Skip to main content

This article was published on 12.06.12. Sacramento News and Review.

A recent Sacramento Bee editorial called for smaller steps to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” Then, strangely, it listed small steps that only call for compromise as advocated by the Republican’s austerity proposal.
We do not need more austerity. If you want some small steps, President Barack Obama suggested extending the Bush-era tax reductions for the bottom 98 percent of earners. This is a proposal that almost everyone agrees with. Let’s disagree over cuts for the top 2 percent and work out a compromise.
We should immediately reauthorize funding for extended unemployment benefits to prevent 1.5 million workers and their dependents from losing their benefits. California has received federal funds of more than $5 billion for extended unemployment insurance. If these funds are cut, it could well throw California back into a recession.
We should reject the fiscal-cliff hysteria of the corporate establishment and its pressure for a “grand bargain” that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. If the government imposes austerity measures and reduces essential programs that benefit the middle and working classes, it further shreds the safety net for the most vulnerable.
We should oppose the notion that some “unified” fiscal cliff must be addressed in the lame-duck session of Congress. It is, in fact, a “fiscal obstacle course” that Congress should address without panic early in 2013, while heeding the election results.
More than 200 community organizations in the Strengthening America’s Values and Economy for All campaign of the Coalition on Human Needs, along with organized labor, are mobilizing their members and allies to protect low-income and vulnerable people; promote job creation to strengthen the economy; increase revenues from fair sources; and seek responsible savings by targeting wasteful spending in the Pentagon and in other areas that do not serve the public interest.
Readers should join this work and call on lame-duck members of Congress to follow these principles as they face budgetary decisions of immediate, long-lasting national consequence. We cannot promote the common good by cutting ever more services and jobs.
So, slow down. Don’t panic. We need to deal with the fiscal problems but not with the cruel austerity being imposed upon Greece, Spain and Portugal. Even Great Britain is returning to a recession. Austerity does not work.
Duane Campbell is Chair of Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America.

To find out more about the Strengthening America's Values and Economy for All campaign and the Coalition on Human Needs, visit To learn more about the Democratic Socialists of America, visit
Duane Campbell is the Chair of Sacramento DSA.

Originally posted to dcampbell on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:29 PM PST.

Also republished by California politics.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site