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Democrats in Congress are fighting back against Trump’s plan to privatize elements of the Veterans Administration

Democrats in Congress are fighting back against Trump’s plan to privatize elements of the Veterans Administration. “Democrats now in charge in the House are resisting. They say proposed rules on when veterans could go outside VA are too lenient and would damage the government system — a long-held fear of Democrats who worry that union jobs will be siphoned off and the government system dismantled. (…) Democrats and some veterans groups have accused Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie of leaving them out of planning. ‘They profess to be against privatization,’ said Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who ascended to chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee in January, ‘but by default, we will see privatization happen under our very noses.’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has raised alarms for months that the policy lacks a ‘sustainable funding source.’”

Boeing Crashes Highlight the High Costs of Cheap Government

Amit Narang, the regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, says corporate self-regulation is failing, and New York magazine ran an article on how the “Boeing crashes highlight the high costs of cheap government.” Phil Mattera of Good Jobs First says “the idea that corporations should be allowed to oversee themselves is unwise in general but particularly wrong-headed when it comes to a company like Boeing. (…) Shamed into action, the FAA is now behaving more like a real regulator again. Yet this too is part of the typical scenario: when outrage about a deadly incident escalates, an agency acts tough. But this rarely lasts. Once the uproar dies down, the regulators return to their comfortable relationship with the regulated, and the public is once again put at risk.”

Source: Intelligencer

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Unholy Alliance: California Courts’ Use of Private Debt Collectors

A new report by the California Reinvestment Coalition reveals that the privatized system of public debt collection is pervaded with systematic racism. This research showed that the collection of fines and fees is a regressive form of income generation for municipalities. Private debt collectors profit from fines and fees assessed on poor people, facilitated by the state of California. However, the revenue to counties from collecting these fines and fees is miniscule; this system only benefits the private debt collectors.

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