Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
FDR in 1936 on the debt:
… “And now a word as to this foolish fear about the crushing load the debt will impose upon your children and mine. This debt is not going to be paid by oppressive taxation on future generations. It is not going to be paid by taking away the hard-won savings of the present generation.
It is going to be paid out of an increased national income and increased individual incomes produced by increasing national prosperity.”
That is how a Democrat talks friends.
This is NOT how a Democrat talks my friends:
Barack Obama, 7/22/2011, 6:06pm ET:
“We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.”
House progressive congress members hold a press conference warning of the impact on minorities from potential ghastly budget cuts:
FDR warned about the GOP’s tactics and their goals back in the 1930s. And yet too many Dems ignore his advice:
The term “entitlement” is one of late I have begun using and should not. And you should not. Obama calls SS, Medicare and Medicaid “entitlements,” but this a term no Democrat should use. Why?:
“Entitlement” is a misleading word because it masks the ugly reality of reducing medical aid for the poor, the disabled and anyone over 65 as well as cutting Social Security. Calling such programs entitlements is much more comfortable than describing them as what they are–Medicare, Social Security and money for good schools, unemployment insurance, medical research and public works construction that would put many thousands to work.
It’s also a Republican word. It implies that those receiving government aid have a sense of entitlement, that they’re getting something for nothing.
40 years ago progressives got student financial aid passed. Pell grants and Stafford loans (where the government pays your interest while in school) are now on the chopping block if the Gangsters of Six get their way:
..One idea popular  with the Bowles-Simpson debt commission, and echoed recently by Representative Eric Cantor, would be to end the Stafford student loan program, which subsidizes the interest on loans while students are enrolled in college. An outright elimination of the program would save the government $40 billion over ten years, but would force students to pay interest on their college loans while still in school and likely not drawing much of an income, if any.
Pell Grants, which are federal scholarships for low-income students, are also likely  to be on the chopping block. The program is already running an $11 billion deficit, and will no doubt be a juicy target for Senators looking to get $70 billion in cuts.
Senator Ted Kennedy’s last legislative piece before he died is also on the chopping block if this deal passes. CLASS would provide for care if you became disabled. If you pay a nominal fee per year to the program after 5 years would be covered by this form of insurance. But alas:
…The elimination of the CLASS Act is another example of sacrificing a valuable program that simply does not contribute to the deficit but rather conflicts with conservative ideology. The Congressional Budget Office estimates  the program actually saves the government $70 billion through 2019, because people have to pay premiums for five years in order to qualify for benefits. It also keeps people out of nursing homes, which are a major driver of increasing medical costs.
Yes cut a program that would save the government a ton of money because it IS government helping people.
But there are progressive groups mobilizing against this debt deal. Jane Hamsher and her FDL crew have been raising hell- the kind of hell every progressive org should be raising. It is not enough t o say “I wont give your campaign any money or support.” FDL’s pledge is that “I WONT VOTE FOR you candidate if he or she backs cuts.” Big difference. So thousands from FDL went to their respective congress member’s office and told them just that! Read some of their stories here .
Here is Hamsher taking on her congress member:
The Progressive Caucus is whipping votes against any deal that cuts our cherished programs. They so far have 80 House Dems, and even a few not so liberal ones as well:
July 22, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Eighty Member of Congress have now signed onto a letter spearheaded by Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) leaders to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisting that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid be off the table in any budget deal. Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American have also signed the letter and are encouraging their respective Caucus members to join them.
Originally sent by CPC co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison on July 8, the letter is still open for signatures and has become the primary vehicle for House Democrats to express their support for the programs during budget negotiations. The letter says that middle-class families “have sacrificed enough, and a deal that pushes the American Dream further out of reach, in order to pay for extending tax breaks for the rich and corporations, is simply unacceptable.”
“We are united as Democrats in saying that it’s time to stand up to the Republican hostage-taking. We will not be forced to vote for a ‘final agreement’ that we do not agree to — and that the American people do not agree to. We stand united with you in insisting that benefit cuts for working families, our seniors, children, and people with disabilities must be off the table, and we stand united with you in fighting for millions of Americans who need Democrats to be firmly on their side,” the letter says.
Signatories include CPC Co-Chairs Grijalva and Ellison, along with Reps. Baca, Karen Bass, Bordallo, Brown, Carson, Christiansen, Chu, Yvette Clarke, Hansen Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Cohen, Conyers, Critz, Cummings, Danny Davis, DeFazio, DeLauro, Deutch, Doggett, Edwards, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank, Fudge, Garamendi, Al Green, Gutierrez, Hahn, Hinchey, Hirono, Holmes Norton, Holt, Jesse Jackson Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Kaptur, Kildee, Kucinich, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Lofgren, Lynch, Maloney, Markey, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, Moore, Nadler, Napolitano, Olver, Pallone, Payne, Pingree, Rangel, Reyes, Richardson, Richmond, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Tim Ryan, Sablan, Schakowsky, Serrano, Stark, Sutton, Bennie Thompson, Tierney, Tonko, Towns, Waters, Waxman, Frederica Wilson, Woolsey, and Wu.
Did you see your House member listed? If so call his or her office and back them up. If not call and say they won’t get your vote unless they stand up.
On election reform we have news from California. The legislature has passed a law which make the electoral college irrelevant:
If Brown chooses to sign the bill it would be a huge step towards reforming our ridiculously outdated electoral college system.
The way the National Popular Vote movement works is that once states with 271 electoral colleges votes all sign on, they agree to than give all their electoral college votes collectively to whatever Presidential candidate received the most votes national wide. The result would be that American would finally become like almost every other Presidential democracy, where the candidate that the most citizens voted for wins.
Currently seven states plus the District of Columbia, with a total of 77 electoral college seats have passed the law. If Brown signs this bill in California it would bring the total to 132, nearly half way to the number needed.
Ending the power of the electoral college would allow for progressives to have mush more say in presidential elections. California’s votes would be as important as say swing state Florida!