We are slowly creeping up on another budget showdown. Democrats need to begin framing the issues now.
There needs to be an absolute floor under ending sequestration. The question should be: after we end sequestration, what is the best set of policies for the future?
Let's start with a great agenda, let the GOP chip away at it, and end up with "pretty good"!
- Expand Safety Net: Social Security, SNAP, Unemployment
- Universal Early Childhood Education and Child Care
- Protect Reproductive Health
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- Carbon Tax
- Promote Density: Upzoning, Rapid Transit, End Mortgage Interest Deduction
- Modern Economy: Smart Grid, Smaller Banks, IP Law that promotes "the progress of science and the useful arts."
Protect providers of women's reproductive health by superseding hospital admitting requirements.
Expand Social Security
-Basic income for all retirees.
-95 year-old payment: if you outlive your savings, there's always a onetime bonus of $10k to get you to the finish line.
-Tax rate unchanged but applied to wealthy incomes w/o cap.
Expand SNAP and fight obesity by awarding double benefits for protein purchases.
National Pre-K and affiliated day care centers with sliding scale rates.
Break-up big banks.
-No ATT style action needed. Simply increase capital requirements on massive banks (systemically important institutions) until they are uncompetitive.
Income Tax Reform
-Lower income tax rate.
-Higher cap gains tax.
-Lower corporate tax.
-Eliminate loopholes in all three.
-Threaten to go Grenada on Cayman, Bermuda, Gurnsey, Jersey, Ireland, Luxemborg, Lichtenstein and any other tiny defenseless nation stealing our taxes.
Comprehensive immigration reform with path to citizenship faster than Senate Bill for certain popular categories (Dreamers, priority skilled, family reunification; idea is to end up with shorter path for 95% b/c senate bill is already too slow).
-Software patents eliminated.
-Pharma patents cut in half with chance to earn it back by funding govt study demonstrating superiority over current treatment.
-Creative works: use NSA technology for good instead of evil. Patent and trademark office creates a database of works under copyright. Interface with Google, etc.: if it's in the database, search engine has to shutdown infringer. Too hard? You'll get a monthly bill. Govt manages the payment system with reverse economies of scale: really popular is highest priced. Paid to artists who put works in database.
-Any duopoly or monopoly with 60% of municipality combined cable and voice market must provide fiber to the home speeds to every home or breakup.
-Mandate smart-grid. All electric utilities granted one time 5% fee increase and given 5 years to comply.
-Mass transit block grants: can't use $ to build new roads. Can build bike lanes, bus lanes (BRT), or any kind of rails.
-Density grants: carbon tax funds finance projects to facilitate carbon savings achieved thru density. Any kind of city infrastructure that accompanies upzoning (more housing units in same space).