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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What liberal bloggers believe

Atrios has a pretty interesting post on many of the policy-wonkish things that bloggers on the left tend to believe. I can't say I have much disagreement with it:
  • Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration: definitely. Many, if not a majority, of bankruptcies in this country are due to medical bills, not people going hog-wild with the credit card. However, the bill passed by Congress assumes the latter. There is no reason why a bill can't be targeted towards punishing the irresponsible, and helping those who are a victim of circumstance.
  • Repeal the estate tax repeal: sure. The only estates that are taxed are those that are worth millions of dollars. We used to believe in egalitarianism in this country; dying with the most toys is nothing to worship. Pohlad, I'm looking in your general direction.
  • Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI: if you aren't going to do away with the minimum wage, this is the only sensible solution. Inflation is real.
  • Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one): yes. Would definitely help with the bankruptcy issue too.
  • Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation: yes, again. The only thing that might help our energy crisis.
  • Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise: yes, yes, yes. No "abstinence-only" lies. More access to contraception. Parental notification I don't like, but I can't make a good argument against it. Waiting periods, bogus "informational packets" also full of lies should go.
  • Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code: again, yes. Simplify, get rid of most deductions and loopholes, and tweak the progressivity. This would benefit everybody.
  • Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination: yes. No evangelism with tax dollars.
  • Reduce corporate giveaways: yes, see tax code and my stadium rants.
  • Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan: what a concept! Having Medicare run it instead of the drug companies!
  • Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions: pension underfunding is a huge issue. Imagine paying for Social Security, Medicare, pensions, $10 a gallon gas, and a war with Venezuela all at the same time. Actually, don't think about it: it's too depressing.
  • Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too: yes.
  • Imprison Jeff Goldstein for crimes against humanity for his neverending stupidity: well, there are probably people who could go to the head of the line before Goldstein.
  • Paper ballots: no more Diebold disappearing magical ballots. Optiscan works.
  • Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter: you can't expect single mothers to work and get off welfare without child care. You can't expect lots of two-income earner families to do this considering how expensive child care is.
  • Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes: yes. It increases the progressivity of our tax system. There is no need for a wage cap.
Other, "duh" things, really don't need a comment:
  • Torture is bad
  • Imprisoning citizens without charges is bad
  • Playing Calvinball with the Geneva Conventions and treaties generally is bad
  • Imprisoning anyone indefinitely without charges is bad
  • Stating that the president can break any law he wants any time "just because" is bad
  • Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens: get government out of the marriage business altogether. Churches marry. Governments have civil unions.
One more thing I'd like to add is treating all income the same. Please, explain to me how it is fair that a middle-class person, like a cop, teacher, manager, or any other worker can pay a marginal rate of 25% or 28% by showing up to work every day, while a millionaire can make a hundred thousand bucks on a sale of appreciated stock and pay 15% in some circumstances. Anybody? Bueller? How about treating income as income?

I seem to have attracted a troll to this blog. Notice, troll, that there is nothing radical on this list. Nothing about forced veganism, throwing paint on people wearing fur, or "butt pirating" (leave me out of your fantasies, thank you very much). Just relatively simple and common-sense things that the Republicans have completely ignored in their slavishness to corporate America and the Christian Fundamentalist wackos.


At 10:26 AM, May 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like your list! I'd like to add a couple of items, if you don't mind:

1) Strengthen and enforce regulations about competitive bidding for Federal contracts;
2) Don't pay contractor bills if the contractor can't provide legitemate receipts and/or proof of work (this should fall under the "DUH!" category);
3) Allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug pricing;
4) Support "Net Neutrality" (i.e., don't allow the sell-out of the internet to telecoms that want to pick and choose who gets to use high-speed and higher bandwidth).
5) Adhere to FISA requirements.
6) STOP F---ING with REAL scientific research - Just say "NO!" to Creationist/ID bushsh*t, and let the scientists do their damn job!
7) Promote serious campaign finance reform.
8) Get the foxes out of the henhouse - Big Oil should NOT be setting energy policy, Drug Companies and Healthcare groups should NOT be setting healthcare policy, and the telecoms should NOT be in control of every frickin' avenue of communication that exists in this country!

None of this seems too radical to me - just a lot of common sense.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

At 4:36 PM, May 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is nothing more than a tell-them-what-we-think-they-want-to-hear attempt by left wing bloggers to make themselves look less extreme. It's an honorable attempt, but it won't work.

At 4:48 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Douglas Hester said...

Sorry about your troll, I enjoy debating the ideas here.


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