January 2, 2017

WITH THE UR GONE, THEY FINALLY HAVE ONE OF THEIR OWN:

A Deal with the Orange Devil? Progressives Debate Whether to Seek Common Ground With Trump (JOHN FEFFER AND MAX SAWICKY, 1/02/17, In These Times)

(Max Sawicky, a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer who defended Sanders' stance in The Baffler)

When it comes to money, however, it's often possible to talk turkey. The money in question is new funding for infrastructure. The Trump campaign has a more articulated policy on infrastructure than on most things. The problem is, it stinks. It's all tax breaks and privatization voodoo--the Trump U of infrastructure bills. It should be stamped dead on arrival.

But with infrastructure spending on the table, Democrats and advocates have an opening to push for something better. A real policy would commit big federal dollars to state and local governments to build stuff they weren't going to build anyway. We could earmark funds for projects too big for states to afford on their own, such as California's high-speed rail system, beach and marsh restoration, an efficient national power grid and expanded regional transit networks.

The fear expressed by many progressives is that successful enactment of such policies would provide political support for all manner of vile Trumpian initiatives. But if this election has taught us anything, it should caution us against overconfident forecasts.

How to proceed? An obvious condition of any deal is that it be free of entangling add-ons that go against the Democrats' strategic interests. It should not, for instance, be buried in an odious budget reconciliation bill written by Paul Ryan.

If Trump desires a genuine infrastructure spending bill, however, and anti-spending Republicans refuse to vote for it, the president would find himself relying on Democratic support. This gives them leverage they could use to pressure Trump into keeping his hands off the big healthcare programs and Social Security, and easing off undocumented immigrants.

Posted by at January 2, 2017 5:52 AM

  

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