Attending AmericaSpeaks? Well, Listen Up. . .

Chuck Sheketoff

Tomorrow (June 26, 2010) Portland will host one of the community meetings involved in the upcoming AmericaSpeaks Our Budget, Our Economy National Town Hall Meeting -- an event that will link participants from across the country via satellite to strategize on ways to reduce our deficits, ensure fiscal sustainability and promote a strong economic recovery.

Your voice is needed so that the Portland meeting is not dominated by those whose main interest is in cutting vital public programs like Social Security and Medicare. Our elected leaders must hear that we want them to balance the need to address our country's fiscal challenges with imperatives to strengthen our economy and protect the most vulnerable among us.

To that, end OCPP has put together an AmericaSpeaks Our Budget, Our Economy National Town Hall Meeting resources page for those planning to attend AmericaSpeaks. Check it out, and send the link to others.

If you haven’t registered and are interested in attending, there may still be room. To register, click here.

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    I wish I could go. I'd be there saying let's cut the defense department budget and agricultural subsides - after we get out of this recession.

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      I'm not going to drive 5 hours one way for this staged event. I do, however agree with some of Dave's suggestions. I'll get more specific:

      1. End Us Occupation of Okinawa, Japan and Germany.
      2. Cut military equipment spending beginning with the pork barrel projects that even the military doesn't want (like 4 new aircraft carriers, verticle take-off/landing aircraft and different jet engines)
      3. end the corn-ethanol subsidy. remind me why we are paying Conagra to grow fuel instead of food.
      4. Abolish the US Dept. of Education. Give autonomy and the money back to the states.
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        "I'm not going to drive 5 hours one way for this staged event."

        I feel like this belies a sentiment that the best way to improve political discourse is to abstain...which, of course, doesn't do anything to help.

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          Avery, perhaps I should have been clearer. The vent today is deliberately set up to cater to the urban dwellers. That's OK, those of us in the urban areas have other ways to get our message included in the mix. That is all I meant. far fom abstaining you will see that I offered some tangible steps.

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    Thank you for this Chuck!

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    I did see the results of the AmericaSpeaks event, and the gist is that, in order to help balance the budget, the most preferred priorities were: tax the rich (completely lift the cap on FICA withholding and, also, strong support for a more progressive federal income tax) and cut Pentagon spending. Also showing the most strong support was the position in opposition to cutting Social Security benefits. Also, strongest support for a carbon tax was expressed (although I believe that that was perceived as being used as a factor in helping to balance the budget- I would disagree with it being used as such, as the effective and just way to use a carbon tax would be to refund the proceeds as dividends, thereby incentiviazing environmental responsibility).

    Anyway, if this sampling is truly representative, when will we see federal policy shift to these positions?

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    @Stephen -- The sampling was (unfortunately) not representative. When compared to the average of self-identified political persuasion, the "conservative" viewpoint was under-represented by a whopping 20%. I don't think that this was the intention of the organizers as, I know, they made efforts to include the "conservative" viewpoint by working through various "conservative" grassroots organizations. If anything, it highlights the work that we on the liberty side of the spectrum have to do to mobilize supporters.

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      "we on the liberty side of the spectrum"

      I see - so in your view "liberty" means letting the rest of us pay for the predations of the Wall St. investment banks? Is that why your hero Sen. Scott Brown succeeded in opening up loopholes in the financial reform bill to benefit Massachusetts banks in his "Bay State Buy-off," while you want to cut off unemployment benefits?

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    Sad to say that the so-called "liberty side of the spectrum" has won out, as of course anything the G20 leadership agrees to will become policy, as opposed to the advisory status of AmericaSpeaks.

    (Yesrteday the G20 leadership agreed that there should be no new fees on financial institutions, by which public bailout, as regards future losses incurred by financial institutions, might be avoided. Also, in complete repudiation of John Maynard Keynes and Joseph Stiglitz, the G20 leadership decided to prioritize deficit reduction, without specifying cuts to be made- we'll see if they mostly go after domestic spending).

    AmericaSpeaks but the G20 leadership, with no protest and seeming complete agreement from Obama, doesn't listen.

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    Let's see: America needs to drop out of NAFTA, CAFTA, G20, WTO, dump all the K-Street lobbyists, end corporate personhood, and start listening to regular working class citizens with no ties to giant multi-national corporations?
    Sounds about right to me. When do we start?!

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