New Deal Memorial
Jobs in America – Time for a New Deal!
WPC has been busy! Read a summary of what we’re doing, and why.
We need jobs in America!
We need a robust plan and action – like the New Deal – based on real needs of Main Street.
It may take $2 trillion or more in stimulus and public works spending. And soon.
And we need to bust an erroneous “Big Lie” myth – that a revived economy can be achieved by cutting jobs, cutting budgets and shrinking government. It’s a myth – just plain untrue.
No business enterprise (Wall Street or Main Street) will expand and create jobs if there are no customers. And customers appear when they have spending power – or, when our government chooses to be “the customer” by funding big-ticket items that we desperately need and that benefit our communities and the nation as a whole.
Everyone knows we need it. We have crumbling streets and bridges; unsustainable energy policies; schools needing upgrades, and health care to deliver to an aging population.
These results – a jobs program, busting myths, and real support for Main Street – may themselves depend on an aroused citizenry making demands, and enacting game-changing reforms such as public campaign financing, restrictions on corporate spending on elections, and media ownership in the public interest.
We need a nationwide populist uprising that embraces a vision such as the Second Bill of Rights proposed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944. Click to watch FDR’s actual presentation.
We need a 28th Constitutional Amendment to secure these rights, so a self-serving Congress and Supreme Court can’t take them away! Join the campaign to overturn the Citizens United ruling.
And the federal deficit? Of course it’s an issue. But we all know that deficits result from a moribund economy where 2 out of 10 workers are not working! Or when we take on unfunded wars while simultaneously cutting taxes for the most-wealthy among us. Or when we fail to tax ourselves – based on ability to pay – to fund infrastructure and public services at a level we all demand.
Did you know: Taxes on the super-rich today are ONE HALF what they were several decades years ago .. a time when the economy was humming along with nearly full employment. (Read Winner-Take-All Politics, cited below).
And – this failure of our tax system to produce needed revenues is NOT an accident. Alarmingly, it’s purposeful – brought about by behind-the-scenes lobbying on behalf of those who benefit handsomely and who reward the favors through campaign contributions and election-season TV ads and mailings.
The sad truth is, it’s bringing down our whole economy! — in essence, killing the goose that could otherwise lay golden eggs (i.e., jobs for all, rebuilding America, and tax revenues to pay for public services). Even multi-billionaire Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) is speaking out, saying “stop coddling the super-rich.” Read his Op-Ed, New York Times, 8-14-11
If you have not read “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer, and Turned it’s Back on the Middle Class” – by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson (2010) – I highly recommend it. Their book explains in detail how and why we’ve been losing out on the American Dream for decades. And a steely-eyed diagnosis is necessary to fix any problem. Read this review.
You know the truth. We are witnessing an unconscionable concentration of wealth in America, at the very top. Meanwhile, most households are having to take on second jobs (if they can find one), credit card or mortgage debt, and a lowered standard of living – just to survive.
Usually in a robbery we put the thieves in jail. But now the whole country is being looted — and it’s portrayed (wrongly) as “the business cycle” or “too much government” or the failure of the political party in power. In fact today’s real thieves are those spreading the Big Lie (“trickle-down economics and budget-cutting will create jobs”) – while enjoying their market manipulations and daily bank deposits.
And sadly, the concentration of wealth and looting of America increases crime in our streets – as out-of-work folks seek ways to feed their families. And then the “Three P’s” become our de facto “jobs program” — police, prosecutors, and prison — not really what America needs for a better quality of life for all.
Don’t be fooled: America is not broke.
There are no fewer teachers, nurses, carpenters, bridge-builders, machinists and sales personnel in America today – willing and ready to work – than there were before the economy began to teeter. And – no less need for their work, teaching kids, providing health care, repairing roads and bridges, and otherwise providing the on-the-ground wealth that creates a vibrant economy and standard of living for everyone. We simply need to put them to work again – and with government services that are adequately paid-for by the wealth of the country.
We do NOT need cuts in universal programs. We do NOT need to sell off government parks and assets for a “quick fix” to the deficit, or to lower taxes or privatize services as if that’s the only way to get to full employment. In a time of economic misery, public services and safety-nets are more important than ever. No one ever survives or gets rich totally by themselves.
Instead, our government should be creating jobs for all, through large-scale investment and spending on the things we need as a nation and in our communities. In the 1930′s, FDR understood that, and his administration launched the New Deal, with Social Security, controls on banking, and massive public works projects that improved the infrastructure of the nation while putting tens of millions to work.
Read a well-written biography and history: “A Traitor to his Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of FDR” - by H.W. Brand.
But – How do we get Congress and political leaders to respond?
To repair what ails us, we need to reclaim democracy for people! – lawmaking and public policies that bring about the America we want and need, rather than concentrated wealth for a very-few and poverty for most. Democracy as promised — Of, by and for the people, not the moneyed interests.
That is why WPC is working for public financing of campaigns — and to overturn wrong-headed court decisions like the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which gives corporate entities the right to spend unlimited sums to influence elections results.
As we approach the 2012 election season, undoubtedly we will see huge sums spent to confuse and befuddle the voters – thereby retaining real power for the moneyed interests behind the curtain. It may be a battle royal – with clearly differing views, policies and visions for America at stake.
We must demand a genuine democracy — where elections are never for sale and where lawmaking is in the public interest and not filtered or vetoed by well-heeled lobbyists making deals for their corporate clients in the back room.
Please support WPC’s advocacy work for public campaign financing.
Help us to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United – through an informed, mobilized citizenry and, if necessary, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the power of voters in American democracy against the undue influence of Big Money.
Craig Salins, Executive Director
Washington Public Campaigns