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Dear Mr. President: Declare Victory in Syria

Monday, 09 September 2013 15:05 By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
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Now that Russia and Syria have indicated a willingness to work with you and Secretary of State Kerry on resolving the issue of chemical weapons, it’s time for you to follow the famous advice given to LBJ by Senator George Aiken back during the Vietnam War, and declare victory and come home.
 
I understand that you have reserved network television time for tomorrow night, to pitch the nation on using military action in Syria.
 
Well here's a thought: Use that time instead to discuss some of the really pressing issues facing Americans.
 
For example, you could call for Congress to immediately throw all of their attention into raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, where it was back in 1968.
 
This would immediately produce billions in stimulus for the economy, and according to a recent study by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, would lift more than 6 million Americans out of poverty.
 
Or you can call for the strengthening of Social Security by eliminating the payroll tax cap.
 
This would mean that Bill Gates and I would pay the same percentage of our income into Social Security. Literally overnight, the Social Security system would be made whole for at least the next 75 years and probably much longer.
 
Or, what about using your television time to talk to Americans about Obamacare? A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in April of this year found that 42 percent of Americans were unsure if Obamacare was still law.
 
And, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from last month found that 51 percent of Americans say they don’t have enough information about Obamacare to understand how it will impact them and their families.
 
Or, you could use your TV time to call for rolling back the incredibly destructive tax breaks and policies of the Reagan years.
 
We should roll back the Reagan tax cut on millionaires and billionaires, and eliminate Reagan's program to allow CEOs to be compensated with stock options.
 
This would return CEO pay back to the 30 to 1 ratio it was in America before Reagan, and go a long way towards restoring the middle class.
 
Or, you could call for a repeal of Taft Hartley, and bring democracy back into the workplace. Or, at the very least, call for the passage of card check, by telling Americans to support the Employee Free Choice Act.
 
Or, how about calling for a worldwide global tax on carbon?
 
If the carbon polluters actually had to pay a modest amount for dumping their waste in our air - for example $50 a ton – then immediately solar and wind power would become more economical than fossil fuels.
 
It would jump start an industry, rebuild the economy, and go a long way toward stopping global warming.
 
There are a lot of things that this country desperately needs, and if you’re going to use your political capital, many of us would really like to see you do it on these issues, rather than on bombing a country most Americans can’t even find on the map.
 
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

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