More of this

Oh, damn, do I love this from Kamala Harris.  Smart politics and smart policy wrapped in one.  Plus, an example that shows just how out-of-step Republican politicians are.  Jennifer Rubin:

Likewise, Trump and his Republican cohorts want to enact big cuts to the Education Department so that the massive deficit created by tax cuts for the rich doesn’t look so bad. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) quite cleverly proposes to do the opposite. Bloomberg reports:

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is proposing a $315 billion boost in federal spending to give the average public school teacher a $13,500 raise. The plan would be funded by higher estate taxes, according to an aide. …

The plan is easy to understand: “The plan has three components. First, the federal government would provide 10 percent of the funds required to bring teacher pay in line with wages for other similarly qualified professionals. Second, it would create a federal match of $3 for every $1 a state spends to raise pay until that gap is eliminated. Third, it would require states to maintain this level and adjust for wage inflation as a condition to continue receiving federal funds.”

Instead of cutting education to disguise the fiscal imprudence of lavishing tax breaks on heirs of the super-rich, Harris wants to claw back some of the breaks to pay teachers more. One could hardly imagine a more helpful distillation for Democrats of the two parties’ philosophies. [emphasis mine]

The 2020 ads write themselves: Tax breaks for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, or better pay for teachers? Cut Medicare and eliminate Obamacare, or protect tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions, young adults who want to stay on parents’ plans and those who cannot afford to buy health care even as they work multiple jobs?

Spending more on teachers is good.  Increasing the estate tax is good.  But, damn, do I love the political genius (okay, it’s not actually rocket science) of combining the two to make the inherent and often hidden trade-offs of our politics (that Republicans would like to keep hidden) completely obvious.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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