House GOP Cuts Funding for Lead Removal in Half

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Earlier this year, when I wrote my big piece about lead and crime, I hoped that maybe someone important would see it and actually do something constructive. It’s always nice to make a difference, after all. But as Harry Stein points out today, that’s not exactly what happened. Here’s the House GOP budget for 2014:

Idiots. Stein explains the consequences: “Exposure to lead causes permanent brain damage, and half a million American children have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Lead poisoning is linked to lower IQs, learning disabilities, and even criminal behavior. The connection between lead poisoning and crime is so strong that scholars have even linked the prevalence of leaded gasoline to the overall crime rate…..Using the most conservative estimate of $17 in benefits for every dollar invested, the $6 million that sequestration already cut from lead removal programs will cost our country at least $102 million. The House Republican cut of $64 million below sequestration would cost over $1 billion.”

Of course, lead removal programs mostly benefit poor people and non-whites, and the Republican Party has made it extra clear lately that they don’t care about either group. I guess the only real surprise here is that they didn’t cut the program to zero.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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