No cuts-only pension deal - Page 2

Pension reform has to be linked to tax reform -- or else it won't work

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Robert Reich, the former labor secretary who now teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, has an interesting essay on his blog April 9 that discusses Obama's budget capitulations. The president, he notes, "is losing the war of ideas because he won't tell the American public the truth: that we need more government spending now — not less — in order to get out of the gravitational pull of the Great Recession. That we got into the Great Recession because Wall Street went bonkers and government failed to do its job at regulating financial markets ... That the only ways to deal with the long-term budget problem is to demand that the rich pay their fair share of taxes.

"And that, at a deeper level, the increasingly lopsided distribution of income and wealth has robbed the vast working middle class of the purchasing power they need to keep the economy going at full capacity."

That's as true here as it is in Washington. And if city officials want progressive support for pension reform, they need to acknowledge it.