22 November 2010

President Obama, please listen to Jan Schakowksy

I've been tremendously impressed by Jan Schakowksy, one of the few voices of sanity on the president's flat out hideous  so-called deficit reduction commission, which it now turns out was ... inexplicably... stacked with so-called "deficit hawks" even among the Congressional Democrats and the president's own appointees. (I question the wisdom of the original idea of even appointing a "deficit reduction" commission in the midst of a severe recession, when this should not be a priority at all, but what's done's done).

Schakowsky has pointed out that it just isn't right, fair, or Democratic to try to balance a fiscal deficit/debt on the backs of middle and lower income people, when it was caused mainly by the Wall Street Debacle and wars the Bush administration didn't see a need to pay for, not by anything the middle class or lower income people did. She also has pointed out that the hypocrites like Bowles and Simpson who are ginning up for a propaganda war against social security actually admit... in the fine print... that social security has nothing to do with the budget deficit. Apparently they just think it's a good idea to wage economic war against seniors, the middle class, and the poor.

I find it most interesting that Warren Buffet, of all people, came out this weekend to say that it's a really bad idea to continue tax cuts for the rich, and that the very rich like him should be paying much more in taxes. Right. And what should be cut from our budget are things like agricultural subsidies that make no economic sense, corporate welfare, subsidies to mining and energy companies, cold war weapons, and other huge costs of the world's largest military, when a much more modest military, and an end to the useless military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, make much more sense for our country. 

She also emphasizes the need for investment in infrastructure and jobs, and the importance of stimulus and unemployment benefit extension, for the recovery of the economy. We will not succeed in building a rising tide that lifts all boats economy by cutting benefits to the middle class and low income people. That any Democrats are even considering these ideas is just shameful.

The President should embrace the Schakowksy "minority report." This lady is really, really smart, and she's dead on right about these issues. I would love to see her rise to the highest ranks of leadership in our party, and for the President to adopt her views on these issues completely. And, most definitively and immediately, the President needs to say loud and clear that benefit cuts or increases in the retirement age are off the table, since social security has nothing to do with causing the current deficit problem and these proposed cuts would not even have any impact on the deficit (unless these plutocrats really are proposing defaulting on debt to the social security trust fund, which they sure as hell better not be).

I am completely convinced that capitulation to the elite oligarchic interests both of the Republicans and of so-called Democrats like Bowles, Conrad, Baucus, Bayh, and others, will guarantee our party will lose again in '12. We have to start messaging our intention to fight for the middle class, mean it... and do it.

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