Monday, July 24, 2006

Kicking Tusk



Speaking of competence, those Democrats over at the DLC have got some skills, and recieve mad props from this Southern Liberal for the unveiling of their latest project.

I may not agree with everything inside, but I sure am glad someone in the Democratic Party is getting some serious planning done with The American Dream Initiative. This is something we've needed and needed to say for a long, long time. Here's a taste:
The American Dream Initiative is an opportunity agenda for the middle class and all who aspire to join its ranks. Our vision is straightforward and clear: to leave our children a richer, safer, smarter, and stronger nation than the one we inherited. We believe that every citizen should have the opportunity to secure the pillars of the American Dream: a college degree, a home, a secure retirement, and the chance to get ahead in a growing economy.

8 comments:

Dante said...

Yeah, because you can't spell grade inflation without American Dream Initiative. If you think it's bad now, just wait until there's state money tied into how many people graduate. Charmin will start making the paper they print diplomas on. As an alternative, how about making a high school diploma actually mean something again by making it at least a little challenging to obtain instead of encouraging states to hand out college diplomas like candy?

The rest of it's not that bad but like most sequels the 1994 original was better. The only other thing I take serious issue with is this business about a home mortgage deduction for everyone. Everyone does get a home mortgage deduction but unless your getting fleeced on interest or have a lot of other deductions, the standard deduction is higher. Are they proposing that mortgage interest not be part of the standard deduction? Isn't writing off mortgage interest a large part of why there is a standard deduction to begin with?

I also take small issue with the hole wealth envy angle of the Capital Gains tax. I thought the Democrats might make it through an article without attacking those evil rich. I was wrong.

The rest of it looks to ranging from ineffective to good idea. I especially like shining the light on CEO pay but only because I think it will have the opposite of its intended effect. I imagine shareholders are going to like seeing how little a company pays its average employer. I know I will.

But a lot of this is really good stuff that is based on ideas that are popular across party lines. That bring me to my biggest question:

Since a lot of this stuff is so popular across party lines, why haven't the Democrats already been working to get a lot of this passed? Why the sudden interest?

Dante said...

And I do know that I should've used "Whole." Stupid not letting me edit posts...

dadvocate said...

I haven't really checked it out but on first impression it sounds a lot like the Great Society idea of the 1960s. The greatest success of the Great Society seems to have been creating a large portion of society dependent on the government dole.

Patrick Armstrong said...

If you think it's bad now, just wait until there's state money tied into how many people graduate.

Like I said, I don't agree with everything.

The rest of it's not that bad but like most sequels the 1994 original was better.

If I ran things in the Democratic Party, we'd be running against Congressional Republicans specifically for 'breach of contract.' Especially on the spirit behind the contract.

Since a lot of this stuff is so popular across party lines, why haven't the Democrats already been working to get a lot of this passed?

'Cause they've rightly realized (like Republicans did before 1994) that you can't just talk-talk to the public and expect them to agree with you. You have to listen-listen to the voters and respond to their concerns.

As far as the Great Society is concerned, I think there were some amazing successes to be found there. Then, as with all things, conditions changed, the bureaucracy was too entrenched to respond quickly, and special interests got hold of certain departments.

Fishplate said...

Yet over the last five years we've taken a different direction -- one that offered the greatest help to those with the most wealth under the mistaken belief that when the wealthy do even better, the middle class will eventually get their share.

1. Who pays the most in income taxes? According to the IRS, it's the wealthy. In fact, the lowest 10% or so pay no income taxes at all. How do you give a tax cut to a person that doesn't pay taxes?

2. Exactly what is "their share"? 25%? 50%? I need to know, so I can plan to spend all the wealth that is going to be redistributed to me...

Fishplate said...

* Every American should have the opportunity and responsibility to go to college and earn a degree, or to get the lifelong training they need.

OK, since they mention training as an alternative. Not everyone needs to go to college. But does this apply in Georgia? HOPE will send you to technical school, right?

* Every worker should have the opportunity and responsibility to save for a secure retirement.

Sounds like an argument to privatise Social Security. I'm OK with that. I'd be a lot better off if I'd been able to invest in stocks instead of a Ponzi scheme.

* Every business should have the opportunity to grow and prosper in the strongest private economy on earth, and the responsibility to equip workers with the same tools of success as management.

Simplify or eliminate corporate taxes...invest in small businesses.

* Every individual should have the opportunity and responsibility to start building wealth from day one, and the security and community that come from owning a home.

How would you implement this? Free houses for everyone? Maybe start distributing those FEMA trailers in Arkansas...

* Every family should have the opportunity to afford health insurance for their children, and the responsibility to obtain it.

Democrats takling about responsibility? Like personal responsibility? Wow...I thought it was the Government's responsibility to provide everything.

* In order to expand opportunity for all Americans, we must demand a new ethic of responsibility from Washington: to put government's priorities back in line with our values -- and its books back in balance -- by getting rid of wasteful corporate subsidies, unchecked bureaucracy, and narrow-interest loopholes; collecting taxes that are owed; clamping down on tens of billions of dollars in improper payments and no bid-contracts; and restoring commonsense budgeting principles like pay-as-you-go.

Democrats for smaller Government? Or should I continue reading between the lines?

Have you ever tried to administer a Government bid process? I have. It can take a year or more to simply get the contract in place, never mind actually carry out the work.

And what about politicians taking bribes? Has anyone ever been kicked out of either party? I envision a ceremony on the Capitol steps, wehre a Congressman's lapel pin is ripped from his jacket, and his pen is broken over the Speaker's knee...

Maybe you could work the Fair Tax plan in there too...

Dante said...

This looks a bit more sane to me than the Great Society. If the Democrats can stay away from the wealth envy and large business hating aspects of this plan a little and really campaign on the middle ground issues (or the "60% issues" as Newt would call them), they might be able to gain some ground in Congress.

"If I ran things in the Democratic Party, we'd be running against Congressional Republicans specifically for 'breach of contract.' Especially on the spirit behind the contract."

House Republicans did a darn good job of fulfilling the Contract. Their stated goal was to pass the legislation and they did. They passed the bulk of the Contract through the House. Unfortunately for fans of the Contract, most of the bills died. A certain President catches a lot of flack for vetoing much of the Contract but truth be told most of it died in the Senate. Their only mistake IMHO was not trying to pass that legislation again when they finally had all of Congress and the Presidency on their side. Even then getting things through the Senate would continue to be problematic. Too bad Democrats almost universally took the wrong side of the Iraq conflict and made it way too easy for Republicans to get elected for doing nothing but supporting the war.

petallic said...

If you think it's bad now, just wait until there's state money tied into how many people graduate.

Um, that's already happening. I found out today that whether or not we made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) last year came down to two particular boys passing Intersession classes (summer school). And if you knew these two boys, you would not want something as important as AYP for your entire school hinging on their abilities.

The teacher who taught Intersession wasn't told of the importance of their grades until after the class was over, which of course was the ethical way to do it, but she was still understandably horrified that the amount of funding we receive boiled down to her ability to hound those boys into doing the work they should have done in the regular school year.

This day is here, gentlemen.