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Jacobin: The Right Wing Of The Democratic Party Is Playing Hardball. The Left Wing Is Not

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When I saw the news about Joe’s plan on the SALT deduction, the wealth tax, the carried interest loophole, preserving Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and redefining the middle class to under $400,000 households (all of this being a transparent effort to pander to the True Cons or Red Dogs who switched parties because Trump was low class), I found myself laughing for a good twenty minutes.

I can boast that I predicted this: the Democrats always disappoint their base on economics and the Republicans always disappoint their base on culture. They actually deliver the goods on THE MOST UNPOPULAR SHIT, not any of the more popular supermajority issues.


“Earlier this month, progressive lawmakers refused to withhold their votes on must-pass COVID-19 stimulus legislation until the bill included a $15 minimum wage. A few weeks later, conservative Democratic lawmakers are now threatening to withhold their votes on must-pass infrastructure legislation until the bill includes large tax cuts for the wealthy.

The contrast in tactics spotlights a decisive asymmetry in congressional politics right now: the right wing of the Democratic Party is willing to play hardball on behalf of the affluent, to the point of threatening to take down one of President Joe Biden’s signature legislative initiatives, an infrastructure and climate plan he will detail on Wednesday.

By contrast, the left wing of the party has not yet been willing to play the same kind of hardball on behalf of the working class — and that refusal ultimately helped kill a promised wage hike in the recent pandemic aid bill and could similarly imperil other progressive priorities. …”

Do you see the trick now?

There is a clear pattern on display here. It is the $2,000 stimulus check, the $50,000 in student loan debt relief, the $15 minimum wage, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, Universal Health Care, and so on, that always dies for some reason. Now it is the wealth tax, raising taxes on the wealthy, the carried interest loophole, the SALT deduction and raising the capital gains tax. Basically, it is all the things that are the least polarizing and command more support for Independent and Republican voters.


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