HOLD YOUR GROUND. The
wealthy have to pay their fair share of taxes. Thatís
what the election was all about, and we won. Itís only
fair they pay more. Theyíre taking home record share of
national income and wealth, and have lowest effective
tax rate in living memory.
NO DEAL IS BETTER THAN A BAD DEAL.
Youíre in a strong bargaining position. If you do
nothing, the Bush tax cuts automatically expire in
January, and we go back to rates during Clinton
administration. Which isnít such a bad thing. As I
recall we had a pretty good economy during the Clinton
THREE: MAKE REPUBLICANS VOTE ON EXTENDING THE TAX CUTS
JUST FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.
After all the Bush tax cuts expire, have Republicans
vote on an extending the Bush tax cut just for the
middle-class. If they refuse and try to hold those tax
cuts hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy, it will show
whose side theyíre on. Theyíll pay the price in 2014.
FOUR: DEMAND HIGHER TAX RATES ON WEALTHY, NOT JUST
LIMITS ON DEDUCTIONS.
Donít fall for Republican offers to limit some tax
deductions on the wealthy. Demand we go back to higher
tax rates on the wealthy and eliminate their unfair tax
loopholes, so they truly start paying their fair share.
FIVE: DONíT CUT SAFETY NETS.
Donít sacrifice Medicare or Social Security, or programs
for the poor. Americans depend on these safety nets and
canít afford any benefit cuts.
DONíT CUT INVESTMENTS IN OUR FUTURE PRODUCTIVITY.
Education, basic R&D, and infrastructure arenít
spending; theyíre investments in our future prosperity.
If the return on these investments is greater than the
cost, they ought to be made, period.
SEVEN: CUT SPENDING ON MILITARY AND CORPORATE WELFARE.
You want to cut, cut spending on the military ó which
now exceeds the military spending of the next 13 largest
military spenders in the world combined. And cut
corporate welfare ó support to agribusiness, oil and
gas, Big Pharma, big insurance, and Wall Street.
EIGHT: PUT JOBS BEFORE DEFICIT REDUCTION.
Finally, Donít cut the budget deficit as long as
unemployment remains high. Otherwise youíll cause the
economy to contract, making the deficit even larger in
proportion. Thatís the austerity trap Europe has fallen
into. We need to create American prosperity, not
Robert B. Reich,
Chancellorís Professor of Public Policy at the
University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of
Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named
him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of
the last century. He has written thirteen books,
including the best sellers ďAftershock" and ďThe Work of
Nations." His latest, "Beyond Outrage," is now out in
paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American
Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.