Positioning himself as “spokesman” of the progressive movement
Last year marked the twenty-year anniversary of Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” that is often credited with helping usher in the 1994 Republican Revolution. The Gingrich “Contract with America” was a simple, straightforward list of major reforms Republicans promised to introduce and bring up for a vote should they take control of Congress:
- A balanced budget amendment and line item veto;
- A crime bill that funds police and prisons over social programs;
- Real welfare reform;
- Family reinforcement measures that strengthen parental rights in education and child support enforcement;
- Family tax cuts;
- Stronger national defense;
- A rise in the Social Security earnings limit to stop penalizing working seniors;
- Job creation and regulatory reform policies;
- Common sense legal reforms to stop frivolous lawsuits; and
- A first-ever vote on term limits for members of Congress.
Within the first 100 days, the first Republican majority in both Houses of Congress in 40 years, passed bills tackling almost every item (the notable exception: term limits for Congress).
That was then.
Fast forward to now when New York City mayor and self-described advocate of “democratic socialism” Bill deBlasio is preparing to introduce new, progressive “Contract with America.” Hoping to recreate the success of the original, Gingrich “Contract” and help Democrats make gains in Congress, deBlasio has reportedly come up with a 13-point “Contract” that promises:
- no free trade
- a comprehensive immigration reform plan with a pathway to citizenship for illegal residents
- free child care and afterschool programs
- national paid sick leave
- $15 per hour minimum wage
- a “Buffet Rule” which would force millionaires to pay a higher tax rate
- a reform of the National Labor Relations Act “to enhance workers’ rights to organize and rebuild the middle class”
- expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, allowing students to refinance student loan debt
- closing the carried interest loop, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas
- closing a “CEO tax loophole that allows corporations to take advantage of ‘performance pay’
With “everyone from Susan Sarandon to Van Jones helping draft and push de Blasio’s new ‘Contract with America’,” de Blasio is clearly trying to establish himself as progressive top dog.
Not everyone is thrilled with de Blasio positioning himself as the leader of the progressive wing of the Democrat party:
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