For Immediate Release
Mr. President: Use Your Political Capital to Create Jobs
WASHINGTON - Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future writes that the death of Osama Bin Laden could be an opportunity for President Obama to accelerate our departure from Afghanistan and renew focus on job creation for Americans.
Borosage urges the President to call on Congress to enact programs that will put people to work. He writes, “Voters will thank the president for taking out Osama bin Laden, but they will vote for the candidate they think most likely to fix the economy.”
Borosage writes, “The president would benefit from pushing an agenda on jobs and fighting for it. Why not tax the corporations sitting on trillions in profits and use that money to save the jobs of teachers, cops and fire fighters? Why not call for a surcharge on millionaires to fund a green corps, hiring young people to retrofit homes and public buildings to lower energy use? Or demand action on a plan to require banks to renegotiate mortgages to avoid foreclosures and save neighborhoods, or empower bankruptcy courts to do so.
“The president could combine his own investment agenda (on education, innovation and infrastructure) with a push for buy America provisions on government procurement, and a trade agenda that announces the commitment of this country for both more trade and balanced trade. Tell the Chinese that unless we reach agreement on more balanced trade, we will treat their exports exactly as they treat ours.
“None of this is likely to pass unless the economy tanks. But by laying it out and fighting for it now, the president will demonstrate that he is focused on the economy, that he has an agenda to get it going, and that he is being blocked by the Republican zealots who seem bizarrely intent on returning to the same Bush policies that drove us over the cliff (the Bush tax cuts, the Bush energy policy, the Bush trade policy, the Bush regulatory policy).
“It will take popular pressure -- against the war and for action on the economy -- to change the balance in Washington. The August recess should be used by activists to let the Congress hear that voters think they aren't listening. That might concentrate attention both in the White House and the Congress about the need to act.
“Obama is headed into a campaign where he will be burdened with responsibility for an economy scarred by high unemployment, stagnant wages, and slow growth -- at best. Voters will thank the president for taking out Osama bin Laden, but they will vote for the candidate they think most likely to fix the economy. So for what it is worth: Take a bow, Mr. President. Get a well-deserved night's sleep. Run a victory lap. And then act boldly to make yourself that candidate.”
Read Robert Borosage’s article: “Osama Fallout: Be Careful What you Wish For”
The Campaign for America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be.