With a small majority, it’s hard to say what the Democrats can accomplish, but their 100 Hours Agenda, while modest, seems to me overall a step in the right direction.
While I often find MoveOn too knee-jerk liberal, I did write this is support of their petition for Congress to pass the 100 Hours Agenda. I’ve seen lots of ideas for other 100-hour legislative measures I’d like to see pass first, but at least I don’t hate these, as I have most legislation coming out of Washington the past 6 years. It’s so refreshing to have that be the case that I’m willing to lend support to this agenda.
- Good Government: The reforms passed by Congress after the Abramoff/Delay scandals were far too weak to make a meaningful difference in curbing the influence of money on national politics. Legislators must be free from interests of monied lobbyists. The procedural changes in introducing legislation and the banning of gifts should only be the first steps in a larger push toward good government that includes full public financing of national elections to ensure clean campaigns.
- Clean Energy: Oil companies are experiencing record profits and need no government hand-outs. Oil subsidies should be phased-out permanently, a first step in leveling the playing field for the market-based emergence of clean energy alternatives. To ensure that competing energy sources are clean, follow-on legislation capping greenhouse gas emissions must be enacted quickly.
- Fiscal Responsibility: Enacting full transparency and ending the pork barrel politics engendered by earmarks should be high priorities to protect us from federal fiduciary mismanagement and deleterious spiraling debt.
- National Security: I support investing in the security of our critical infrastructure, which will pay dividends not only for our protection against terrorist attacks, but in improving the reliability of the critical systems on which we rely every day for the normal functioning of society. As importantly, we must engage imminent terrorist threats militarily, but also establish a comprehensive, multi-pronged political, economic, social, and educational strategy to combat dangerous fundamentalist extremism wherever it arises.
- Education Access: I support efforts to make college education, increasingly important for success in the knowledge and creative economy, more affordable for everyone, including broad tax deductions for education and decreased interest rates for education loans.
- Health research: I support liberalization of stem-cell research to find cures for disease.
- Fighting Poverty: I urge Congress to look beyond simplistic measures like across-the-board minimum wage hikes to combat the problem of poverty. Deeper reforms must be enacted to ensure public education provides a solid footing for all, flexible job training programs provide workers with the skills to get well-paying jobs, and public transportation exists to allow low-income workers to get to workplaces inexpensively.