The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Democratic Campaign Promises

Sep 16, 2019

Ten presidential candidates took the stage for the Democratic Party in early September. They took the opportunity to distinguish themselves from Donald Trump and the Republicans, presenting themselves as more in line with the interests of working people on a number of issues like universal health care, income inequality, climate change, and public education, among others.

All the candidates took on the question of how to achieve “universal health care.” Biden called for expanding Obamacare by having a “public option” (something like Medicare) while allowing people to keep their private insurance.

Sanders and Warren supported Medicare for All. Sanders pointed out that while people would pay more in taxes, they would pay less overall because having just one government insurance plan for everyone would be more efficient, and would limit or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, co-pays, and drug costs.

Warren proposed taxing the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay the cost of her proposed program.

Warren and Sanders made similar proposals for fixing the education system, with Warren adding that those higher taxes on the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent of the population would also be enough to support universal child care and pre-school for all 3 and 4-year-olds, along with cancelling student loan debt for 95% of those who owe.

Sanders proposed raising the salary of every teacher to at least $60,000.

These two candidates also put forward similar ideas to raise Social Security payments and protect the Social Security system.

With Trump carrying out attacks against even the limited gains made under Obamacare, and his recent proposal to cut Social Security spending by 26 billion dollars, the proposals by the Democrats might well appeal to many workers.

The working class certainly wants and needs such improvements – and more. Other than the wealthy, who could object to taxing the wealthy and the corporations at higher rates?

But who believes that the ruling class is about to roll over and agree to go along? It will take much more than voting to replace Donald Trump to win the kinds of changes the Democrats are promising. Winning even some of the changes some of the Democrats propose would require a tremendous struggle by the working class.

That’s something none of the politicians of either party is proposing or has ever led in the past. And to carry out that fight workers will have to build up their own class organizations, independent of all the organizations who act for the wealthy classes, including first of all both Democrats and Republicans.