America is rich, still the wealthiest nation ever.
Liberal organizations and unions are frustrated that President Obama has not aggressively pushed a new jobs stimulus agenda, and they are offering up a consolidated fall agenda for Democrats to embrace as an alternative to austerity. If the government won’t take action to help America recover then the people must apply motivation to the powers that be to act in Americas long term best interest.
Representatives of MoveOn.org, Rebuild the Dream and the Center for Economic Policy and Research joined Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) on Tuesday to launch a progressive “Contract for the American Dream” to urge the administration and Congress to turn away from budget cutting and focus on job creation. The American people have been interested in creating jobs and putting America back to work for over 3 years now. It is the political leadership in both parties that is slow to get the message.
Locally Move On held a noon time rally in front of Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s office at 916 Main Street in downtown Lynchburg. In any tally of the worst Congressman in America Goodlatte finishes in the top five spots. Goodlatte stands in opposition to anything that can help seniors, women, education or workers in need of employeement. Someday the voters in Virginia’s 6th district will awaken from their long slumber and elect a Congressman who represents the workers and middle class interests. MoveOn passed out copies of their “Contract For The American Dream” and delivered their message to the TV and News Media that attended. As a get out the information and create public buzz event it was a total success.
The contract is a mix of proposals that could make their way into a fall jobs compromise with Republicans, as well as more far-reaching goals such as universal government-run healthcare for all that are less likely to be enacted. Republicans are united behind anything that cuts taxes for big business and puts the load on the back of the working man.
Schakowsky said Obama adviser David Plouffe has asked to see the contract, but the White House has yet to comment on it. The White House will have to be motivated by the people to take a stance and hold a position. The White House is so used to folding that it now comes second nature for them to back down.
The president “has said he is very interested … in pivoting now to job creation,” she told reporters. It must be remembered that the president has talked about his interest in pivoting to job creation many times before and never turned that interest into action. Obama’s feet must be held to the fire or he comprimises into a bowl of jello.
In 10 bullet points, the contract calls for massive new spending and taxes. At the top of the list are items Obama has been calling for: investing in infrastructure, clean energy, strengthening public education. These “winning the future” items were included in Obama’s 2012 budget, which was rejected unanimously in the Senate after it become focused on budget cutting.
The contract also calls for a crackdown on corporations to enforce equal pay for equal work, reforming Social Security by lifting the cap on payroll taxes, accelerating the pullout of troops from Afghanistan and overhauling the campaign finance system.
On taxes, the groups are calling for an end to Bush-era tax rates, a new higher tax bracket for millionaires and a surcharge on Wall Street trades of 1/20th of 1 percent. Schakowsky has proposed a 45 percent tax rate for millionaires and a 49 percent tax rate for billionaires.
“We have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis,” the contract reads.
“The federal government must act now to put Americans back to work, and that will require reversing the premature focus on deficit reduction,” Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future said. In a separate release he called for expanding AmeriCorps and creating new direct work programs he calls Urban Corps, Green Corps and Service Corps. He calls for direct intervention to prevent layoffs on the local level of teachers and police.
The contract is also being promoted by the Change to Win union coalition and a host of smaller groups. Some of the outside groups on the Tuesday conference call expressed frustration with Democratic leaders.
“I think this contract will not be taken seriously by the serious people in Washington at first,” said Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org.
“I think there is a huge leadership vacuum right now,” Ruben said. He also said that the rapidly worsening economy could provide the impetus needed to get major parts of the agenda
enacted this fall, including universal publicly run healthcare.
“Crises have a way of changing what’s possible,” he said.
Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream said the movement behind the contract is three times as big as the Tea Party was when it launched. It will be taking the document to August town-hall meetings.
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