Jacobson and McKinnon: Demand our leaders shed the labels


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For the 17th straight year, Congress has missed the deadline for passing a final budget and the spending bills needed to fund government operations for the next 12 months. This may not have made the headlines, but it’s a big deal.

The most basic job Congress has is deciding how much money the government takes in and how much it spends. And when Congress does not do its job, you suffer.

One reason the economy is growing too slowly to cut unemployment or create jobs for new college graduates is uncertainty about federal tax and spending plans.

It is for possible for our leaders to work together, if citizens demand it. College students across America need to insist on it, too — and the best way to do so in 2012 and beyond is by joining No Labels.

We are a group of almost 600,000 Democrats, Republicans, and independents dedicated to moving America away from the old politics of point scoring and towards a new politics of problem solving.

No Labels’ work will be critically important no matter who wins or loses in the November elections, because many of our nation’s problems have become election-proof.

Democratic and Republican leaders come and go but the dysfunction remains. It’s the only certainty you will find in our nation’s capital.

That’s why No Labels supports specific reforms, leaders, and legislation that will make it easier to create effective, principled, and pragmatic solutions to America’s problems.

No Labels is above all, an action- and results-oriented organization offering common sense reforms to our nation’s problems and exerting grass-roots pressure on our leaders to work together.

A great example is our solution to deal with Congress’ chronic inability to meet simple budget and spending deadlines: Stop paying them.

No Budget, No Pay is just one of the proposals featured in our Make Congress Work! action plan, which features 12 commonsense reforms to fix the gridlock and hyper partisanship in Congress.

No Budget, No Pay has been turned into legislation in the House and Senate, and we are working Capitol Hill aggressively to turn it into law.

But the success of our effort to get our government to stop fighting and start fixing depends almost entirely on the size and dedication of our grassroots army, which is growing every single day.

You don’t need to shed your identity to join the No Labels movement. You just need to be open to the idea that people with different beliefs really can set aside the labels and come together to solve problems.

And we would love a few Hawkeyes to climb aboard this movement.

Nancy Jacobson & Mark McKinnon
No Labels cofounders

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