Progressive Breakfast for October 7

Morning Message

How Do Republican Tax Plans Compare To George W. Bush’s?

[The Bush tax cuts were] designed to put more money in the hands of the investors who presumably would create jobs, [yet] Bush ended his presidency with the worst jobs record in modern history, losing 462,000 net private sector jobs ... At minimum, the argument that tax cuts for the wealthy always creates jobs has been severely undermined. And yet, the Republican candidates for president are all trying to cut taxes for the wealthy even more than George W. Bush did. Here’s the scorecard of those candidates with specific proposals...

Clinton, Sanders Look Left

Sanders introduces pro-labor organizing bill. The Hill: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled sweeping new legislation that will make it easier for workers to organize unions in a bid Tuesday to endear himself to the labor community ahead of the 2016 presidential election … The Workplace Democracy Act would allow employees to form a union through the controversial card check process, as opposed to holding a secret-ballot election.”

“In a bid for progressives, Clinton starts to distance herself from Obama” reports W. Post: “Much of her new criticism of Obama on issues such as immigration and the Keystone XL pipeline is a way to appeal to progressive voters disappointed by some administration positions. The critiques also allow her to draw distinctions with Vice President Biden … In a Telemundo interview aired this week, for example, Clinton was blunt in saying that Obama’s gambit to go hard on deportations and immigration enforcement early in his tenure had failed to persuade Republicans to agree to wider reforms.”

While Jeb Attacks

Jeb Bush goes after Hillary and Bernie. USA Today quotes: “”Whether it’s Clinton coming to Iowa and promising more money, more regulation, more spending, or Bernie Sanders, who I think is going to get the Olympic gold medal for the most promises made in a year before the election. Eighteen trillion dollars of promises in new spending from the Bern.”

Trump to focus on currency manipulation. W. Post: “Trump is preparing his first television ads … Trump is also publishing a book and planning to roll out policies on reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs and on trade and China’s currency manipulations.”

Candidates face hypocrisy charges for supporting South Carolina disaster aid. NYT: “…as South Carolina will require aid from around the country to rebuild after the flooding that has killed at least 11 people and left roughly 40,000 without water, it may test the Republican candidates flocking to the state as part of its early primary process: come out in favor of federal aid, or stick to fiscally conservative principles.”

Obama Pushes TPP

Obama begins sales pitch for TPP. LAT: “‘We’re going to be able to sell more products, more services, American agriculture, American manufacturing,’ Obama told business leaders gathered at the Department of Agriculture … The White House is hoping that CEOs and other executives will see the agreement as a potential boon for their businesses and persuade members of Congress to go along.”

President hosts White House labor summit today. NYT: “…union leaders expressed displeasure at the administration’s concluding of the Trans-Pacific Partnership … But that has not stopped Mr. Obama from wooing workers. On Wednesday, the White House will host the ‘Summit on Worker Voice,’ an effort to give unions, organizers and some businesses a platform to discuss wages and other issues.”

Momentum For Repatriation Stalls

Sen. Chuck Schumer turns pessimistic on transportation-repatriation deal. Roll Call quotes: ““It’s been a slog, and we’re not close. And the reason is, we need a robust highway increase to justify the whole endeavor. Chairman [Paul] Ryan I think would like to get there, but he is constrained by all kinds of Republican rules and politics, so it’s hard. Right now, I’m not optimistic.”

Dem candidates use Ex-Im Bank to attack House GOPers. Roll Call: “Congressional Democrats were quick to pin GE’s threatened job losses on their GOP colleagues. If Democrats get their message right, the little-understood Export-Import Bank could become part of a narrative they use in competitive districts around the country.”