budget cuts

Budget Cuts Lead to Loss of Lawyers Representing Indigent Defendants

Tom Gogola

Draconian cuts in the budget for lawyers who represent indigent defendants have come back to haunt the Orleans Parish criminal justice system. Upwards of 500 indigent defendants may have been locked up without the benefit of an assigned defense attorney over the past year, according to a brief filed in the state Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. The brief charges that “many indigent people facing serious criminal charges in New Orleans do not have attorneys.”

What Could a Paul Ryan Vice Presidency Mean to the Nation’s Poor?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In an apparent off-the-cuff remark, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan gushed that he thought it was a “cool thing” that an African-American was president. But Ryan’s rapture with President Obama didn’t last past the first sentence. In the next breath he quickly added that he didn’t like much else about Obama. The much else was how much Obama has spent on health, education and job development programs that would help the poor and minorities. That spending has been fiscal heresy for Ryan.

President Obama’s Budget Hits the Mark

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The great fear a year ago when President Obama unveiled his budget for 2012 was that he caved to the GOP and Tea Party hardliners, and axed dozens of vital programs and agencies. The screams were long and loud from liberal Democrats that the budget slashes would tar Obama as the first Democratic president to do what no Democrat or GOP president had dared do and that was to slash and restructure Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The fears have mostly proved groundless. 

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