Once again, our timid Democratic leadership in Congress is fumbling a political opportunity and bumbling their public responsibility.
The Democrats running Congress were as startled as Bush’s White House to discover that the economy is not fundamentally sound, as the Powers That Be have kept insisting. The crunch on the middle class and low-income working families has long been severe. Yet, comforted by numbers showing overall economic growth, obtuse congressional Democrats did nothing about the fact that the benefits of those gains gushered to the richest families, while wages were held low, consumer prices skyrocketed, and family debt surged.
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Now that all of this has led to a very real economic crumbling that even affects Wall Street, Democrats are scrambling to look like they’re doing something, including meekly going along with Bush to provide more corporate tax cuts that will do zero to stimulate recovery. Where’s their “little d” democratic impulse? Where’s their instinct to rally the workaday majority in a national effort to rebuild our economy from the grassroots up? Where’s the can-do spirit of FDR? A little boldness would excite people!
Oh, they say, we don’t have the time to come up with a plan for something like that. Wrong. Now is precisely the time to offer people not only short-term help, but also long-term vision. Indeed, a solid plan already exists. The Apollo Alliance is a grassroots coalition with a comprehensive proposal that would create millions of good-paying green jobs – including launching a 10-year crash program to retrofit all of America’s buildings for energy conservation and to take other readily-available steps to end our country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
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