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This country has long lived by one central creed - this generation's children will do better than their parents. While Republican politicians constantly refer to this ideal on the campaign stump, it is undeniable that they have not only failed to foster its realization but also affirmatively acted against it. The recent GOP-orchestrated government shutdown is just one more data point that confirms this. Please join me below for my own experiences as a twenty-something growing up in a country that seems to have forgotten me and others like me and what we can do about it.

I am 26 years old. After college and graduate school, I have approximately $125,000 in debt. My wife has about $100,000. Our story is all too common - after all, the amount of all student debt in this nation is over $1 trillion. There are many causes for this spiraling debt from greedy bankers and their enablers in congress to scummy for-profit diploma mills. Nevertheless, because of these factors a generation of Americans are being cut away from critical dollars in their bank accounts. For instance, my wife and I need to make $2,900 payments a month just to pay the loans off in the standard 10 years. If we go into an income-based repayment plan and pay for the next 25 years, then we face a massive tax liability for any amount that is left over, which could be quite significant and in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine the good my wife and I could do with additional money in our pockets each month, the investments we could make in our communities, the house we could buy, the car we could buy. Economic output, especially in our housing market, would certainly be better off if millions of young Americans were not shackled with student loan debt. Most importantly, this type of debt comes with the mentally crippling realization that your employment, if you are lucky enough to get it, only allows you to slave away to pay federal student loan servicers.  

The student debt problem reflects a lack of commitment to young Americans not only because it harms us as we start our adult lives but also because it reflects a mind-numbingly poor balance of priorities. The creation of student debt produces a net profit for the federal government to the tune of $34 billion a year. While the federal government is reducing federal debt on the backs of young Americans like me, it has bestowed the lowest tax burdens on large corporations and high income individuals in decades. When we discussed bailouts in the 2008-2010 response to the financial crisis, large banks received preferential treatment while young Americans, like those facing foreclosure, were shown the door.

Young Americans, who incurred this debt so that the already-rich and powerful could increase their standards of living, have generally received limited economic benefit from their higher education. Unemployment for young Americans from 18 to 29 years old is higher than it is for all Americans regardless of age and much higher than for older age groups. I have had friends whose first jobs post-college were cancelled before they even started due to the financial crisis. Some have held jobs in which their employer did not pay them for months at a time due to cash-flow issues. Others, including my wife, have been laid off. Indeed, when my wife was laid off by her boss who lives in a large 5-bedroom house in an exurban community, I was forced to stay awake sleepless to consider whether we could afford a mere 2 bedroom apartment in a building constructed in the early 1900s.

Our country is broken for young Americans. We face an almost insurmountable situation that includes high student debt payments, poor employment prospects, and declining wages and benefits. In days past, this type of situation would galvanize the American people into collective action on behalf of those who were being left behind.

But, unfortunately, those days no longer exist. Instead, we have a major party in this nation whose main refrain is that the rich are too poor, the poor are too rich, and the middle just doesn't matter. That major party seeks to increase student loan interest rates, expand corporate welfare, and further reduce the rich's tax burden in hopes that their benevolence will lead to more jobs for young people. And, that major party doesn't even try to reach out to young Americans in a meaningful way, save to convince us that we should not enroll in Obamacare despite its substantial savings.

This country needs change; it needs to reaffirm its commitment to young Americans like me. Indeed, it needs to reaffirm its commitment to everyone who isn't able to hand over million dollar checks or who has not already received significant benefits from their position in our society.

But, as proven by the midnight shutdown, this change cannot occur until we oppose the Republicans everywhere. We cannot stand back and let them own a single inch of the debate. Every point that they make deserves a quick and vociferous counterpoint. Our ideas are better - they are better for young Americans, old Americans, and everyone in between. We just need to express them. By opposing the Republicans, expressing our ideas, and refusing to back down, we not only can, but will win the debate and move this nation forward. Over the next couple of days, as the Republicans in Washington, D.C. continue to act like petulant children, do not refuse to speak up.

The wind is at our back, the Republicans have failed in their most basic duties to the American people, and now is the time for us to point that out.

Update Thank you for the recs. I truly appreciate your response to my story and the plight of young Americans.

Originally posted to OhioDomer on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks, KasichWatch, Youth Kos 2.0, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amen a thousand times Amen (17+ / 0-)

    This cries out for the pushback of the Gods.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 11:22:12 PM PDT

    •  The GOP is primarying moderate candidates (12+ / 0-)

      and putting up extremists instead. We need to focus on those races, highlight the extremism, and promote and support viable Democrats that can win the general elections.

      Once this happens again and again, GOP members will begin rethink their allegiance witch-hunt-as-political-strategy gurus.

      •  We also need to focus on WINNABLE races (5+ / 0-)

        While the 50-state strategy is lovely and some have urged that we strongly compete in EVERY district, I have no idea where the money would come from to squander, for instance, in John Boehner's blood-red district.

        I hope some of you — especially if you are in Ohio — will join me in contacting the DCCC, by phone, letter or email, and tell them it is unacceptable to us that they recruited and are urgently fundraising for anti-choice rightwing Blue Dog Jennifer Garrison in Ohio's very Republican 6th district when they should be putting their muscle behind Michael Wager in Democratic-leaning swing district currently held by a weak, unknown Republican freshman. He lucked into the job when popular GOP congressman Steve LaTourette suddenly decided he'd had his fill of teabaggers and retired. The Democrats had a marginal, unelectable Joe-the-Plumber type candidate, having passed over the race for four or five more promising ones.

        Here's how strong Garrison's rightwing appeal is. A site put up to support her in 2010 when she was running for secretary of state until we forced her out said she would fight against "babykillers that want to distract from their Nigerian President’s failure of a healthcare plan.”

        Tell the DCCC NO!

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:35:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I couldn't agree more. DINOs are a waste of our (0+ / 0-)

          resources and time to support.

          I investigated a candidate who said that he had changed parties but his donor list had lots of Republican money on it. He also started off with a good deal of money which was a tip-off. Democrats run on shoe-string budgets in Ohio. He immediately started to attack his fellow Democrat.
          I emailed him and posted in the newspaper that Democrats don't "Swift-boat" their own. That is what Republicans do. He eventually dropped out.

          Thanks for your common sense advise. We have to be practical and husband our resources.

    •  Not just the young (11+ / 0-)

      This is the strongest point in your diary:

      Indeed, it needs to reaffirm its commitment to everyone who isn't able to hand over million dollar checks or who has not already received significant benefits from their position in our society.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:27:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome to the "New Reality" (17+ / 0-)

    where $8.50 an hour is the new "prevailing wage."
    The Ubers and Filthys (uber rich and filthy rich - aka as the One Percent) will tell you that, as this is now a "Global Economy," that $8.50 easily puts you, my friend, in the upper 10%, globally speaking.  the upper 10%!  Living Large!  Except that you don't live in the Second World or Third World where that $8.50 would kick some serious ass!  You live here in the First World where $8.50 an hour won't get you into a one bedroom closet.
    Welcome to the new reality.  The question is, what are the 20-somethings going to do about it?

  •  Tell that to the DCCC/DNC (17+ / 0-)

    One of the big problems, in my opinion, is that the Democratic leadership seems to actively not care about winning.

    Take, for example, the fact that DWS is the chair of the DNC even though she has publicly confessed that she will not campaign (or provide party funds to campaigns) against Florida Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen because she's friends with them. If you are protecting a single seat from the other party--particularly a winnable seat, you don't deserve a leadership position. End stop.

  •  2014 must have record turnout (25+ / 0-)

    We know this. The only way we get this cancer out of the House of Representatives, and keep the Senate Democrat.

    The only way is record mid-term election turnout. In 2010, we stayed home. We got the Tea Party.

    The districts are gerrymandered, favoring Republicans, their caucuses are overrun with SuperPAC money from the likes of the Koch brothers. Record turnouts may still lose. But it's the only option we have.

    We must have record turnout in 2014. It's our only chance.

  •  The economy crashed when you were 20, why did (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer, ladybug53

    you borrow so much money at a time when job uncertainty loomed large? Even without the economic calamity, how did your family plan on paying off a quarter of a million dollars in student loans? I mean, what were you thinking taking on that much debt at that age.

    “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

    by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:25:43 AM PDT

    •  Here were my options at 20 . . . (18+ / 0-)

      Here were my options in 2008 (my senior year in college right after the Wall Street Crash) . . .

      (1) Graduate college without a job and face unemployment during the aftermath of that economic crash.

      (2) Obtain a no-benefits, low-pay retail job that would permanently keep me from future employment that allowed a decent middle-class lifestyle.

      (3) Attend graduate school, in my particular case, law school, so that I could one day reach a sustainable middle class lifestyle.

      So, I was thinking that to wait out that recession, I should go to school and get a credential that will open doors. To a degree, my plan has worked, but because of poor public policy, I am left with much higher student debt and less employment prospects than those who came before me in a similar situation.  

       

      •  Yes but ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dylanfan, elwior

        Snark here. Apologies in advance.

        From your story you married for love, without being practical. You could easily have found a wife without student debt among the many young Americans who never go to college. And your wife could have found someone older to marry, from a previous generation which didn't need to undertake such crushing debt for a degree. If you were practical Republicans rather than idealistic Democrats you would have taken the economic realities into account.

        The problem is Hollywood with its myths of true love. We were far better when the hit movies were like "The Golddiggers of 1938," about women purusing and often achieving economic success through marriage on the one hand, and educated, successful men finding mates from among those who might not have good diction, but could dance!

        That's the America the Republicans can return us to. All singing! All dancing! Life can be like in the movies ... if we embrace the right decade.

    •  Hmmmm.... (10+ / 0-)

      Just a question....
      Would it have even better for him to take a crappy retail job at minimum wage thinking he'd go back to school later when the economy got better?  And just exactly when would that have been or will be?
      Fact is that many of those who have every intention of going back to school, don't.
      The sorry state of educational costs as well as healthcare costs in this country is criminal.  At least we're doing something about healthcare.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 06:32:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow... (11+ / 0-)

      ...this is kind of a "hit and run" comment that I'd attribute to a John McCain, Sarah Palin or pretty much any of the Bush's.

      A little...disturbing, quite frankly, to see it on a "lefty" site.

      I don't have a problem in pointing out a person's possible lack of good decision making (Christ, we're pretty much ALL guilty of that from time to time) but to just "hit and run" and not discuss it?

      It just REEKS of the whole "it was the deadbeats fault the economy crashed and they shouldn't have taken out loans they couldn't afford" side of things.

      This is ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE STORY! IOW, it's typical Rightwing ideology and not examining the full scope which caused the problem.

      Rightwingers are expert at understanding human psychology when it comes to marketing and selling...but as soon as a problem is caused by this, they immediately fall back on their ridiculous ideology of "personal responsibility" and act as if social psychology and propaganda they use to sell things doesn't apply.

      It's BS.

      •  I did the exact same thing as diarist in early '80 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        so I understand the tough choices to be made. And here's the "but" school costs and corresponding debt were infinitesimally smaller compared to that same track today. Another choice might have been to pursue a JD at night while working at a company that might chip in for a portion of school cost. I wish you well and hope you can get ahead of that terrible debt burden. At least your not part of the crowd clamoring for debt forgiveness.

        “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

        by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 07:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seconded! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OhioDomer, elwior, Stills, RUNDOWN

        The comment was out of line, offensive, and quite frankly none of his fucking business.

        From what I've observed, this crushing student debt is also a construct of the brown-nosing RW.

        First they advanced the meme that you weren't going to get a decent job without a degree because "our" economy was moving away from manufacturing. Then, to prove it, they off-shored most of the manufacturing (because, realistically speaking we'll ALWAYS need people to make things, they just didn't want to pay Americans a decent wage to do it).

        Then, with all the young people preparing for college, they hiked the tuition prices into the stratosphere for reasons unexplained (unless "because we can" is an acceptable explanation). So now you all owe them billion$ for this education they said you hadda have to get a decent job.

        Then they crashed the economy over and over again so the storied decent jobs weren't there.

        Which brings us to present day. Now they have you all battling each other for the fantasy jobs. You can't buy a house even if you did have a decent job because they absorbed most of the housing stock in the foreclosure boom. And what they didn't snatch then they're now paying cash for at amounts you couldn't match in a fairy tale. In short, they ate your lunch and own your ass, and none of it was an accident or mere happenstance.

        This agenda was a long slow process that had so many moving parts nobody saw it. And all the better that it sounds CT.

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:14:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this, OhioDomer. (6+ / 0-)

    The absolutely necessity of doing everything to GOTV cannot be understated.

    Everything depends upon it and all of it rests upon our right to vote.

    The Republican attacks on voting rights in states like North Carolina and Kansas will be seen everywhere they hold power.

    It is nothing less than an attack on our right to a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."

    We need everyone working to GOTV to ensure that our government does not "perish from the earth."

    It is that fundamental.

    There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    by Onomastic on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:31:39 AM PDT

  •  Historical ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Sitzman, Pariah Dog, elwior, RUNDOWN

    Back when the Democrats had the House, Senate, and Presidency.. the GOP was able to use the Mighty & Irresistible Filibuster.

    Despite the fact that the Democrats could, with their Senate majority, abolish the Filibuster.

    Of course, they need to keep the Mighty Filibuster in order to do things like stop the GOP when it tries to do odious things, like the following:

    Like when Bush tried to appoint right-wing ideologues to the Supreme Court.

    Or, like when Bush & the GOP tried to pass Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

    Or, like when Bush & the GOP tried to appoint right wing nuts to positions requiring Senate approval.

    Or, like when Bush & the GOP tried to push through the odious Patriot Act.

    Or, for example, when Bush & the GOP tried to push through the Iraqi War Authorization - which would have led to a war based on lies, destroying the country of Iraq and sucking the United States into more NeoCon dreams of Conquest.

    Or, when Bush & Co launched a national attack on education & teachers, called "Race To The Top".

    Lucky for us, the Dems protect the Filibuster - because while it always stops truly progressive policies from being advanced, it's also proven very useful for stopping the GOP.  But only in Bizzar-O World.

    Waking Up Yet?

    So.... a Democratic President who pushes through pro-1% / anti-worker "Free" Trade Deals is complaining about Republicans wanting to hurt the poor. Do Go On.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:39:14 AM PDT

  •  GOPers don't the hand that feeds them... (3+ / 0-)

    ..and that hand is the corporate one. GOPers not only owe their seats to corporate money, but they also see the carrot of future employment, a la Jim DeMint at the Heritage Foundation.

    Truth is: typical middle class and poor don't contribute to or vote for GOPers, hence GOPers could care less about middle class and poor people.

    What corporations are after: an unlimited pool of cheap and controllable work force, where professionals and labor have no leverage or benefits and who will fight wages down to get jobs, and where upper management has ALL the leverage and control over them. Yep, sending the pendulum back to 1900.

    Graduate employees with high monthly loan reimbursement payments make them great candidates: they NEED that job and can't AFFORD to lose it, hence will take it at any condition. A bad job market is HEAVEN to corporate interests!

  •  It starts with voting! (4+ / 0-)

    Look at the recalls in Colorado. The right brings out their voters every time, all the time. The left "herds cats" and brings out some voters some of the time.

    I worked hard last summer for a good congressional candidate trying to oust a TP. He lost by 500 votes. We identified retired UAW members and known progressives who didn't bother to show up.

    If EVERYONE doesn't vote ALL THE TIME it's hopeless.

    And we MUST stop debating "angels on the heads of pins" and realize that only with power can we reverse the gerrymandering and voter suppression. Then it is game over for the money boys, and we can go back to that angel debate.

  •  Why did you incur so much debt? (0+ / 0-)

    Average tuition for a degree at a state university is about $34,000.  

    •  My debt story . . . (3+ / 0-)

      I talked about my reasons for incurring debt above. Mostly, it was to avoid the bleak employment prospects after the 2008 financial crisis.  

      I have two other responses. One, student debt is not used simply to cover tuition, but a variety of other expenses, including fees, books, and living expenses.

      In my particular case, I incurred about $15,000 in original debt for my undergraduate education, and approximately $100,000 for my graduate education, which tends to be more expensive tuition and fee-wise.  Only four of the federal loans I took out were "subsidized," meaning that interest did not accrue on them until my graduation.  As a result, my unsubsidized loans accrued about $10,000 in additional debt while I was still in school.  
       

  •  As I posted and tweeted yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer, elwior, freakofsociety

    "This is what happens when people stay home during off year elections. If you stayed home you helped shut down the government."  

    Elections have consequences.  Either you are part of the result or you accept the result.

  •  I'm all for beating Republicans. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer, Mark Lippman, elwior

    Just sayin'


    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 06:52:22 AM PDT

  •  a great post, but painful to read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Im a frayed knot, Pariah Dog, elwior

    I have read stories like this a lot, but I found yours the most affecting. Have you considered making this into an op/ed and submitting it to your local paper?
    I wish you and your wife lots of luck in the years ahead, and hope you post regularly here!

    Life is a shipwreck. But we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. — Voltaire

    by agrenadier on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 06:59:41 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for the luck . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      I truly do believe that our nation will fix its policies that so harshly affect young Americans. And, I hope to be on the front lines as we do so (as a result, I intend to keep posting here regularly as much as I can).

  •  change is in the air...and it's already happening (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer, elwior

    ...take, for instance the current Republican attempts to hold the entire country hostage in exchange for their ransom demands. During President Obama's first term, he and his fellow Congressional Democrats were always all-too-willing to negotiate with Republicans, on virtually anything, no matter how out rageous Republicans' tactics and demands were.

    Now, President Obama and the Democrats seem to have finally grown a spine, telling Republicans where they can go with their juvenile temper tantrums and governmental incompetence.

    That's a small step, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

    You're right, however, we cannot be satisfied with these incremental steps. We must strengthen the hands of Democrats and progressives going forward. And the first step is, as you've pointed out, defeating Republicans.

    In fact, one of the thoughts that's been occurring to me lately is how sweet it would be for progressives to start a concerted effort to try to defeat some of these Tea Party jihadists, even in some of the reddest of red districts and states. We need to start chipping away at Tea Partyists in red districts, while seeking to defeat Republicans everywhere else.

    It seems to me that a sensible, sane, moderate Democrat (or independent) in the reddest of red districts can stand a chance against out-and-out nutjobs (Louis Gohmert comes to mind, and a few others, as well.)

  •  We've reached the point where the strategy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer, elwior

    should be to make Republicanism a reviled term.

    I don't negotiate with terrorists. I don't vote for them, either.

    by thenekkidtruth on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 07:36:31 AM PDT

  •  For decades, I've been a personal friend (6+ / 0-)

    of a Republican office holder where I live. I've always voted for her when she runs for a relatively harmless local office that's sort of a constitutional anachronism, but it's an elective office in our state, never the less. I've walked precincts for her, put up signs for her, gathered nominating signatures for her.

    She does a great and conscientious job in her elective office. But after this episode, I have to tell her that I can never vote for her again, nor work on her behalf again, so long as she runs as a Republican. If she wants to change party or run as an independent, I'm continue my support.

    This may cost me my friendship with her, but this is the kind of "sea change" that has to happen all up and down the political pecking order.

    If history repeats itself, I want a pet dinosaur.

    by dobleremolque on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 07:45:12 AM PDT

    •  hell, I have a brother (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, TheDuckManCometh

      who I haven't had any meaningful relationship with for years because of our beliefs. We grew up in a very progressive, Union, blue collar home. He married a rabid republican's daughter and the rest is history.
      Family is one of the most important things to me but in this case I really feel that he was just some kid that grew up in the same house as me.
      I cannot and will not associate with these types of people whether family or not. I find them to be vile charlatans. They quote the bible and spew the most hatred nasty things out of their mouths.
      Good riddance......    

      "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

      by fugwb on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:03:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If she is a principled person, she has already (0+ / 0-)

      considered running as an independent.

  •  oh yes, but we must get out the vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    like never before to get the GOP OUT and us in!! That will be the key to stop this madness.

  •  Agreed, with one addendum: (7+ / 0-)

    This is killing lots of middle-aged people too, those of us who changed course mid-life and found we needed student loans to go back to university for new, different credentials.  We lost so much ground during the financial crisis, and being able to start over is increasingly difficult.  We're in your boat alongside you, OhioDomer.  And there are plenty who are watching this for our children with tremendous fear.  There seems to be no escape.

    If all of us who are being hammered by the Teahadists' program fail to transcend our differences and unite over our common problems, we will be buried alive.  Indeed, that is already happening.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:39:23 AM PDT

    •  Thank You. It is just the youngest workers. (0+ / 0-)

      Go visit the local unemployment office and you'll see, at least in Houston, mostly people who are not so young. I'm now entering that age now and it scares me that I might be like those older than me facing some even longer odds than me.

      We need to create jobs for everyone willing to work. If not, then we best commence the post-work debate if we intend on maintaining a stable democracy.

      The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

      by sebastianguy99 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:26:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's send Kasich packing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer, elwior, sebastianguy99

    and let's make our party enact good economic recovery and job creation programs.  

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:54:58 AM PDT

  •  Thank you. I am also in a similar boat regarding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, OhioDomer

    my daughter's student loans.  It is unconscionable.  All we need do is think what would have happened if republicans controlled the senate as well.  I cannot even fathom the possibilities.

    I am forwarding this diary to my daughter so she can read it and understand the magnitude of what we face.

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:16:26 AM PDT

  •  Amen! Beat the Republicans everywhere everytime. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer, Timeslayer, freakofsociety

    Sadly, we still have people that try and equivocate and work hard to dissuade anyone and everyone away from focusing on the Republicans.

    Thankfully the diarist is an example of the wing of the Democratic Party that focuses first on removing the Republicans. No more twiddling around and letting the Republicans dominate the political discourse for decades.

    Turn Out 2014!

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:21:19 AM PDT

  •  you have TWO chances in New Jersey! (0+ / 0-)

    you can beat and oppose Republicans twice this election cycle

    Cory Booker for US Senate on wednesday October 16
    Barbara Buono for NJ Governor on Tuesday, November 5

    and a popular vote referendum to raise New Jersey's minimum wage to $8.25/hr and index that to inflation from now on.

    Thanks for this diary.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:50:32 AM PDT

  •  Howard Dean was right - 50 states! (0+ / 0-)

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 09:52:07 AM PDT

  •  Write a Letter to the Editor! (0+ / 0-)

    In other words, don't just preach to the converted here.

    Write a letter to the editor. I just did. Mine begins:

    To the Editor:

    During the McCarthy era, we accused the Soviet Union of sabotaging our government.

    Fast forward 60 years. Now, Republicans are doing just that.

  •  Beat them at their own game. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheStoopingRabbit

    I see no reason why progressives cannot do with the Democratic Party what the Right Wing and Religious Right have done with the GOP. It will take a concerted effort to run progressives for local political offices and such candidates will necessarily be those who are active communitarians beforehand and are known locally in the community as volunteers and "good people" who serve their community.

    Such backgrounds for individuals running on progressive ideals help insulate them from accusations of being a "socialist" or "commie bastard." And it is only these people who can get elected and affect change. Until those with progressive credentials running for local offices work and volunteer locally to improve their communities then their opponents will always accuse them of being outsiders and troublemakers.

    It is wise to consider the enemy's strategies if they are successful, and we progressives might want to re-read Sinclair Lewis'  "Babbitt" to see that active participation in community social organizations like the Rotary Club, the Shriners, the local Chamber of Commerce, and others leads to local political power. I recognize that most progressives are by nature independent and usually are not "joiners," but I believe that such a methodical positioning of progressives in these places of public influence is the most rational and effective long term way to move our agendas to the forefront of public discussion.

    I recall vividly the answer Barry Goldwater gave to a question election night in 1984 when asked if the Reagan landslide that day proved the power of conservatives. He replied that one often finds the seed of his victory in a prior defeat, and conversely that one can find the seeds of his future defeat in the blossom of a current victory.

    For the last three decades the Far Right and Religious Right have taught us how to obtain profound influence over public policy. We must not dismiss this lesson. We must, as Goldwater mentioned, use the example of the success of the Right in these situations as the seeds for their own defeat by following their course of local participation for our own progressive ends.

    I see no other way to succeed, even with the massive amounts of money aligned against us.

    It will be a Long March. Success will not occur overnight. We will lose national elections again. But we can build a national organism of progressive culture that reaches into the every neighborhood, hamlet, town, and city in America. And we will have to do it ourselves, because neither a messiah nor a heroic man on a white horse will bring about sustained change.

    Howard Dean's inspired 50-State strategy is the first big step we have seen in a generation from the Democratic Party to take control at the local level.

    Reconsider laughing at George Herbert Walker Bush's rhetoric of "a thousand points of light," because it has lit up the Republican Party for a several decades.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 01:00:29 PM PDT

  •  No matter what the issue Government by Shut Down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety

    is wrong.

    What if Democrats shut it down for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, whose fault would that be?

    Only gun owners can control their guns and they say oopsie way too much. I lost it, I forgot it, it just went off. Support Gun Kill Speed Limits and Gun Ownership Speed Limits.

    by 88kathy on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 01:17:12 PM PDT

  •  The technology does not yet exist (0+ / 0-)

    to repossess education.

    A large-scale student loan repayment "strike" would press the issue a little further. I can see pushback, punishment and recriminations, but ultimately the government would institute reform, wouldn't it?

  •  Tea party thugs need to be crushed. (0+ / 0-)

    At every position.

      These aholes want a war, then lets destroy them.

  •  Republished to Central Ohio Kossacks, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioDomer

    KasichWatch, and queued for Class Warfare Newsletter.

    Nice diary, hope you and your wife can get out from under that massive debt at such young ages.  And hope your wife finds new employment soon.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 04:08:37 PM PDT

    •  Thank you . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohiodem1

      My wife is doing just fine, don't worry about us.

      But, I do know what thing that will make it easier for us - to defeat John Kasich in 2014!

      •  I've got your back on that one! I joined (0+ / 0-)

        KasichWatch right after AP started it.  Look for JobsOhio to be the scandal that brings him down.  Every legitimate news person in Ohio knows it stinks and are looking for the source of the smell.  I have a clue for them.  It's the 100 Million dollar a year slush fund, and the massive tax breaks for Kasich and Republican contributors that will get them.  Look for a drip-drip-drip of corruption to blow this thing up.

        Start here:

        http://www.cleveland.com/...

        or here:

        http://www.dispatch.com/...

        Or here, in August 2012:

        http://wosu.org/...

        Or more recently, you can muck around here to see sections of programs on JobsOhio.  Some of the folks here are real journalists, and they smell a rat, a big, stinking, dead rat of corruption:

        http://wosu.org/...

        despite the name of the file, some recent shows are here, and every week, they take a new look at JobsOhio, that rotten den of corruption.  Enjoy!

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:12:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ehh, It's a Bit Late... (0+ / 0-)

    the 2010 shellacking saw something like 11 state gubernatorial elections won by repugs, who UNLIKE the dems, had a well organized and well funded plan to make this happen. these elections brought in anti union, anti healthcare knuckle-draggers like Walker in WI and Scott in FL. now those states are more or less screwed.

    2010 also saw the teabagger mob swept into the House, where they are now F***ing up our government.

    Good luck getting these buffoons out of office with the sort of nothing/feeble plan the democratic party typically has.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 04:37:06 PM PDT

    •  I completely understand your viewpoint . . . (0+ / 0-)

      2010 was truly a flaccid effort on the Democrats' part. But, I think that this current crisis and the response by the Democratic "elite" to the complete moral bankruptcy of the tea party/GOP movement is going to change the tide back in our favor.

      •  We'll See... (0+ / 0-)

        If the ACA turns out to be as popular and helpful to people as it appears on day one-- it will be campaigned on by the dems.

        they can't campaign much on economic "recovery" because our economy still sucks.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 06:40:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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