No more cuts – the public is fed up. Democrats won the shutdown fight. Republicans lost and the public-at-large hates them and their ideas. There is no reason for Democrats to play on their playing field. Here is a guiding message Democrats should use from here on out: Jobs help the economy. Cuts hurt the economy. Don’t even talk about any more cuts.
Jobs help the economy. Later this morning (8:30 a.m.) we will finally see the delayed September jobs report. Unless there is a miracle and there is a sudden very strong boost in job growth, it will show what previous reports have shown. It will underscore the folly of austerity policies and the urgency of government policies that create jobs.
Here are some things to keep in mind. Democrats won the election. Republicans lost the election. Even the House, Democrats got more votes. Yes, there are more Republicans in the House because of gerrymandering, but even in the House Democrats (like Al Gore in 2000) won the most votes. Democrats won, and Democrats should start understanding and believing that and acting like they won. They have a responsibility to the country to use their power to deliver what the public voted for.
What Public Wants
But wait, there’s more. Public opinion polls show that the public supports Democratic and progressive positions on almost every issue. So there is no reason for Democrats to play on the Republican playing field of cuts and cuts.
The public wants Social Security protected and even expanded. The last thing Democrats should be talking about is any kind of cut, especially since much of any future shortfall is caused by the way income gains increasingly go to the already-wealthy (whose earned income is well above the “cap” on taxes sent to the Social Security trust fund). I mean, income inequality causes the shortfall, so therefore the victims of that inequality are supposed to take the hit? Really? And with 74 percent opposing, would any politician with a brain even talk about “chained CPI?”
The public wants to get rid of tax incentives that companies get for sending jobs, factories and profit centers out of the country.
The public wants environmental protections, and something done about climate change.
The public wants equal wages for men and women doing the same work.
The public says the governemnt has a responsibility to “take care of people who can’t take care of themselves.”
The public supports the government ensuring that gays and lesbians are treated like everyone else under the law.
The public supports making it easier, not harder to vote.
The public supports a “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.
There are so many more issues where the public solidly lines up with Progressive or at least Democratic positions. But in every instance the public has been and is being thwarted by the ongoing obstruction of Republican filibusters in the Senate and by House rules that prevent votes on bills that would be passed by majorities that include Democrats.
Talk About Jobs, Not Cuts
Regular people out in the country expect Democrats to go into the next round of budget negotiations and next year’s legislative sessions to get jobs and economic growth. Don’t even talk about cuts. Don’t even talk about cuts. Don’t even talk about cuts. No one is going to understand why Democrats would even talk about more cuts, when the country needs to get out of the recession. (If 95 percent of all gains since the “recovery” started go to the top few percent of wealthy, it is fair to say that the rest of the country is still in a recession, right?)
So the public is fed up. The economy is suffering from previous rounds of budget cuts and especially from the “sequester.” It is time to get the economy moving, instead of cuts taking money out of the economy.
Here is what people want: Jobs. Infrastructure. Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. City transit. Environmental protection. Bank regulations. Jobs. Stop the incentives to move jobs and profit centers out of the country. Fund the Post Office. Rebuild our cities. High-speed rail. Wind and solar energy. Jobs. This list could go on for a very long time. Jobs.