What Lamb’s Pennsylvania Win Means…..And What It Doesn’t Mean

The DCCC doesn’t prove the wisdom of the Dems picking moderate-conservative candidates in conservative districts, quite the opposite. This post also includes a video from Gar Alperovitz on capitalism and excerpts from the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget

Donate Button with Credit CardsWe start with analysis of the Conor Lamb victory in Pennsylvania, follow that with excerpts from an absolutely extraordinary budget from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, precisely the kind of counterpoint to the GOP’s budget that I have been begging the Democratic Party to publish. It is very bold in many elements and a tad timid in others, but it beats the hell out of A Better Deal (remember that?). The post closes with a great video from Gar Alperovitz. If you haven’t read any of his work, I recommend it highly and this video is a kind of easy path into his thinking.

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The DCCC Is Trying to Justify Its Centrist Bias with This Win, But It Won’t Fly

Common Dreams (along with Intercept) has been a source for several posts I’ve done on Rep. Lujan and the DCCC. They do excellent work and in this piece, Common Dreams analyzing what Conor Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania means and what it doesn’t mean:   “Publicly, House Speaker Paul Ryan sought to discount the result by arguing Lamb masqueraded as a conservative. In a somewhat similar vein, some pundits and Democratic party officials suggested Lamb’s victory validates the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s strategy of finding candidates that “fit their districts,” which is often code for recruiting more conservative or corporate Democrats.”

Certainly Lamb is not a leftist. Lamb said he wouldn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi to lead the party, but not for the reasons we wouldn’t vote for her either, but to distance him from Pelosi as she is so unpopular in suburban Pennsylvania. He is also personally pro-gun and opposed to abortion. But as noted in Common Dreams:  “Jon Favreau, Obama’s former speech writer, demolished it [the notion that he is conservative] in one tweet, noting that Lamb campaigned for universal health care, against Trump’s tax cut, for expanded background checks on gun sales, for stronger unions, against cuts to Social Security, for a woman’s right to choose and for medical marijuana.”

Lamb’s victory demonstrates that Democratic candidates who champion a bold kitchen table agenda can win even in the reddest of districts. Click here to read the full Common Dreams Report.

Common Dreams also references the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) of which somehow I was not aware. Their The CPC website has many issue summaries and policy statements which I will study over the next few days. Common Dreams view:  “It’s infrastructure bill will largely define the Democratic response to Trump’s sham proposals. Its trade principles offer Democrats an alternative to the failed strategy of the past. Its annual People’s Budget has been gaining traction among mainstream Democrats. At the summit, Keith Ellison announced he would spearhead the push for Medicare for All.” Click here to take a look at the CPC site.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is the largest and most diverse group in the House. Its members tend to come from strong Democratic districts. The CPC has also published a People’s Budget, the kind of document I’ve been begging the Democratic Party to publish. The People’s Budget doesn’t get much press, but I found it on the CPC website and provide he Executive Summary below and verbatim.

Americans are facing a pivotal moment: Republicans are preparing massive cuts to our public schools, affordable health care, clean air and water, and family-sustaining jobs. A serious alternative that protects our communities and our planet has never been more urgent.

The People’s Budget: A Roadmap for the Resistance provides a practical, progressive vision for our country by investing in 21st century infrastructure and jobs, tackling inequality, making corporations pay their fair share, and strengthening essential public programs. The People’s Budget will put millions of Americans back to work and will guarantee a strong economy for generations to come.

Public investment in 21st century infrastructure built with American parts and labor creates jobs that cannot be outsourced, while improving the health of our children and the environment. The People’s Budget invests $2 trillion in order to transform our fossil-fuel energy system, overburdened mass transit, deteriorating schools, lead- contaminated water systems, and crumbling roads and bridges. Through local hiring and livable wages, our infrastructure plan creates millions of dignified jobs for women and men of all backgrounds in both urban and rural America.

In order to make these bold, necessary investments in working families, we must rewrite the rules of a rigged economy that favors billionaires and big corporations. Our budget closes tax loopholes that corporations use to ship jobs overseas, and stops CEOs from receiving millions in tax-free bonuses. Our budget tackles inequality through fair tax rates for all Americans, leveling the playing field for working people.

Quality health care, child care, schools and retirement for everyone: these are the pillars of a democratic society. And yet in the world’s richest country, these essentials are painfully out of reach for tens of millions of our fellow Americans. The People’s Budget funds universal child care, increases access to health care, strengthens public schools and universities, provides for humane immigration reform, and expands Social Security. The People’s Budget also lowers the price of prescription drugs so that families don’t have to choose between paying for medicines or their groceries. The People’s Budget ensures that Veterans Affairs will not be privatized and that veterans receive the quality care and robust benefits they were promised for their service to the country.

The Republican agenda drastically cuts federal protection for working families, the environment and our health care, while giving massive tax cuts to big corporations and bloating the military budget beyond belief. The People’s Budget reinvests in American families, prioritizing funding for education, health care, jobs and clean air and water. The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s People’s Budget: A Roadmap for the Resistance puts political and economic power back in the hands of the people.

Invest In America

  • Invests $2 trillion to transition to a 21st Century Infrastructure to transform our energy, water and transportation systems  Closes loopholes so our government agencies use materials made in America
  • Expands our commitment to efficient renewable energy and green jobs
  • Invests $100 billion to increase access to reliable, high-speed internet

Affordable Health Care

  • Maintains critical coverage gains under Affordable Care Act
  • Lowers costs of prescription drugs
  • Allows states to transition to single-payer health care systems
  • Expands access to mental health care and treatments for opioid and heroin addiction
  • Repeals excise tax on high-priced health care plans for workers and replaces with public option

Fair Tax System for Working Families

  • Ends corporate tax break for offshoring American jobs and profits
  • Stops companies from renouncing their American citizenship to dodge U.S. taxes
  • Closes wasteful corporate tax loopholes that cost billions of dollars
  • Taxes Wall Street to fund Main Street
  • Ensures profits from investments are finally taxed at the same rate as income taxes
  • Raises revenue from the wealthiest few who can afford to pay more 
  • Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Care Credit

Justice and Fair Elections

  • Ensures the justice system is fair and effective for all Americans by increasing funding for voter protection and legal assistance programs
  • Rebuilds trust in the justice system by developing community oriented policing reforms
  • Protects American election systems from any interference and increases protections for voting rights by strengthening key election reforms
  • Funds public financing of campaigns to curb special interest influence in politics
  • Supports policies and initiatives to significantly reduce gun violence

Educational Opportunities for Every Student

  • Delivers on the promise of lifting working families up by investing $1 trillion in effective early learning opportunities and for a child care for all program
  • Makes debt free college a reality for all students
  • Greater investments in K-12 education
  • Increases computer science opportunities for all students
  • Allows refinancing of student loans
  • Fully funds IDEA and provides Pre-K for all 

Pathways Out of Poverty and Empowering the Middle Class

  • Supports a minimum wage increase and collective bargaining rights
  • Provides a plan to reduce poverty by half in ten years
  • Increases discretionary funding to invest in women, communities of color and their families
  • Provides an increase in Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers
  • Strengthens the Small Business Administration’s ability to provide support to

America’s small business owners

  • Addresses the pay equity gap

Comprehensive and Just Immigration Reform

  • Implements comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship
  • Prohibits funding for construction of any border wall and any immigration policies which seek to ban people from entering the U.S. because of their religion
  • Supports continued funding to sanctuary cities

Access to Housing

  • Fully funds programs to make housing affordable and accessible for all Americans
  • Invests $12.8 billion to end family homelessness

Protecting our Environment

  • Closes tax loopholes and ends subsidies provided to oil, gas and coal companies
  • Identifies a price on corporate carbon pollution
  • Invests in clean, renewable, and efficient energy and green manufacturing
  • Protecting Our Veterans

Eliminates veterans’ homelessness

  • Increases access to mental health care for all veteran and service members
  • Invests in job training opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans

Sustainable Defense: Promoting Peace And Security

  • Modernizes our defense system to create sustainable baseline defense spending
  • Ends emergency funding for Overseas Contingency Operations
  • Increases funding for diplomacy and strategic humanitarian aid
  • Adds robust funding for refugee resettlement programs

CPC Full People’s Budget Document FY18 (10/06/1702:33 PMET ) Economic Policy Institute People’s Budget Analysis FY18 (05/02/1710:44 AMET ) People’s Budget FY18 Organization Endorsements (05/02/1710:43 AMET ) CPC People’s Budget Executive Summary FY18 (05/02/1709:32 AMET ) El Resumen del Presupuesto del Pueblo (05/02/1709:31 AMET )

No the Congressional Progressive Caucus doesn’t end capitalism, but it is a step away from typical timid Democratic Party platforms. I will continue to report on what I find. But if you want something a few more leaps to the left, check out Gar Alperovitz below.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


Categories: Economic Justice, Community & Economic Development, Election, Political Reform & National Politics, Uncategorized

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1 reply

  1. Thank you for sharing the Gar Alperovitz video! Wow. He answered questions that have been on my mind and he opened up new ways to connect the dots regarding capitalism, community, and change. Some of my ‘take-aways’….resistance is not progressive and solutions can have broad appeal if they make concrete sense to people. I also like that he is from Wisconsin, a fellow ‘cheese-head.’ 🙂

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