Congressional Democratic leaders launched their “Better Deal” for 2018 this week. It’s designed to be a rolling set of legislative proposals and “Contract with America”-style plans to explain to the American people what they would do if they gain control of Congress in 2018.
In an Op-Ed for the New York Times, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote that the “Better Deal” stands for three simple things: “First, we’re going to increase people’s pay. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy.” He points to legislation already proposed by Democrats: “We’ve already proposed creating jobs with a $1 trillion infrastructure plan; increasing workers’ incomes by lifting the minimum wage to $15, and lowering household costs by providing paid family and sick leave.”
According to Schumer, on Monday the Democrats are announcing three new policies to advance our goals:
- Right now, there is nothing to stop vulture capitalists from egregiously raising the price of life-saving drugs without justification. We’re going to fight for rules to stop prescription drug price gouging and demand that drug companies justify price increases to the public. And we’re going to push for empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for older Americans.
- Right now our antitrust laws are designed to allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care. We are going to fight to allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers and to make it harder for companies to merge if it reduces competition.
- Right now millions of unemployed or underemployed people, particularly those without a college degree, could be brought back into the labor force or retrained to secure full-time, higher-paying work. We propose giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs. This will have particular resonance in smaller cities and rural areas, which have experienced an exodus of young people who aren’t trained for the jobs in those areas.
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House, wrote her own Op-Ed for the Washington Post. She says, “What motivates us is that the costs of living keep rising, but families feel their incomes and wages aren’t keeping up. Special interests are given special treatment, while hard-working Americans are ignored. Working people from the heartland to the cities are struggling in a rigged economy and a system stacked against them.”
The 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate has been criticized for having so many detailed plans for the economy that she had no effective message. The planned months-long rollout of legislative proposals supporting the “Better Deal” seems designed to avoid the same mistake while still delivering credible legislative proposals instead of empty promises.
Let’s sum up the Better Deal this way: More Money for Workers, Crackdown on Corporations, Effective Education.