The Democratic Party Needs A Platform

For your consideration…

Author’s Note: I am not an expert. I have no public policy experience, and frankly don’t want anything to do with it. I’m just a liberal-leaning citizen of Middle America (where Democrats are floundering) that would feel well represented by this platform.

Economy/Jobs

  • Aggressively taxing corporations that favor automation over American workers. Not as punishment or as a deterrent, but rather just to ensure that one way or another American workers are being taken care of.
  • Improving working conditions for the largest class of American workers… THE SERVICE INDUSTRY, including raising the federal minimum wage including wages for food servers.
  • Two weeks paid parental leave guaranteed by law. (It’s a big ask, possibly work out a government subsidy program to ease burden on employers.)
  • An extensive program on training/education for the jobs of the future to transition workers from dying regional industries to less centralized ones.
  • Being THE largest member of the world economy is important, and as such, trade agreements must serve Americans in that regard and will be scrutinized when it comes to aspects that negatively affect Americans (outsourcing, wages, working conditions, competitiveness, etc.)

Taxes

As I’m not an expert, I feel out of my depth tackling this issue. However, from where I stand, taxes are necessary, and cannot always be cut, cut, cut.

When income taxes are cut, property taxes seem to go up. States like mine (Indiana) have to add a 10¢/gallon fuel tax to fund road repairs. They nickel and dime us every chance they get, all because campaigning on lower tax rates polls well. It’s not right.

Raise income taxes. Especially on the wealthiest 1/4 of Americans.

BUT SELL IT PROPERLY! Show pie graphs of income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, etc. and then demonstrate how higher income taxes will lower all of the other ones. Make it obvious that every American will benefit benefits from paying more in all facets of daily life. Parks, schools, roads, mass transit, security, programs… EVERYTHING is improved through more funding. We wouldn’t even have all these weird ancillary taxes if they just raised income taxes accordingly in the first place!

Healthcare

Single Payer. Period.

America spends $3.2 trillion on healthcare annually. That’s $10,000 per person. And yet some people are paying insurance premiums of over $2,000 month. That’s unacceptable. Cut out the profit motive!

Educate the public that they could receive a legal basic standard of care for a fraction of what their current insurance premiums cost. Their new insurance is good nationwide. No networks, no restrictions. Any doctor, any specialist, any hospital. Any necessary treatment/procedure including a minimum battery of preventative/diagnostic procedures.

Every citizen and legal resident will be automatically enrolled in a federal insurance program covering a basic standard of healthcare. There is no opt-out. You don’t want your coverage? Don’t use it.

If you have the disposable income and/or desire to have a higher premium of coverage, buy it on the free market from insurance companies who will be clamoring to sell premium packages to cover elective, experimental, and other types of nonstandard procedures.

This would also cover prescription drug costs (offset by a nominal co-pay).

This plan is not a nationalized takeover, though. Hospitals will continue to operate as they do now. Same with private practices.

The government will not insert bureaucracy between patients and their doctors. The coverage will be the same for everyone, however doctors will have a certain degree of latitude for case specific determinations of what constitutes necessary care.

Also, physician assisted suicide should be a legal, if highly regulated, option for certain patients.

Women’s health procedures will be covered under the national plan without exceptions… including cases where a doctor deems any procedure necessary in a specific case. The combination of doctor and patient will be the final authority on the matter. (Read between the lines people.)

Environment

Teddy Roosevelt himself would shed a tear if he could see how fervently the Democrats were going to protect and defend our environment and natural places.

This includes preventing the unnecessary development of federally managed lands and providing an adequate budget for the Interior Department to manage such lands.

And the EPA will PROTECT the ENVIRONMENT.

Climate Change

Climate change is real. Climate change is effected by mankind’s actions. Every effort will be made to educate and foster understanding of the severity of the looming crisis among the public. Likewise, governance will be influenced by input from leading climate scientists, seeking to find the best ways to mitigate the ill-effects while proving to be the least invasive in Americans’ daily lives.

Gun Control

None.

The Democratic Party has to drop this pipe dream in order to win national elections. It costs them tens of thousands of “single-issue voters” every election, and considering 70-ish thousand voters would have swung the 2016 Presidential election, it matters.

Acceptable Pitches:

  • A free and open web portal to NICS, for voluntary private party background checks. (Must have detailed plans for protection of personal data.)
  • Programs to incentivize safe gun ownership. (Tax deductions on expensive safes, Make safes a necessary inclusion in new-home constructions, mandatory minimum sentences for illegal firearm possession, gun safety course in every school like D.A.R.E. but less propaganda, etc.)
  • More generally, just drawing a firm distinction between criminals who use guns and law-abiding gun owners, and a pledge to never conflate the two.

Crime

  • Tough on crime when it comes to violent and repeat offenders especially domestic abusers, rapists, and illegal firearm possession.
  • Establish a committee for the oversight, review, investigation, and prevention of uses of force by the police.
  • Nonviolent drug offenders will have their addiction treated instead of serving hard time.

Terrorism

  • ISIS and other terrorist groups will be combated through intelligence gathering and targeted, precision strikes with a minimum number of troops on the ground.
  • Efforts made online to radicalize Americans will be combated much more thoroughly than in the past.
  • No more knee jerk reactions to terrorism since that is why terrorists commit terrorism!

Drugs

  • Marijuana is not a narcotic. Immediate decriminalization and it’s regulation, distribution, and sale with overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives and Cannabinoids.
  • Federally funded and managed needle exchanges to quell the outbreak of HIV in drug riddled areas.
  • Use Marijuana Tax to fund new measures fighting the opioid epidemic.

Defense

  • Comprehensive plan to cap defense spending at 2.0% of GDP or $500 Billion (whichever is higher) during peacetime.
  • Acknowledge that we already have the best military on earth. Not much improvement necessary.

Foreign Relations

  • Immediate sanctions against countries that make attempts to undermine electoral processes of America or her Allies.
  • Two State Solution in Israel.
  • Big Stick Policy elsewhere.

Infrastructure

Immediate efforts to rebuild America for the next 100 years. A comprehensive program of phases of construction that hasn’t been seen since The New Deal. Roads, bridges, dams… if it needs repairs, it’s getting repaired.

100% of municipal water providers will deliver safe, clean water to 100% of their customers by 2025. No matter what.

Currently 9.1% of American bridges are structurally deficient. 5% by 2025. 2.5% by 2035. 0% by 2050.

A program to add surface transit options, which are vastly lacking in many American cities.

Agriculture

Predatory practices perpetrated by certain large agricultural corporations against independent contractors will be outlawed.

Such large corporations will also be subjected to a new tax, the revenue from which will directly support struggling independent/family farms.

Dairy farms of a minimum size must equip their animal holding buildings with methane collection/mitigation measures suitable for the number of animals. (Smaller farms may receive benefits from above to achieve compliance.)

Safety Net

Strong.

No child in America should ever go hungry. No veteran in America should ever be homeless.

America is better than that, and we can and will take care of each other.

Budget

  • Add $2 Trillion to the $882+ Billion already spent on healthcare to cover Single Payer Healthcare.
  • Limiting discretionary Defense spending to $500 B saves approx. $200 Billion/yr.
  • Veteran’s Benefits would require approx. 1/4 of the current amount owing to healthcare coverage under new program. A $50 billion savings.
  • Obviously, more revenue is required. In exchange for giving up private health insurance plans (and their premiums), the average tax burden per capita would increase by about $5,500 per year. And no more high premiums or ridiculous deductibles. That’s all it would take to cover every American with the same standard of care. This could further be offset by raising corporate tax rates (since they are no longer contributing to their workers’ insurance plans), further lessening the burden.

Did I miss anything? Please, leave your comments/concerns. Just remember, I’m just a citizen, and I put this together on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I fully expect there to be flaws, hoping that better minds than mine can improve on the basic ideas.