Friday, December 5, 2014

New York Senator Chuck Schumer might be right...

...but he's usually wrong (My update on April 1, 2016 -- because he is endorsing Hillary Clinton, rather than Bernie Sanders.)


  1. I forgot to add...

    And that, focusing more on Obamacare rather than on wages for the working-poor and middle-class (and taxing the rich and corporations more), may have helped to contribute to the rise of the Tea Party.

  2. Robert's Stochastic Thoughts:

    "To appeal to the working and middle classes, Democrats should propose raising taxes on the rich and cutting taxes on the working and middle classes ... The Democrats have tried it before, and it has ever failed them yet ... It would also be good policy if enacted, but that's not so relevant, since that won't happen."

  3. The dems blew and opportunity, but it was really one person who made ACA the complicated system it is and that’s Joe Lieberman. Lieberman who was instrumental in defeating a much simplified Medicare buy-in option:

    “On part of it – the so-called Medicare buy-in – the opposition to it has been growing as the week has gone on,” Lieberman said. “Though I don’t know exactly what’s in it, from what I hear I certainly would have a hard time voting for it because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did."

    And he said he was particularly troubled by the overly enthusiastic reaction to the proposal by some liberals, including Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, who champions a fully government-run health care system.

    So good old Joe doesn’t know what’s in it but won’t vote for it because liberals like it. That's what led to ACA’s complicated structure. Thank Joe and the GOP for their complete obstruction to something that would have benefited millions with less complication.

    But there are some positives: Health care spending in the U.S. grew last year at the lowest rate ever recorded, due in part to the Affordable Care Act (USA Today)

  4. Joe was emblematic of the entire democratic party, especially after Clinton got elected. They made a conscious decision to abandon traditional Democratic principles and become the 2nd party of wall street after being beaten 3 times in a row by Reagan and Bush I. BTW it makes me sick just to have to write Bush I, II was the biggest disaster ever.

    I believe they did blow their mandate after the 2008 election which was a clear repudiation of republican policies. They even had a veto proof majority very early in Obama's first term. Although it was only for a short time and may not have been a solid voting block supporting all of the presidents policies. Seeing as guys like Joe (I live in CT BTW) were in the party.

    The country was ready for a second new deal, I think Obama was mislead or naive, probably both when he first took office and should have pushed for more economic reform.

    I don't know what saves the party now except that the new republican controlled congress may prove very unpopular and demographics may help long term.

    But without a unified populist economic agenda they will continue to be pulled rightward by the GOP and trade places every couple of election cycles with essentially no progress.

  5. But then again, maybe Chuck Schumer is also very wrong.

    Robert Reich: "Carried interest allows hedge-fund and private-equity managers, as well as many venture capitalists and partners in real estate investment trusts, to treat their take of the profits as capital gains — taxed at maximum rate of 23.8 percent instead of the 39.6 percent maximum applied to ordinary income. It’s a pure scam. They get the tax break even though they invest other peoples’ money rather than risk their own ... In 2010 House Democrats finally squeaked through a tax plan that did close the carried-interest loophole, but the Democratically-controlled Senate wouldn’t go along. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of those who argued against closing it, said the U.S. “shouldn’t do anything” to “make it easier for capital and ideas to flow to London or anywhere else.” As if Wall Street needed an $11 billion annual bribe to stay put.


    From the Washington Post: The Schumer prescription for 2016 (by E.J. Dionne Jr. on December 17, 2014) -- Here’s the heart of Schumernomics: “As technology continues to advance, automation supplants employment across a number of different industries; low-skilled and even high-skilled wage and salary workers lose their jobs to machines. Globalization, enabled by technology, allows businesses and employers to relocate to low-wage markets halfway around the globe — putting downward pressure on wages. While overall, technology has many good effects — making markets more efficient — it cannot be denied it puts a downward pressure on wages." The other part of Schumer’s argument is that only government can expand the bargaining power of the middle class and help it to “adapt to these new forces.”

    From the Center for Economic Research: Schumer Should Focus on Keeping Government from Redistributing Income Upward (by Dean Baker on December 18, 2014) -- The basic story is that technology and trade have displaced large numbers of middle class workers, and thereby redistributed income upward, but government can redress this problem. Every part of this story is wrong ... It is government that increased inequality ... So Dionne and Schumer are right. We need government [but] we need government to stop pursuing policies to give the rich all the money. Unfortunately, Schumer is not talking seriously about the real problem. He is putting on a silly show."

    (My note) So it's not just "government" per se, but who runs the government and who decides what the government does for us. One government can allow for the offshoring of jobs and paying slave wages — while a different government can prevent this from happening. It's only my humble opinion that "Third Way" Democrats and "moderate" Republicans (who are beholden to corporate interests) are equally guilty of destroying our middle-class.

  7. (The Next New Deal) Chuck Schumer and the Democrats' Identity Crisis: Economic Policy vs. Rhetoric

    "A populist message won't be enough to save the Democratic Party if its leaders continue to serve Wall Street."