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Sunday, March 3, 2013

On that whole sequester thing


"This is just the start. The sequester, beginning today, will be followed, in rapid order, by the House Republicans' (read Tea Partier's) mid-March plan to balance the budget in ten years, the March 27 battle over continuing funding of the federal government, and then another battle over raising the debt limit. Make no mistake: This is not about the federal budget deficit (which is now down to about 5 percent of GDP, where it was when Bill Clinton became president, and which will grow in later years mainly because of rising healthcare costs and aging boomers). It's about dismantling the federal government. Our biggest problem now is high unemployment, falling wages, and widening inequality -- which become worse if the government lays off hundreds of thousands more, cuts vital safety nets and investments, and withdraws additional billions from the economy.

 The President and many Democrats cling to the goal of a "grand bargain" with the GOP of tax increases on the wealthy along with spending cuts, but the Tea Partiers who now run the GOP won't agree to any tax hikes because their goal is to dismember the government, not to reduce the deficit. The President and the Dems should give up on a grand bargain. They should stop letting the Tea Party frame the public debate around the deficit. They should focus on jobs, wages, and inequality, as the President did in the campaign. They should show the public who and what the Tea Partiers really are, rally the public against them, and get on with what should be the true national agenda.

 As to you: Don't sit this one out. Write, call, organize, mobilize, make a ruckus. Your jobs, your wages, your economy, and your society are at stake." 

 --Robert Reich,  American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator and more.

Links: Robert Reich

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