If you worked for a company that made a product or provided a service that was WAY better than their main rival, but was terrible about showing the country, or even the world, that your product or service was much better,wouldn't it drive you crazy?
Well, then you know how I feel as a Democrat.
You either believe in a country By and For the People...or the Corporations.
Let's review. In less than two years:
1. The Democratic-led Congress enacted major reforms to the federal student loan program for college students, freeing up an additional $60 billion for students that would have gone for bank fees and profits.
2. The Democratic-led Congress enacted a “bill of rights” for credit card holders that will prevent credit card companies from gouging ordinary people and wrecking their credit. We are already seeing the results of that law.
3. The Democratic-led Congress enacted major reforms to the banking and financial sectors, reining in corporate excesses and restructuring many things, so that our nation will not soon be wracked by the same type of recession that hit us in 2008. One part of that law is a new consumer financial protection agency, an entity sorely needed.
4. The Democratic-led Congress enacted one of the most significant income tax cuts for middle-class and working families in history last year. The Republicans don’t want you to know about that, so they claim that Democrats oppose tax cuts. But the Republicans are wrong on this – Democrats cut income taxes for the middle class. If you aren't aware of this, you may check it out on fact check.
5. The Democratic-led Congress also enacted significant tax cuts for small businesses – more than once. Republicans enjoy ranting about how Democrats hurt small businesses, but they are wrong on the facts. Democrats have taken numerous steps to help small businesses, including tax cuts, which the Rs consistently voted against them. If you don’t know about this, please look it up.
6. The Democratic-led Congress enacted legislation to provide better and more comprehensive health care to combat veterans from our recent wars, as well as benefits to their caregivers.
7. The Democratic-led Congress raised the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. When the Republicans held the majority, they stonewalled any increase for years and years, exacerbating poverty and homelessness for working Americans. The Democrats also enacted a law guaranteeing equal pay for women after the super-conservative, super-activist Supreme Court said that existing law did not guarantee such equality.
8. The Democratic-led Congress passed a landmark health care bill that we should all be thankful for. Among its many provisions are these: 32 million people who have been without coverage will soon be able to have it; insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime expenditure limits on anyone, even those with major illnesses; no one can be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions; all of us now have a “patients’ bill of rights;” and Medicare is strengthened for years to come. Furthermore, everyone can keep their current health coverage if they wish. These are huge steps forward for our nation. Ironically, on the very day that several of these provisions took effect, Republican leaders declared their fundamental opposition to such progress and vowed to repeal health care reform if they obtain a majority in Congress. In addition to the comprehensive health care bill, the Democratic-led Congress expanded the SCHIP program that provides health care for low-income children, and strengthened the Medicaid program for low-income adults.
9. The Democratic-led Congress faced up to the recession and extended unemployment benefits for those who are out of work and unable to find work, while Republicans strenuously opposed such payments to those in great need.
10. Finally, there is the stimulus package, enacted by the Democratic-led Congress. Republicans rail endlessly about how terrible it was, but a majority of unbiased economists declare it a solid achievement, a real success. Every American should be thankful for Democrats’ thoughtful and prompt action on the stimulus package, because it helped to halt our steep slide into recession, and put millions of unemployed folks back to work. The stimulus package was and is a solid, practical response to difficult times, a true building block for the economic recovery.
11. The Democratic-led House enacted a major clean energy jobs bill that will benefit our nation in numerous ways. Senate Republicans have so far blocked it in that chamber, but Democrats will keep trying to achieve bipartisan approval.
12. Democrats have proposed a thoughtful, workable plan to deal with immigration issues. Republicans have no plan beyond rounding up millions of immigrants and sending them back, plus placing more troops at the Mexican border.
13. Democrats in Congress are striving to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so that every American who wants to serve in the military will be permitted to do so. Republicans have blocked repeal because they fundamentally oppose full freedom for gay people.
14. Republican leaders have pledged to increase the nation’s deficit even further in order to cut taxes for the super-rich. They attempt to scare the rest of us by suggesting that President Obama’s proposal for graduated higher taxes of the super-rich will translate into higher taxes on everyone, even though there is no evidence for that.
15. The Democratic-led Congress enacted an increase in vehicle fuel standards that will both decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil and clean up our environment.
16. Several Republican candidates for Congress are committed to privatizing Social Security, while Democrats strongly oppose such an effort. Imagine what pain and anguish would have set in among our nation’s seniors during this recession if their monthly Social Security checks depended on the stock market. Democrats will protect Social Security and make it solvent for decades to come. (In a further attack on seniors, one Republican candidate has even pledged to work for the elimination of Medicare.)
17. The Democratic-led Congress worked closely with President Bush in 2008 to enact the TARP bill, which prevented the recession from becoming much more serious than it was. We hear Republicans routinely decry that bill, but it was actually a stunning bipartisan success, saving many American companies and jobs. Although the initial projection for TARP expenditures was $700 billion, the success of the program and the rapid rate of repayments now point to a final cost to taxpayers of less than one-tenth of that amount.
18. Republican leaders announced their goal to remove reasonable rules and controls on Wall Street, so that investment bankers can return to their Wild West approach and make themselves richer.
19. The Democratic-led Congress voted to penalize American companies that ship jobs overseas, while Republicans again opposed such legislation.
20. Finally, the Republicans have several candidates who are truly beyond the pale. A Republican House candidate in Ohio sometimes wears a Nazi uniform in public. The Republican Senate candidate in Alaska urged repeal of the 17th Amendment, which provides for Senators to be elected directly by the people; he wants to go back to the days when state legislatures chose senators, with lots of backroom horse-trading. The Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky have called for repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some Republicans are even backing repeal of the 14th Amendment, which enabled African-Americans to become citizens of this country.
We can re-elect a thoughtful, forward-looking Congress that has been in place or bring back the party of opposition and obstruction.
Beyond the 20 points above, take a minute to think about: military spending, nuclear weapons treaties, public education, living wage, approach to terrorism, reproductive choice, farm policy, climate change, stewardship of natural resources, personal liberty, labor issues, meals-on-wheels, transportation and Indian affairs. I trust Democrats to handle all of those matters in a much more thoughtful and effective way than the Republicans.
Big money is flowing to the Republicans in this election, hoping to buy a Congress that will ignore the interests of average people. We need to fight big money and cronies with our ideas and votes. Two simple suggestions:
(1) Forward this message widely. Send it to everyone in your address book. Urge them to vote on Nov. 2 and encourage their friends too.
(2) Get out and work for Democrats between now and Nov. 2 in any way that your local group or organization is in need of or asks for.
Despite the unprecedented personal attacks and smear tactics against this administration and congressional leaders, there are still such things as facts, truth, and reality. Don't let these be lost.