From the look of things, Democrats are caving to a few conservative members of their caucus and considerably scaling back their plans to create jobs and strengthen America’s social safety net. A major sticking point has been the 10-year cost of the package.

But as Sr. Karen Donahue writes this week, the annual cost of the full Build Back Better Act is less than half of our annual spending on the Pentagon, which just got another big budget increase with virtually no debate. Why, she wonders, is federal spending only controversial when it’s supposed to help people?

Meanwhile, LeeAnn Hall takes a closer look at one of the bill’s less noted provisions: big investments in public transit. She explains why this matters for every community in the country.

Also this week, Peter and Judy Weiss make the case for banning armed drones. Jim Hightower uncovers the corporatization of veterinary care. And Khalil Bendib illustrates the holes in the argument that employees just don’t want to work anymore.

New This Week….

The Hypocrisy of the Federal Spending Debate | Sister Karen M. Donahue
Why is it controversial to spend on social programs but not the Pentagon? Or to subsidize the poor but not the rich?

Public Transit, Built Back Better | LeeAnn Hall
The Build Back Better plan’s historic investment in public transit would have a tremendous positive impact.

It’s Time to Ban Killer Drones | Peter Weiss and Judy Weiss
America’s parting drone attack in Afghanistan, which killed an aid worker and his family, is emblematic of the entire drone war.

Corporate Vets Serve Profit Over Animals | Jim Hightower
Solo practitioners who became veterinarians to provide friendly, community-based service now must answer to bean counters at headquarters.

America’s Work Ethic | Khalil Bendib
Americans have lost the will to work… for low wages and no benefits.

In Case You Missed It…

The Freedom to Vote Act Is No ‘Compromise.’ Pass It Now. | Lee Harris and Jane E. Thomas
The effort to roll back voting rights is unconscionable, and the federal government has a duty to act — now, before the next election.

When Wall Street Came to My Mobile Home Park | Francine Townsend
Mobile homes provide affordable housing for millions. But for private equity firms, they’re just another asset to squeeze for profit.

Don’t Cut Care | Rebekah Entralgo
Aging and disabled Americans — and the workers who care for them — have a huge stake in federal budget negotiations.

Here Come the Abortion Bounty Hunters | Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
In this unequal economy, Texas’s harsh new anti-abortion law pits desperate people against each other.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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