When Bill Clinton was president and the economy was booming, the frequent refrain was “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Government was paying down the debt accrued by the Reagan-Bush (I) years and we had a strong economy with budget surpluses. Life was good. When George W. Bush became president, it was tax cuts all around but particularly for the most well off under the guise “the rich are the job creators.” The economy went into a funk, 9/11 hit and we [put two wars on a credit card — from prosperity to the brink of global economic collapse. And where are all the jobs the Bush tax cuts were supposed to create?
Now today’s generation of Republican leaders are chiding the President for seeking European-style socialism (he’s not) as they preach European-style austerity. It is the austerity programs in Europe that are stiffling economic growth and expansion there, preventing countries from growing their way out of a sluggish economy. Republicans in OC, folks like John Campbell and Ed Royce, are part of the austerity crowd. And Democratic candidates like Sukhee Kang and Jay Chen are pro-prosperity.
How does this work? From Crooks and Liars:
Prosperity economics is built on three pillars: growth, security and democracy. These pillars reinforce one another and are intertwined politically and economically.
• Dynamic, innovation-led growth, grounded in job creation, public investment and broad opportunity
We must take immediate action to jumpstart our sagging economy. In the future, we need to invest in people and productivity that will lead to good jobs and rising wages. Growth alone is not sufficient to sustain our nation. We need long-term growth that is broadly enjoyed, sustainable in light of our resource and energy constraints and driven by investments in our workforce and strong collective bargaining rules that raise our standard of living.
• Security for workers and their families, the environment and government finances
Markets work better when working families feel a basic security for their futures. A dynamic and competitive market requires a strong foundation that is reinforced by programs like Social Security and Medicare that guarantee a secure retirement and access to health care. Markets also work better when governments have the resources to operate smoothly far into the future. These resources are best raised through a progressive tax structure that supports the middle class; no more tax giveaways for corporations and super rich.
• Democratic voice, inclusivity and accountability in Washington and the workplace
Money is increasingly corrupting and corroding democracy. When economic winners are allowed to write the economic rules, the rest of America becomes poorer and our political system weaker. For democracy to thrive, strong Unions, and empowered citizens and community organizations are needed to ensure that workers and the broader public have an organized, effective voice in our politics.
Chen is quoted in the CrooksandLiars story:
Jay Chen, the Democrat running for the new 39th CD in the L.A. area, is taking on one of Wall Street’s most devoted servants, Ed Royce, who uses his perch on the House Financial Services Committee to push a Wall Street agenda that makes a few people incredibly wealthy while decimating the middle class. Jay, who worked for Bain when he graduated from Harvard and saw the monster from inside, is brimming over with enthusiasm for the ideas behind Prosperity Economics:
“When I first read up on Prosperity Economics, I thought someone must have really taken a liking to my stump speeches. The ideas espoused by Professor Jacob Hacker and Nate Loewentheil are completely aligned with my core beliefs for getting our country and economy back on track. These beliefs, which include investing in infrastructure, education, and our social safety nets, and limiting the power of corporations to distort our political system, are not new. They are part of the original formula that drove the unparalleled success our nation has enjoyed up until recently.
“But these ideas are now under constant attack, as is the prosperity of our nation, by corporate interests and social extremists whose ultimate goal is to increase income inequality and cultural disharmony. Wealth accumulation has now been confused with job creation, and the right wants to slash government services further to grow the war machine. All the while our middle class, which is the true engine of economic growth and stability, continues to shrink. We simply cannot cut our way to prosperity anymore than we can drill our way out of oil dependence. We need leaders who understand how smart, sound investment made us the great nation we are today, and how prosperity economics can ensure our leadership in the world for generations to come.”
Interestingly enough, both Chen and Kang have about the same number of supporters, yet Kang has raised more than $72,000 to Chen’s $22,000. We’re a little more than two months away from election day. Write them checks!