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Citizens United has unleashed a torrent of money into our political system, most of it on the Republican side.  The most effective weapon these Republican financiers have is to confuse the voter.  If they can muddle it up they win.

While I do not believe that candidates should be signing pledges, without a pledge I do not know how they fight the confusion campaign with the limited resources that they will have.  So I have laid forth a ten point Pledge to the Middle Class that I wish all Democrats would sign.

Read it and offer suggestions.  While there are other things I would like, what I've included are very popular and would be helpful during in the 2012 election.  It would be nice in the new era of spending and confusion to point to something and say this is what we will do if you elect a Democratic house, senate and president.

I, _______, pledge to the middle class and those wishing to achieve it, the following steps to strengthen and empower ordinary, hardworking people:

1.) Raise the minimum wage to $9.80 per hour and set it to rise automatically with inflation.
2.) Permanently extend all Bush Tax Cuts for people making less than $250,000 per year.
3.) Repeal Bush Tax Cuts for those making over $250,000 per year to ensure the wealthy are doing their fair share.
4.) Apply a 5.4% surtax on income earned over $500,000 and dedicate these funds in their entirety to infrastructure spending.
5.) Close or end all tax breaks, benefits and incentives for moving jobs overseas.
6.) Prevent any benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
7.) Prevent any cuts to Pell Grants and permanently extend low interest rates for student loans.
8.) Move Election Day to the first Saturday after the first Friday in November and make it a National Holiday.
9.) Pass electoral reform requiring states to allow same day registration and a minimum of 15 days of early voting.
10.) Give every United States taxpayer a $50 tax refund in election years to be used exclusively as a donation to a political candidate or party, giving ordinary people a voice in our government.

Signed:___________   Date:_________

Valid Only For 113th Congressional Term


Do you think this or a similar pledge should be put before candidates during this election cycle?

59%13 votes
40%9 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Smart idea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Putting aside the policy particulars, something like that could be a great idea.  Maybe a party-level pledge rather than a candidate-level one: lotta risk in having individuals sign; it could come back to haunt them, and we don't want to voluntarily put albatrosses around our necks.

  •  Interesting idea, but Democrats aren't crazy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    enough to pledge. Hell, they can't even follow the party's platform and haven't for decades.

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 05:37:03 AM PDT

  •  While the items you list are important, there are (0+ / 0-)

    SO many more things I can think of that need to be addressed not only to save the middle classes but to nurse them back to anything approaching a healthy condition that, should we list them all, such a pledge would be 200 pages long.  :-)

    Also, I'm not a member of any party but the items I would list in the pledge would go further than any democrat I know about would like - single payer universal health care, federally funded college educations for all that qualify, federally supported and guaranteed pensions, and on and on and on.  From the perspective of any republican, my list would amount to socialist revolution and I would proudly tell them that, indeed, that is what the list constitutes.

    The screams about such a pledge from our current crop of deficit boogey man corporate puppet democrats would be as loud as the screams of a fat, spoiled child who has been denied candy before dinner.

    One in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder, or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum. ~ Chris Hedges

    by Saint Jimmy on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 05:44:37 AM PDT

    •  That's part of the problem: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      how to get a list of policies that enough of the party could sign on to such that it could be fairly said to stand in for the party as a whole.  And, how to do so w/o just listing vague cliches about fighting for the middle class.

      •  What is needed is a general new vision of (0+ / 0-)

        America.  We could list specifics until we are blue in the face but there must be a general VISION for a new America with radically altered priorities.

        One in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder, or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum. ~ Chris Hedges

        by Saint Jimmy on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:32:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Closer: The Middle Class Needs a Party. nt (6+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 05:47:50 AM PDT

    •  The Middle Class (0+ / 0-)

      needs to stop being separated from the rest of the Working Class in discussions.

      The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

      by chipmo on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:57:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  focus on the basic issue (0+ / 0-)

    Money out of politics, with proposed legislation that also uses the exceptions clause to prevent a Court veto. Promise to end the era of corporate corruption of the people's democracy, hence the name Democratic Party.

    •  what is this? (4+ / 0-)
      with proposed legislation that also uses the exceptions clause to prevent a Court veto

      I know of nothing in the Constitution that allows Congress to pass a law that is unreviewable by the Supreme Court.  No matter what language Congress includes in the law.  

      •  My sense is that the consensus is that the power (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, Musial

        of judicial review is part of SCOTUS's original jurisdiction, and can't be removed by Congress, but there seems to be a dogged minority that disagrees and thinks that Congress could, in fact, eliminate judicial review through a jurisdiction-stripping statute.  (see, eg, this pdf article)

      •  the exceptions clause, (0+ / 0-)

        otherwise you make a political issue out of the Court's political doctrines as FDR did with the four horsemen. On the ultimate question of whether we are a constitutional democracy, Congress could employ the Constitutional remedy at Art. 3, sec.2. Judicial supremacists should not be opposed to use of specified congressional powers.

        •  Ah, you are quoting musings in that law review (0+ / 0-)


          Let me give you a hint (as a lawyer, and as someone who has worked on a law review):  Musings in a law review are simply someone putting together thoughts to make some kind of theoretical argument. Often, they have no basis in reality whatsoever.  

          If you think that Congress is now, after 209 years, going to somehow pass legislation purporting to "overturn" Marbury v. Madison (the decision that is one of the foundations of the concept of separation of powers) and deprive the Supreme Court of judicial review, I think you have no basis in reality, either.  I seriously doubt there's anyone in Congress who would even think about introducing such legislation.  Not even FDR proposed legislation that would purportedly deprive the SCOTUS of the power of judicial review.  Not to mention that any such legislation would, itself, go the SCOTUS and the SCOTUS, relying on Marbury, would declare it unconstitutional.

          You have to stop  reading law review articles and assuming that they necessarily translate into reality.  

          •  follow Marbury, (0+ / 0-)

            Corruption of elections as the Montana case shows is a political question and a congressional power at art 1, sec 4. How you end an era of constitutional crisis such as Jim Crow is with a movement that determines legislation. One part of the legislation would address enforcement by Congress of its political question boundary. This might not be required given the outcome of voter mobilization and solutions in unfolding events.

            •  No, the way you overturn a SCOTUS decision that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              is based on the First Amendment is to amend the Constitution (as happened with the 16th Amendment).  Or you convince a later SCOTUS that its earlier decision was constitutionally incorrect (as happened with Brown v. Board of Education).  Those are the two ways.  

              It's beyond ridiculous at this point, 200 years after Marbury v. Madison, to think that Congress is simply going to (1) pass legislation that mirrors what a SCOTUS has already said is unconstitutional; (2) include in that legislation a statement that the SCOTUS can't review that legislation; and (3) think that the SCOTUS won't declare that language itself to be unconstitutional under Marbury v. Madison.  

              In order for your approach to succeed, the SCOTUS would have to overturn its decision in Marbury v. Madison and deprive itself of the power of judicial review.  Because of Marbury, Congress can't just declare there is no review over a piece of legislation and have it end there.  Because Marbury has been the law for 200 years, that very statement would have its constitutionality tested at the SCOTUS.  

              •  congress went after the flag (0+ / 0-)

                burning cases. Overturning CU is not constitutionally impermissible, neither is the use of the exceptions clause, which  has and can be applied. It's a political question whether it ought to be. Otherwise you argue that the Court is exempted from Madisonian checks and balances. There are.many ways to go as with an amendment but eventually it comes down to legislation and Congress has the powers to protect itself against Court veto. Marbury does not strip congressional powers. This big stick may never be used, but the legislation doesn't have to wait 100 years as with application of the14th Amendment.

  •  Here's a pledge we should ALL sign . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . that

    government of ALL the people, by ALL the people, for ALL the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    It seems there are some who want government of the few, by the few, for the few, and they have plenty of money to make it happen.

    Of course, we'll all have to participate, so that we deserve to get the best kind of democracy. That's one of the costs of democracy, and it's worth it.

    With apologies to Abraham Lincoln and anyone who thinks my addition is sacrilegious

    Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. George Bernard Shaw

    by rudyblues on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:14:39 AM PDT

  •  There already is one. It's called the (0+ / 0-)

    Democratic Party Platform, Reaffirmed at every national convention by all convention delegates. If that can't be structured to represent the party's pledges, what hope do ad hoc efforts like this have, particularly if one or another of the talking points conflict with the national platform?

    •  Maybe we could ask Norquist to explain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We need a pledge for the middle class not for the party hacks.  Otherwise all we get are candidates running on how much they want to put body armor on cops in Zumbrota.

      •  Then why have a platform? Work for its (0+ / 0-)

        abolition and "[Let] a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend..."

        •  Change with times. (0+ / 0-)

          1. The platform is too long and complicated. We need something about the length of this pledge, that can be communicated in sound bites. We can have a longer platform, too, but we need the short version to sell.

          2. The platform comes too late in the campaign.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 04:37:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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