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OFF-KILTER with Rebecca Vallas

Jul 19, 2018

Almost immediately after President Trump announced the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, his administration sent out a list of talking points to business-friendly surrogates. Headlined “Judge Brett Kavanaugh On Overregulation,” it elaborated how Kavanaugh “protects American businesses from job-killing regulation.” That pleasant pablum disguises what Kavanaugh really thinks of regulations protecting all of us. So writes Helaine Olen, in a column for the Washington Post’s PostPartisan blog. She joins the show to unpack what Kavanaugh’s deregulatory ideology could mean for workers — and consumers — should he join the high court.

Later in the show, amid the ongoing Farm Bill debate, which has nutrition assistance for some 2 million Americans squarely in the cross-hairs, another threat to struggling families’ nutrition is largely flying under the radar. Last week it came to light that a program that enables low-income families to purchase fresh produce at farmers markets with their SNAP benefits is in jeopardy — due to a change in contractors initiated by the Trump administration, which is raising all kinds of red flags. To unpack what’s going on — and what’s at stake for families struggling to put food on the table — Rebecca speaks with Jane Black, one of the reporters who broke the story for the Washington Post.

But first… Move over, climate change. Late last week, the White House issued a sweeping denial of poverty. A major report released by Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers brazenly declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success.” As Rebecca and Jeremy explain, the report is literally page after page of gaslighting the very real hardship faced by tens of millions of Americans struggling to afford food, housing, health care and more — all for the purpose of justifying Trump’s quest to dismantle Medicaid, nutrition assistance, and other programs that help families get by (to pay for his millionaire tax cuts). PLUS: More evidence that workers’ wages are down, 6 months after Trump’s tax law took effect; Amazon Prime Day strikes; President Obama calls for a Universal Basic Income; and other news of the week, ICYMI.