Morgen on May 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm
The national Vice Chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) – a man named Joseph M. Stalin…uh, I mean Schwartz – published an article last December where he laid out a set of very clear policy prescriptions for the incoming Obama Administration. Now I happen to agree with those conservatives who say that using the “socialist” label is not really that helpful (earlier posts notwithstanding). The term has become devoid of any consistent meaning over the years, and using it makes it that much easier for the opposition to dismiss us as excessively partisan.
That said, I think it’s eerily illuminating to go through the full list of policy recommendations for Obama made by Schwartz in his article (and even more so given that he published this prior to the Inauguration):
- Act “boldly and quickly”, ignoring the separation of powers and checks and balances defined by the Constitution. Grade: A
- Fund massive investments in green technology. Grade: A
- Pass a massive stimulus package of at least $700B which includes major funding for job training. Grade: A/A
- Implement a major anti-foreclosure program. Grade: A
- Fund preschool education and employment programs for inner city youth. Grade: A
- Demand equity shares in the banks and other corporations that are bailed out by the Treasury. Grade: A
- Support the inclusion of a government-run insurance plan with healthcare reform initiative. Grade: A
- Reverse Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy. Grade: A
- Abolish the 15-percent tax rate on hedge fund and private equity earnings. Grade: A
- Military: end the war in Iraq, reduce number of bases abroad by 1/3, kill the building of next generation fighter planes, and end missile-defense programs. Grade: C
- Require that consumer, worker, and government representatives be added to the board of directors of corporations receiving government aid. Grade: A-
- Use whatever political capital is necessary to ensure passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Grade: B+
Huh, like I said, a little eery. Outside of some defense related issues the Obama agenda seems to have lined up pretty nicely with the agenda prescribed by one of the leaders of the DSA. Coincidence, I’m sure.
Update: The DSA article linked above is actually a condensed and sanitized version of an article published by Schwartz in the DSA Winter Newsletter.