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We all know about the bipartisan deal to fund the government through FY 2015 that still needs Congressional approval.

We know that this deal omits an extension of Unemployment Insurance.

We know that the largest obstacle facing this deal is House Republicans, in particular the government shutdown/repeal Obamacare crazies.

Now to pivot for a moment.

We know that Democrats have a problem with voter turnout in midterm elections.

And we know that the number one issue of voters in practically any election is the economy. Even though Wall Street has been humming along nicely since the recession, the working class have not seen much of a recovery yet. So it is a safe bet that having a clear vision to address the economy will be a factor in 2014, as well.

Taken together, I come to this conclusion.

This budget deal offers the perfect opportunity to start pushing for an actual jobs bills. But not just any jobs bill, a Progressive jobs bills, in the style of the Back-to-Work Budget, a plan proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus that would have created an estimated 7 million jobs.

In other words, a jobs bill that, unlike many other jobs bills, is one that repudiates trickle-down economics.

Adding Back-to-Work style legislation could be the leverage that gets this budget deal passed, maybe even with the EUC extension. It would also set up the Progressive answer for the economy on which Democrats can run in 2014. One that shows the political viability of economic populism.

It already looks like House Republicans are ready to gum up the works, which is no surprise. In other words, House leadership might need many Democratic votes to pass the budget, either way.

Extending Unemployment insurance is one of the tools being proposed to put pressure on House Republicans to pass the budget deal.

Why stop there?

Progressives should not stop at just extending the EUC. As part of the negotiations over the budget deal, they should include a plan that actually creates jobs. After all, unemployment is one of the best social safety nets we have, but what do the unemployed want more than unemployment insurance? Employment.

It would be all the better to be a progressive jobs bill, instead of one watered down by bipartisanship. These bipartisan bills were supposedly more politically viable, but guess what? They're not. If we're going to face Republican obstruction either way, it might as well be for a goal that really exemplifies our true values. One of the few ways we lose to the Tea Party.

We have that bill already, proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus as the Back-to-Work Budget.

Too pie-in-the-sky? Doesn't stop all the fawning over the Ryan budget. The only thing is not enough people are getting to hear about the other side of the coin. And the problem is that they might like what they haven't been hearing.

Extending the EUC is a reasonable request to add to the budget negotiations. But if Boehner isn't willing to put it up for a vote, they might as well up the ante: add a progressive jobs bill to the demands. Compared to that, extending EUC would be a far easier compromise for all to swallow.

But even if the Back-to-Work doesn't come to fruition this time, now it'll be out there as the platform for Progressives to rally behind, at an opportune time in the run-up to the 2014 primaries. And as kos said, when the base comes out to vote, we win. An economic platform that includes a Progressive, no, an Aggressively-Progressive plan to create jobs, will get them out there.

The Republican Party took a hit with the electorate over the government shutdown, but it's not clear if the negative trends will continue all the way until next November. Standing in the way of a budget deal that avoids similar shutdowns could keep those trends going. So can cutting unemployment benefits and SNAP. And so can standing in the way of creating jobs for Americans.

So while the Republican Party keeps coming up with ways to hurt the working class Americans, the Democratic Party will show that it can keep up, by instead, coming up with ways to help the working class.

For example, getting them back to work.

Originally posted to The Progressive Atheist on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:17 AM PST.

Also republished by Keynesian Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Roger Fox, ManhattanMan

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:17:10 AM PST

  •  This diary is not at all meant to diminish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    all the work being done by good people here at dailykos and in Congress and elsewell to extend the EUC. We all know how important unemployment is to so many Americans.

    But it is a straightforward statement that the Democrats in Congress should go even further. Because why else did we elect them?

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:19:19 AM PST

  •  Drop Medicare to Age 60 and Flush Millions (4+ / 0-)

    of boomers out of the work force and off your promotion ladder.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:20:38 AM PST

    •  Medicare for all (0+ / 0-)

      Changing the eligibility age for medicare is a great idea, but is currently impossible.  There is no difference in the political difficulty of going to "medicare for all" than changing the age of eligibility, either up or down.

      If you want positive changes in medicare, or jobs programs, or any indirect incentives, help to win the house for democrats.  As long as the republicans control the agenda, there will be no benefits issued to the middle class, and the lower class will just get more stomping.

      “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." ― P.C. Hodgell, Seeker's Mask

      by ramblin engineer on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:47:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  7 million jobs in the FIRST year............. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is the most aggressive jobs plan in DC.

    But its not enough. there are by most estimates 27-29 million under/unemployed. Creating 20 million jobs would lower U3 to 5% or less, and also bring down U6 to a more optimal 7%.

    Creating 20 million jobs would also created a skilled labor shortage, and we would see the start of employers competing for employees, right, wage growth.....

    Creating 20 million jobs would also

     photo create20millionjobsFICA.png

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:28:48 AM PST

  •  Don't forget the biggest loophole of all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Capital Gains Loophole.

    Capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income.

    I buy and renovate houses. I do a lot of the work myself, but I hire electricians, plumbers, and roofers to help me. When the house is finished, my profit on the sale is taxed lower rate than the wages of who worked alongside me.

    This makes no sense. We should all pay the same rate.

    We must remember to always frame it as the Capital Gains Loophole.

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