Raúl Grijalva

Rigoberto H. Valencia

There's really no debate about how to fix our economy. We need to create jobs by increasing working people's disposable income and stimulating demand. A lot of conservatives say we should cut upper-income taxes and hope wealthy corporations hire a few of us out of gratitude. The voting public and the entire economic profession know that's complete nonsense.

That's why, as the co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, I've introduced the Budget for All plan and the Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act. The Budget for All establishes a fairer tax code so we reward work instead of hoarding wealth. The Restore the American Dream Act creates more than 5 million jobs in the next two years. It implements emergency job-creation measures, cuts wasteful weapons spending, ends our wars overseas and strengthens Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The bottom line is that it saves money we're wasting and puts it back to work for a better economy.

You've read a lot lately about the impending budget "sequestration" that could happen at the end of this year. Because the Restore the American Dream Act achieves a larger deficit reduction target than the one mandated by a law called the Budget Control Act, sequestration spending cuts would be eliminated if the bill became law. I encourage everyone to read more about it at cpc.grijalva.house.gov

The goals of the Restore the American Dream Act are simple. The biggest direct job-creation benefits will come through a nationwide School Improvement Corps, Civilian Conservation Corps and other programs that improve our country and get people working at the same time. The bill creates a national infrastructure bank and boosts federal funds to states to help unemployed Americans find work, whether in the private or public sectors. It dedicates $50 billion over the next two years to improve our nation's infrastructure - the roads, waterlines, mass-transit systems and other pillars of our economy that we need to rebuild if we're going to have a sustainable economy.

We need a plan as big as the problem we're trying to solve, and this is it. Tinkering around the margins and putting our faith in trickle-down economics is a disservice to the American people. Congress needs to take the economy and the jobs crisis in this country seriously, and the Progressive Caucus is leading the way. I'm proud of our plan. You'll see another one in 2013.

Grijalva, the incumbent, is the Democratic candidate in District 3, which includes the south and west sides of Tucson plus much of southwestern Arizona.