Here's a bit from a relevant Robert Reich post:
Republicans are debating again tomorrow night. And once again, Americans will hear the standard regressive litany: government is bad, Medicare and Medicaid should be cut, “Obamacare” is killing the economy, undocumented immigrants are taking our jobs, the military should get more money, taxes should be lowered on corporations and the rich, and regulations should be gutted.I'm reading material from the 1930s and we've been down this path before. The politics is a distraction. We know how to fix the economy. It takes a big jolt of spending to fix the huge number of people caught in a credit squeeze. Pussyfooting around only stretches out the pain. Most politicians know this, but they aren't honest with the public. They would rather play their games and go for personal gain rather than do their duty and build a better tomorrow.
Four years ago the most widely-watched TV debate among Republican aspirants attracted 3.2 million viewers. This year it’s almost twice that number. And for every viewer assume a multiplier effect as he or she shares what’s heard with friends and family.
Americans are listening more intently this time around because they’re hurting and they want answers. But the answers they’re getting from Republican candidates – tripping over themselves trying to appeal to hard-core regressives – are the wrong ones.
The correct ones aren’t being aired.
That’s partly because there’s no primary contest in the Democratic party. So Republicans automatically get loads of free broadcast time to air their regressive nonsense while the Democrats get none.
But even if the President had equal time, the debate about what to do about the crisis would still be frighteningly narrow.
That’s because the President’s answers don’t nearly match up to the magnitude of the crisis.
Without bold alternatives, Americans desperate for big solutions are attracted to bold crackpot ideas like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” proposal, which would raise taxes on the poor and cut them for the rich.
This is where the inchoate Occupy Wall Street movement could come in. What’s needed isn’t just big ideas. It’s people fulminating for them – making enough of a ruckus that the ideas can’t be ignored. They become part of the debate because the public demands it.
The biggest thing the President has proposed is a plan to create 2 million jobs. But that’s not nearly big enough. Today, 14 million Americans are out of work, and 11 million more are working part-time who’d rather be working full time.
The nation needs a real jobs plan, one of sufficient size and scope to do the job – including a WPA and a Civilian Conservation Corps, to put the millions of long-term unemployed and young unemployed to work rebuilding America.