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Tell Us What You Think: Democratic vs. Republican Platforms…Where Do Workers Win?

Last week, we discussed that the Republican Party platform is a road map to dismantle workers’ rights. Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times says the Republican platform “calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions” and, for the first time in years, doesn’t even acknowledge the right to form unions.

The New York Times reports, when doing a side-by-side comparison of the platforms, the two visions are “poles apart in their view of the nation.”

Let’s take a look at some of the major differences:

Labor

The Democratic platform states the party members:

Believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value; every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work. We will continue to fight for the right of all workers to organize and join a union.

The platform adds, “We oppose the attacks on collective bargaining that Republican governors and state legislatures are mounting in states around the country.”

The Republican platform praises states that passed “right to work” for less laws:

We support the right of states to enact right-to-work laws and encourage them to do so to promote greater economic liberty. Ultimately, we support the enactment of a national right-to-work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.

The Republican platform also blames public employee unions for state fiscal crises:

We salute the Republican governors and state legislators who have saved their states from fiscal disaster by reforming their laws governing public employee unions. We urge elected officials across the country to follow their lead in order to avoid state and local defaults on their obligations and the collapse of services to the public.

Taxes

The Democratic platform says that President Obama will fight to extend tax cuts for those making less than $250,000—while “asking the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share.” This means, only the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up.

The Republican platform calls for extending all the Bush-era tax cuts, which experts agree are enormous drivers of our budget deficit.

Medicare

The Democratic platform explains that the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan Republican budget plan to give seniors vouchers or “coupons” for health care “would end Medicare as we know it.”

The platform states:

Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare; unlike our opponents, we will not ask seniors to pay thousands of dollars more every year while they watch the value of their Medicare benefits evaporate. Democrats believe that Medicare is a sacred compact with our seniors.

The Republican platform cynically claims it will “save Medicare by modernizing it.” It calls for block-granting Medicaid and giving future seniors, those under age 55, a voucher to pay for health care. Vouchers are designed to cover less and less, leaving seniors with large out-of-pocket health care expenses.  

Social Security

The Democratic platform pledges to “find a solution to protect Social Security for future generations” and to “block Republican efforts to subject Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market through privatization.”

The Republican platform wants to carve out private accounts as “supplements” to the Social Security system:

While no changes should adversely affect any current or near-retiree, comprehensive reform should address our society’s remarkable medical advances in longevity and allow younger workers the option of creating their own personal investment accounts as supplements to the system.

It's pretty clear which platform lays the groundwork for an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%. 

Read the entire Democratic and Republican party platforms and you decide. Sign in and tell us what you think. 

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