Nel's New Day

September 8, 2012

Democratic Convention 2012 – The Platform

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 7:23 PM

A week ago, I wrote about the GOP platform that declares Medicare unconstitutional, translates the Second Amendment as if people can carry weapons of mass destruction, promotes unlimited private funding for candidates, and removes all rights for LGBTs and women. The platform’s solution to any problems is impeachment. In essence, the GOP platform rewrites the U.S. Constitution without requiring any votes to approve it.

This week the Democratic platform listed what it would give the people, not take away from them as the GOP did. The negative pieces just list how Mitt Romney’s policies would destroy the United States; the positive ones give a vision for the future that build on accomplishments during President Obama’s first term. Here are some highlights:

Give tax breaks for insourced jobs: “We want to cut tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and for special interests, and instead offer tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in the United States of America.”

Extend tax cuts for the middle class: “We are committed to extending the middle class tax cuts for the 98 percent of American families who make less than $250,000 a year, and we will not raise taxes on them. We support allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest to expire and closing loopholes and deductions for the largest corporations and the highest-earning taxpayers. We are committed to reforming our tax code so that it is fairer and simpler, creating a tax code that lives up to the Buffett Rule so no millionaire pays a smaller share of his or her income in taxes than middle class families do.”

Maintain unrestricted abortion and contraception rights: “Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. Women have a right to control their reproductive choices. . . [and] Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.”

Confirm women’s rights: “Women’s rights are civil rights.  That’s why we reaffirm our support for the ERA, recommit to enforcing Title IX, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”

Address climate change issues: “Democrats will continue pursuing efforts to combat climate change at home as well, because reducing our emissions domestically–through regulation and market solutions–is necessary to continue being an international leader on this issue. We understand that global climate change may disproportionately affect the poor, and we are committed to environmental justice.”

Reiterates support for cap-and-trade: “Democrats will continue pursuing efforts to combat climate change at home as well, because reducing our emissions domestically–through regulation and market solutions–is necessary to continue being an international leader on this issue.”

Provide clean energy by 2035: “An all-of-the-above approach to developing America’s many energy resources, including wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, oil, clean coal, and natural gas. Democrats will fight to cut tax subsidies for Big Oil while promoting job growth in the clean energy sector.”

Stop Citizens United: “We believe we must take immediate action to curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests on our political institutions…by constitutional amendment if necessary.”

Pass the DREAM Act: “We need an immigration reform that creates a system for allocating visas that meets our economic needs, keeps families together, and enforces the law…  Only Congress can provide a permanent, comprehensive solution.”

Close Guantanamo: “We remain committed to working with all branches of government to close the prison altogether because it is inconsistent with our national security interests and our values.”

Repeal DOMA and legalize same-sex marriage: “We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference. We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples.”

Pass tougher gun controls: “We can work together to enact commonsense improvements like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.”

Build on Obamacare: “No law is perfect and Democrats stand willing to work with anyone to improve the law where necessary, but we are committed to moving forward. We refuse to go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your health policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men.”

Continue immigration reform: “Immigration overhaul would include bringing ‘undocumented immigrants out of the shadows,’ requiring illegal immigrants ‘to get right with the law, learn English and pay taxes’ to get on a path toward citizenship. It also calls for a visa system that meets the country’s “economic needs, keeps families together and enforces the law.”

Encourage education through immigration reform: “The [current] President also proposed to double key investments in science to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, encourage private sector innovation, and prepare at least 100,000 math and science teachers over the next decade. And to make this country a destination for global talent and ingenuity, we won’t deport deserving young people who are Americans in every way but on paper, and we will work to make it possible for foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to stay and help create jobs here at home.”

Preserve Medicare: “Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare. We will block Republican efforts to subject Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market through privatization.” The platform adds that the new health care law makes Medicare stronger by adding new benefits, fighting fraud and improving care for patients, saving the average Medicare beneficiary $4,200.

Further reduce nuclear weapons stockpile: The country’s problem will build on the U.S.-Russia treaty that the Senate passed in December 2010. Although Democrats want to maintain a strong military, the country faces tough budgetary decisions that must include defense spending as Democrats and Republicans agreed last summer in the deficit-cutting plan.

Restore voting rights: “We believe the right to vote and to have your vote counted is an essential American freedom, and we oppose laws that place unnecessary restrictions on those seeking to exercise that freedom. Democrats have a proud history of standing up for the right to vote. During the Obama administration, the Justice Department has initiated careful, thorough, and independent reviews of proposed voting changes, and it has prevented states from implementing voter identification laws that would be harmful to minority voters. Democrats know that voter identification laws can disproportionately burden young voters, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly, and we refuse to allow the use of political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens.”

Protect U.S. intellectual property: “As technology advances, we will continue to work with all stakeholders to protect the security of the nation and its knowledge assets, U.S. intellectual property, the functioning of fair and competitive markets, and the privacy, free expression, and due process rights of Americans.”

Preserve leadership in the Internet economy: “President Obama has committed to ensuring that 98 percent of the country has access to high-speed wireless broadband Internet access. We are finding innovative ways to free up wireless spectrum and are building a state-of-the-art nationwide, interoperable, public safety network. President Obama is strongly committed to protecting an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, creativity, consumer choice, and free speech, unfettered by censorship or undue violations of privacy. [T]he administration launched the Internet Privacy Bill of Rights and encouraged innovative solutions such as a Do Not Track option for consumers.”

Allow District of Columbia full representation: “Every citizen of the United States is entitled to equal citizenship rights, including the 638,000 residents of the nation’s capital who pay federal taxes without representation. The American citizens who live in Washington, D.C., like the citizens of the 50 states, should have full and equal congressional rights and the right to have the laws and budget of their local government respected without congressional interference.” [The GOP platform vowed to present the District of Columbia from these rights.]

Exempt the safety net from deficit reduction: The platform counts the $2 trillion in spending cuts already signed into law during debt ceiling negotiations as part of an effort to get $4 trillion in deficit reduction. The section on deficit reduction ends the Bush tax rates for top earners, closes corporate loopholes, and enacts the Buffet Rule—but does not include reductions in Medicare and Social Security.

Raise the minimum wage: “We will raise the minimum wage, and index it to inflation.”

And the Less than Wonderful?

Lowering the corporate tax rate: “We are also committed to reforming the corporate tax code to lower tax rates for companies in the United States.” The platform does recommend closing loopholes but probably after lowering the tax rates. Obama’s plan specifies only about one-quarter of the loopholes and exemptions that should end and is vague about the rest.

Omitting reform of the housing section: Although this piece of the platform claims that the president’s plan helped 5,000,000 families restructure their loans, these people haven’t actually been helped yet. Although the platform claims that the administration has “cracked down on fraudulent mortgage lenders and other abuses,” this isn’t true.

Missing language about civil liberties: There’s either nothing about indefinite detention, warrantless surveillance, racial profiling in fighting terrorism, and torture, or the language is wishy-washy. For example, torture must be “in line with the Constitution.”

No helping unions: In 2008, the Democratic platform pledged to “fight to pass the Employee Free Choice Act,“ also known as the card-check legislation that would make it easier to organize a union. This action, stymied by Congressional Republicans, has disappeared.

Potentially eviscerating Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: The platform indicates nothing about protecting these programs from cuts or other changes such as raising the retirement of eligibility age. The Medicare language (above) is a low bar.

Supporting the death penalty: “We believe that the death penalty must not be arbitrary. DNA testing should be used in all appropriate circumstances, defendants should have effective assistance of counsel, and the administration of justice should be fair and impartial.” That means that the death penalty still exists and allows for injustice, as it has in the past.

Omitting anything about child sex abuse: Despite the prevalence of child sex abuse, including that in the churches and the universities, nothing was said about this.

Finale: According to Steve Benen and verified by evangelical blogger Fred Clark, Mitt Romney told 533 lies during the 30 weeks between January 6, 2012, and August 17, 2012.  Ann Werner verified another 86 Romney lies since August 17, 2012, not counting those he may have told today. That’s a total of 616 lies. When he gets to 666 lies, will the Devil take notice?


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