Democrats have received criticism that they don’t have a message and aren’t offering bold alternatives to the Republicans’ agenda. With the Republicans in complete control of the Presidency, the House and the Senate, much of the Democrats’ efforts have been devoted to blocking the worst of the damage from GOP legislation. With literally no power to pass any progressive legislation, their focus has been on resistance rather than advancing an agenda.
However, this week Senate Democrats introduced a $1 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan funded by repealing many of the tax giveaways Republicans rammed through Congress in December. The Democratic plan would reverse much of the Republicans’ tax scam. This seems like perfect timing since the negative effects of the Republicans’ tax scam are becoming apparent.
Economists are predicting an exploding deficit and debt because the Republicans’ tax cuts have robbed the essential revenue necessary to fund basic public services. The Democrats’ plan will restore that essential revenue by returning the top tax rate to 39.6 percent and moving the corporate rate up from 21 percent to 25 percent. It will also restore the estate tax to a reasonable level. One of the most important features will fix the carried interest loophole that allowed wealthy investors to escape paying a fair tax.
The Trump/Republican tax scam gave away $1.5 trillion to the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable companies. The Democrats plan will restore a part of that revenue and use it to fund a $1 trillion American infrastructure plan. The focus of that plan is on providing high paying jobs for middle America. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described the many features of their infrastructure proposal. It will fund investments in roads, bridges, schools, airports and high-speed internet.
“We want to roll back the Republican tax giveaways to big corporations and the wealthy and invest that money instead in job-creating infrastructure,” said Schumer. “We believe overwhelmingly the American people will prefer building infrastructure and creating close to 15 million middle-class jobs than giving tax breaks for the wealthy.”
“Now that Republicans are realizing that the president’s plan is a nonstarter, and some of them have voiced that, we hope that this will importune them to move in our direction,” Schumer said. “I think as they get closer to the election, and they need some real program, something big and significant to get done this year . . . they may move in our direction or at the very minimum propose a real plan with real dollars on their own.”
Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, pointed to the need for Democrats to give voters a clear contrast with Republicans in the upcoming midterms. He believes voters want a return to bipartisanship and it’s crucial for Democrats to appeal to compromise.
“Not only will we have a sharp contrast between them and us, but we’ll be able to say, ‘Look at all the missed opportunities, starting with repatriation, where we were for bipartisanship and they basically opted for partisanship through reconciliation,'” said Wyden.
The Democrats’ jobs and infrastructure plan would offer Iowans two funding projects that they need in order to expand their rural economy. It provides $40 billion for rural high-speed internet service and $80 billion to upgrade the country’s energy grid. Many Iowa Democrats have been advocating for expansion of rural high-speed internet access. In addition, the continuing growth of Iowa’s wind and solar energy depends on expanding and improving the state’s energy grid.
The Democrats have presented a clear, fair and common sense tax and job growth infrastructure plan. Democrats can contrast their fiscally responsible growth and jobs plan with the Republicans budget busting giveaways to the top 1 percent and the largest corporations.
by Rick Smith