Nov 18 2012

 

 

081611_LeoHindery

Progressive CEO Leo Hindery wants to be sure that those elected and those that loss in this pass election don't miss the message. Those politicians that ignore the message will suffer the consequences from voters who spoke with a clear and concise voice. Hindery, who has long been a champion of the manufacturing sector and an aggressive infrastructure stimulus plan, writes for the Huffington Post:

"Dick Gephardt, the esteemed former House Leader, often said that "elections have consequences" and always "carry messages."

The consequence of the elections just past is pretty obvious. Despite a staggering $6 billion having been spent on all of the federal races ("Consider the Source," Center for Public Integrity, 11-05-12), and all those speeches and all those political ads, we still have the makings of further partisan gridlock.

Yet the message to the new Congress from the electorate is nonetheless quite precise: Get on with it! And coming as this message appears to out of the expressed anxiety of millions of voters regarding their prolonged un- or under- employment, their stagnant wages and their economic insecurity, "it" is an immediate comprehensive effort aimed at rebuilding our middle class economy.

While everyone is understandably focused on the first-rate skills of the Obama campaign's field operatives and on how demographics helped to decide the election, it was every bit as much about policy and how that policy was messaged to voters. And a thoughtful look in particular at Ohio -- the state that largely gave President Obama his reelection victory and reelected Sherrod Brown as Senator -- suggests what that new economic agenda for Congress should look like specifically.

There, a majority of the voters understood the imperative of bailing out the auto industry and committed themselves to a future that still includes manufacturing as a cornerstone of a balanced economy. And in doing so, they and a majority of voters throughout the country rejected the philosophy that government plays no constructive role in our economy, clearly preferring instead that, when needed, it help protect and foster high quality jobs which meet the diverse needs of our society.

Of course, they also rejected the Governor Romney's belief that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with offshoring jobs to China, which he did repeatedly when he ran Bain. And they also rejected his jobs policy which largely consisted of more tax cuts for the wealthy rather than meaningful investment in our middle class and resuscitation of our manufacturing sector.

If Congress listens to this message, it will develop and pursue an agenda based on the core economic premises that:

-Near-term large-scale job creation through government stimulus efforts, on the one hand, and long-term deficit cutting, on the other, are not mutually exclusive;

-Government does create good jobs, millions of them in fact; and

-Government cannot continue to gut the principle of progressive individual taxation without further eviscerating the middle class.

Well-conceived employment stimulus efforts are, because of their very large multiplier effects, at least deficit neutral in the medium term and, most likely, substantially deficit reducing. Thus Congress doesn't have to choose between stimulus and austerity -- it just has to get each challenge's priority and timing right. And when it does it will also be able to find responsible pathways to resolving the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (i.e., 'Simpson-Bowles'), major entitlement reform and the pending 'fiscal cliff'.

Implicit in achieving this balance, however, must be immediately resuscitating and then materially growing our depleted manufacturing sector."

Read the rest of Mr. Hindery's article by clicking here.

Leo Hindery, Jr. is chair of the U.S. Economy/Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation, co-chair (with USW President Leo Gerard) of the Task Force on Jobs Creation, founder of Jobs First 2012, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the former CEO of AT&T Broadband and its predecessors, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) and Liberty Media, and is currently a private equity investor in media companies