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Why Isn't Obama Standing With Protesters in Wisconsin?

The President must make a clear statement of who is responsible for the crisis -- the corporate class and the right and those politicians who enable them.

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· A one-time 14% surcharge on the super-rich would more than pay for the $1.6 trillion budget deficit projection for 2011 (according to the National Nurses United’s research arm, the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy).

· And, finally, workers’ wages have been stagnant or falling for at least 30 years.

What more and more people are saying in Madison and elsewhere is that this is not about public workers. It’s about politicians funded by far right zealots like the Koch brothers who want to privatize all publicly owned institutions in the U.S. and shift even more resources to Wall Street.

Let’s recall it was the finance sector, especially the big banks, not workers, who created the economic crisis in the states and nationally through wild economic speculation concentrated in the mortgage industry.

The ‘Deficit Hawks’ on the far right are exploiting that crisis to push severe cuts in federal and state spending to ‘balance the budget’ on the backs of those that can least afford it – people of color, women, the long term unemployed and the millions caught in the mortgage debacle – when their real goal is to engage in a private sector hostile takeover of federal and state government. At the same time, they are pushing more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy which adds to the debt.

The real issue is a responsibility crisis. Those responsible for the economic crisis are being rewarded and workers are being asked to sacrifice.

Here’s what we’d like to hear the President say:

Bringing the deficit into balance requires a just rebalancing of the responsibility of the corporate elite and the rich. As a start, corporate profits need to be fairly taxed. Taxes on the rich need to be increased not decreased, and wages should be raised to a living wage, which would raise tax revenues and workers’ ability to purchase goods and services in the long term.

Until then, we’ll continue to say this President is missing in action.

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