DNC, Day Two: A Look At The Democratic Party Platform


From, NPR IN WB, you are Boston. I'm Meghna Chakrabarti, and this is on point modern party conventions are all about making the case for their presumptive nominees. That's why last night it was plaudits all around in day one of the Democratic Twenty twenty virtual convention. But Biden, the mayor is also the vehicle for the set of ideas, the vision of and four. America advanced by the Party itself. In other words, it's the platform. The presumptive nominee stands on that tells voter what voters would have potential Biden presidency hopes to achieve, and on that point last night, it was Joe Biden's former primary rival Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders who said many of the ideas before for just a few years ago were considered radical on now mainstream. Interesting that a little earlier in the DNC's first night Republican John Casick insisted that Biden wouldn't turn sharp left. So what does the Democrats actual platform reveal? That's what we're going to dig into today and to help us do that Kimberly Atkins joins us. She's senior editorial writer for the Boston Globe and she's in Washington. Hi there kimberly. High Magna. So I have got the party platform right here in front of me and I know you do too it just some of the sort of chapter headings I think a quite quite revealing year starts with protecting. Americans, recovering from the covid nineteen pandemic of course, building a stronger fare economy what else stands out to you. Yeah. This is sort of you know the broad you're talking about Joe Biden talked about the soul of America. This is sort of an outline of the soul of the Democratic, party. With this platform, of course, it's not it's not a binding document. In any way, it's not a law and it's not a nobody is forced to do all the things laid out at a in it, but it's sort of an expression of values. So yes, this year fighting the pandemic is front and center. That's the first item in here and it goes right into. The economy and healthcare which are natural offshoots but it also has gives a lot of attention to criminal justice reform We know since in the wake of George, Floyd's death at that has been a focus of Democrats and also some things that we have seen in recent years such as climate change. But as you said, Senator Sanders is right things like that Environmental Justice climate change is getting continuing to get a broader place in the platform as the more progressive ideas come through. So it's a little something for everyone. Interesting right because we see here. Combating the climate crisis as you're saying, environmental justice creating twenty century immigration system, which is something that both parties have been talking about an ad nauseam. So perhaps, not all that. Distinctive they're world class education in every ZIP code. So I mean, this grab bag approach is pretty typical for. Party platforms in most presidential election cycles. But but just let me hear a little bit more from you kimberly the assertion that Senator Sanders made last night about the mainstreaming of formerly radical ideas. Do we really see that here in in many or or most of the document? I think we I think we see it in some and these changes are incremental and it feels maybe even slower since we only get one of these every four years. But. Certainly when it comes to climate change talking about healthcare. But one thing that you continue to see this year in particular whereas last year, I remember being in Philadelphia and there was a real tension between supporters of our four years ago that there was intention between Hillary Clinton supporters and Bernie Sanders supporters and it was you could feel the tension when it came to the nomination itself. What we're seeing this year is a lot of Democrats saying you know at beating Donald Trump is job one. So I will support Joe Biden if that means beating Don Donald Trump that means I I I'd support a pencil it meant beating Donald Trump. But where we're seeing some push is with this platform in a way, this platform is getting increased attention from people who want the Democrats go further when it comes to things like police reform and criminal justice reform, they want them to go further and adopt things like Medicare for all instead of just offering a public option to obamacare. So this is a place where I think the people who are on the progressive side of the party are still looking to get more action even after Joe Biden is elected, the presidential election is just step one they're looking for a lot more. Interesting because you pointed out healthcare that was something. I was just going to ask you about because just underscore that the public option is in this platform and Medicare for all very clearly is not and of course, that was a central aspect of Bernie, Sanders campaign and yet yesterday he went out of his way repeatedly to say, it doesn't matter that he believes that they're actually bit bigger things at stake. Yes. But there are a lot of Bernie Sanders delegates a lot of people who supported him. Who are have already announced they're going to vote against this platform in part because Medicare for all is not a part of it. So we are seeing that push on policy Bernie Sanders again. Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for years ago in Philadelphia but that didn't bring all of his supporters instantly on board. We're seeing that same kind of energy happening here and we're certainly seeing it also in places like climate change criminal justice reform is interesting because even this platform in some places, it is less progressive than Joe Biden's own position in in climate change a Joe Biden set some benchmarks to meet by by twenty thirty five where that years ahead of the benchmark set in this document. So. We're seeing a lot of things all over the place, and so again, this isn't this document is finding in any way but clearly important these folks want the Democrats to speak on this and embrace these the embrace all of these progressive policies as mainstream. I take your point that the platform is isn't binding in any way but I'm thinking about how it reveals where the energies of the party lie right because for example, in the two thousand sixteen Republican platform, there was a lot of conversation around. The. The the appearance of Ukraine in the party platform there. So there's sort of gave us a window into some of the thinking. Of the political priorities of the party. But can you just tell me a little bit more about how that about the climate piece that you just talked about because it's quite surprising that the Democratic Party platform wouldn't be even as aggressive on climate as their presumptive nominee Yeah, I. Mean It really goes to show how Joe Biden. Since securing the nomination since becoming the presumptive nominee really has been listening and trying to build as big a tent as he possibly can to bring everyone on board to build that type of unity it shows how people like Elizabeth Warren has been one of his key. Allies in advisers throughout this process, they've talked a lot and he is being he is moving to the left on some issues. Like climate change and embracing a faster time line to impose some of these. Some of these policies to reduce carbon emissions to to do other things at the the progressives are pushing for. But on other things like health care, there is less of a movement. There is not fully embraced Medicare for all even though in polling. In an increasing number of people are either supportive of Medicare for all or at least are willing to take a look at it. That's probably driven in part by the fact that so many people have lost their health insurance coverage during the pandemic because they have lost their jobs. So you're seeing the the campaign, the Biden campaign trying to be somewhat nimble here, and it's a lot different is easier for a campaign to make these kind of changes than for the entire Party as a whole represented by the committee that puts this huge massive of platform document together. It's a little harder for them to to move as quickly. Okay. So Kimberly, if you hang on here for just a second I'M GONNA turn back to you frequently through this hour as we sort of zoom in on three. Specific. Planks in the party platform about the economy about criminal justice reform about healthcare. So let's first start with the economy and joining us now is Brad Delong is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. For. Economic Policy from one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, three to nineteen, ninety five. So in the administration of President Bill Clinton Professor Delong Welcome to on point. Welcome I'm glad to be here. So first of all, what, what do you make of the the economic recipe that's put forth in? In this Democratic Party platform the platform basically. Calls the trump economy of failure and put forth a lot of ideas on what the Democrats would do instead are they the right ideas I think broadly that they're the right ideas I mean there's no doubt that trump made an awful lot of promises about the economy that he has not kept. He said his tax cut would materially boost economic growth by BOOSTING INVESTMENT IN AMERICA AND Yet even before the corona virus plague had hit that was a complete failure at had not boosted investment in America. The people who got the tax cut had not used it to boost how much they were spending on investment goods on building factories and installing machines but instead had used it all on other things. trump managed to destroy our negotiating leverage with China on the first day of his. Presidency by vetoing the trans-pacific partnership, which was to give us a powerful group of allies for common negotiations with China. end even before the pandemic hit, the trump economy was not doing that well, given the state at which the state of the economy he'd inherited. and. Of course, now, everything's falling apart and I think the Democratic Platform is the right road to get the economy working again in an equitable growth sense not just extremely high values for the stock market not just large profits, but instead broad-based wage increases and full employment. Okay. So when we come back Brad will we'll talk about some of the specifics in this economic portion of the Democratic Party platform. So Brad, delong and Kimberly Atkins standby, we are looking at the ideas set forth in the Democratic Party Platform. What's in it? What's not in it and how realistic are the promises being made care? So we'll be right back. This is on point. This is on point I. Magnin Chalker Bardy, were talking about what's in the platform of the Democratic Party specifically planks on the economy on criminal justice reform and on healthcare what is the party promising or say it would like to do in the event of a Biden Presidency and how realistic is it? I'm joined today by Kimberly Atkins and Brad Delong as well and it was interesting. Last night in the first night of the Democratic Virtual Convention that Paul, these issues of policy actually weren't really front and center in the. Variety of speeches that we heard. But of course, the exception being Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders I mean, he almost had the policy speech of the night. So for example, here is a moment where Senator Sanders talked in more detail about the kind of economic policy that he says the presumptive nominee would support. Joe Supports raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. This will give forty million workers a pay raise and pushed the wave scale up for everyone else. Joe will also make it easier for workers to join unions. Create weeks of paid family leave fund universal pre-k with three and four year olds and make childcare affordable for millions of families. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders last night in the first night of the Democratic National Convention. Brad Delong respond to these specific aspects of the Democrats economic plan here I mean. Bernie Sanders went through A. Laundry list. There are all of these things you think essential for. Realizing the vision that the Democrats would have for the US economy. I'd say that the smart money in economics now is on the view that raising the minimum wage substantially is probably the best thing you can do immediately to rebalance the distribution of income away from the what we've seen over the past fifty years when the rich have gotten much much richer while the middle class and the poor have seen their standard of living barely edged up at all. And now looks like all of the fears raising the minimum wage will discourage. Firms from hiring. have been at least at levels of the minimum wage were contemplating more or less completely false. Yeah. That twin the minimum wage is very low firms. Think we can cut our wages and yes some people will quit and the rest of our workers will be stressed but organization can go on with a higher minimum wage. They don't have that option and so when they hire someone they say can this is what this someone's doing worth more than I'm paying. As opposed to. If, I can cut the minimum cut mother wage I'm paying them a bit. Then I can extract a lot of money from the workers who are already working for me who don't really have other options to leave. Brad, if I may ask. I read an article. Maybe from Vox. Year or two ago. That reminded folks that you at one time called yourself a Ruben Democrat, would you still call yourself that D-, right. I'm very proud to have worked for Bob Rubin and I think he's a very smart man who's done an awful lot of good for America. The reason why I ask is because so that that that label it Evokes. One's mind market-friendly policy sort of centrist Democratic approaches to to governance and managing. And require. Republican partners right. Let's go back to what you were talking about earlier about the public option versus Medicare for all. yes. The Platform Rukum calls for not for Medicare for all but for a public option but everyone writing that platform everyone in the democratic policy community has learned the lesson from Obamacare, which is that. Even. Moderately complicated systems that run by the government work. If there is Republican by it, if Republicans decide they want to destroy something the government's doing they can do so very easily if it's even moderately complex heads perhaps a public option is the best way to increase healthcare coverage and make our healthcare system better I think it is but I also know that a public option will Work if there is substantial republican buying. If say people like Mitt Romney, who did Obama care for Massachusetts five years before obamacare passed are willing to step up win and say, well, this is the system I had. Let's take it nationwide. Let support it without Republican buying. You need a simple system that can't be monkey ridged and that's Medicare for all. So us, Ruben Democrats still have our own policy preferences but we're well aware they won't work without settling some Republicans support. So, the platform calls for a public option, but everyone's aware that if we can't get bipartisan Republican Bienne on that. Then the way forward for advancing health care has to be Medicare for all. Really. So the way forward has to be the less the less centrist. Sort of. Centrist things only work with faith. and cooperation to make the moderately complex systems work. If the moderately complex systems don't have that and we need to go back much simpler. and much less vulnerable monkey wrenching systems We need to go back to things like Medicare, social security. I would have said, go back to the post office. These days like even the post office is not immune from monkey wrench. So it sounds like really you're making wh what amounts to a political argument for the economic policies in this platform? No, it's a policy implementation argument. it's that. The president's job is to take care that the laws be faithfully execute it if Republican president will not do that. Will Not accept that his job is to be our employees putting into practice the laws that Congress has passed but instead to break things. Then, we need to make sure to design a system in which breaking things as difficult as possible. Kimberly I said You'd want to respond to what you're hearing. Brad Delong say. Yeah you know I to to the issue in a sort of broaden this a little bit to to give people an idea and and to get back to your point that yesterday didn't really feel policy focus with the exception of Senator Sanders speech The convention is trying to accomplish a lot of right including. Telling as many people as possible, it's okay to vote for Joe Biden. Even if you support Medicare for all and that's not in the platform, it's okay to vote for Joe Biden. Even if you're a Republican it's okay to vote for. Joe Biden. For for a host of reasons, even if he's not your guy that was a almost explicitly stated by people like Michelle. Obama. He's not perfect but these guys we've got, and so I think that is what you are seeing this dance here right? It's. It's very. Daunting to try to convince Democrats some. Democrats to put something like Medicare, for all in the platform knowing that it could potentially scare off some other folks or seem as if it's going too far to the right and there have other people who say just as Brad is saying, well, this is this is the game because we know politically something else is not going to happen. We're not going to get some sort of compromise that's the. Big political lesson of Obamacare vote. A lot of folks thing that brock. Obama when he had the political capital of of a a big win historic election win when he had a democratic control of Congress that they should have gone further. But instead, they saw the republican buying it never came the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate, and that is why you have the system that Republicans have been able to dismantle ever since so. The discussions I was in at least in December in January of nineteen of two, thousand, eight, two, thousand, nine were that this thing is Romney care. This thing is Romney's flagship initiative. We propose that we get buy in from Romney and from thirty Republican senators and we truly advanced the idea as Barack Obama rose to prominence by saying there is either not see blue America or read America but Purple America. The obamacare plan as was set out was supposed to be the purple America. Consensus plan what Mitt Romney would have tried to pass in two thousand nine had Mitt Romney beaten John McCain. The Republican primaries they would come President in January twenty first two, thousand nine. But the fact that we got zero. By it not from Romney, not from Susan Collins, not from McCain not from all the Republicans who put themselves forward as bipartisan, centrist and reasonable amount that taught those of us in the Ruben wing of the Democratic Party, a very hard lesson. which is indeed that we can put forward the PA the centrist policies we think are best but we should be well aware that when implementation comes around, we may not have any partners to our right to make sure that even moderately complicated things will be implemented in a way that gives them a good chance of working. So just one or two quick questions for you Brad I'm wondering if. Voters see the same dynamic at play as we're discussing here, and the reason why I ask is because for example, I was looking at. CNN poll and I know that there's some concerns around polling. Continuously but a CNN poll that was just put out a couple days ago and digging deeper into to some of the polling questions they asked voters who registered voters who they think would be better in handling a variety of issues response the krona outbreak occurred virus outbreak healthcare, racial inequality, foreign policy on those four things, Biden. Won The majority of the voters responses, but on the economy who would better handle the economy. President trump got fifty three percent approval rating from the from the voters or fifty three percent said they would he would handle the economy better forty five percent said Biden would I mean if you're a? Biden. Campaign Person Right now don't that numbers shouldn't those numbers concern you. Well. Those numbers always concerned Democrats because those numbers have been stable. Over the past forty years or so that people somehow believe that Republicans are to be trusted with the economy. I'm it's their brand. Even though when you actually look at the numbers. Times when Democrats have been president and win Democrats have controlled Congress have seen much faster economic growth and significantly faster and larger reductions in unemployment. Then times when Republicans. have been an office and have controlled veto points and you know we scratch our heads about this I because of the very strength of the relationship the economy does so much better under. Democrats. Than Republicans than even people like me who think democratic policies are better have a hard time understanding why the gap is so large. And second given this very long history. Now, dating back to before Herbert Hoover in which putting a Republican in control of your economy Well you tend to get things like the Great Depression under hoover or you tend to get things like the great mismanagement of regulation under George W Bush that gave us the great recession of twelve years ago why this continues the brand My view is because some of all you people in the media who every day use the value of the stock market as kind of a scoreboard for what how the economy's doing. And you know the stock market is a nice thing. But the stock market is the wealth of a relatively small, highly concentrated class. Of Americans. It has very little to do with underlying sustainable trends of real wage levels or salaries of investment which are the indicators that people ought to be. Looking at. I think at the nightly news and all the Cable News you had not the stock market poked and your eye every hour. But something about wage growth through distribution or salaries are working conditions that fifty-three might melt away very quickly. It might not. It's hustle. Brad I am not going to be defensive about that because I absolutely agree I am very cognizant that in the in the NPR news cast before the broadcast of this very show the first item in the NPR news cast is. The opening numbers on the Dow I. Hate it. I mean roll respect. My NPR colleagues I I do not think it helps anybody to to have our. Cortisol levels amplified every hour due to like the Roulette game of the stock market completely agree but but I. Go Go ahead go ahead. We'll know especially since the stock mark, there are actually as my old teacher Olivier Blanchard at mit used to say the stock market can go up if things are better if people expect higher wages and profits in the future and the stock market can go up if people get scared if people get scared and our and our willing to buy bonds of various kinds and so interest rates drop. and so there's a stock market goes up on good news possibility and a stock market goes up on bad news possibility. And certainly, since March, it looks very much like we've been seeing the second that the United States is response to corona virus has been oceans oceans worse than those of other North Atlantic and rich East Asian countries Economy's going to be depressed for quite a while while other countries recover and yet the stock market's doing fine. You Know Brad. You've actually a opened up a a an avenue of conversation that I? Wish we could go down because but unfortunately, just run out of time with you because we've got to move on to other aspects of the platform I will just add this one note. Certainly. The media ought to be responsible for a lot of how information is spread Brian prioritized in this country. I would also say that perhaps another reason why the Democrats lose on these economic numbers in terms of perception of the economy is in fact. Just a thought here that for example, economic policies coming out of say the Clinton administration didn't really work for some if not a lot of Americans. So come back on the show sometimes Brad. Discuss, we can discuss that. Defense, of Clinton policies have being the best possible at the time. I would love that, but I'm just trying to cram into much this hour. So I'm going to have to say goodbye to you Brad Delong professor of economics at the University of California Berkeley and deputy. Assistant. Secretary of the Treasury for economic policy from one thousand, nine, hundred, eighty to ninety five. Thank you so much now, Kimberly Atkins, we have to take a quick break here. When we come back, we will talk about criminal justice and healthcare in a lot more detail but what's promised in that democratic twenty twenty platform so we'll be right back. This is point. This is on point Meghna Chakrabarti. Tomorrow we're going to be talking about the people who would be surrounding. A would be president. Joe. Biden it. Should he win the general election in November? So for example, what do you want to hear from Senator Comma Harris at the Convention tomorrow? Of course he's she is. Biden. Selection for his VP nominee, who else do you think ought to be in a putative by cabinet share your thoughts with us at six, one, seven, three, five, three, zero, six, eight, three. That's where tomorrow's show today we're talking about what's in the Democratic Party platform what the Democrats are promising as party what's realistic? What's not? You know most of the conversation about that in last night's convention came from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. So here is Senator Sanders talking about criminal justice reform. The help. Our broken criminal justice system. Joe. will end private prisons and detention centers, cash bail and the school to prison pipeline. And to heal the soul of our nation. Joe Biden will end the hate and division trump has created. He will stop the demonization of immigrants the coddling of white nationalists, the racist dog whistling the religious bigotry and the ugly attacks on women. Joining us now is Britney Passionate Cunningham she's an activist and founder of love and power works a consulting. On culture, and justice, he's also a former fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics Brittany Welcome to point. Hello So you heard Senator Sanders, they're sort of lay out the list of some of the aspects of what a Biden presidency we hope to accomplish. Is it enough for you in terms of criminal justice reform. Well. I certainly think that these things are a good step and we have to remember that just a few years ago people were not embracing holy. The ideas presented at in that speech last night and some of these presented in the party platform things like ending cash bail things like closing private prisons have been pushed by grassroots activists and the conversation has shifted in such a way because of their efforts. To. Actually bring us to this point but most certainly, there is a long way to go private prisons make up just a small proportion of the number of places that incarcerate Americans every single day, and until we actually reach a place where we are fully abolishing those places, we still have work to do there needs to be much more effort in rolling back the deep damage of the war on drugs repealing the ninety four crime bill will be a critical step for a Biden Harris Administration as well as a more immediately decriminalizing marijuana in the party platform we see. Them. Speaking about building a pathway toward that. But we believe that there is much more that can be urgently done as has been demonstrated by a number of states. At this point we also believe that there needs to be deeper investment in the things that keep communities healthy and I know that we're taking this conversation piece by piece because I make some more understandable and digestible, and that is the right thing to do. But I'd be remiss if I didn't help us recognize that talking about criminal justice talking about police violence is connected to all of the other. Things that we are talking about that it is deeply connected to the economy to immigration, and so much more. We have to recognize that closing the wage gap and getting people into a fair and equitable housing. Hopefully, they all more and more of is a pathway to end the over policing in communities because communities are being built to be healthy from the ground up. So all of these things are deeply connected and I think the ways in which elected officials treat them as deeply connected moving forward here will be critical to US actually making progress on this very important issue. Yeah point taken and in addition right now, we're living in a world where all of it is even the connections are laid bare even more by virtue of this pandemic, right so so I really do take take your point very well, Brittany. Brad Delong a little earlier say that because of the political realities of this moment vis-a-vis the Democratic and Republican parties that he feels that. The biggest most boldest ideas from the progressive left of the democratic. Party or the direction to go you know what's interesting to me is that in the area of mass incarceration in particular, we did have a moment of what seemed to be emerging bipartisan support that we were just putting too many people for no reason in prison in the United States. So. To me, it seems like this is one area in which the. Most boldest proposals should be the ones that the Democrats are pushing because Austin. Some across the aisle support here so Let me just be frank about this. Are you a little disappointed that you're not seeing? The list of things that you just walked me through. I am but I fully believe in the possibility and probability of evolution not just because we've seen Folks on the ticket at all levels engage in that kind of evolution. But because we seen the people really push them there. When we look at things like the breed vacuum seen activists from all over the country from grassroots be very clear that defunding the police is not just a chance that it can actually be seen in policy and that it is not the scary vision of Batman or Gotham rather without Batman rather it is a wholesale reinvestment in our communities from education to housing to healthcare to social services, we need to make sure that people are getting the precise and a supportive transformative care that they deserve. So that our communities our whole from the ground up. I fully agree with Brad that there is a direction to follow here and being unafraid to do. That should be the headline of the Democrats. I think that there is again a lot of possibility that that could be happening. Even if it's not happening at the party platform, we're seeing people push from the inside and the outside, and frankly that's what democracy is made of. So I don't spend a lot of time saving about my disappointments. I spent a lot more time thinking about how we can get to work and how we can actually turn hope into a real results for everyday people who need everything from a fifteen dollars minimum wage to the decriminalization of marijuana. Well Britney packed Cunningham founder and principal of love and power works at a former fellow at Harvard's institute, of politics, thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you. All right. Well, we wanted to save enough time to talk about healthcare. Of course it's a defining issue for the Democrats. Here is what Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said about healthcare last night. While Joe and I disagree on the best path to get universal coverage, he has a plan that will greatly expand healthcare and cut the cost of prescription drugs. Further. He will lower the eligibility age of, Medicare, from sixty five down to sixty. Well joining us now is congressman Ro. Khanna. Is a Democrat representing the south and East Bay regions of the San Francisco Bay area and he in fact voted against the Democratic Party platform on Saturday and he joins us from Washington. Congressman welcome to the point. Now thank you for having me. So is it the lack of Medicare for all in the party platform that led you to vote against it? Yes it is as you know met Medicare for all was part of our platform until nineteen eighty and at this moment in our country when millions of people are losing their jobs but we should say that losing his job doesn't mean losing your healthcare I believe we have to go back to the platform that was. Their post Truman. And so But then you heard also a the the the notion that expanding the public option even though it may not be palatable to the progressive left of the Democratic Party. It's something that obviously Joe Biden is willing to stand by and that those key voters in the middle. That the Democrats, need to grab in order to win November that they might be more likely to support it is that. Is that is that not a viable or a convincing argument you? Well, there are two different things I mean I'm fully in support of Joe Biden and I do agree that his public option plan is better than the status quo. We can to support him, but that should not mean that are part of Bandon goal which has been the gold since after group of making sure that medicare expanse to everyone and we can have Joe Biden running on. But still have a party platform that says the goal should be a medicare for everyone and expansion is Bernice. It doesn't have to be all like want. It can start by going to people down to sixteen, Fifty five and then eventually cover everyone. Yeah. So can we talk about that a little more congressman because I don't think it's actually being discussed enough this idea of lowering the eligibility aid age, of Medicare. Down to sixty and that would capture a lot of people. Is that. Is. Tell me tell me more about why that That's that's in this platform here. Or. Even Bernie Sanders is Medicare for all plan calls from transition and it happens over four years I'm her Bernie Plan. You would have Medicare. I extended the people down to fifty five and forty, five, thirty, five finally in the fourth year everyone is covered in Copenhagen has said he's willing to extend Medicare two people sixteen over I. think that's very strong for step in getting Medicare to everyone and Why? Bernie Sanders highlighted that aspect of Joe Biden's plan last night. and. So tell me a little bit more than about just even this first incremental step of lowering it to sixty How would that be done? There's going to be forever the question of paying for it. The. Argument is simple I mean we we currently pay for Medicare and this will. Allow people who are over sixty to be enrolled automatically in Medicare. Now, they still can have supplemental. Private Insurance. But if anything I think this will lower cost because Medicare is cheaper than a lot of private health insurance plans, and it will end up lowering costs a lot of businesses, a lot of employers. And we will be able to to pay for it with partly the employer tax that is currently on. Every employee for Medicare. Well overall comes from one last question for you here. What do you see in this platform? What Vision for America do you see Democrats trying to advance here and then do you believe it's a realistic one? The platform is vision for prioritizing the working class in the Middle Class I. Mean we've seen the last thirty years Productivity is increased by seventy eighty percent but worker wages have only increased by eight percent. You've seen a lot of the wealth creation benefit the top benefit, the coast it has left out a lot of the middle of this country it's left out a lot of minority communities. What Democrats are saying is it's time to rebuild on Konami with a consideration for those communities and people who have been left out and to prioritize looking middle class again, and I do think that's realistic. And I think it's going to resume. well, representative Ro Khanna is a Democrat representing the south and East Bay, region of the San Francisco Bay area. Thank so much for joining us today. Thank you really appreciated. So Kimberly Atkins appreciate your patience in. Sticking with us this hour and listening to all those voices here. SORTA. Let's take a step back here. What do you? What do you think of the diversity of views around? Around this, this platform itself to your point Kimberly, it's not a binding document. It's more of an aspirational ones. So so what are the Democrats trying to communicate that they are spiring to hear? Well I think again I think that this is a document that isn't moving as quickly as the events in the world are in the country that are affecting democratic thought and I think there are more people who are wanting things like Medicare for all that is not. necessarily. That's not in this platform not may not have the majority of democratic support or other things. I. Was doing a quick search while you were talking a Brittany and the word de-fund does not appear in this document is nothing about defunding police in all of the brief act of components that she talked about it's not in here but that has come up in the last several months. This document was four years in the. Making and so I think just because you don't see some of these policies in there it doesn't mean that it's not a part of the Democratic base and that support for it isn't growing among even more establishment Democrats will have to wait and see for that. But I think that's one thing when you have a party at this point, that is so so big. So broad in terms of the different components within it. When you're trying to put an umbrella over that? It's not always that easy. You. Kimberly as you know. I love talking about policy. So do you? I Love I love having you on here because I. Think the policies were rubber meets the road regardless of what party. But I still am very aware that last night in the first night of the Democratic National Convention. We saw what we saw was policy really being relegated to Senator Sanders, gets to talk about the the rest of the of the two hours was not about that really at all. So ultimately. The policy battles seem to be somewhat internal to the democratic. Party. But the external face that they presented last night with something entirely different. It just talk about talk to me about what what what you saw. In the first night on the virtual. DNC. I'm the first night of the virtual DNC was about the really getting across the urgency of the Democrats message that the number one job is to defeat Donald, trump that all these other things all the policy discussions can happen after that I think you're even hearing that when you're talking to two people like a Congressman Kana and Brittany and other people who are talking about these progressive policies, it's almost as. If, getting Joe Biden elected is even that's even before you get to the starting line that they are interested in pushing. Democrats. If Democrats are in the White House, they're interested in pushing them on these issues to when they're interested in hashing out these policy debates whereas before it seemed in two thousand sixteen it was sort of this deflation almost among the more progressive parts of the Party in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton got that nomination. It seems more of determined a desire to push forward on policies like criminal justice like health care like the economy moving forward and a method message. Last night was we can all you know the party can come together and even embrace Republicans if it gets Democrats closer to that point. Try and the other message seemed that policy will come. Will come but the Democrats if they wanted to enact any of those policies, the have to win I winning focused. That's why they're message was focused also on. The current occupant of the White House as well. So get really Atkins Senior editorial writer at the Boston Globe Kimberly. It's always great to have you. Thank you so much for being with us today. Always a pleasure magna. Already, this is on point.

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