Dear President Obama,
About That Budget:
So Eric Cantor and Jon Kyle have run away from the negotiating table at the mere whiff of actually increasing revenue so as to reduce the massive national debt. The same debt that was dropping precipitously at the turn of the century, and that then skyrocketed do to the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the decade long, ruinously profligate, unfunded wars of convenience in Afghanistan and Iraq and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, caused in part by a newly unregulated banking industry that Bush then agreed to bail out… in full. All voted for by these same, suddenly reconstructed deficit hawks, and which was turned over to you, his successor, when you entered office… who then staffed your cabinet with former Bushies and Clintonistas, all with ties to the selfsame banking institutions that caused the crash in the first place… how did that work out? Which bring us to today’s enormous deficit and the dubious debt ceiling crisis and the kabuki theatre of Congressional negotiations and Cantor and Kyle fluttering their hands and picking up their skirts in outrage.
You see according to the radicals in Congress and all over the TV, under no circumstances can we ever raise taxes, ever. Tax cuts for the rich, war without end… no problem, but actually raise funds to do it, no way! Doesn’t matter if Reagan did it, doesn’t matter if Clinton did it, and to good affect, doesn’t matter can’t raise taxes. Allowing what we were told were temporary tax cuts, easily afforded because of the gigantic surplus handed over to Bush by the Clinton administration and set to expire on schedule last year, well that’s a tax increase, can’t do it. Doing away with tax loopholes used by the wealthy and big corporations to effectively pay no taxes at all… wait for it… raising taxes, and therefore impossible for Cantor and the GOP to abide. They won’t compromise, but for better or worse sir, they know you will, and that’s a problem.
What do they mean in the way of you compromising so as to reduce the debt (but no taxes, no, none, never)? Well let’s start with gutting Social Security and Medicare, the most popular government programs in the country’s history. Then there’s selling off the national parks system, privatizing large parts of the military and the prison system, de-funding the FDA, SEC, EPA, NIH and NASA… and NPR and anything else for that matter that smacks of pointy headed intellectualism.
And they have allies. One fears Mr. President that the national media that cares only for the potential political bloodshed from this game of chicken being played at the Capital, has already bought into the narrative that something drastic (which can only mean cutting social programs and entitlements, never the security state or corporate welfare), just has to be done right NOW, and if you sir don’t cave, I mean move to the center, we’ll all be lost. So now we’re hearing that the Democrats just want everyone to get along and of course the best thing to do is listen to the fiscal advise of the same party that put this country’s economy in the ditch in the first place. Don’t listen to them!
Mr. President there is another solution, another way. Instead of listening to the garbage passing for policy known as inside the beltway common wisdom, listen to the people. We want job security, a fair wage that keeps pace with the cost of living, we want affordable, universal healthcare, we want a rational defense policy, and a science based, forward thinking clean energy policy, we want a lot of things that never get mentioned on the cable talk shows or in the halls of the powerful except with derision. We want these things and we’ll campaign and we’ll work and we’ll vote for a candidate who stands up for them. There are a lot of us Mr. President, a lot of us who helped you easily get elected in 2008, and while we’ve been kind of disappointed with the last couple years, you can still win us back.
One great way to start that rapprochement would be if you adopted as a cornerstone of your policy going forward, the People’s Budget put forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Budgets are more than collections of numbers; they are a statement of our values. The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget is a reflection of the values and priorities of working families in this country. The “People’s Budget” charts a path that keeps America exceptional in the 21st century, while addressing the most pressing problems facing the nation today. Our Budget eliminates the deficit and stabilizes the debt, puts Americans back to work, and restores our economic competitiveness.
I know the conventional wisdom says that whatever the progressives want is impossibly out of the “mainstream” and could never fly. This is tired and counter productive thinking, and God knows it’s never applied to the harebrained schemes of the far right. Who would have dreamt even a decade ago that people in high office could advance plans to do away with Social Security and Medicare and that these people wouldn’t be laughed out of politics. It’s a testament to the success of the corporations and the ideologues in making such outrageous, radical demands seem feasible for consideration. Our ideas by contrast are reasonable, they make sense and they work, they’ve worked for decades in fact, and they’re a lot more popular than putting senior citizens and the disabled at the mercy of Wall Street and the Insurance companies, all for the sake of keeping the wealthy from having to part with even a small portion of their loot. Come on Mr. President, if you stand up for us, we’ll stand up for you in November 2012. Support the People’s Budget.
And if you’re taking our votes for granted because you figure we won’t let the crazies on the right take over, you’re making a mistake that can only hurt your legacy and the nation as a whole.