Saturday, October 15, 2011

Politicians With Real Solutions

Some of the politicians in Washington really are earning their pay: keep an eye on the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Summarizing the Caucus' new proposal to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction--which correctly advocates focusing on rebuilding America rather than slicing services to a population already under stress, CPC member Michael Honda observed:

“We can ‘go big’ and address our budget deficits by allowing the unpaid-for Bush tax cuts to expire and ending our unpaid-for wars on schedule. Anyone who says we need to cut education, cut the social safety net, cut Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare or provide more tax cuts to the rich, is pushing a political agenda, not sound fiscal policy."

 It is nice to see some politicians who are capable of taking the long view and understanding the inescapable linkage between domestic and foreign policy. Take five minutes and read their specific reform proposals.

Particularly noteworthy proposals include:
  • eliminating welfare payments for Big Oil;
  • taxing Wall St. transactions related to "exotic" financial instruments (read: what caused the financial crisis);
  • ending U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.
The weakest part of the proposal is in foreign policy, where the details are ignored and evidently misunderstood. The general approach is on target, but the CPC appears to have no real idea how to execute the needed reform of U.S. policy toward the Muslim world, and indeed does not even refer to U.S.-Iran relations despite the urgent need for rethinking that issue. Nevertheless, the CPC approach is a solid foundation for helping American society to get its feet back on the ground.

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