Next Steps for the Occupy Movement

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Shamus Cooke: The Occupy Movement has more than room for an umbrella of demands from diverse sections of working class people, but now we must focus on what unites the vast majority, since the corporations have focused on dividing us for decades.

The Need for a Progressive Alternative

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Robert Reich: Without bold alternatives, Americans desperate for big solutions are attracted to bold crackpot ideas like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” proposal, which would raise taxes on the poor and cut them for the rich.

The Seven Biggest Economic Lies

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Robert Reich: Here’s a short effort to rebut the seven biggest whoppers now being told by those who want to take America backwards.

The Republican Weapon of Mass Cynicism

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Robert Reich: If we can’t trust government at a time like this, whom can we trust? Corporations? Wall Street? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? Or is each of us now simply on our own?

Big-Drama Obama

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Brent Budowsky: The Truman metaphor is right for Obama, but it must presage a sustained battle for jobs, and not another brief theatrical scene in an incoherent drama with an inconclusive ending.

The Oddness of the President’s Upcoming Deficit-Reduction Plan

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Robert Reich: When unemployment is still in the stratosphere, it would be insane to start cutting the deficit by $3 trillion to $4 trillion. That would push unemployment into outer space.

The Great Health Care Takeaway

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Shamus Cooke: Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured.

Let’s Have a Tea Party

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Ted Vaill: Teabaggers, look at what has happened this past week in England – get rid of entitlements and you have rioting in the streets fomented by the unemployed youths who have been pushed down through England’s safety net.

Democrats Must Push Back

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Norman Solomon: Call me old-fashioned, but I believe in the vital lessons of the New Deal. Many millions of good jobs must be created — and that will require well-funded federal jobs programs on a large scale.

Healthcare: What Democrats Should Have Learned By Now

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Robert Reich: Had the President and the Democrats stuck to their guns during the health-care debate and insisted on Medicare for all, or at least a public option, they wouldn’t now be facing the possible unraveling of the new health care law.

The Deficit Committee Is a Stacked Deck

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Carl Bloice: Obviously, there is nothing demographically representative of the Gang of 12. It’s hardly democratic; but then, there is nothing particularly democratic about the whole setup.

Well-To-Do Americans Getting More Benefits than the Poor

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Sherwood Ross: All the Federal welfare checks, food stamps, and unemployment benefits don’t begin to add up to the more than $1 trillion in indirect tax breaks awarded annually to America’s middle- and upper-classes.

In the Debt Ceiling Machinations Democracy Is Also Up for Grabs

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Carl Bloice: If the people who set the Tea Party in motion and sustain it want a mandatory “balanced budget” there is a democratic way of going about getting one; introduce specific legislation. They wouldn’t take that route.

10 Reasons for Progressives to Feel Reassured About the Debt Package

Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.

Ransom Paid

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Robert Reich: Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics.

To Rebuild the American Dream, Put Pressure On Democrats

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Randy Shaw: A progressive coalition that claims to be “Bigger than the Tea Party” must hold Democrats accountable as effectively as conservatives do for Republicans .

What “Shared Sacrifice” Means

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Carl Bloice: All across the country social services, which largely benefit lower income women, men and children are being cut back and people who made them function are being added to the ranks of the unemployed.

Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

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Robert Reich: The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. Medicare offers a means of reducing these costs — if Washington would let it.

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Democracy Is Messy

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Ted Vaill: Every Member of Congress who voted against increasing the debt ceiling should be targeted for defeat in the 2012 election. If that is not successful in changing the makeup of Congress after 2012, I may follow the lead of my ancestor Pelatiah Everett, and begin a new revolution.

Deficit Reduction Versus Democracy

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Shamus Cooke: Listening to Congress debate deficit deduction is like listening to a den of lions discuss the welfare of zebras. In both cases the debate is very one-sided.

We Need to Rethink the Morality of the Economy

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James Livingston: Why can’t the liberal Left answer the Right when budget deficits are the issue? Why are Democrats, Obama included, so eager to reduce spending on so-called entitlements?

Elected on Hope, Obama Governs Through Fear

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Randy Shaw: Obama ran for president preaching hope and rejecting appeals to fear, but now has become exactly what he railed against.

Stronger Words from the White House? Hold the Euphoria

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Carl Bloice: The country really does need a deal right now; that’s as in ‘New Deal.” There are a lot of people, groups and new movements out there proposing that we come up with one.

Obama Looking Like a Champ

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Alvaro Huerta: To be a real champ, Obama now needs to end the tax cuts for the rich, withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and get the DREAM Act passed.

The Republican Death Wish

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Robert Reich: Instead of talking about Medicare as a problem to be fixed, Democrats should start talking about it as a potential solution to the challenge of rising health-care costs — as well as to our long-term budget problem.

Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream

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Ivan Eland: Deep down, both Republican and Democratic politicians believe something needs to be done about the monstrous and dangerous deficit and debt, but they are scared to do anything because, unfortunately, the American people want their government handouts but are unwilling to pay for them.

Budget Jujitsu

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Robert Reich: We can reduce the long-term budget deficit, keep everything Americans truly depend on, and also increase spending on education and infrastructure — by cutting unnecessary military expenditures, ending corporate welfare, and raising taxes on the rich.

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The Republican Plan with Lipstick

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Robert Reich: Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.

A Tale of Two Town Halls

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Joseph Palermo: The Republican House members who voted for Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand wet-dream budget are apparently getting an earful from their constituents.

Beware of the Racial Demagoguery

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Carl Bloice: With public opinion across the political spectrum clearly opposed to slashing the healthcare and retirement programs, any negotiated settlement would be undemocratic.

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