Friday, February 11, 2005

Good question, my answer

Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf er, I mean Hewitt asks, "If the Democrats were to offer a 'Contract with America' today, what would be on it? "

Hewitt's priggish answer is:
"Essentially reactionary ideas like raising the minimum wage and rejecting all reforms of social security. The Democratic Party has assumed the role of the United States Supreme Court,1933 through 1937 --the last obstacle to necessary innovation. It will fare as well as the Court of that era did."

While the oblique references towards doing away with the very real reforms enacted by the court Hewitt mentions are intriquing, I want to stay on point. May answers:

  • True Social Security reform, funded not only through payroll taxes but through taxes on unearned income.
  • True tax reform, including removing deductions by corporations for offshore investments and outsourcing.
  • True tax reform including a return to a more progressive system. Perhaps simpler, too. But maybe with some middle class deductions brought back from yore: the credit card interest deduction, the medical expense deduction (the real one), 10 year averaging.
  • Leveling the playing field between big investors and small investors. True shareholder rights.
  • Leveling the playing field between the individual in the world by outlawing "graymail." You want tort reform? You get it if I can send practitioners of graymail (Committing a tort and saying, "Come sue me or do what I say!")
  • On the state level, ensuring that homeowner associations are run democratically. (In many states, theoretically, they're not.)
  • Strong consumer safety protection: a USDA with teeth.
  • And of course: no special rights for Republicans, Conservative Christians, wealthy people, or anyone else.
These are my pet ideas. Yours?

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