Progresive groups target GOP on stimulus

01/14/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Last December, leaders from more than 20 progressive and labor organizations such as the Service Employees International Union and MoveOn.Org coalesced after consulting with the Obama transition team and Congressional leaders on how best to fight for an economic stimulus plan that helps working people.

Calling themselves the Campaign For Jobs and Economic Recovery Now, officials have taken to the airwaves and the op-ed pages, hoping to convince reluctant members of Congress to pass such legislation.

But according to Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United For Change, none of that has worked so far. Specifically, Woodhouse criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying that states should receive loans instead of grants, and Arizona’s John Kyl suggestion that instead of investments, capital gains and stock dividend taxes should be cut .

Nearly every state is dealing with a budget deficit of some sort. State lawmakers today we’re voting on a package to fix a $2.3 billion shortfall.

Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said that he and his fellow governors absolutely need help from the federal government.

Josh Bivens is an economist with the Economic Policy Institute. He quoted two economists as saying without an effective stimulus package, unemployment, currently at 7.2 percent, could increase to 11 percent by the middle of 2010. And Bivens take exception to some criticism that states shouldn’t be getting any type of federal assistance because they’ve been irresponsible in terms of keeping their own house in order.

For more information on the Campaign for Jobs and Economic Recovery Now, visit

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