13 April 2011

My e-mail to my congressman about the president's speech

Dear Congressman Berman,

Now that we have heard the President's speech, it is incumbent upon all Democrats in Congress to uphold as a firm commitment the Democratic principles underlying it. President Obama said quite clearly that the rich must pay a larger share of the burden of government. So, we must not allow the Republicans to roll over us and pass budget cuts without revenue enhancements. Mr. Obama said that the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich will not be extended again. We must make sure that doesn't happen. Mr. Obama said that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security must be preserved, with no vouchers or privatization, and with cost containment as the only permissible reforms. We must stand absolutely firm on this, even more adamantly perhaps than what the president said.

I commend to you the IPS report on taxation: here .

I have written to you, and to the White House, before, urging that we Democrats NOT allow the Republicans to set the agenda, or to use the threat of shutdown, the budget, or the debt ceiling, as a form of "hostage crisis" to get their way on policy and their opposition to offsetting revenue increases. We need to be prepared to call their bluff. As Paul Krugman has said, rather than having the president's plan be a sort of "left pole" and the Evil Ryan "cause not a budget" be the other pole, with something in the middle emerging, we must stand for our principles. Krugman said today that a "Zero Option" of just letting ALL the Bush tax cuts expire in 2012 is actually preferable to being rolled... again... by the Republicans.

I hope you see these issues this way. We in the DWDT ("Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party") are sick and tired of watching the Republicans get away with hostage crisis after hostage crisis, setting the frame and terms of every debate, and winning far more than the popularity of their ideas would ever justify. We must be prepared to fight, we must articulate OUR agenda, and we must call upon the American people to support it, including by protesting in the streets of Washington if need be.

I know we can count on you in this epic struggle.

Thank you.
David Studhalter

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