by Chet Hardin
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn wasn't around for yesterday's siege of his Colorado Springs office. In what is becoming a weekly event, MoveOn.org protesters gathered outside Lamborn's local headquarters in the hopes that they can convince him to stop being the most conservative man in America.
Yesterday's agenda was focused on job creation and taxation: More jobs, and more equitable tax code. They would like to see Lamborn support initiatives that would do away with tax loopholes that corporations use to pay little to no taxes, or even to receive tax refunds.
"We pay more taxes than Wells Fargo," points out Chuck Bader Jr., the vice president of Colorado AFL-CIO.
This contingent of Lamborn's constituency got inside his office for a meeting with district director Dan Nordberg. To him, they presented the 10 Critical Steps to Get Our Economy Back on Track, prepared by Contract for the American Dream, a coalition dreamt up by former White House appointee Van Jones, MoveOn.org's Justin Ruben and Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
Nordberg said he'd never heard of it, but that he would review the 10-point document he was given and pass it along to Lamborn.
What is the Contract for the American Dream?
More than 25,000 ideas were submitted online. These included ideas from experts and movement leaders — but most ideas came from regular folks. Some of the strategic initiatives were big, some were small; some were brand new, and some have been around for decades.
More than 125,000 people rated the initiatives, rating them more than six million times in total. We used
the wisdom of this huge crowd to identify which initiatives made sense to folks, and which didn't.
Using the crowd-sourced ratings, we gathered a list of forty strategic initiatives that were overwhelmingly popular.
We posted the list of forty initiatives online to gather ratings from the online community. We sent it to economic experts — to make sure the ideas were all economically sound. And we sent it to more than 1,500 house meetings, which took place in every congressional district in the country, to have more than 25,000 people discuss the ideas in their living rooms and vote on which were their favorites.
Using these final rounds of feedback, we identified the top 10 ideas for inclusion in the contract and added a preamble pulling out the values that underlie those ideas and explaining how the Contract was written.
What does the Contract for the American Dream believe?
AMERICA IS NOT BROKE
America is rich — still the wealthiest nation ever. But too many at the top are grabbing the gains. No person or corporation should be allowed to take from America while giving little or nothing back. The super-rich who got tax breaks and bailouts should now pay full taxes — and help create jobs here, not overseas. Those who do well in America should do well by America.
AMERICANS NEED JOBS, NOT CUTS
Many of our best workers are sitting idle while the work of rebuilding America goes undone. Together, we must rebuild our country, reinvest in our people and jump-start the industries of the future. Millions of jobless Americans would love the opportunity to become working, tax-paying members of their communities again. We have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis.
And here are the 10 critical steps:
I. Invest in America's Infrastructure
II. Create 21st Century Energy Jobs
III. Invest in Public Education
IV. Offer Medicare for All
V. Make Work Pay
VI. Secure Social Security
VII. Return to Fairer Tax Rates
VIII. End the Wars and Invest at Home
IX. Tax Wall Street Speculation
X. Strengthen Democracy
Want the specifics on how each of these can be achieved? Follow this link over to Contract for the American Dream's website and read their proposed solutions for each.
Or you can just watch this video: