Now is the time to expand Social Security — not cut it. Social Security benefits simply haven't kept up with the rising costs that seniors face—for medicine, food, and housing. We're facing a retirement crisis where seniors can't rely on pensions and other parts of the social contract. We need to increase benefits to make sure they reflect the true costs seniors face. Expanding Social Security is the best way to ensure all Americans have the economic security they need to retire with dignity.
Corporations are paper, not people. People before profit. Enact laws which reverse Citizens United, McCutcheon, and Buckley v. Valeo. Without a fair field in which everyday people are heard and treated equally, when, as we're now seeing, corporations and money carry more weight than the voices of our citizens, our entire system of government falls into plutocracy and oligarchy.
Tax equality. This means that 100% of everyone's income is taxed for Social Security, not just middle class people (scrap the cap). It means that no matter the source of your income, it is all treated the same for tax purposes (no more calling a salary "carried interest" to change the tax rate on it, no more taxing dividends and capital gains at a different rate).
End the Oil Depletion Allowance (ODA), and any other oil industry tax benefits, and redirect the increased revenue to subsidize alternative energy (solar, wind, wave, etc.) The ODA made sense a century ago when it was a fledgling industry, but now the most profitable companies on earth are the major oil conglomerates. Direct our subsidy to the job creating industries of the future.
Restore the protections of the Glass-Steagall Act. The decision by Congress and the President to repeal the Glass-Steagall law in 1999 paved the way for the “too big to fail, one-stop financial supermarkets” that played a major role in the near economic collapse of 2008. For a decade, we saw the financial industry assume unbelievable risks knowing that they were able to gamble with the taxpayers money. The American people paid a heavy price for it!
Break up Citigroup. We face a danger to our democracy from the power of our largest banks—particularly Citigroup. Their control over the executive branch is unprecedented. Their donations buy votes every day in Congress. Their money supports think tanks that produce endless smokescreens to make sure no one notices what is really going on. It’s time to fix the imperfections in Dodd-Frank, just as Elizabeth Warren says: “Let’s pass something—anything—that would help break up these giant banks.”
Expand the Post Office. Stop using US Postal Service revenues (all non-taxpayer) to reduce the deficit, and eliminate the $5.5 billion annual fee to pre-fund retiree health benefits. Lifting this onerous requirement would make it unnecessary to close mail processing centers, and revenues could be used for reforms and expanded services instead -- starting with a postal banking system offering savings accounts, check cashing, small loans and other basic financial services.
"We are demanding an emergency program to provide employment for everyone in need of a job, or if a work program is impractical, a guaranteed annual income at levels that sustain life in decent circumstances. It is now incontestable that the wealth and resources of the United States make the elimination of poverty absolutely practical." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Make gerrymandering of districts illegal. The only criteria that voting districts should be based upon is geographical location. Current redistricting policies only serve to disenfranchise voters of both parties, decrease the effectiveness of our democratic process, and encourage partisan divisions.
Just like during the Depression reinvent the WPA in order to build roads and bridges. We could create jobs and have a steady stream of bodies available to build these projects. So many qualified workers from companies who bailed overseas or out completely are available and we should use their abilities to the fullest.
Reinstate the sections of the Voting Rights Act, nullified by the Supreme Court, by removing the qualification that those sections applied only to districts which had a historical record of segregation, prior to 1967. Instead, anyone with a grievance on being denied to vote should be granted standing to file a class action suit on behalf of their community; all district voting procedures and district maps should be subject to strict court scrutiny.
Comprehensive election reforms. A law forbidding corporations from funding elections in any form and a limit on individual spending. National day off for all citizens to vote. National standards for voter eligibility, with specific prohibitions against restrictions designed to suppress specific types of voters.
Allow all Americans to enroll in Medicare. Because the insurance premiums people pay would be equal to the cost, the program would pay for itself. In many states, a few private insurance companies control the market, restricting consumer choice and driving up the cost of care. The people deserve a public option. Opening up the Medicare system increases competition and provides more options to consumers.
Protect our water supplies and aquifers by banning fracking. One single Frack uses up between 500,000 and 4 MILLION Gallons of water. A small family barely uses that much water in a lifetime, and these companies use that much water with a single Frack. Then they pump poisonous chemicals into the ground that no one even knows what they contain, leaving communities riddled with illness, cancer, and poisoned wells.