Conservatives' Weaker America

Publish Date: 
Thursday, September 15, 2005

Years of conservative government have left Americans much worse off and our government without the tools needed to meet today's challenges.

Earlier this week we wrote to you about the failures of modern conservatism to deliver on the basic responsibilities of government – keeping us safe, managing our finances, creating broad-based prosperity and preparing us for the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Today we release a new NDN report illustrating how ineffective the conservatives have been in creating opportunity for all and managing the government of the United States. Please download it, and, if you choose, offer improvements of your own.

Katrina has reminded the nation that millions of Americans struggle every day just to get by. In the last four years many more Americans are struggling much harder than before. Very few jobs have been created; the income of the average household has actually dropped; the number of uninsured has risen; health care costs for the average family have doubled; energy, transportation and housing costs have risen dramatically; the number in poverty has risen each year President Bush has been in office.

Despite a return of corporate profits and overall economic activity, Americans are unquestionably worse off today than they were when President Bush took office.

As for our government, the conservative strategy of reduce, borrow and spend has left America in one of the worst fiscal positions in our history. We simply do not have enough revenue to pay for everything we must do. In the very near term we will need to either dramatically raise revenue or drastically cut spending, or both. The spiraling costs of Iraq and now Katrina have made our fiscal conditions that much worse than anyone could have imagined.

Our weakened financial position leaves us very little room to invest in helping struggling Americans regain their economic standing. At NDN we believe that fashioning policies which reverse the income declines of average Americans, improve our costly and inefficient health care system and invest in giving our people the skills they need to compete in the ever more challenging global economy is in our vital national interest.

As we look to dig out from Katrina and help the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast reclaim their way of life, we must begin the same process for ordinary Americans across the country. Those calling for help on the rooftops of New Orleans are not the only ones who have been left behind by the failures of modern conservatism. Working Americans are falling behind; their standard of living is in decline. They too are calling out to you, Mr. President, for leadership and a plan to make their lives better. It is time to reach out to progressives, who led America to years of unprecedented economic success. Together we can craft a new approach to creating broad-based prosperity and a responsible plan to give our government the tools it needs to meet the emerging challenges of the 21st century.