Elected officials will need to hear from a mobilized public if we are to escape the grim and destructive debate they've planned for us. Our political discourse needs to shift away deficit mania and toward those policies the public wants and needs. They include:
- truly progressive tax reform, in which the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share;
- investment in jobs, growth, education, and our crumbling infrastructure;
- a more just economy, with improved social mobility, wage growth for the middle class, and opportunities for every American to better themselves through education and hard work;
- a line in the sand which protects Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and strengthens them for future generations;
- a commitment to protect and defend the programs which care for the most vulnerable among us - children, families, and those who are most in need; and,
- an end to any tax break which encourages American companies to send jobs overseas.
Please also see "Dear Congress: Stop This Manufactured Crisis."
A War to End All Wars
The shutdown struggle appears to be ending -- for now. Now let's hope our leaders are is committed to winning the peace as they were to winning the war, because under this deal we know one thing for certain: unless we do something, three months from now we'll be going through this whole charade again.
During the Cold War they used to say that if we fight the next war with nuclear weapons, we'll fight the one after that with sticks and rocks. The Republicans must be made to understand that the "nuclear weapons" of shutdowns and debt crises can never be used again. And our economic debate must turn away from policies that would leave us all holding nothing but sticks and rocks.