March 16, 2013

Avenues of Fightback

An excellent recap from the Communist Party USA of progressive political steps being taken and a way forward:

There are so many big battles being fought out at every level that it is impossible to be everywhere and remain effective. Conditions and circumstances in a particular community determine what issue and organization is key to moving everything forward. In the last two weeks four strong bills have been introduced in Congress that need a groundswell of grassroots support and can be integrated into organizing around local issues with local coalitions and candidates.
  • Rep. John Conyers introduced the Cancel the Sequester Act (HR 900) a week and a half ago. Rep. Alan Grayson sent out an appeal for a quarter million individual signers, and I believe they are almost there.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill this week to strengthen Social Security by making the wealthiest Americans pay the same payroll tax that everyone else already pays. It is co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The companion bill in the House was introduced by Rep Peter DeFazio. This is very important to intervene in discussions between Republicans and the White House where cuts in cost of living increases, called the chained CPI are under consideration and must be rejected.
  • Sens. Tom Harkin and Bernie introduced a bill this week to strengthen Social Security by making the wealthiest Americans pay the same payroll tax that everyone else already pays. It is co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The companion bill in the House was introduced by Rep Peter DeFazio. This is very important to intervene in discussions between Republicans and the White House where cuts in cost of living increases, called the chained CPI are under consideration and must be rejected.
  • Sens. Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders introduced a bill on March 2 to tax Wall Street speculators (S 410). A companion bill in the House was introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (HR 880). "Both the economic crisis and the deficit crisis are a direct result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street," said Sanders. "This bill will reduce gambling on Wall Street, encourage the financial sector to invest in the job-creating productive economy, and significantly reduce the deficit," with an estimated $352 billion over 10 years.
  • The Congressional Progressive Caucus is filing "The Back to Work Budget" this week as an alternative to Paul Ryan's austerity budget. It repeals the sequester, creates infrastructure, education and public works jobs, closes tax loopholes and moves military spending back to 2006 levels.Organizational endorsers are welcome.
These measures, even taken together, are not a complete solution, but they are core demands around which it should be possible to organize and take the struggle to the next level.

Read the entire report here.

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