* Favors a steeply progressive income tax, wholesale wealth redistribution, and an expanding welfare state
* Opposes Voter-ID laws
* Views capitalism as an economic system rife with injustice
Established in 2012, Let’s Fix This Country (LFTC) describes itself as “a gathering of concerned citizens” who strive “to come up with common sense proposals” to address America’s “multitude of problems, aggravated by a divisiveness unequaled in our lifetimes.” The group posts these proposals—which heavily emphasize a reliance on big government—a steeply progressive income-tax structure, an ever-expanding welfare state, and wholesale wealth redistribution—on its website.
One of LFTC’s major concerns is what it depicts as the Republican Party’s “closely orchestrated campaign” to mandate photo-ID requirements at polling places on election day. By LFTC’s reckoning, this initiative seeks chiefly to disenfranchise “African Americans, Latinos and the young”—groups that “tend to vote Democratic” and are “more likely to not have such IDs.” Citing the findings of a deeply flawed study by the Brennan Center for Justice, LFTC says (incorrectly) that “the professed rationale for … photo IDs”—i.e., the elimination of voter fraud—has been shown to be “rare to the vanishing point and absurdly ineffectual at influencing elections even if widespread.” Moreover, LFTC contends that “if a citizen must pay to get an ID or a copy of a birth certificate in order to vote, this amounts to the return of the poll tax, which was banned by the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”
Depicting capitalism as an economic system rife with injustice, LFTC condemns the fact that “the top 1% of Americans earn 21% of all income.” By LFTC’s calculus, the nation’s “widening income gap” is symptomatic of America’s “massive transfer of wealth to create an ultra-rich class—a corpocracy.”
In June 2012, LFTC impugned Republican leaders for their effort to “throttle every attempt by [President] Obama to produce jobs, and then to blame him for causing persistent high unemployment.” The organization further criticized Republicans for having “portrayed” the $831 billion stimulus bill of 2009 “as a failure,” when in fact, according to LFTC, the bill’s only major flaw was that it did not spend taxpayer money ambitiously enough: “Obama’s stimulus was a dog’s breakfast of scraps, and a third less than Keynesian economists thought would be effective.”
In May 2012, LFTC disparaged Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut federal spending by $5.3 trillion over a ten-year period as “a bonanza for the wealthy” that inflicted “brutal cuts to programs that benefit the poor” while giving undeserved tax breaks to corporations and millionaires. The “injustice” of the existing U.S. tax system, added LFTC, “gets far worse as we move up the wealth scale, where people tend to make most of their money on [lightly taxed] capital gains” and often pay “no Social Security taxes.”
LFTC reserves some of its strongest criticism for conservatives who “favor … the status quo” and allegedly ascribe the economic woes of poor people to bad “values” that find expression in a propensity to “marry less,” “bear far more children out of wedlock,” “lack ambition,” and “subsist on one or another welfare program.” LFTC counters these supposedly conservative beliefs by explaining poverty as an outgrowth of a “system … rigged in favor of the wealthy.” For having emphasized this same theme so visibly and vocally during 2011-12, LFTC pays homage to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Another target of LFTC reproach is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an association that drafts pro-free-market, pro-limited-government legislation for state lawmakers across the U.S. Most notably, ALEC supports the enforcement of voter-ID laws, immigration laws, and Second Amendment rights. These are precisely the ALEC agendas that LFTC reprehends, as well as the Council’s efforts to “cut taxes, strip regulatory laws, privatize education, [and] hobble unions.” Particularly odious to LFTC was “Arizona’s notorious immigration law [passed in 2010] that calls for police to confront anyone for proof of citizenship,” a law that ALEC supported.
Embracing the notion that the pollution associated with human industrial activity contributes to potentially catastrophic global warming, LFTC accuses Republicans of seeking to establish American energy independence by means of an environmentally irresponsible, “all-out campaign” to expand the use of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, laments LFTC, they ignore “the problems of greenhouse gas emissions,” make only “slight mention of alternative forms of energy such as solar and wind,” and aim to “shut down the green energy program of grants and government guaranteed loans.”
LFTC also speaks out on American foreign-affairs issues. For instance, the organization says that leaders of both major political parties, by opposing Iran’s nuclear ambitions while pledging unconditional support to Israel, are guilty of “ritualistic AIPAC kowtow” calculated only to placate the Jewish lobby. LFTC claims, among other things, that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “never said” that he wanted to “wipe Israel off the map,” as he is widely alleged to have stated. Crediting University of Michigan professor Juan Cole for having pointed out that “the idiom does not exist in Farsi,” LFTC asserts: “What Ahmadinijad said translates as ‘remove the regime from the pages of time,’ citing the example of the Soviet regime’s collapse. in other words, regime change.” Further, LFTC accuses Israel of preferring to do nothing more than “observ[e] from the sidelines” while “Americans risk their lives and declare war on Iran”—i.e., essentially fighting what should be Israel’s war.