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Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., explains in this interview with Richard Eskow that progressives can and must win the fight against the right-wing austerity policies wrapped in the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan.

Schakowsky was a member of the deficit commission created by President Obama and led by Clinton administration official Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson. Bowles and Simpson drafted the plan, but the commission never ratified it.

“We are not impotent here,” Schakowsky says, even though Democratic leaders, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, have to at least some degree embraced Bowles-Simpsonas the framework for a grand bargain on reducing government spending and changing the tax code.

“If we are able to mobilize our opposition, we can get the Democratic Party leadership to back off their embrace of some sort of grand bargain that would include cutting those essential programs,” she said.

The mobilization to stop the austerity push was one of the strategy topics at the Take Back the American Dream conference.

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