By Anonymous (not verified) on December 18, 2012

In the 2012 elections, the American people voted for strengthening our economy and putting people back to work. "We're all in this together" defeated "You're on your own." Or so we thought.

It seems that since Nov. 6, many politicians forgot that the people they represent used their voice at the polls to stand up for working families and the programs they rely on. Democratic lawmakers should resist any "grand bargain" on the budget that protects the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

There's a palpable sense of urgency being manufactured inside the beltway to rush lawmakers into striking a budget deal, but a grand bargain is neither inevitable nor necessary.

The best way to solve America's debt crisis is to fix our revenue crisis, and we can do that quickly by ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent and creating jobs to get our economy moving again.

Working families cannot afford any more cuts when wages are stagnant and poverty is increasing. Economic growth has been too slow, consumer demand is too weak, and average families are tightening their belts while corporate profits are soaring to historic highs.

By pursuing this bargain, Congress is having the wrong discussion about the wrong policy prescriptions at the wrong time. The truth is that the people hawking a "compromise" are wealthy corporate CEOs hiding behind the "Fix the Debt" campaign. A recent Institute for Policy Studies report found that 63 publicly held companies whose CEOs are pushing these bad deals stand to gain as much as $134 billion in windfalls if one of their proposals are approved. It's time those corporations ante up and pay their fair share.

If we allow the Bush tax cuts for earners of $250,000 and above to simply expire, we save $1 trillion over 10 years and make a critical dent in our federal deficit. Instead of cutting the jobs and entitlements of working class Americans, we need to ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more.

We can't let corporate America undo the results of the election. Working people won't take that lying down. And Democrats should hold their ground.

The grand bargain is a grand swindle.

Sarita Gupta is the executive director of American Rights at Work and Jobs with Justice and the co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign. She can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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