While many Democratic and Progressive activists are enamored with the policy proposals advanced by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the ideas offered by other Presidential candidates also merit consideration.
Among these plans is the Real Deal legislative program released today (January 2, 2020) by Colorado Senator and Presidential Candidate Michael Bennet.
According to the Bennet campaign website and a press statement released by the Bennet Presidential Campaign:
“The Real Deal is an agenda that Democrats up and down the ballot—in blue, purple, and red states—can run on to defeat Donald Trump, take back the Senate, expand control in the House, and win statehouses across the country. It will not only galvanize the Democratic base but also help win back some of the nine million people who voted twice for Barack Obama and then for Donald Trump.”
Highlights of the Real Deal, according to the press release and the campaign website include:
- Support Families Raising Kids and Workers Trying to Make Ends Meet by Expanding the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Pass Paid Family and Medical Leave.
- Raise the Minimum Wage.
- Lower Costs and Cover Everyone with High-Quality Health Care.
- Tackle the Housing Affordability Crisis.
- Make a Secure Retirement More Attainable and Affordable.
- Create a Universal Preschool for three and four-Year-Olds.
- Invest in the 70% of Americans Who Don’t Graduate from College
- Make College Affordable to Drive Upward Mobility
- Pay Teachers Like Professionals
- Tackle Climate Change and Drive the 21st Century Clean-Energy Economy
- Rebuild America’s Infrastructure
- Reform Our Broken Immigration System
- Address Inequality by Making Sure Our Tax Code Requires Everyone Pay Their Fair Share
- Reform Campaign Finance Laws and Our Broken Political System
This proposal would cost six trillion dollars (a fraction of the Warren and Sanders programs) and is paid for by “repealing much of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, increasing capital gains taxes in what Bennet calls a “smart wealth tax” and heightening IRS enforcement.”
Senator Bennet’s campaign has consistently striven to appeal to red, purple, and blue America. At an October event at Arizona State University, he stated that his program proposals could win in states like Colorado, Arizona, and other purple/red states compared to the more ambitious and costly Warren and Sanders ideas.
Voters in the Democratic caucuses and primaries would do well to research all the candidate’s ideas and ask three questions:
- Are they good ideas that are grounded in reality and move the country forward?
- Can they appeal to the people and what they are looking for from their leaders?
- Can they pass the Congress in 2021?
By framing the policy programs of all the candidates around those questions, Senator Bennet’s Real Deal should warrant more consideration in the days leading up to Iowa, New Hampshire, and beyond.