Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dueling 10-point Programs: Occupy-tastic vs. the Tea Party's "Cont...

Dueling 10-point Programs: Occupy-tastic vs. the Tea Party's "Contract"

via Hit & Run by Matt Welch on 10/31/11

Remember the Tea Party's Contract From America? This is the whole document, and here's a quick list of its 10 bullet points:
1) Protect the Constitution
2) Reject Cap & Trade
3) Demand a Balanced Budget
4) Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
5) Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
6) End Runaway Government Spending
7) Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
8) Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy
9) Stop the Pork
10) Stop the Tax Hikes
Fans of numerical symmetry can rejoice that the old-skool Frisco webzine Salon has produced its own list of 10 recommendations, in a "New Declaration of Independence" for the 99 percent generation. Here are those demands, edited down heavily by moi:
1. Debt relief

We demand immediate relief for the 99 Percent, particularly the poor and young students and college graduates. The Debt Jubilee is an ancient idea, and an attractive one in an era of growing economic feudalism, as the poor increasingly devote all their labor to repaying the rich.
2. A substantial jobs program

A real, direct jobs program, done in the WPA style, would rebuild our cities and towns in addition to putting thousands of people back to work.
3. A healthcare public option
If a true single-payer system would be too disruptive, we can put the building blocks in place by giving people a public option. Expanding the pool of Medicare recipients to include healthy younger people paying into it would instantly improve the program's fiscal outlook. Nationalizing the underfunded Medicaid system would instantly reduce the deplorable inequity of our healthcare system, too. If this new Medicare could negotiate drug prices — like the Veterans Administration, our wonderful, totally socialized healthcare program for one group of Americans — it would save even more. (Hey, why not combine the proposal with debt relief for young doctors?)
4. Reregulate Wall Street
Bring back Glass-Steagall. Pass the Volcker rule, too. Ban banks from trading derivatives. Limit their behavior and tax their earnings.
5. End the Global War on Terror and rein in the defense budget
[T]here's no way the world's sole remaining superpower can justify spending more than every other country on Earth combined on its military.
6. Repeal the Patriot Act
[L]et's dismantle the expansive domestic surveillance state, hurriedly established at a panicky period of national crisis and then enshrined as permanent without a word of serious debate.
7. Tackle climate change
At the very least — and this is literally the very least the government should be doing right now to combat climate change — a price should be put on carbon emissions, either in the form of a direct tax or as part of a cap-and-trade scheme.
8. Stop locking everyone up for everything and end the drug war
Full legalization of marijuana would lead to many fewer people being jailed for victimless crimes and immediately destroy a critical income stream for gangs and increasingly violent drug cartels. Legalizing marijuana would also give states and cities a desperately needed infusion of tax revenue. (Legalization or decriminalization of other drugs would be similarly beneficial, but a good deal more controversial.) Those who commit nonviolent drug offenses should never be sent to prisons for years. Those currently in prison for nonviolent drug offenses should be freed and rehabilitated into society.
9. Full equality for the queer community
Gay marriage is a no-brainer — rights granted to a majority are being denied to a minority based on arguments founded solely on bigotry — and should be recognized nationwide. Let's not forget, too, that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans are denied other rights, including, in most states, protection from workplace discrimination and housing discrimination.
10. Fix the tax system
[L]et's create a millionaire's tax bracket, and a financial transactions tax. Let's close the carried interest tax loophole and raise the estate tax and taxes on capital gains. Let's get the highest marginal tax rate back up to, at the least, Reagan-era levels.
Which list do you like better, o beloved Hit & Run commenters?

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