2012 and the Progressive Agenda
As we swing into the 2012 election cycle, I thought I would offer some free advice for Democrats. I think the following agenda would mobilize the base of the Democratic Party, and give voters the perception that Obama is a fighter for the middle class. (It also doesn’t increase the deficit except for student loan forgiveness.) Given Republican control of the House, these laws almost certainly would not be adopted between now and election day, but “losing well” by forcing the Republicans on record and setting the agenda for a second term are also useful political and policy goals. Other policies could be adopted by the administration without Congressional approval.
Family Security Act
- Paid maternity and paternity leave.
- One month paid vacation.
- Two weeks sick leave.
- Vouchers for pre-kindergarten.
Living Wage Act
- Change the minimum wage to a living wage, but base it on regional costs-of-living. New York, California, and other high cost areas would have different living wage levels than low cost areas such as Alabama and Wyoming.
Prosecute the Banksters
- People’s anger against ‘Wall Street’ has been successfully co-opted by the corporately-financed Tea Party movement into an ‘anti-government’ feeling. This was political malpractice on the part of the Obama administration, but I think it can be rectified.
Taxes on the Millionaires and Billionares
Student Loan Forgiveness
- Most (if not all) other developed countries give their citizens higher education for next to nothing or for free. It’s pretty appalling that we don’t. Also, it would help my family out a lot!
Family Home Debt Forgiveness
- While we’re at it, why not knock 10 percent off everyone’s mortgage? Currently, homeowners have been the only ones punished by the housing bubble; banks still hold the mortgages on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Stick it to the banks– always a good election strategy.
Obviously these are pretty pie-in-the-sky… but the President and Congressional Democrats need to lose well going into 2012. Heck, they might also win a couple of fights before winning the election!