Did Democrats finally get the message?

Democratic lawmakers may have finally heard our voices. For the first time in a long time, party leaders in the House of Representatives have put forth a progressive tax plan that would tax Wall Street to give Main Street a little relief. This week, Representative Chris Van Hollen announced the Democratic plan to create “the kind of economy where the pie is growing and everyone is getting a better slice.”

That new plan would levy a transaction tax on Wall Street to expand or create new tax breaks for apprenticeship programs, child care, people who save for retirement, middle class working families, and even companies that give workers a raise.

Although these ideas aren't likely to come to fruition while Republicans are in charge, many people are happy to see Democrats once again demonstrating how they're different from those on the Right. During the last election cycles, party leaders seemed to miss the message when it came to what voters wanted.

Instead of calling for bold, progressive solutions, many Democratic candidates moved toward the so-called middle, and lost touch with the social and economic ideas that separated them from the Republicans. Unsurprisingly, that didn't pan out well for Democrats.

This bold new tax plan can put the Left back on course towards a future of shared prosperity. We used to be the party of strong unions, the party of making the rich pay their fair share, and the party that fought for the middle class. Somehow, our lawmakers forgot those points, but losing big in the last elections may have woken them up.

This tax plan may not become reality under this Congress, but hopefully it's the first of many steps that Democrats take on the path towards progress.

Comments

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 23 weeks ago
#1

Here's an idea: Term limits based on campaign expenditures. If the winner of an election is also the candidate that spent the most on that election, he's ineligible for a subsequent term.

jeromestone's picture
jeromestone 7 years 23 weeks ago
#2

Seriously?? Too little too late! Sorry, but the Dems have let down their constituencies too many times and only now, after they've been slammed, do they take on real tax reform?

sghfuller's picture
sghfuller 7 years 23 weeks ago
#3

It's about time!!

We also need to discuss the reasons for the initial implimentation of the inheritance tax and how diminishing or eliminating it contributes so much to greater inequality.

Those who say taxes were already paid on that money ignore the fact that for most large fortunes any tax paid on them was at the much lower rate given capital gains. Workers pay a higher tax rate than passive investors. How does society benefit when those who work for an income pay taxes at a higher rate than those who live off interest or are lucky enough to be bequeathed a fortune?

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 7 years 23 weeks ago
#4

I'll wait and see. I've been burned too many times hoping the Dems would fearlessly embrace their values like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

The time to have embraced those values was before election day. Note that we won on virtually all progressive ballot issues including Minimum Wage, which no one ran on.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 23 weeks ago
#5

Can't you see? This is all bogus theater. The Democrats always talk like progressives when campaigning then govern like Republicans after elected. They're suddenly fearless progressives now because Republicans are in charge and there's no chance of any of this passing - and upsetting their corporate sponsors.

Ralph Nader wrote in his book, Crashing the Party, that in the 2000 Presidential Election, when Al Gore was on TV saying, "I'm gonna fight for you against the big oil companies and big business...etc....." Joe Liebermann was on the phone to those same big oil companies and big businesses assuring them that Gore didn't mean any of it. It's all just to keep the pot boiling and maintain the fiction that there's any substantive difference between Republicans and Democrats.

kentw's picture
kentw 7 years 23 weeks ago
#6

About time Democrats woke up and initiated progressive legislation. The DINOs need to get the message and stop voting for KXL pipeline, for weakening Dodd-Frank, stop being shills for big corporations, etc.

giancarlo fratto's picture
giancarlo fratto 7 years 23 weeks ago
#7

that may be true my friend, but they all have been letting us down time and time again on both sides of the aisle but we the people are to blame for allowing them to get away with everything. We just dont vote, esp where it matters the most like the mid term where we were molly whopped by the republibons. i mean jeez everytime i even try to have a convo with people they get annoyed, dont know anything, or just are not interested in politics, which blows my mind. we all need to at minimum be aware of whats going on, and the majority of the people arent. its so sad, but we cant just give up i do know that, and we most def cant vote for anyone on the right.

JohnLemessurier's picture
JohnLemessurier 7 years 23 weeks ago
#8

"Although these ideas aren't likely to come to fruition while Republicans are in charge, many people are happy to see Democrats once again demonstrating how they're different from those on the Right." OH PULEEZ!!! "Many people" are not that stupid!

This is just demonstrating that Democrats are complicit in the charade that we might actually have a two party system. They "propose" legislation that is "different from those on the Right" when and only when they know that "these ideas aren't likely to come to fruition while Republicans are in charge."

HEY THom! Why are you aiding in the perpetuation of this myth? SHAME on you!!!

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 7 years 23 weeks ago
#9

Now that it is safe, the Corpocrats do this. They know the Republicorps won't do it. The Corpocrats will give the illusion of doing something for the people but still keep their corporate masters happy.

Don't know if you figured it out or will read this--but Sinclair Lewis wrote "It Can't Happen Here". Of course, it is happening here.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 7 years 23 weeks ago
#10

Democrats and Republicans both cater to the same small group. They occasionally throw us a bone at selected times to keep us ever hopeful. It's getting old.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 7 years 23 weeks ago
#11
Quote Mark J. Saulys:Can't you see? This is all bogus theater. The Democrats always talk like progressives when campaigning then govern like Republicans after elected. They're suddenly fearless progressives now because Republicans are in charge and there's no chance of any of this passing - and upsetting their corporate sponsors.

Yep! You pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. Are we supposed to think that these weren't good ideas for the last decade? Are we supposed to think that these Democrats have suddenly found Jesus? Let's face reality people--this is just another dog and pony show designed to steal votes away from third party candidates in the next election. If recent history should teach us anything it is that if reelected with a landslide majority, these Democrats will quickly fall in line with their corporate masters just like they did 6 years ago when Obama was elected. Don't forget, they had 6 months control of both houses and did nothing to reform a broken tax system. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Loyal_American's picture
Loyal_American 7 years 23 weeks ago
#12

Now that it's safe for the dems to pretend to whisper a progressive scheme or two look forward to lots of pedantry which will, of course, go nowhere. Thom talks a good game too, and I like him, I guess. I'd rather hear the crickets, though.

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX 7 years 23 weeks ago
#13

Why wasn't this proposed in 2009, 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14?

BaldyAZ59 7 years 23 weeks ago
#14

Great idea in the right direction but with the Republicants in power we might have to wait a couple of years

douglas m 7 years 23 weeks ago
#15

I just make sure I always vote for the other gut since if they get elected twice they retire at full pay forever with full medical. Also they dont even work 40 hours a week!

Why is that even a paid position? It should be an honor in itself to serve.

Congress is exactly like two drunks at the bar argueing about the bill on the Titanic.

Democrats too little to late. Words are cheap.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 7 years 23 weeks ago
#16

Yeah, this took a lot of political courage. With absolutely no chance of passing through the house or the Senate, the timing of this bill was perfect. Democrats can use this as a political talking point, while not upsetting corporate master with the peace of mind of knowing that this bill is DOA.

A tasty plate of farce biscuits covered in placation gravy for the American media to eat up and regurgitate to the American public. .

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 23 weeks ago
#17
Quote BaldyAZ59:

Great idea in the right direction but with the Republicants in power we might have to wait a couple of years.

Yeah, we might have to wait "a couple of years". You mean "a couple of more years", like the 35-40 we've been waiting since there's been a Democratic Party to differ with the Republicans.

It's the "bait and switch" cycle every election. This is the "bait" part, then, afterward, if they get elected, it'll be time for "switch".

You think Obama didn't mean it when said he was about "change"? You saw him change, didn't you?

People vote with dollar bills not ballots anymore. This means nothing at all.

just a blue collar liberal's picture
just a blue col... 7 years 23 weeks ago
#18

But short of a overthrow of the government or a viable 3rd candidate &party, this is the system we are stuck with.

I wish my 2 Senators would have told the left to take the omnibus funding bill & shove it. Eliz. Warren did. So did Bernie and Sherrod Brown.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 23 weeks ago
#19

The Dems talk big but they know if they implement the tax hikes like some of you are suggesting it would crush your economy. Your corporations are already the highest taxed in the world. The top 1% are paying 38 % of the taxes already. After 2 million half of what you inherit is confiscated. That's why they talk big after the election. The intention is good but reality gets in the way.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 23 weeks ago
#20

Although this has nothing to do with the topic. I ran out of a prescription eye drop well I was down in Arizona. I went to a Safeway the same pharmacy as I do in Canada and the same prescription before my insurance plan was $125.00 US compared to $22.00 CAN (26.37 US) that I pay here. This is the same store and the exact same manufacture of the prescription. I have heard this before but WOW that is a huge difference. I have a private health care plan so my cost in Canada is $4.04 CAN and I can recover those costs but I feel for you down there.

michaelmelio's picture
michaelmelio 7 years 23 weeks ago
#21

Don't want to sound cynical, but this pattern of presenting progressive legislation by the Dems, when there isn't a snowballs chance in hell of passing, is getting a bit old and disingenuous.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 23 weeks ago
#22

Sorry Thom, I'm siding with the cynics. All theater, no substance. Isn't it touching how generous these guys can be with the imaginary and unattainable!

DrJ's picture
DrJ 7 years 23 weeks ago
#23

I'm sure this tax plan is detailed, moderate, and reasonable, and thus it will be seen as boring and tepid. Haven't we learned from the days of the "Reagan Revolution" that to get political movement towards the center one must take an overblown position way out on the fringes of one's ideology? It also helps if such plans are simplistic as well as bombastic (flat tax! star wars defense!). The details can go into the actual written legislation, but the message needs to be somewhat outrageous and brief (Soak the rich! Repeal the second amendment! Jail the banksters!). Since this stuff won't pass anyway, the Democrats might as well make a bold and hopefully memorable statement.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 23 weeks ago
#24
Quote Kend:

The Dems talk big but they know if they implement the tax hikes like some of you are suggesting it would crush your economy. Your corporations are already the highest taxed in the world. The top 1% are paying 38 % of the taxes already. After 2 million half of what you inherit is confiscated. That's why they talk big after the election. The intention is good but reality gets in the way.

Tax hikes won't hurt the economy, Kend, quite the contrary if tax policies encouraging off shoring are reversed. The 1% don't deserve one small part of what they get. They are parasites living high from our labor. 38% is not near a fair percentage of the profits to compensate those who work so hard to make them rich.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 7 years 23 weeks ago
#25

Kend:

If the wealthy actually pay 38% (and they don't pay that--after "write-offs, they pay around what Warren Buffet quotes as only 17%--most even less) of say $1 billion is only $380,000,000 with $620,000,000 left over for the poor wealthy robber baron to live on for a year.

My husband and I pay $16,500 (Federal) on $50,000 and have to live on $33,500. I'd say there is a BIG difference. Our measley, not measley to us, $16,500 is paying to keep this country running for those who only ROB America and HOARD the money, which MUST GO BACK INTO THE ECONOMY.

The spoiled wealthy DO NOT need to be defended--they need to be taken to the tax woodshed to receive their just desserts.

You are correct about Americans being scalped for perscription medicine--you deserve a hand for your real-life experience and report of the US vampire health system.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 7 years 23 weeks ago
#26

So, Kend, after we, the workers/consumers, pay our state and local taxes, our taxes on utilities (telephone, internet, etc.) our property and income tax for the schools our gas tax at the pump our sales tax punishment after we boost the economy and rich man's pockets (and numerous other taxes that don't come to mind)--well, there is a lot less of $33,500 for MY family. I don't give a damn about the wealthy vampires who are feeding on/sucking the life out of the very people who MAKE and BUY their products and MAKE THEM MONEY. They need to put their hoard BACK INTO the people and infrastructure and economy that supports their way of life.

You might try reading What Went Wrong by George Tyler. It's about how short-termism, based on usually "inflated" stock prices evaluated, CEO captialism (thanks to Ronnie "intellectual lightweight" Reagan) is far less superior and sustainable than FAMILY capitalism and how well the countries and their companies that embrace FAMILY captiaism are doing--hint--much better than the US--and their wealthy are STILL wealthy--just less selfish and greedy and entitled. Milton Freedman does not fare, deservedly, well.

well-paid employees = monied consumers = LONG-TERM business profits for the company not just the temporary CEO.

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 7 years 23 weeks ago
#27

I'll quibble about "designed to steal votes away from third party candidates". I'm active in the Democratic Party and no one gives a rat's ass about third party challengers except for the very few who occasionally might pose a threat.

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 7 years 23 weeks ago
#28

People think of the parties as uncontrollable, monolithic and perpetual. But the reality is that the parties are made of very small numbers of regular people -the ones who show up. In my congressional district there are about a million people and there's maybe a few hundred on a good day who do anything within the party. These are precisely the people who get off their asses, go to caucuses or show up at party meetings and become delegates and eventually endorse candidates. Look at the GOP, where whacked out extremists took over the party by showing up and changing their party from within.

Not that it's a cakewalk to change things, but it's way easier than most people think. Over two election cycles a decade ago, my friends and I -all low level volunteers- took over our congressional district leadership, trained people in issue framing and ran people for office, some of whom won. Other progressives did the same and now Minnesota is more progressive than just about anywhere -and we're still just regular unpaid volunteer shmoes.

The sad reality is that anyone can do this, everyone should, but only a vanishingly small number of people ever do. I guess it's just easier to sit back and bitch about how powerless they feel.

Giancarlo (above) is right -the blame lies squarely with the disengaged. Voters can vote out bad politicians anytime they want to. If they care enough to do so.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 22 weeks ago
#29

I have to agree with Uncle Geo at #27 & #28. I'm also active in the Dem. Party, so that I can have some effect instead of complaining about being powerless.

I admit that my effect is tiny. The money required to run and win keeps good people out. I'm convinced we need a big push to get enough good people in office all at once to get the money out. Democrats (voters and party officials) need to spend the next 3 elections getting the Senate to 2/3 liberal. Conserve resources on the House and wait until the Senate is within reach before pushing on that. But always invest in state, county and municipal elections--that's the farm team.

tom kauser 7 years 22 weeks ago
#30

are the billionaires on board yet

tom kauser 7 years 22 weeks ago
#31

whos the new kid with the globe

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