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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Trickle Down Jason

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 12/10/17 16:24

by Alan Anderson

Jason Lewis, our representative from CD 2, has received a lot of praise and criticism these last weeks. Looks like a rocky road ahead. Some of the concern has been the way he has been voting......not quite the independent voice he ran on. And now with the Trump administration under fire with the Russia investigation, looks like his vote to shield Mr. Trump from exposing his taxes will be a controversial stand. Seems like he doesn't really want the truth to come out. Many suspect Trump is trying to hide something horrible by refusing to share his tax return (which every other presidential candidate has done for the past 50 years). But Mr. Lewis seems afraid of the truth...with good reason and refuses to share it with the American public.

Now Mr. Lewis is supporting the new Republican effort at tax reform. It includes huge tax breaks for wealthy individuals (like eliminating the estate tax....which would save Mr. Trump billions and provide the wealthiest 1% with a giant benefit) and a potential gift to corporations with more great deductions and lower tax rates.

We've seen this Republican ploy before. President Reagan did it in the 1980s and President Bush did it in the early 2000s. It's the old trickle-down economics....give big breaks to the top earners and they will spend their savings to create more jobs and stimulate the economy. All the funds lost through the tax breaks will be made up by the expanding, growing economy. Except, in those two instances of big cuts to the wealthy, the economy grew at a sluggish rate, there wasn't great job growth, and there were great additions to the national debt. Hardly a strong recommendation, but Mr. Lewis and his colleagues want it again.

So, here we go again. Give huge benefits to the wealthy and screw the middle and poor classes. Wasn't fair then and isn't fair now. And our income gap keeps growing, with the top 5% getting the bulk of the benefits from our recent economic improvement. So, thanks Mr. Lewis. Hope your votes trickles down, as well, next time.
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The Resistance Needs An End Game

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 11/02/17 02:39

by Dave Mindeman

There are a lot of different resistance groups - many, many of them. A lot of the people involved have found themselves newly active - ready to make a difference...to fight the good fight.

But it is one thing to turn your outrage into action. It's another to really and truly change government and policy.

I'd like all of you in the resistance to please take note. Nothing I say here is meant to discourage you; far from it. And nothing I say here is intending to tell you what you should do or how to do it.

But I would like you to assess and think about your end goal.

People I have met who are active in this new resistance do not like either party. They are sick of politics and how it works. They want to really change things and make things better.

Those are noble goals. But the basic question is how? How do we make things better.

Holding forums...talking policy....meeting together for discussion. Those are all good things, but as you move into the next year, where does this lead?

The truth is - it brings you back to the Democratic Party. We all know how the Republican Party does things. They have control and it is pretty chaotic. And let's get realistic - the Republican Party is not a governing party.

There really ends up being only two choices - and, to me, we are left with the Democrats because the Republican Party has morphed into something untenable. For some of you, that choice seems just as bad. You have bad feelings about the things they do. And they have just as many bad actors and what appears to be unfair rules.

But if you come full circle, we are talking about who wins in November. Who will get to decide legislative agendas - policy - and governance. And though you may not like the Democratic method of campaigning or how the ads are made or the rhetoric they use - Democrats have a proven record of making government work....and for everybody, not just the 1%.

Yes, they take in the big donations. They have to. It is how the campaign finance system works. It is how you compete in campaigns. We have at least a better chance of changing that with Democrats winning than we do with Republicans bought and paid for by big money.

So, what I am trying to say is that with all the things you want to fix in our political structure, the end game has to be Democrats winning election contests. You have to embrace a Party you may not like or trust, but which represents the only means of escaping the ridiculous nature of our current power structure.

We have caucuses coming up in early February. If you want to effect change and restructure the Democratic Party - your only path is to attend the caucus and begin the process of moving through the chain of events that lead to nominations and campaigns.

My wife, Roxanne, has been dedicated to educating people about this process. And it is not to indoctrinate people into the Democratic Party, but rather teach you how to navigate it for change.

She holds classes in Apple Valley (DCUE Office, 6950 146th St. W #112,
Apple Valley, MN 55124) on the 3rd Saturday of every month through the caucuses and beyond. That would be something important to attend and learn about, because that is the only way to truly fix any of this.

The Democratic Party has serious flaws - but quite frankly both parties do and that will never change. Because of our two party system, Republicans and Democrats pull in coalitions of people - neither is a monolithic entity. And because of that, there are going to be things that one group or another does not like. You have to work around the things you do not agree with 100% to promote the things that are important to you. At the very least, the Democratic Party is closer to the needs of the resistance than the Republicans....and third parties are not feasible in this climate.

The real differences in the Parties is that Democrats truly do represent a Big Tent philosophy - especially with minority and low income groups. Yes, they disappoint us in that regard. Mostly because they have not been in power much lately and when they are, they are very timid in their actions. But that makes it all the more important that the resistance activity bolster the energy of the party and steer it in the right direction. That has to be done within the Party - having a say - making your points.

Republicans have shown quite clearly how tribal they are. Despite all the talk about "Never Trump", they still, in the end voted for him in November. They always vote R - regardless of where that R ends up.

So, please, examine the direction you want all of this to go. Activity is good and if you wish to continue only that - great, I hope it works for you.

But if you want to make an electoral difference...if you want your policy ideas to have a chance at being implemented - then you have to choose what you want November 2018 to look like.

If 2018 is not a strong Democratic year - well, we are looking at more of what we have now.

If you are like me - then you cannot take another day of this.
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Angie Craig Has The Path To Winning In 2018 For CD2

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/20/17 13:45

by Dave Mindeman

I spent some time with Angie Craig on Tuesday morning. We had a great discussion - we talked policy for over an hour and a half.

With all the concerns over health care, I can't imagine that Angie Craig would not be the best person imaginable to evaluate that policy as the next Congress tackles how to fix it.

Although I, personally, favor a single payer plan - we both had to agree that it isn't quite as simple as one would hope. If single payer gets sidetracked or cannot be made to work (it failed badly in Vermont), then Angie has a clear path to fix the ACA.

The three musts are:

1 - Public Option
2- Restore re-insurance that Republicans eliminated
3- Lowering Medicare eligibility or allow buy in

Whatever the next health care phase (if we get by this Republican obsession with ruining it), we need people in Congress who really understand how it works. Craig brings her experience in the health care industry with Medtronic; she brings her personal experience of growing up without or virtually without health care coverage; and she brings the experience of running a race where Republican distortions on health care were front and center.

2016 was a very strange year. Angie Craig should be in Congress right now. Tim Walz talked to her after the election and he was shocked as well. He felt he was in a comfortable position and actually helped Rick Nolan in the 8th because they thought that would be close and he thought Angie was going to win. In the end, Rick Nolan won comfortably, Angie lost, and Tim Walz barely squeaked out a win. Everything was turned upside down.

But voters who voted for the radical change may be having second thoughts. I can't believe that this is the result they intended.

The DCCC has done some preliminary polling. Generic Democratic congressional support is up 6 points since the election.

This race can be won - but 2016 will always be the caveat against over confidence. We need to back Angie Craig for another try. We need her experience, here expertise, and her passion to find what works for us.

I am convinced that this is the path to 2018. Let's get it done.
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