How a Critical Mass of Culture Can Fight the Artificial Fiscal Cliff

Artists and musicians are joining together to create a critical mass of culture to fight back against the artificial “fiscal cliff”.

From the songs of the Civil Rights movement to today's courageous undocumented artists, music and art have been at the forefront of all great efforts to produce social change.

It's a lesson I worry we take too lightly in today's world of fact-sheets, white papers, and dense reports. According to recent reports, President Obama and Speaker Boehner are nearing a budget deal that would slash Social Security, cut veterans benefits, and raise taxes on the poor and middle class—while tax-dodging corporations and big polluters sacrifice little. What is missing in the conversation are the voices of real people who understand what is at stake in cutting our vital programs.

We need to take the conversation beyond the Beltway—starting today, with ARTSTRIKE. Today, artists and musicians are joining together to create a critical mass of culture to fight back against the artificial “fiscal cliff” and stop potential cuts.

Check out some of the ARTSTRIKE submissions below, and then share them far and wide to help spread the word:

This Time by Mike Molina

Don’t Punish Our Future. Make The Rich Pay. by Ernesto Yerena

Keep Calm & Tax the Rich by Gan Golan

¡Ya Basta! by Julio Salgado

Make Deadbeat Corporations Pay. Stop Robbing Our Communities. by Melanie Cervantes

fight for every job. resist every cut by Aryer

Save Social Security by Xavier Viramontes

The Fiscal Cliff Is Fiction, by Querido Galdo

ARTSTRIKE is a partnership between my organization, Rebuild the Dream, CultureStrike and 5D Stories. We believe that if we put impact art in front of enough people, it can change the conversation.

The top newspapers in the country today will only reach a million or two people. I believe that if every person reading this or visiting ARTSTRIKE today shares it with their friends, we can actually reach far more. That's sorely needed, because today's national conversation happening is utterly divorced from the reality in our neighborhoods.

Our friends can't find jobs, while our leaders debate debt. Families can't afford food, while Wall Street frets about the "injustice" of paying just a bit more in taxes. The ladder to the American Dream gets harder and harder to climb, while Congress plots new cuts to education, healthcare, and help for our elderly.

It's all encapsulated in the so-called "fiscal cliff," an invented crisis that makes us feel like we're out of money and out of time. But the truth is, it's nothing more than a "fiscal bluff" concocted to get the American people to fold. We're told that our country is broke, when the truth is that all of us are being robbed.

Look, listen, and spread the word. Share the pieces above. Visit to see more. Join ARTSTRIKE, and help us change the conversation.

Van Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times Best Sellers: The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs, and Rebuild the Dream, a roadmap for progressives in 2012 and beyond.

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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