By David Callahan
Adolph Reed, Jr., has a dispiriting essay in the current issue of Harper's on the "long, slow surrender of American liberals." He argues there is no longer a "dynamic left" and charts the decline of a forceful alternative progressive vision over the past half century.
- Mounting a sweeping New Deal-style attack on unemployment, including expansive public works.
- Overhauling the tax code to raise taxes on the wealthy back to levels that were the norm in the early postwar period, including a 49 percent top bracket, a new financial speculation tax, and making it much harder for corporations to evade taxes on foreign profits.
- Enacting a public option and other changes that would begin a much-needed next phase of health reform that builds on and improves the Affordable Care Act.
- Putting a price on carbon to decrease the use of fossil fuels and incentivize a shift to renewables, while also whacking all subsidies to oil and gas companies.
- Reducing Pentagon spending.
- Providing funds to publicly finance election campaigns.
- Actually increasing Social Security benefits.