It’s the week before Valentine’s Day. And as my colleague Josh Hoxie writes, working families aren’t getting much love from Washington.

This week in OtherWords, he recounts an unbelievable story about House Speaker Paul Ryan boasting that a Pennsylvania secretary will make an extra $1.50 a week thanks to the Trump tax cuts.

Others pointed out that that the Koch brothers will make an extra $27 million per week. Guess who gave $500,000 to Ryan’s fundraising committee: the secretary or the Kochs?

No wonder Americans hate the tax bill, Jim Hightower adds. And no wonder the GOP’s trying to make it harder for those Americans to vote, as Jen Herrick explains in a sweeping survey of bad voting laws in the works this year.

Also this week, Jill Richardson shares her Kafkaesque experience trying to claim unemployment in California. Alison Stine reports on the fracking companies dumping waste in her picturesque (but poor) Ohio town. And Khalil Bendib scratches his head at the Trump administration’s plans to produce “mini-nukes.”


Khalil Bendib /

  1. No Love for Working Families This Valentine’s Day / Josh Hoxie
    A Pennsylvania secretary gets an extra $1.50 a week from the GOP tax bill. The Koch brothers get an extra $27 million.
  2. Get Ready for More Voter Suppression / Jen Herrick
    This year, at least 20 states are considering laws that would make it harder to vote.
  3. America Dumps Its Fracking Waste in My Ohio Town / Alison Stine
    My county is poor and remote. Fracking companies think they can abuse it.
  4. Bad Bureaucracies Are Fraying the Social Safety Net / Jill Richardson
    When processes are confusing, benefits lousy, and offices understaffed or underfunded, everyone loses.
  5. Americans Hate the Tax Bill Because It Wasn’t Written for Them / Jim Hightower
    In today’s rigged political system, the special interests of a tiny minority trump the will of the great majority.
  6. Mini-Nukes? / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo

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

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