The plan is scant on details and they’re in the minority, but you gotta start somewhere!
The Democrats didn’t do so hot in 2016. They didn’t get any closer to winning the majority in the House. They’re still down in the Senate. And their presidential candidate lost in an upset no one saw coming.
What was their takeaway from their electoral thumping?
"When you lose an election with someone who has, say, 40 percent popularity, you look in the mirror and say what did we do wrong?" (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer said, speaking on ABC's This Week Sunday. "And the No. 1 thing that we did wrong is … we didn't tell people what we stood for."
Okay, good. So what do they stand for? Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote today in the New York Times:
First, we’re going to increase people’s pay. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy.
Okay, okay, and okay. They’re keeping it nice and simple. I think that’s a good idea. But I wanna hear more about that last part, that part about “tools for the 21st-century economy.”
Right now millions of unemployed or underemployed people, particularly those without a college degree, could be brought back into the labor force or retrained to secure full-time, higher-paying work. We propose giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs. This will have particular resonance in smaller cities and rural areas, which have experienced an exodus of young people who aren’t trained for the jobs in those areas.
And what about how trade policy affects working Americans?
In the coming months, we’ll offer additional ideas, from rebuilding rural America to fundamentally changing our trade laws to benefit workers, not multinational corporations.
Look: The Alliance for American Manufacturing is non-partisan, and willing to work with any politician who’s interested in creating good-paying factory jobs in America. And there’s stuff in this broad outline that we like. Broadly speaking, for instance, we like trade policy that empowers our domestic workforce, and we like American politicians that puts that workforce first.
We also like Buy America rules, and tough trade enforcement. We like infrastructure investment that’s American-made, and we like tax reform that's decidedly pro-manufacturing.
Say … that gives us an idea. What if the Democrats got together with Republicans and did something like:
Congressional Democrats lay out an economic agenda https://t.co/z5nlU05gRM I see a possible grand bargain. Tax reform + this. Any takers?
— Scott Paul (@ScottPaulAAM) July 24, 2017