Americans For REAL Prosperity

by Blue America

Distributed among the recipients below

Jacob Hacker, author Winner Take All Politics and The Great Risk Shift is working with Nate Loewentheil on a project called "Prosperity Economics," in which they lay out a coherent alternative to the austerity economics that has invaded the political class like a virus. Finally, we have a political/economic program for both the short term and the long term that will create prosperity across all income classes, reform our broken political system, invest for the long term and, not incidentally, fix the debt problem-- all without cutting vital government programs. Prosperity economics proves that these calls to "sacrifice" for more austerity are not only unnecessary, they are counter-productive.

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Blue America PAC

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Alan Grayson (Congress)


The Seinfeld show, which TV Guide named the greatest TV show of all time (seriously), often was described as a show about nothing. We are in danger of the 2012 Election becoming an election about nothing. When a nation is facing the kind of problems that we are facing, then Barack Obama’s birth certificate, his religious beliefs, Mitt Romney’s gaffes, his personal deductions, and even Todd Akin’s understanding of female anatomy all are the moral equivalent of nothing. This coming election is too important to be about nothing. And that is why Nate Loewentheil’s “Prosperity Economics” platform is important-- it’s not nothing, it’s something. Something big. For a Democratic victory to be meaningful, for it to create a “mandate,” we owe it to America to explain what we would do with that victory. We need to make some promises, and then do our darnedest to try to keep them. “Prosperity Economics” is a coherent, comprehensive plan that offers the hope-- the essential hope-- of leading us out of the wilderness.

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Ann McLane Kuster


At hundreds of house parties across New Hampshire's Second Congressional District, I've heard the same thing: the middle class is hurting and they don't feel like they have a voice in Congress. I am running for Congress to be a voice for middle class families in New Hampshire. We can create jobs and turn this economy around so we can have Prosperity once again. How do we do it? Education is how we grew an economy this strong in the first place, and it's where we need to start again. Innovation has been a powerful competitive advantage for America, and we can’t afford to lose our edge. And Rejuvenation-- of our bridges and roads, cities and towns, and highways and broadband communications-- that's the key to a country that is built to win the future. We can make smart cuts, eliminate wasteful spending, and streamline regulation, but I agree with the principles of Prosperity Economics-- that we can't just cut our way to a stronger tomorrow. We need to make smart investments in our future. The time for political arguments and excuses is over. Doing nothing isn’t working. Let’s rebuild our country and win the future, again.

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Aryanna Strader


As a small business owner, mother, and Iraq War veteran, I stand behind the foundations of prosperity economics presented by Dr. Hacker and Mr. Loewentheil. Like every aspiring entrepreneur, it comes as no surprise that our goals are to expand our business. Investing in America's growth through infrastructure not only creates jobs but drives private business to make investments of their own. Empowering young people who want to pursue higher education only makes us a greater, more competitive nation. Ensuring that people like my mother are secure in their retirement is a necessity. My mother worked hard her entire life as a waitress and her only form of retirement is Social Security. Had Medicare been turned into a voucher program, my mother would not have been able to receive a life-saving operation. We must do all we can to protect Medicare and ensure that those in future generation will have access to the health care they need. I served our Country and defended Democracy. Additionally I fought to protect and foster the right to vote of every U.S. citizen in order for their voice to be heard. We must remove barriers that infringe upon this right so that we can hold our elected officials accountable. The middle-class; the poor have been punched in the gut for far too long. Our American worker has always risen to the occasion throughout history. We in turn must support ideas that restore and provide them the ability to flourish. It is common sense in my opinion that we cannot have prosperity for all unless we justly and fairly provide the opportunity for all to prosper.

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Beto O'Rourke


In order to strengthen our nation and revive our economy, we need strong communities. That means investing in infrastructure, in innovation, and in the public resources that ensure our continued competitiveness.

And while we certainly should rigorously review spending, and ensure that we are delivering government services as effectively and efficiently as possible, we will not cut our way to prosperity.

When it comes to raising revenues-- let's put every special interest, loophole and deduction on the table and-- with our eyes wide open-- decide what our priorities are and how we're going to pay for them. Right now the wealthy and connected are best equipped to navigate, and at times bend, the tax system to their advantage. My vote is to have a transparent, progressive structure that gives struggling families the best shot at moving up the economic ladder and creating greater wealth and opportunity in their communities.

I've knocked on nearly 20,000 doors in my district since I started campaigning a year ago. The number one issue people talk to me about is the economy and their most pressing concern is finding a job.

That's why I'm committed to investing in our communities, getting people back to work and ensuring that everyone's paying their fair share to move this country forward.

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David Gill


The politics of austerity embraced by Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republicans are not a solution to the ongoing economic malaise here in central Illinois-- in fact, such policies will only exacerbate the real pain that has been experienced by so many of my neighbors for so many years now. The ever-growing income gap between the extremely rich and the rest of us has reached historical proportions, and it is this gap that fuels economic misery on "Main Street." Politicians who refuse to acknowledge the need to have corporations and millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share are serving but a tiny minority of their constituents, and they are forcing us to remain in an economic quagmire. American workers are amongst the most productive in the world, but with real wages stagnant for 30 years now, with virtually all the gains going to a small fraction of society, we are left with a populace unable to enjoy the fruits of its labor, and unable to fuel economic recovery. Austerity is not the answer-- investing in people is the answer! Make the millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. Put in place Improved Medicare for All, which will provide an economic stimulus the likes of which we've rarely seen by taking back the 30+% of our health care dollars currently wasted on the private health insurance industry. And fully invest ourselves in the Green Revolution so desperately needed to ensure clean air and clean water for generations to come, producing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. These are the steps which will restore our economic health and bring additional benefits in the bargain.

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Jay Chen


Prosperity Economics brings us back to the principles that make our country great. These ideas, such as investing in infrastructure, education, and our social safety nets, and limiting the power of corporations to distort our political system, are not new or radical, they are part of the original formula that drove the unparalleled success our nation has enjoyed until recently.

But these ideas are now under constant attack, as is the prosperity of our nation, by corporate interests who continue to push a "trickle-down" theory that is already a proven failure. These special interests have made it a point to confuse wealth accumulation with job creation, and the result is a drastic increase in income inequality unseen in modern times.

In the meantime, 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.

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Lance Enderle


I have always been an advocate of Prosperity Economics, without referring to Prosperity Economics, as I will quote my website: “The first priority in Congress should be job creation, not job outsourcing. We need to get back to what makes America great, we develop and build things, that is what we do and it is what made America's middle class so strong. We need to get back to this in America.

Congress should pass the American Jobs Act immediately and allow this great nation to begin rebuilding itself. With an initial investment in our countries infrastructure-- bridges, roads, and schools-- we will all begin to move forward. We need to look at reducing free trade agreements and increasing tariffs on our borders.

Also, we need to look at tax incentives for companies that provide jobs within the United States instead of giving tax breaks to companies that send our jobs overseas. This is not about corporate bottom lines, it is about each and every American's bottom line.”

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Lee Rogers


Our economic policies must start with job creation. I reject the theory of job growth through tax breaks to the wealthy "job creators." We can invest in infrastructure, foster innovation, and expand opportunities for all Americans. As a doctor, I know that one's economic security can be threatened by a single illness. We mustn't cut Medicare by shifting the costs to beneficiaries. Privatization of Medicare dismantles the health security of seniors, not strengthens it. The Affordable Care Act requires modification to improve access and affordability. We should allow individuals to buy into Medicare at cost before they are 65. Medicare should offer a secondary insurance program to compete with other private insurers. We have a long way to go in getting America back on the right track, but one thing is clear, both parties lack any motivation for leadership beyond keeping or obtaining more power.

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Missa Eaton


I have been a part of a middle class family all my life. I have seen the hard work that goes into making sure dinner is on the table every night. I know what is like to live paycheck to paycheck, and sadly I have seen the American dream beginning to slip away. I announced my campaign as a candidate who believes the American dream is still attainable for anyone who follows the rules and works hard. The “New Strategy for Prosperity” given to us by Jacob Hacker will help us achieve just that. The principles of this new economic policy are something anyone should be able to support. It ensures an economic policy that isn’t built on deregulation and tax cuts, policy that works for the middle class. The policy keeps Medicare and Social Security solvent and adds a public option to the Affordable Care Act. This policy does not allow corporations the same rights as individuals and allows us to move our country forward.

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Nate Shinagawa


I support the Prosperity Economics plan because it lays out a clear set of bold and thoughtful policies that will keep the American Dream alive. The austerity measures championed by Republican Congressional leadership goes beyond cutting the fat out of the federal budget-- it cuts the muscle we need to rebuild the American middle class. We need to invest in our infrastructure, focus on renewable energy, make education affordable, and fight to save our economy from outsourcing and Democracy from corruption in the Citizens United era. Prosperity Economics should be the way forward for our next Congress, and I strongly urge others to support these ideas.

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Pat Lang


Back in the summer of 2011, a friend urged me to read Winner-Take-All Politics. His note read, "This is the most efficient account of what's wrong with Washington that I've read in a long time. It comes down very, very hard on Republicans but also calls Democrats to account for the degree to which they, too, are owned by Wall Street." I agree-- this is one of the most important books of the new century-- and I was thrilled to learn that Jacob Hacker was involved a new endeavor that resulted in Prosperity Economics.

Hacker and Loewentheil write, "When individuals and families have basic security and therefore feel confident investing in themselves and their families, markets have more input, more players, more resources, and more dynamism." Yes, Prosperity Economics is about jobs, growth and innovation, but it's more than that. It gives shape to the truth that's been gnawing at us since Reagan: just staying afloat is a daily struggle now. Hard work and responsibility might get you and a spouse or partner to where you can have a decent place to live and can start saving for a child's college education, but you're one layoff away or one health crisis away from losing it all. Meanwhile big bank executives gamble away billions with schemes that put the whole economy at risk-- and their rewards are golden parachutes.

For a generation, we've been making the case that trickle-down doesn't work. With mounting evidence on our side, voters have come to agree. Prosperity Economics is our chance to play offense! It's a robust, bold and-- maybe most importantly-- optimistic plan for building an economy to ensure that America's best days are ahead. But this powerful document can't be allowed to gather dust on an academic shelf. We need voices for change in Congress. I will be a full-throated advocate for Prosperity Economics in the House.

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Patsy Keever


This country has faced the slowest economic recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Our Congress has been hijacked by extremely radical members who refuse to come together to put the best interests of all Americans before party allegiance. This country needs its infrastructure re-built. Thirty percent of North Carolina’s bridges are structurally deficient, 215 of the state’s dams fall short of its safety standards, 27% of our highways are in poor condition and 54% of them are congested. These statistics have a wide-ranging and devastating impact on our economy. Small businesses need roads and bridges to support their work. People need safe and uncongested roads to get to their jobs. Infrastructure spending not only ensures that people who do have jobs can keep them, but it creates jobs for people who don’t have them. It is critical for our country to invest in its own future. We need leaders willing to work for the people, not merely their parties.

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Rob Zerban


Professor Jacob Hacker and Nate Lowentheil have produced a simple and powerful idea progressives can embrace.

My opponent, Paul Ryan, authored two budgets advancing the Austerity Economics that Hacker recognizes is leading to a declining middle class while systematically benefiting a few at the expense of the many. I hope to see an America where voters choose a different option than Ryan Austerity.

I believe we should support Prosperity Economics, not the Ryan Austerity plan. I support building our economy by reforming our tax code to be more progressive, ending wasteful subsidies to the wealthy and well connected, and investing in the middle class so the economy improves for everyone.

Sue Thorn


As I talk with people throughout my district I hear stories of families that are being left behind, families that are facing lost jobs, unexpected medical bills or climbing college expenses. While I hear some politicians demanding to cut the budget, that solution has not been shown to solve economic problems. During the depression, my grandfather and great grandfather worked for the Works Progress Administration. My family survived the depression because government created jobs. These jobs were not hand-outs; the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corp workers built roads, bridges, dams and public facilities. This is exactly what we need to be doing right now, rebuilding our infrastructure in order to rebuild our middle class. Cutting the jobs of teachers, firefighters and police officers has not helped either our economy or our communities.

We must ensure that all corporations and all Americans pay their fair share of taxes. No corporation should receive tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas and people whose income is derived from their work should not be paying higher tax rates than those whose income is derived from their investments. Social Security has greatly reduced the number of senior citizens living in poverty and must not be privatized. I have yet to talk with a Medicare recipient who thinks Medicare should be turned into a voucher program. In fact, those being caught in Medicare’s Doughnut Hole often cut their pills in half or take their medication every other day simply because we do not allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

There are some who believe we can rebuild our economy on the backs of working and middleclass people, but that is not the solution. The middleclass is the economic engine that moves our economy and when the middleclass is suffering it ripples throughout our economy. Unfortunately, the deluge of money in political campaigns results in politicians supporting policies that benefit the very wealthy, even though it will not rebuild our economy. In West Virginia we often see where corporate profits take precedence over worker safety, which should not occur. When the middleclass does well, everyone does well, even the very wealthy, which is why we must invest in and rebuild our middleclass.

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Syed Taj


Prosperity Economics is the kind of powerful, intellectual force we need to rebuild our middle class, grow our economy, and recreate the equitable society that accomplished so much throughout our nation’s history. These are common sense solutions for sustainable public policy. We need leaders in Congress to invest in our middle class and Hacker and Loewntheil have shown the way. As a physician and small business owner, I stand behind this plan to rebuild our economic foundation because we cannot keep believing that prosperity for some must come at the expense of others.

The resistance to economic stimulus, environmental regulation, social safety nets, and progressive taxation has persisted for generations. “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much,” President Roosevelt said, “it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” These ideals have upheld the test of time. The great feats we’ve accomplished have shown just how effective government can be when we invest in our future and protect the middle class. Economists have proven hazardous effects of austerity, market failures, and income inequality on our society. Austerity has had its day, but from the Great Depression to the Great Recession, it has failed to produce the prosperity its champions have promised. Prosperity Economics gives us a way forward.

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E Wayne Powell


As I engage 24/7 in my campaign to unseat the Republican leader of the house, it would be an understatement for me to say that I'm not aware of the facts and dangers pointed out by Professor Hacker and others whose works I read often. I can only give my impression in the same way I present my top three issues to my "open" town halls. In my view, the best way to address the on-going economic issues and facilitate job growth is in the first place, to end the dysfunction and obstructionism which has paralyzed the Congress over the past two years, especially since my opponent Eric Cantor has been the Republican leader in the House. Cantor's accomplishments in 2011 are the following: threatening to cause a government shut-down if there was no de-funding of Planned Parenthood, not agreeing to a debt ceiling increase unless there were only cuts in spending without revenue increases (while walking out on debt talks) and presiding over the first down-grade of our credit rating in history. These are the accomplishments of the majority leader. But the "what happened" is no less important than the "why did it happen?" In my view it is a mix of two dangerous trends that threaten the fiber of our democracy: (1) the obscene amount of corporate and anonymous money which has been injected into the political system by those powerful and greedy elements who seek to control our political process, and accordingly, our country; and (2) the strange, irrational, but steady attempt by Cantor and his political and corporate cronies to mold the social fabric of the nation to their liking, particularly as they attempt to repress and control women and minorities. The people must regain their control of their own country through the ballot box this November, so that "We the People..." regains the meaning the founding fathers intended.

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