1. Tell them what it is we want in no uncertain terms.
2. Reward them appropriately when they do what we want (carrot) and make it hurt when they don't (stick).
So what is it we want? Well I'm damn sure what we don't want is the Ryan/GOP Road to Ruin Budget. We don't want seniors put in a worse financial position than they already are. We don't want Medicare to face its own death panel. We don't want millions more Americans to lose hope of getting a job just because the GOP can't be bothered to actually encourage job creation instead of magically disappearing jobs. We don't want education to become even less attainable for every day American students. We don't want our money spent to line the pockets of those on Wall Street. We don't want our money to support big oil instead of clean energy.
What do we want? I'll quote directly from the Progressive Promise (just a few highlights- go read it all though- good stuff!)
The Congressional Progressive Caucus believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Our fairness plan is rooted in our core principles. It also embodies national priorities that are consistent with the values, needs, and hopes of all our people, not just the powerful and the privileged. We pledge our unwavering commitment to these legislative priorities and we will not rest until they become law.
1. Fighting for Economic Justice and Security in the U.S. and Global Economies
- To uphold the right to universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare for all.
- To preserve guaranteed Social Security benefits for all Americans, protect private pensions, and require corporate accountability.
- To invest in America and create new jobs in the U.S. by building more affordable housing, re-building America's schools and physical infrastructure, cleaning up our environment, and improving homeland security.
- To reaffirm freedom of association and enforce the right to organize
So how do we get it? We start right here...right now...today.
Tomorrow at noon the Progressive Caucus will be sharing what they are calling The People's Budget. What's so special about the People's Budget? It will accomplish the following:
* The primary budget will balance by 2014.
Produce a budget surplus by 2021.
Reduce public debt as a share of GDP to 64.1% by 2021, down 16.5 percentage points from
a baseline fully adjusted for both the doc fix and the AMT patch.
Reduces deficit by $5.6 trillion over 2012-21, relative to this adjusted baseline.
Outlays equal to 22.2% of GDP and revenue equal 22.3% of GDP by 2021.
How does it do this? It puts Americans back to work by focusing on a "Make it in America" program. It's eliminates the need for GOP deathpanels for either Medicare or Social Security. Best of all it does it without breaking the backs of the poor and middle class.
So where do we come in? What can we do?
1. Start Calling Caucus Members' offices NOW. Open a new page in your web browser, click on this link and start calling and asking them to co-sponsor the People's Budget.
2. After you make that call, go twitter, facebook, email, the telephone and tell everyone you know to follow step #1.
3. When you're on Twitter use #road2ruin when talking about how awful the Roadmap to Ruin is and #peoplesbudget when pointing out why the CPC plan is so much better.
So back to #2. Look, it's really easy to sit back, watch what happens and then complain when it doesn't go our way. Those of you who know me or follow my writing and adventures of the last year at all know that I get to spend a lot of my time with hill staffers. I can tell you from personal observation, not hearsay, that they get it. Our caucus members know what we want. They want it to. At the same time, they need to know that they can count on us to have their backs. So, what carrots can we offer? It doesn't have to be money folks- of course that's helpful, but it's not the only thing we can offer. As for sticks, they get those thrown at them every day- that's how we got to where we are today.
Right here right now we need to stand up loud and proud and remind the Caucus that we will have their backs, if they have ours. It takes two to tango (insert other bad cliches here).
There is one other thing you can do, and yes it is financial but doesn't necessary go right to any particular member. The Progressive Caucus has a PAC...that PAC helps not only campaigns of incumbents but campaigns of other Progressive Candidates all over the country... so can you help them help us by helping them to elect even more progressives to congress? CPCPAC ActBlue Page