What Do Democrats Have To Offer?

As most of you know, I have high regard for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  As an Independent and a democratic-socialist, he stands about as much chance of ever rising to the presidency as I do, but he’s a good man who is far more concerned with the people of the world than he is with corporate wealth.  He recently published an OpEd in The Hill that I think is well worth reading as election day creeps closer and closer …


Sen. Sanders: Why we need to expand the Democratic majority in Congress

Bernie Sanders

25 October 2022

As we enter the final weeks of the 2022 midterm elections, poll after poll shows that the most important issues facing the American people are the economy and inflation. This should come as no surprise.

As corporate profits soar, and as billionaires become even richer, working class Americans are falling further behind. This, sadly, is not a new reality. Tragically, despite huge increases in worker productivity, real inflation adjusted wages for American workers are lower today than they were nearly 50 years ago. During that period there has been a multi-trillion dollar redistribution of wealth that has gone from the middle class to the top 1 percent, and we now have more income and wealth inequality than at any time in American history. Unbelievably, CEOs of major corporations now make almost 400 times what their average workers make.

Given the economic pain facing working families, many voters are asking themselves which party will better fight for legislation that will improve life for ordinary Americans. As the longest serving Independent in the history of Congress, someone who caucuses with Senate Democrats, let me give you my best answer.

First, let me admit that the Democratic Party is far from perfect. Too many Democratic members of Congress have been unwilling to stand up to the big money interests that dominate Washington and fight for working families. That’s why we need at least 52 Democrats in the Senate.

But here is the simple reality: the Republicans in Congress are far worse when it comes to addressing the needs of the working class.

Let me give you some examples.

Social Security

Right now, despite the reality that 55 percent of seniors are trying to survive on less than $25,000 a year, leading Republicans in the House and Senate are proposing to cut Social Security benefits, raise the retirement age to 70 or reduce cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for seniors by adopting a less generous formula. Most Democrats believe that we must expand Social Security benefits so that everyone in America can retire with dignity. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees.

Prescription Drugs

The United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. I believe, and many Democrats believe, that we need to cut the price of prescription drugs in half by requiring Medicare to pay no more than the Veterans Administration does. Not a single Republican in Washington is prepared to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and substantially lower the cost of prescription drugs. Almost every Republican in Washington voted against capping the price of insulin at no more than $35 a month.

Expanding Medicare

Today, millions of seniors are unable to afford the outrageous cost of dental care, hearing aids or prescription eyeglasses. Most Democrats believe we need to expand Medicare to cover these essential health care services. Not a single Republican member of Congress agrees. Further there are many Republicans in the House and the Senate who support massive cuts to Medicare.

Universal Health Care

At a time when 85 million Americans are uninsured or under-insured, most Democrats believe that the U.S. should do what every other major country does and guarantee health care for all. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees. The last time Republicans controlled the Senate they came within one vote of throwing up to 32 million Americans off of their health insurance by repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Minimum Wage

Sixty percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and millions are working for starvation wages. Most Democrats believe that we must increase the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees. In fact, many Republicans don’t even believe in the concept of the minimum wage.

Child Poverty

We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of virtually every major country on earth. Most Democrats believe that we should cut the child poverty rate in America by more than 40 percent by extending the $300 a month per child tax credit to working class families that expired last December. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees.

Unions

Today, over 70 percent of the American people support unions. Most Democrats believe that if we are going to expand the middle class we must make it easier for workers to join unions and end the heavy-handed corporate tactics that make it hard for workers to unionize. Not a single Republican in Washington supports legislation to make it easier for workers to join unions.

Corporate Greed

At a time when inflation is a worldwide phenomenon (European Union – 10.1 percent, Germany – 10 percent, UK – 9.7 percent, Canada – 7 percent, etc.), corporations are using the war in Ukraine, the supply chain crisis, and the ongoing pandemic to jack up the price of gas, food, and just about everything the American people need. Many Democrats believe that we should enact a windfall profits tax on large, greedy corporations. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees.

A Fair Tax Policy

During the pandemic, while the billionaire class saw a $2 trillion increase in their wealth some of the largest corporations and wealthiest people in America did not pay a nickel in federal income taxes. Democrats voted to end that absurdity and begin the process of moving to a fairer tax system. Not one Republican voted to support that effort. In fact, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, Republicans have proposed trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the most profitable corporations and wealthiest people in America.

In conclusion, let me say that it is no secret that many Americans are discouraged by what’s going on in Washington and are unhappy with both major parties. I get that. The answer, however, is not to make a bad situation worse by supporting candidates who will cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and give huge tax breaks to the rich. If we have any chance to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent, we must expand the Democratic majority in Congress and continue to push them to represent the needs of the working class, not the billionaire class.

GOP MAGAs Push Towards Autocracy Will Harm US Economy and Its Citizens

Our dear friend Gronda gives us a spot-on and chilling analysis of where we are headed if the autocratic-minded Republican Party gains a majority in one or both chambers of Congress next year. The picture she paints is, for me at least, one that nightmares are made of. Thank you, Gronda! Great to have you back!!!

Gronda Morin

While Democratic Party candidates should be focusing on the 2 issues of saving our US democracy from devolving into a Fascist style autocracy and the restoration of women’s access to legal abortions, they should still be in the driver’s seat when faced with having to address economic issues.
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All discussion of issues by Dems when confronting GOP MAGAs’ favorite talking points of inflation, immigration, and crime should be tied back to US voters saving our US democracy from devolving into an autocracy. Without a strong democracy, it will be mission impossible to effectively and competently address any of these real problems.
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Our voters’ economic wellbeing, our ability to keep rights like that of same sex marriage, and the right of each person to have his/ her vote counted for their intended candidate will be made much worse if GOP MAGAs are able to become the majority party in…

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The President Is On FIRE!

I know that quite often people, even those within his own party, see President Joe Biden as too meek, too weak, not strong enough to stand up to the challenges before him, but I think if there was ever any doubt, his speech at the DNC rally yesterday should have put those doubts to bed!  Here are a few excerpts from that speech:

In 2020, you and 81 million Americans voted to save our democracy. That’s why Donald Trump isn’t just a former president. He is a defeated former president.

[Republicans] have made their choice to go backward, full of anger, violence, hate, and division. We’ve chosen a different path: Forward, the future, unity, hope, and optimism.

The whole notion of the burn-it-all-down politics and MAGA Republicans continues to be a drumbeat.

In this moment, those of you who love this country — Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans — we must be stronger, more determined, & more committed to saving America than the MAGA Republicans are to destroying America.

There are not many real Republicans anymore. By the way, your sitting governor [Larry Hogan], he’s a Republican you can deal with. I respect conservative Republicans. I don’t respect these MAGA Republicans.

MAGA Republicans don’t have a clue about the power of women. Let me tell you something—they are about to find out.

If we elect two more [Democratic] senators, we got a lot of unfinished business we’re going to get done. Folks, look, we’re going to codify Roe v Wade. We’ll ban assault weapons, we’ll protect Social Security & Medicare, and we’ll pass Universal Pre-K.

Do you want to put your Social Security in the hands of Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Greene?

We also had to take on the climate deniers. And guess what? We beat them. The survival of our planet is on the ballot.

In the first year-and-a-half of his presidency, Biden encountered more challenges than the former guy did in his entire four years, or than most any other president has faced in a single year.  And yet, he has managed to accomplish so much.  Just a few …

  • Signed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. This package increases investment in roads and bridges, renovates ports and public transportation, expands broadband access and replaces every lead pipe in the United States, among other initiatives. This bill brings jobs, jobs and more jobs, and it begins to rebuild our long-neglected infrastructure.
  • Signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package in March 2021 that included up to $1,400 per person to financially struggling Americans, extended unemployment support and provided billions of dollars to help schools, colleges and universities reopen.
  • Biden put in place a $20 billion vaccination program to fight COVID. While 1% of the U.S. population was vaccinated when Biden came into office, 74% of Americans – 249 million Americans – have received at least one vaccine dose.
  • Expanded access to affordable health care for five million Americans
  • Cut unemployment dropped to 3.9%; under Donald Trump, unemployment was 6.3%.
  • 6,000,000 jobs have been created already.
  • Jobless claims are the lowest since 1969.
  • And just two days ago, he announced student debt relief of up to $20,000 for most earning under $125,000 per year.

Yes, some will argue and nitpick, say these accomplishments cost money – which is true – but it is money well-spent, for these are the things that help people!  These improvements to infrastructure, jobs, education, safety and more have far more value than spending more money on military hardware, on the tools of war, or on padding the investment portfolios of the already-wealthy.  And frankly, if those already-wealthy were paying their fair share in income taxes, we could easily fund all of the above and more, while decreasing the national debt and deficit significantly!

In general, I much prefer President Biden’s normally calm demeanor to the bumbling, ranting, spiteful one of his predecessor, but this was one time I was glad to hear the fire in his voice, see the passion in his eyes.  In a perfect world, Democrats and Republicans would be working together to solve the problems facing this nation, but our world is far from perfect and as we all know, today there is no middle ground. To Republicans, the president can do no right and they would prefer the screeching, red-faced wanna-be dictator of yore.  I prefer President Biden.

The Choice

Blogger friend Annie posted this post earlier this month (where has September gone???) and it is an excellent and timely reminder for those who may still be sitting on the fence about the November election. Please take a few minutes to read. Thank you, Annie & Infidel!

annieasksyou...

[Note from Annie: I feel the post below, written by my fellow blogger Infidel753, is so thoughtful and persuasive that I’m featuring it here.Infidel’s highly informative, provocative, and often entertaining blog may be accessed at infidel753.blogspot.com.]

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This November, one of two things will happen. Either Biden will be elected president, or Trump will be re-elected. Many people fervently believe there should be some third option. There isn’t. It’s going to be one of those two.

This post is addressed to those who, for whatever reason, don’t like Biden. Maybe you consider him too centrist or too old or too old-fashioned or “Republican-lite” or whatever. Maybe you think the Tara Reade accusation has credibility (though there are good reasons to believe otherwise). Maybe you think the process by which millions of rank-and-file Democrats chose the nominee (from among a remarkably large and varied group of candidates) was tainted…

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Impotent Tyranny

I’ve been doing some thinking about Trump’s ‘executive orders’ last week, how he has overstepped his authority, shredded the Constitution yet again, and all for naught, for nothing he did is likely to help very many of the people who need help the most.  He is all pomp, no substance, as is proven by the fact that rather than sign these orders in his office as would have been appropriate, he took them to his country club to sign them in front of a group of rich, old, white men sipping wine who applauded enthusiastically, for they have no horse in this race.

Today I happened across a piece written by a freelance writer, Joel Mathis, writing for The Week, that I thought covered the matter well, so I am sharing it here today.


Donald Trump’s impotent tyranny

joel-mathisJoel Mathis

Everything is a show with Donald Trump.

He was never really a successful businessman — he just played one on TV. Now, as president, a similar pattern has emerged: Trump wants to perform the role of autocrat in front of TV cameras, but cannot or will not act effectively to protect the country from the economic and health challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s a Potemkin strongman.

The latest example of this phenomenon came over the weekend. With the House and Senate hamstrung on a pandemic relief bill, President Trump announced he would act unilaterally — signing executive orders to extend unemployment benefits, continue a moratorium on evictions, defer payroll taxes, and pause student loan payments.

“I’m taking executive action,” he said. “We’ve had it. And we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers.”

Trump’s executive orders combined two paradoxical elements: overreach and impotence.

Let’s take overreach first. As The Washington Post noted, Trump’s orders “attempt to wrest away some of Congress’s most fundamental, constitutionally mandated powers — tax and spending policy.” The Constitution plainly gives Congress, not the president, taxing and spending power. One Republican senator called Trump’s orders “unconstitutional slop.”

But this isn’t the first time Trump has tried to usurp the legislative branch’s financial prerogatives: After his failed government shutdown at the start of 2019, he signed an emergency decree diverting defense funds to build his border wall with Mexico. That is plainly unconstitutional, but the courts have so far let him proceed, drifting leisurely toward a final question on the matter. Their failure to act in due haste has given the president an opening for additional transgressions.

Perhaps the sidestepping of Congress and the Constitution would be understandable if Trump’s acts would actually help Americans trying to survive the pandemic and its economic fallout. After all, President Lincoln disregarded habeas corpus during the Civil War, and Americans mostly love him.

Then again, Lincoln won the Civil War. Trump is losing the pandemic. And his executive orders probably won’t help him win it. There is less here than meets the eye. Let’s take them one-by-one:

  • Most unemployed Americans probably will not see the extended benefits. The president announced they would get an extra $400 a week — but that money would be paid under a formula in which the federal government will provide $300 if individuals qualify for an extra $100 from their own states. But states are facing their own financial problems, and observers say implementing that formula is a logistical nightmare. “There are so many problems with people getting a benefit under this,” one expert told CNN.

  • There are several problems with the payroll tax deferral. First, it only applies to Americans who are still working — if you’re unemployed, the cut won’t put any extra money in your pocket. That makes it largely ineffective as a stimulus. What’s more, workers might enjoy having slightly larger paychecks now, but they will still owe that money at the end of the year, unless Congress chooses to forgive the deferred taxes. Despite his claim to act on his own, Trump needs legislators to make the payroll holiday stick — and he is willing to play chicken with workers’ income to do so.

  • And, oh yeah: Payroll taxes are what fund Social Security and Medicare. “These systems, which have helped generations retire and live, are already underfunded,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted Sunday. “Cutting the payroll tax without replacing the funding is the same as getting rid of them.” Trump is creating a bigger problem than he is solving.

  • The eviction moratorium is also problematic. As Politico reported, “the ban itself shields barely a quarter of the nation’s 44 million rental units — only residents of buildings that have federally guaranteed mortgages.” That leaves tens of millions of Americans vulnerable. The deferral of student loans is also flawed: It excludes nine million borrowers whose debt is held by private lenders.

All of this means that President Trump is undermining the constitutional order — again — but will probably have little to show for it.

This is in keeping with his now-tedious habit of prizing appearance over substance and ratings over effective action, his love of claiming “total authority” while often leaving states and cities to their own devices as they battle the coronavirus. Trump’s attempts at tyranny do nothing to solve the country’s problems, but they do compound the crisis of American democracy.

It’s the worst of both worlds.

Universal Basic Income-Let’s Have a Conversation-Part two

Last week, I shared Jeff’s post about UBI (Universal Basic Income). That post was Part I, and this week he has written Part II, which certainly provides us with some food for thought! Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

It was nice to see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admit in an interview yesterday that it might be time to start looking into a minimum basic salary for the American people. Her weighing in at this time tells us we might be ready for a real debate.

I began a discussion last week into what Universal Basic Income (UBI) is and what it could look like in the United States. Again, while there are many variations of such a plan, for the sake of our discussion here, I’d like to stick with the Andrew Yang version, which purports to give every American citizen a $1,000 per month stipend beginning at age 18, regardless of income.

Would such a plan work in America? It depends. UBI would represent a fundamental reshaping of how we deal with income inequality and the social welfare state. It would be a radical shift, and the…

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She Wants To Go ‘Behind Closed Doors’???

Joni-ErnstJoni Ernst is a U.S. Senator representing the state of Iowa.  Ordinarily, I would respect and admire this woman, for she served for 23 years in the U.S. military.  Ordinarily, given her military service, I would even be able to look past the fact that she is a republican.  But, when somebody starts trying to rob me and millions of other people, they lose my respect real fast.

Before I get into that, let’s take a look at Ms. Ernst and some of the things she stands either for or against:

  • Ernst referred to Obama as a dictator who should be “removed from office” or face “impeachment.” And yet … she wouldn’t support impeaching the most corrupt, autocratic president in history?

  • Ernst opposes the federal minimum wage and has said that states should have sole authority to set their own minimum wages, saying, “I think $7.25 is appropriate.” I wonder how she would like to try to live on $7.25 per hour, which is $15,080 per year?

  • Ernst has proposed eliminating the Internal Revenue Service as well as the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Seriously???

  • She has an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) … no wonder she has received $3.1 million from the NRA! Needless to say, she sends lots of ‘thoughts and prayers’ and opposes any and all gun legislation.

  • She endorses and supports U.S. Representative Steve King, the ultimate racist, who also happens to be from Iowa. That speaks for itself.

  • Like most republicans, she opposes same-sex marriage and abortion.

All of the above is enough to make her unsuitable to be in the U.S. Senate, but the latest takes the prize.  A week ago, during the congressional recess, Ms. Ernst held a town hall meeting with constituents in Estherville, Iowa.  During the course of that meeting, she said that members of Congress should negotiate changes to Social Security “behind closed doors” in order to dodge scrutiny from the media and advocacy groups.

“The minute you say we need to address Social Security, the media is hammering you, the opposing party is hammering you—there goes granny over a cliff.”

Say WHAT???

Please, Ms. Ernst, allow me to explain a couple of things to you.  First, every single thing you do in your job, every single word you utter, should be recorded and reported by the media.  Why?  Because you work for us, not the other way around.  We have a right, nay … we have a need … to know everything that any member of our federal government does.  Today, with the most corrupt and ignorant president in the history of the nation in office, that need is even more imperative, for you and others of your ilk have proven time and time again that you do not have the best interests of this nation and its people at heart.

Second, perhaps you don’t understand about Social Security, but WE fund it, just as we fund your salary.  Yes, WE!  Out of every paycheck we earn throughout our entire life, 7.65% is withheld … 6.2% of that is to fund our government-managed retirement account, and the other 1.45% is to fund Medicare.  Our employers match our contributions, dollar for dollar.  Neither Social Security nor Medicare are “entitlements” that the government giveth and thus can taketh away!  I see that you have a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbus State University, so how do you not understand such a simple concept???

I do not live in Iowa, so I cannot vote this woman out of the Senate, however she IS up for re-election next year, so if any of my readers hail from Iowa, or if you know of anybody who lives in Iowa, please encourage them to vote this harridan out of office, and Steve King, too!

Joni-Ernst-Trump

Trump & Ernst — on the campaign trail

Joni Ernst is not alone in wishing to cut Social Security and Medicare.  In August, Senator John Barrasso, a republican from Wyoming told the New York Times that his party has discussed cutting Medicare and Social Security with Trump and said the president has expressed openness to the idea.  The Times also reported that Trump said it was “a second-term project”.  And republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota, reportedly said it is …

“Going to take presidential leadership to cut Social Security and Medicare, and it’s going to take courage by the Congress to make some hard votes. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road.”

What ‘can’???  You take our money for the 50 years or so that we are in the work force, you invest it and, assuming you invested it wisely, you get a return on that investment, and now you don’t wish to give it back?  It’s a paltry enough sum that we get back as it is!

Folks, I could list at least 100 good reasons that this nation cannot afford to re-elect Donald Trump in 2020.  This is just one, but an important one – a crucial one.

Democratic Socialism – The Next Red Scare

Sometimes it simply is not necessary to “re-invent the wheel”.  I began working on a post for this blog several days ago, attempting to define the term “Democratic Socialism”, in hopes of putting to rest the many misconceptions that surround the ideology of Bernie Sanders.  It has been a struggle, as there are as many ways of defining it as there are Skittles in a pack, and my post de-railed when I realized that I had written over 3,500 words and still not quite made the point I was trying to make!  Then I discovered an article on http://www.egbertowillies.com, an “alternative news” website that provides as good an explanation as any I would write, so what follows is a “slightly condensed” version of that article. I have shortened it from the original and added a few of my own comments for clarification (italicized). If you prefer to read the entire article, I have included the link below.  Please note the site does contain ads and funding requests.

Source: Democratic Socialism – The Next Red Scare

Democratic-Socialism

The Red Scare over the success of Bernie Sanders’s campaign has begun. Sanders and his supporters are now expected to explain on a regular basis why it is that socialism isn’t going to destroy America and how any of his policy proposals will be paid for. Oddly, none of the Republicans running for president or their supporters are expected explain how they will pay for all of the wars they apparently want to fight or how all of their tax plans that include enormous tax cuts for the wealthy won’t add to our deficits and debt.

Because Bernie proudly wears the “democratic socialist” label to describe his political philosophy, people now equate his policy proposals with socialism as an economic system. The most basic definition of socialism, taught to secondary students across the country, is that socialism is an economic system where the means of production (and distribution) are publically owned by the state whereas in a free-market system the means of production are privately owned by individuals. Only one of Bernie’s proposals involves the government taking over a private, for-profit industry, and that is health care insurance. The doctors and hospitals would still be privately owned, but the payment method for medical services would be a single-payer Medicare for All program.

If you ask someone who knows anything about Europe, they will tell you either a) that Bernie’s “socialism” is nothing to be afraid of, or b) that Bernie really isn’t even a socialist, but more accurately a “social democrat” similar to those who belong to Britain’s Labour Party, France’s Socialist Party, or Germany’s Social Democratic Party. Most Americans do not understand that all of our Western, democratic, capitalist allies from Canada to Australia to Western and Central Europe, have a major party whose political agenda is identical to Bernie’s. Most Americans do not understand that all of our Western, democratic, capitalist allies already provide health care insurance to all of their citizens, highly subsidize higher education, Pre-K, and child care, and guarantee paid family leave and vacation time. These countries have what could rightly be called “socialist” or “social democratic” programs within a regulated, free-market, capitalist economy. Enacting Bernie’s ideas does not change the economic system of the United States, it simply shifts taxing and spending priorities towards the middle and working classes.

Will taxes have to be raised in order to pay for these programs? Absolutely. Will taxes have to be raised on middle class families, as well? Absolutely. Will taxes have to be significantly raised on the top 1%? Absolutely. But, let us be clear. If we choose to raise taxes to pay for new programs that doesn’t mean that we no longer have a free-market, capitalist economy or that we have lost our rights and freedoms.

Who is more free: the person whose [sic] loses their health care insurance when they lose their job, don’t have any health care insurance through their employer at all, who can’t realistically change jobs because of the changes to their health care insurance, or the person whose health care insurance stays the same regardless of their employment?

Who is more free: the person who has to choose between quitting their job in order to have children, paying for full-time daycare, settling for part-time work, or the person who can stay home with a newborn, receive a portion of their income, and then return to their job?

Who is more free: the person whose parents dictate where they can go to school and what they can study, the person who cannot attend college at all due to cost, the person who must take out enormous loans that will saddle them (with) student debt for years after they graduate, or the person who can attend trade school, community college, or a university tuition free?

For equal opportunity and the pursuit of happiness to be a reality, individuals have to come together and pay for the programs, services, and opportunities that enable people to pursue their goals. In the globalized, competitive economy of the 21st century, where middle class wages have not been able to keep pace with the rising costs of child care, health care, and higher education, it is now time for the United States to enter the third phase of constructing a social welfare state that enables individuals to develop their potential and live fulfilling lives (and thus have the capacity to add value to the nation).

The first phase was FDR’s New Deal and the creation of Social Security. The second phase was LBJ’s Great Society and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. The third phase began under Barack Obama and should continue under Bernie Sanders with the creation of paid family leave, publically-funded higher education, and expansions of Social Security and Medicare. The Republican Party argues that we should cut social spending, privatize existing social programs, and cut taxes in order to achieve economic growth. The problem with this approach is that no amount of economic growth will increase wages enough to enable working class and middle class families to pay for child care, Pre-K, and higher education on their own. (highlighting added by Filosofa)

The choice that Americans face is whether they think the free-market can be trusted to create the conditions within which individuals can provide everything for themselves, or whether it makes sense given new economic realities to begin publically-funding important programs in order to guarantee equal opportunity. The economic pie can obviously still grow, but it is unclear whether the gains from that growth are naturally distributed in such a way that working and middle class families can succeed.

Recent history, not simply the recovery from the Great Recession, but fiscal and social policy since the 1980s, indicates that without government programs that consciously direct economic gains towards child care, health care, and education the working and middle classes will struggle to afford those things that make live [sic] enjoyable while a small minority amasses more income and wealth than they could possibly ever need or spend in their lifetimes.

Bernie’s “democratic socialism” is about rebuilding the middle class that used to exist before tax cuts and spending cuts shifted more wealth towards the top and more costs onto working and middle class families. It’s pretty simply, those at the top have become wealthier than ever while everyone else struggles to pay for the things that they used to be able to afford while still saving money for retirement. The American Dream has been under attack for awhile [sic] now. Those who benefit from this redistribution of wealth towards the top will try to scare you away from the solutions to the problems facing us by arguing that “socialism” will destroy our economy. Tell them that the “socialism” of Franklin Roosevelt, or even Dwight Eisenhower for that matter, sounds just fine to you.