Hello again…….you all may remember that I’m the Ocean County Team Leader for Organizing for America (OFA). It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog on the Patch, but I’ve been otherwise occupied in helping assure that our country continued to be able to protect the interests of the middle class. Well - no surprise - the middle class is still under attack and we need to let our congressmen know that they need to act like adults and DO THEIR JOB.
We’ve had four years of inaction in Congress – four years of Congress not doing their job – four years when we should have brought Congress up on charges of treason for not doing the job we elected them to do and are paying them to do – four years of the Republicans staying true to a pledge to a “lobbyist” instead of standing behind their oath of office to the people of the United States of America. All of this culminates in four years of the most polarized partisan politics in history. It’s time that the Republicans get over the fact that we have now twice elected a black American President and he has spent four years trying to “DO THE RIGHT THING” for the American people, only to be opposed constantly by the “Party of NO.”
Now is the time for our congressmen to “do the right thing” for the American people. You need to contact your congressman (yes “man” since we have no women in the NJ Congressional delegation) and tell him he needs to protect our future and end the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest 2% - he needs to “do the right thing” for the people of his constituency. This is no time for politics as usual. This is no time for brinksmanship on the part of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. This is no time for playing political chicken. Our future and our family’s future are at stake. We need you to take ACTION and call, write and visit your congressman. Please see more details at the end of this blog.
There is absolutely no rational or practical reason for our congressmen to continue to pledge to not raise taxes. The wealthiest 2% need to start paying their fair share. Here are some really nauseating facts concerning this “fiscal cliff/slope” fake crisis and why we’re in this mess:
- For the past three decades, hourly wages of the middle class have been stuck at the same level in terms of purchasing power while the wealthiest 2%’s share of national income quadrupled. What this translates into is that the rich got a lot, lot richer at the expense of working families. The economy moved forward, but all the gains went to the ultra-rich. If economic progress had been shared fairly, the average family would have $9,220 more income. (Sources: (1) Saving the American Dream: The Past, Present and Uncertain Future of America’s Middle Class, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, September 2011. (2) Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All, Jacob S. Hacker and Nate Loewentheil, 2012. (3) State of Working America, the Inequality Tax, Economic Policy Institute, http://stateofworkingamerica.org/inequality/income-inequality )
- Huge corporations cut our wages and benefits and shipped our jobs overseas. According to J.P. Morgan, 75% of the increase in corporate profits from 2000-2007 came from cuts in wages and benefits. Now corporations are sitting on some $2 trillion in cash – money they are not investing in jobs. (Sources: (4) If Labor Dies, What’s Next? Harold Myerson, The American Prospect, Sept/Oct 2012. (5) U.S. Companies Sitting on $2 Trillion in Liquid Assets, National Public Radio, 12/10/10.
- The deficit continued to grow as we gave more tax cuts to the super-rich, including giving even more tax breaks for stock market gains, so that the rich now pay lower rates than the middle-class. Big business continues to get huge tax breaks, including those to the oil companies and to corporations that ship our jobs overseas. Besides the huge tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, we took on two wars and implemented Medicare Part D – all without paying for them – thus dramatically increasing our deficit. So instead of having the wealthiest 2% and corporate tax evaders paying their fair share, the middle class is left shouldering the burden of this deficit – more people out of work, digging us into a deeper hole. (Sources: (6) A Record Decline in Government Jobs: Implications for the Economy and America’s Workforce, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, Brookings Institute, August 2012. (7) How the Across-the-Board Cuts in the Budget Control Act Will Work, Richard Kogan, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 2012.)
As a Nobel Prize-winning economist says….. the best way to cut the deficit is to put America back to work. The Republicans’ idea of that is to keep the wealthiest 2% wealthier so that they can create the jobs. Well, we have tried it their way for over a decade and putting more taxpayer money in the hands of the rich just doesn’t work. We need to put that money back in the hands of the middle class so they can spend it. It is working families and the middle class that are the engines of our economy and the economy moves forward when people have good jobs. Therefore, building a strong middle class happens when we make decisions to: (1) invest in people by providing a world class education, a decent place to live and raise our kids, affordable health care and a secure retirement; and (2) when we pave the way for businesses to invest and innovate by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and building a 21st century electrical grid that will save energy and money.
It is time Congress understands the impact of their inaction. It is time for you to call, write and visit your congressman and ask him to vote to pass the bill similar to the Senate bill which will end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% and protect the middle class. As our President frequently says, “It’s the right thing to do.”
There is a national movement going on right now during this lame duck session of Congress, consisting of a coalition of organizations, including OFA, called theaction.org, which is driving this effort to demand that Congress act on ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%. On Saturday afternoon, we had a meeting in Toms River to kick off this effort. It is critical that we demand that Congress act on ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% to ensure that we avert this “fiscal cliff/slope” crisis at year-end.
In Ocean County we have three Republican congressmen representing us, and we are organizing some phone banks to ask all of you voters to call your congressman, write letters to him, visit his office, write letters to the editor, write blogs and sign petitions. We literally want to flood their phone lines, jam up their email boxes, pack their mail boxes and have standing room only in their offices. Here are our three representatives’ contact information, along with the towns they represent in Ocean County, so you will be able to make calls, write letters and visit their offices:
Jon Runyan - 3rd Congressional District
(Barnegat, Brick, Lacey, Toms River, Beachwood, Berkeley, Ocean Gate, Pine Beach, Island Heights, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Lavallette, S. Toms River)
600 Mule Road, Unit 6
Toms River, NJ 08757
Phone: (732) 279-6013
Chris Smith - 4th Congressional District
(Pt Pleasant Boro, Pt Pleasant Beach, Jackson, Manchester, Lakewood, Lakehurst)
108 Lacey Road
Suite 38 A
Whiting Shopping Center
Whiting NJ 08759
Phone: (732) 350-2300
Frank LoBiondo - 2nd Congressional District
(Manahawkin, LEH, LBI, Tuckerton)
5914 Main Street Suite 103
Mays Landing, NJ 08330-1746
Phone: (800) 471-4450 or (609) 625-5008
When you do this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and report the result of your ACTION.
Thank you for taking the time to read this pretty lengthy blog and, I hope, for taking ACTION. It is so so important for you to get involved.