Its (No Labels) version of a platform is a “national strategic agenda” of four goals that polling identified as important to majorities across the political spectrum: creating 25 million net new jobs in the next decade, securing Medicare and Social Security for 75 years, balancing the federal budget by 2030 and achieving energy security by 2024.
It’s easy to be cynical about this. The goals may be easy to agree on in principle, but they are divisive as soon as you start talking about the how.
No Labels leaders don’t entirely disagree. “You can’t talk about energy very long without talking about climate,” Huntsman said. “You can’t talk about jobs very long without talking about immigration.”
Rep. Tom Reed is a member of No Labels. Reed relies on trickle down to create jobs, would save Social Security and Medicare by cutting benefits, fails to acknowledge the recessionary impact of a balanced budget, and would seek energy security by burning the last drop of fossil fuel. It is hard to see how Reed would work with more reasonable people to make progress on these issues.
Reed opposes most efforts to combat climate change, he seeks to repeal Obamacare heedless of the cost of that, and he has a very limited concept of immigration reform. Reed’s hard-line views make it most unlikely that he will be part of a solution to the problems we face.
Rep. Tom Reed, a New York Republican, said members of Congress hear from many organizations that are narrowly focused on single issues. “No Labels taps into the silent majority and organizes them,” Reed said. “That makes us a little more comfortable sticking our necks out.”
Reed has occasionally stuck his neck out, most often by backing the GOP leadership on issues that right-leaning Republicans oppose–Fast Track is one recent example.
Reed, the Republican representative from Corning, New York, said many legislators are “tired of not having results” and would gladly join in a process built around strategic goals.
Maybe many legislators would “gladly join in a process built around strategic goals,” but not many have joined No Labels yet. And from those like Tom Reed who have joined, there is not much to show for it.
“A lot of us came here to do stuff,” Reed said.
Yes, but what kind of stuff? That matters.