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


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.