Monday, August 18, 2008

It’s Time for “The Next New Deal”

Guest Perspective by Robert Sprague of the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance

In 1932, at the rock bottom of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt swept into office with the promise of bold reforms to jump-start the American economy. Although conservative critics of the day cast his ideas as too radical, policies implemented in The New Deal stabilized the banking system within one month, cut skyrocketing unemployment in half and increased our gross domestic product by 50 percent.

Over the past three decades, the pendulum has swung from this New Deal ideology to conservatism. Tax cuts for the rich were supposed to “trickle down” to the masses, spurring job creation and an economic boom. The current economic crisis we are experiencing has shown us that conservatism – tax cuts for the rich and bailing out big businesses – has failed. Tax cuts for the rich have only made the rich richer, the poor poorer… and the middle class isn’t doing all that well either. Instead of the promised job creation, we find more and more of our jobs being shipped overseas while unemployment has skyrocketed to the highest level in a decade.

The recession is here and it’s real. Many are losing their jobs, homes and health care. Others are maxing out their credit cards just to keep their heads above water. While some politicians call for piecemeal solutions and others declare that our problems are all in our heads, more and more Americans believe that things are only getting worse. As the bad news continues to pour in, people are looking to the government for leadership and answers. Polling over the last few months shows that 69 to 82 percent of voters now favor government intervention to save our struggling economy.

Our forefathers’ original intent, as stated in the Constitution, was for government to “provide for the general welfare” of its citizens. Of the people, by the people and for the people has been corrupted into of the elites, by the lobbyists and for the very rich. It is time for every day Americans to take back our country from special interests. We need our political leaders to stand up to the right-wing political spin machine and do what is best for all Americans. Today, we need “The Next New Deal” to get our economy back on the right track.

Recently, more than a dozen members of Congress gathered to voice their support for Invest in America’s Future, a plan that would make public investments in our economy and usher in a new era of economic security, opportunity and prosperity. The plan would invest in 21st century jobs, guarantee quality, affordable health care for all, strengthen our educational system and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.

We applaud the visionary members of Congress – from Maryland to California – who have chosen to step up to the plate before it was politically expedient. America is in crisis and the time to act is now. People are hurting and demanding change. We urge you to visit our Web site where you can show your support for the plan, contact your representatives and tell them we need to invest in our economy right here at home.

The New Hampshire Citizens Alliance Web site is

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