'Country needs our help' — progressives urged to rally around recovery plan

WASHINGTON — With more people filing for unemployment than at any time in the past quarter century amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the head of a key center for labor and progressive action urged “progressives who helped deliver President Obama’s electoral victory to rally around a historic opportunity to rebuild America.”

Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, called for quick and bold action now to move the economic recovery plan. He assailed conservatives in Congress who are trying to 'delay and dilute' the package.

'America voted for change last year, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act takes a bold first step on the path toward progressive change,' Borosage said in a Jan. 28 statement. 'The country needs our help. Conservatives are trying to delay and dilute the legislation. Quick, bold action on the economy is critical if we are to blunt the accelerating job losses of the Bush recession. 'We are standing at the precipice of an historic period of reform, during which we have an unprecedented opportunity to make lasting, positive change. We can’t back away from the bold initiatives required to make this change. The current economic crisis demands a substantial, strategic and sustained recovery plan. This plan is a down payment on long-term investments in vital, core elements of the nation, including health care, education, infrastructure and sustainable energy. 'Conservatives argue the plan should be smaller and include more tax cuts. This is seriously wrong-headed. If anything, the plan should be larger and contain more public investment. Conservatives have learned nothing from the collapse of their economic policies and the decline of their political fortunes. By staying in obstructionist mode they are placing themselves on the wrong side of history.'

The Campaign for America’s Future describes itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement.” For the past several years it has sponsored an annual “Take Back America” conference in Washington, drawing leading progressive activists, organizations and political figures. This year, it will hold “America’s Future NOW!” June 1-3, billed as “a conference to take America forward.”

The group notes: “Take Back America helped spark a progressive wave that swept in a change few thought possible.

“Our challenge to realize the progressive vision is nowhere near complete. But we’ve taken a big step, and it is only appropriate that our annual gathering reflects this new era of hope and change.”