The Publics Wishes On Economy Are Kept Out Of Media

Dave Johnson

Have you seen the People’s Budget discussed in the media? Nope. Have you heard that we need to be more “business friendly” by cutting taxes on the rich and cut the things We, the People do for each other? Yep. Did you know that polls show the public overwhelmingly wants taxes on the rich and government spending on jobs? Nope. Why is that?

We’re getting more and more bad economic news. Obviously the economy suffers from lack of demand. Businesses don’t have enough people walking in the door or placing orders to hire more workers. But Republicans insist that we need “austerity,” which means giving even more money to the rich and cutting the things We, the People (government) do for each other and for our economy. The public is solidly against the austerity idea and wants spending on each other and the economy. But the media is only granting access to people who want to make the austerity argument.

And never mind ever, ever, ever, ever seeing a voice of organized labor explain to working people the benefits of being in a union. Ever.

The Economy

As the stimulus runs out all of the signs point to a slowing of the economy. Job growth has stalled. Housing is dropping again. Etc. Etc. Etc.

The economy suffers from lack of demand. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) says “weak sales” (i.e. lack of demand) is their number 1 business problem and that this lack of demand is why they are not hiring.

Just ten years ago we had budget surpluses that were so large that it was projected the entire federal debt would be paid off by now. We had a strong economy with more jobs than we could handle. Then the Bush tax cuts created huge deficits and drove up debt. Now the very people behind those tax cuts and deficits are demanding budget cuts to fix the problem.

The Proposals On The Table

There are two areas of proposals on the table: austerity (tax cuts for the rich with budget cuts for the rest of us) vs the People’s Budget (investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow the economy paid for by tax increases on the rich.)

The austerity argument says that we need to make the country more “business friendly” by cutting taxes on the rich and big companies, then cutting spending on education, environment, health care, alternative energy, unemployment, food and other assistance for the poor, even infrastructure. And in a direct blow to democracy they say that cutting “entitlements” – the things we are entitled to just for being American citizens – is a key to fixing our economy. This at a time when the country is actually richer than ever, but so much is going to a few at the top.

The People’s Budget is explained below.

The Public

The public gets it. Polls show the public wants Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security left alone, wants tax increases on the rich, wants more spending on infrastructure and education. The public rejects the austerity approach.

People understand that investing in infrastructure and education creates jobs now while paying for itself by growing the economy later. People understand that handing rich people even more money doesn’t create jobs, people walking in the door or placing orders is what creates jobs.

The Media

The media discussion of economic policy seems entirely framed from a one-sided perspective – focusing on the bizarre claim that cutting government spending and taxes will lead to more jobs and economic growth. Again and again the media features “experts” who begin with an assumption that federal deficits are the most important problem facing America. But opponents of these ideas, offering the ideas that history shows to have worked — the very ideas the public favors — are not able to reach the public to explain their plans. Elitist pundits always claim that “everyone knows” that the long-term deficit problem is “entitlements” even when we all know that tax cuts and military spending caused the deficits.

Seriously, how often do you see or hear or read someone claiming to be a Tea Party representative talking about how we need tax cuts for the rich and big corporations? Every day. But when have you seen, read or heard a representative of organized labor on TV or radio or in your local newspaper, explaining the benefits of joining a union? Seriously.

Actions

Contact your local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations and demand that they cover the views of the American Majority!

10 years of Bush tax cuts is enough! Click here to demand your representative supports the Fairness in Taxation Act so the rich contribute their fair share.

And, finally: Tell President Obama to put the People’s Budget on the table.

The People’s Budget

The Progressive Caucus — a group of progressives in the Congress — have put together a budget that fixes the deficit and grows the economy, providing jobs. It is called The PEOPLE’S Budget Plan.

Read the plan at: Congressional Progressive Caucus : FY2012 Progressive Budget,

The CPC proposal:

• Eliminates the deficits and creates a surplus by 2021
• Puts America back to work with a “Make it in America” jobs program
• Protects the social safety net
• Ends the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
• Is FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequality Responsibly)

What the proposal accomplishes:

• Primary budget balance by 2014.
• Budget surplus by 2021.
• Reduces 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 deficits 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.

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