fresh voices from the front lines of change







Democrats stood strong and look what happened! The Republican government shutdown has collapsed and their threats to blow up the economy backfired blowing them up instead. So now is the time to finally push for JOBS!

Democrats literally stepped in at the last minute and saved the hostage from being shot by voting to end the shutdown. But this isn't a TV show where the hostage-takers are then led off to jail. The hostage-takers are walking away, ready and able to take hostages again in a few months. Democrats voted to open the government and save the country and the economy, but won't get any of the credit that this deserves.

This agreement kicks the can down the road for a few months, and Republicans are certain to get back to their destructive nonsense again. So let's get ahead of that and push for JOBS. Let's change the conversation to JOBS now, before they get back on their feet and start tearing things apart again.

Now Lets Pivot To JOBS

The country needs JOBS and it badly needs elected officials who are talking about JOBS. JOBS solve problems. JOBS mean people are paying taxes and are not using the safety net -- both of which mean budget deficits are reduced. JOBS mean people are paying into the Social Security fund. JOBS mean wage pressures are decreased. JOBS mean people are participating in the economy, which creates JOBS.

It is (waaaay past) time for a huge national effort to rebuild our country's infrastructure. This effort would employ people who need JOBS but more important it positions our economy to be competitive in world markets. It is also time for a push to make our country more energy-efficient. Employ people to retrofit buildings and homes and just start with locating drafts and leaks, install insulation, better windows, paint roofs white, and the rest of the things that save so much money on energy bills. And for these efforts require that supplies and materials and equipment be made in America!

Anti-government conservatives (the people who just shut down the economy and almost caused us to default) will say this doing these things is "just more government spending." They will say it is more "stimulus." AS if these are bad things.

The last stimulus worked. It turned things around, but then it ended. There are so many things that need to be done now. It is time to move the country forward from this Republican-induced case of the slows and INVEST in moving forward again. #1 priority is maintain and modernize our country's infrastructure.

Look at the record. The "stimulus" passed in 2009 when there were strong Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate. At the time it passed the country was losing more than 800,000 JOBS per month.

Let's take a quick look at what happened after the stimulus took effect. This is an old chart from the post Three Charts To Email To Your Right-Wing Brother-In-Law but it shows what an incredible success the stimulus was.

Look at that deep 'V' where the country was heading downhill, losing 800,000 JOBS a month. Then the stimulus hit, that job loss turned right around and soon the country was gaining JOBS again. Just imagine that chart without the stimulus, and imagine where we would be today. Dems didn't get the credit because it wasn't enough, it gave too much to Republicans in return for getting no votes from them (1/3 tax cuts? What was that?) and it wasn't "sold" to the public with the kind of

So the stimulus worked, but it was not enough to have really fixed things. It stopped the losses but it didn't bring the gains that people could really feel. In fact, that mistake of not doing quite enough opened the door to nonsense accusations that it was just spending that made no difference. Look at the chart above, and then listen to the claims that it didn't work.

But Then Austerity Ruined Things

The lie that Obama was spending and increasing deficits took hold. The fact is that Bush took us from budget surpluses to deficits of over $1 trillion, while Obama has already cut the borrowing by more than half. The fact is that government spending increased dramatically under Bush (not even counting the wars) -- more than 81%. Government spending under Obama has increased only 5% -- and that is why the economy is doing so poorly.

There was a "pivot" to deficit reduction after the success of the stimulus, and that was a tragic mistake. "Austerity" has been discredited. The intellectual foundation of austerity policies collapsed when 1) it was discovered that the concerns were based on errors and 2) after austerity killed the economies of countries like Greece, England and others that tried to grow their economies by taking money out of the economy.

NOW Is The Time To Push For JOBS

Anti-government Republicans have been discredited, are unpopular and are on the run. This is the time to push for JOBS before they are able to rally and commence harming the economy and the country again.


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