The Gang of Six's plan to reduce taxes on the wealthy, a plan that cuts programs in order to LOWER tax rates on the wealthy, is the latest shot at working people in the class war. I have written that I do not believe the plan will become law, and if I'm wrong, I'm gone from the Democratic Party.
I think it's time to look at the contrast between our President's core beliefs, as I see them, and as he articulated them in his 2008 Democratic Nomination acceptance speech, with the Gang Of Six's Plan.
This moment, this moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.
Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.
And we are here -- we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight.
The Promise of America will die if the Gang of Six prevails.
So what is that promise? Let's start with what it's not:
For over two decades -- for over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy: Give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.
In Washington, they call this the "Ownership Society," but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck, you're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.
Well, it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States.
Barack Obama defines it:
What -- what is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road. Ours -- ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves: protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools, and new roads, and science, and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now.
Instead, it is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend. That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."
America, we cannot turn back... not with so much work to be done; not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for; not with an economy to fix, and cities to rebuild, and farms to save; not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.
Barack Obama Acceptance Speech - DNC - 28 August 2008
The Gang of Six Plan turns its back on the poor, the needy, the elderly, the young and middle class that is suffering in this Great Recession. The hungry children and the old who have little will suffer. The cuts likely will cost a million jobs over the next three years, jobs we cannot afford to lose when so many are without work.
WE must say: This Plan will not pass. It is an immoral abomination. WE will do whatever it takes to defeat it.
The Promise is not reducing the top tax rates for the wealthy below that of the Bush tax cuts. It's not cutting social security and medicare benefits to seniors to allow reduction of the top tax rates for the wealthy below that of the Bush tax cuts.
That's no Promise. It's The Ownership Society on steroids.
The Promise of America as articulated by Barack Obama is antithetical to the Gang of Six's plan. You can't have both.
My belief remains that Obama and Pelosi are saying vague nice things about the Gang of Six plan for reasons of optics. "Compromise, balanced plan." As Reid has said, the plan cannot be passed in time; it's just an outline now. No bill, few specifics. This just pressures Republican House members. And the revenue raises in the plan is a "poison pill" for House Rs, while many Dems in the House would never support the plan. So it very likely will not happen. But we must fight it anyway.
My belief remains that President Obama and Leader Pelosi and most Dems already have chosen the Promise of America over The Ownership Society, for the Gang of Six plan is exactly that: Shock Doctrine tactics in the class war on the American people.
I still believe in the Promise of America. I think/hope the President, Minority House Leader Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid also belive in and will work to create that Promise.
Majority Leader Harry Reid said from the Senate floor this morning, talking about the deficit negotiations:
"I had a terrific conversation with the president last night. He understands the issue as well as anyone in the country, if not more so, because the buck really does stop at his desk."
I believe that the man who uttered the words in Denver will not finalize the Reagan revolution by helping to enact such a plan.
But if I'm wrong, and I could be, then all my work as a Democrat has been in vain. I will admit that I was wrong to vote, volunteer and contribute over a lifetime, and will support a third party alternative to a corrupt system. I may be irrelevant, but I cannot participate in an evil that would finalize the Reagan revolution. That is why so many Republican Senators are gushing over the Gang of Six plan.
I support serious pushback on the Gang of Six plan. Bernie Sanders has it right. Don't despair; fight back.