Web Letters | The Nation

A Progressive Surge

Plan smart… plan ahead

As the editors note: &rlquo;The president still displays an interest in a ‘grand bargain’ that will end up dealing out the most pain to the people Romney disparaged as the ‘47 percent’—in reality the majority of Americans who rely on government programs and services to make ends meet. Progressives therefore can’t afford to lose a day in fighting for our own independent agenda.”

The “professional left,” once disparaged by the Obama administration, will not be able to move the president off of deficit reduction and on to job creation. There is no question that the President will use his “political capital” to forge a compromise along Simpson, Bowles lines. He actually said it in the debates.

The policy wonks of the left must mobilize quickly and join with the highest ranking members of Congress to forge an agenda that links spending cuts that are the least damaging to the social safety net with a serious long-term infrastructure plan. There must not only be income tax increases; there must also be a tax dedicated to a long-term infrastructure program that will modernize our country and create jobs.

An increase in gas tax can be considered and a finanical transaction tax as part of deficit reduction. The left must come up with a plan endorsed by high-level members of Congress. Otherwise, the president will set his own agenda.

Asher Fried

Croton on Hudson NY

Nov 7 2012 - 5:04pm