to protect higher education in California. You can view a copy of our letter here. We told Sacramento to look for new revenues--including tobacco and oil severance fees--before squeezing students, faculty, and the future of our state. Our message was clear: we would rather have affordable education than affordable cigarettes. This was a great first step, but it won't be our last. Education is...
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California: Taxes vs. Spending

For many people, the economy is issues one, two, and three. This is understandable, as national unemployment sits at 9.7% . California is even worse at 12.2%, the highest ever recorded. During California's budget battle, some argued that given our economic doldrums, we couldn't afford to raise taxes. Doing so, they claimed, would have reduced incomes and driven businesses away. As a result, they advocated an all-cuts budget. However, their approach ignored the facts and was grossly misgui...
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Evaluating Baucus’ Bill

Without a doubt, there are many, many reasons to be mad at Max Baucus. However, as The Atlantic notes, he did get a few things right. Namely, his “chairman’s mark” has a host of reforms, some high-profile and some low-key, which provide a solid fiscal foundation for health reform. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Baucus’ bill will cost only $774 billion over a decade  and actually reduce the deficit by $49 billion over this timeframe. To be sure, Baucus does have ma...
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Health Care Reform: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

As of today, all five of five relevant committees have unveiled health proposals. Four have passed them (Senate HELP, House Education and Labor, House Ways and Means, and House Energy and Commerce), while one has not (Senate Finance). Spread throughout these bills are many ideas, some good, some bad, and some ugly. At this point, no single bill is the "best". If I were God (and I didn't have to cooperate with Congress), my dream bill would pick bits and pieces from each one. Of course, ...
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Health Reform and the Deficit

Republicans often claim that our deficit, projected at $1.6 trillion, should preclude any health reform. With vigor, they denounce Democrats for proposing a “trillion dollar health bill” in such an environment. However, their criticisms are short-sighted. Reform is deficit-neutral in the short term, and it will save trillions of dollars over time. Certainly, reform will cost around $1 trillion. However, for every dollar it spends, it will either cut a dollar elsewhere or raise a dollar of ...
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The Need for Health Reform

“America’s health care system is broken.” Though one might expect such a statement to come from a politician or a patients’ rights advocate, it actually originated with a broad coalition known as the Better Health Care Together campaign.  The campaign, which included AT&T, Intel, and Wal-Mart, found the status quo unacceptable and called for “achieving a new American health care system by 2012”. The idea of overhaul, once rejected in 1993, is now supported by formerly hostile groups ...
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