|This article appears in the January 31, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LaRouche Youth Are
Changing the Rules As
State Capitals Face Economic Crisis
by Paul Gallagher
The 50-year record budget catastrophes and cuts ravaging every American state's budget and economy, are now "major media news" during the Winter legislative sessions of 2003. The states' combined budget deficits for the current year are now acknowledged to be in the $90-100 billion range, a meltdown of a speed and scope never imagined before on this level, where budgets "must be balanced, by law."
However, EIR began reporting that story when major media could not conceive of it, in March 2001two years agoafter Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche told a meeting of state legislators to expect "a 30% decline in your tax revenues over the coming period." Now that LaRouche's forecast is confirmed, the important story isagainnot the "big news story." It is not the dreary Depression debates of shell-shocked governors and legislators over vital programs to axe, and new taxes to impose; but the invasion of state capitals by larger and larger delegations of the LaRouche Youth Movement, demanding the state officials act with LaRouche on the whole crisis, "FDR-style," and solve it.
The surprise Jan. 18 decision by California's government to end electricity deregulation (see accompanying article), and the call for FDR-modelled recovery measures by that state's Treasurer (EIR, Jan. 24) come after a two-year mass-organizing and lobbying mobilization by the growing West Coast LaRouche Youth Movement, repeatedly invading Sacramento and Washington's capital, Olympia. The movement has also hit the Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey, and Maryland capitals during their sessions in January, and more students and other youth are being recruited to the mobilization with each passing week. Congress will again be their target after President Bush's, and LaRouche's, State of the Union broadcasts on Jan. 28.
Theirs is no ordinary "lobbying." They meet en masse with state officials or staffs, in halls, offices, or capital plazas, insisting that the legislators stop passing murderous cuts and take responsibility for the national economic depression, getting the President and Congress to move on a "Super TVA" to create credit, infrastructure, jobs, and revenue for the statesas proposed by candidate LaRouche in November 2002. They blanket the state capitals with leaflets and programmatic pamphlets as they goand they will not take, "We're only doing this until a recovery comes," for an answer. At all public hearings attended by the youth, a Grim Reaper figure somehow appears and reappears, reminding all who see him that they are doing his work, when they slash hospital funds, Medicare and indigent health insurance, lay off state employees, curtail school weeks and school lunches, etc. Their sessions with buttonholed legislators or even governors are brief and polemical; they are not seeking "agreement," but to change the officials' axiomsfrom denying the depth of the crisis even as it shakes them like rag dolls, to taking action to confront it. Their measures are LaRouche's: bankruptcy reorganization and protection; suspension of all "deregulation" laws; bankruptcy reorganization; "Super TVA" credits for infrastructure renewal, employment, and revenue.
Mobilization Began in California
In California, the youth mobilization began two years ago, with a late January 2001 speech by candidate LaRouche to the early recruits to his youth movement, in a meeting at the Salton Sea, in which he told them they would have to save the stateand the nationfrom Enron and the energy deregulation catastrophe. The speech became a mass campaign pamphlet by early February, then a second Defend the General Welfare pamphlet. Both were massively distributed while the youth and leading LaRouche representatives began to hit Sacramento, amid power blackouts and incredible electricity price spikes. LaRouche made his famous "put the toothpaste back in the tube" speech on re-regulation in late February (see below); the youth movement accelerated its mobilization West Coast-wide.
By late April, LaRouche West Coast leaders had lengthy meetings with California government advisers, and on May 1, a large campaign-sponsored Los Angeles town meeting broke testimony from an electrical workers' union leader on deliberate withholding of available power by the energy pirate companies.
Between May 3 and mid-May, actions were taken by the California governor's office, the legislature, and the state Attorney General's office against Enron, Reliant, et al., including testimony from the Governor's representative in Washington, D.C. which charted the energy company's criminal frauds and "gaming of the market." The first actions by state and even Federal regulators followed. By the end of May, there was a dramatic and sudden drop in the wholesale price of energy in California, by an order of magnitude almost overnight. Simultaneously began the plunge of Enron Co. stock from $60-80 a share, down to zero in November, and the bankruptcy of the company which LaRouche had called for in January.
Let LaRouche Speak
The lesson learned that truth, courage, and ideas can move governmental power for the general good in a crisis, spurred 18 months more of recruitment and aggressive mobilization by the youth movement, which spread nationally.
Characteristically, lawmakers and aides try to bring discussions of the financial and economic crisis down to the level of the "practical." But when the young organizers insist on the principle of the general welfareone group told a Pennsylvania legislator, "We're starting with the Preamble to the Constitution! People died in the American Revolution to get the general welfare principle"the message often gets through. Amid the panic characterizing the emergency budget sessions, most legislators are impressed by the new reality: "LaRouche has a real youth movementthat's good!" as one Virginia delegate put it, and extended a "two-minute" meeting into a much longer one. Just the young LaRouche activists' boldness and command of the situation can resultas in Michigan on Jan. 14in meetings with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, several leading members of the House and Senate, and Black Caucus leaders. A major objective, is invitations to the Presidential candidate himself to address state legislative sessions on the crisis.