This week, leaders in Congress are working to pass a so-called “compromise” between President Biden and House Republicans on the debt ceiling.

Republicans won some new “work requirements” on SNAP and clawed back some money that was supposed to help the IRS crack down on wealthy tax cheats. Democrats won… Republicans not crashing the global economy by defaulting on America’s debt. It’s not really the kind of thing you want to compromise on, as I argued last week.

If the compromise passes, Biden will have fought off the most extreme GOP demands. But even “modest” changes to rules for social programs can have a devastating impact for the vulnerable people who rely on them — a story Florida organizer Trish Brown knows all too well, as she writes this week, and as Joyce Kendrick shared last week.

What happens with these programs depends in no small part on democracy. And there at least there’s some good news this week from Tom Conway, who sees a promising wave of new labor organizing in the South, and from Jim Hightower, who shares news of a surprising Supreme Court victory for voters.

New This Week…

Prayer Helped Me Survive Poverty, But I Needed Government Help Too | Trish Brown
Our social safety net is flawed but vital. Let’s work together to protect it from political attacks.

Southern Workers Are Defying History | Tom Conway
Successful union campaigns could raise wages, reduce poverty, and spread democracy in the former Confederacy.

A Surprising Win for Animal Rights — and Democracy | Jim Hightower
The Supreme Court sided with a voter-backed animal welfare rule over the corporate lobbyists who opposed it.

Cartoon: Artificial Intelligence vs. Natural Stupidity | Khalil Bendib
Failing to regulate AI is a preventable catastrophe.

In Case You Missed It…

There’s No Debate Over Debt — Only About Priorities | Peter Certo
If the GOP cared about debt, they’d stop cutting rich people’s taxes and give the Pentagon a haircut. So what’s this really about?

CEOs Get to Retire Comfortably. Workers Like Me Deserve the Same. | Cynthia Murray
Our tax laws shouldn’t protect giant CEO retirement accounts when my coworkers and I can’t afford to save at all.

The SNAP Expansion Helped Me Lead a Dignified Life on Disability — Now It’s Gone | Joyce Kendrick
Pandemic social programs were a life saver for me. Not only have they expired, but now conservatives want to shred what little is left.

Armed and Afraid: The High Price of Fear | Svante Myrick
As more senseless shootings claim lives, it’s time to turn away from apocalyptic rhetoric and focus on what actually makes us safer.

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