WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) — The national Democratic Party released a draft of its 2016 presidential platform on Friday, which includes various proposals on a wide array of issues in what might be the party’s most progressive agenda in history.
The draft addresses numerous goals the party views as critical in continuing the recovery and prosperity of the domestic economy, including a $15 per hour federal minimum wage.
“Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage,” the draft states. “No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form or join a union.”
The DNC cites recent hikes in the minimum wage in California and New York as blueprints of their vision.
“We also support creating one fair wage for all workers by ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and people with disabilities,” the party added.
The draft also addresses other economic factors like job creation, social security and taxes.
“We believe the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations must pay their fair share in taxes. Democrats will claw back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, eliminate tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, and crack down on inversions and other methods companies use to dodge their tax responsibilities,” the platform says.
Universal Health Care
One part of the platform draft details the party’s plans for improving health care coverage for Americans — an evolution of the landscape shaped by President Barack Obama‘s Affordable Care Act.
“Health care is a right, not a privilege, and our health care system should put people before profits,” the DNC document says. “Thanks to the hard work of President Obama and Democrats in Congress we took a critically important step towards the goal of universal health care. … We will keep costs down by making premiums more affordable, reducing out-of-pocket expenses, and capping prescription drug costs.”
The draft adds that the party will see to it that Medicaid expansion under the ACA is fully implemented in all 50 states.
“Twenty states have not yet adopted expanded Medicaid, which not only means that millions of low-income Americans still lack health insurance and are not getting the care they need,” it states.
In addition to many foreign policy issues, Friday’s platform draft unequivocally states that a Clinton administration would effectively be an extension of the policies established by Obama.
“We must defeat ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their affiliates, and prevent other groups from emerging in their place,” it says. “Democrats will continue to lead a broad coalition of allies and partners to destroy ISIS’ stronghold in Iraq and Syria. … We will dismantle the global network of terror, which supplies terrorists with money, arms, and fighters, and stop them from recruiting and inspiring potential radicals.”
The party also said it plans to “harden our defenses” in the United States to guard against domestic terror, such as the type seen recently in San Bernardino and Orlando.
“We will strengthen our resilience, reminding the terrorists and ourselves that America will always come together and stand up to terror,” the DNC report says. “Democrats will also seek an updated congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force that is more precise about our efforts to defeat
ISIS and that does not involve large-scale combat deployment of American troops.”
The party’s platform states clearly that a continuing Democratic administration will end capital punishment — effectively a return to the Supreme Court-mandated moratorium that existed between 1967 and 1977.
“We will abolish the death penalty, which has proven to be a cruel and unusual form of punishment. It has no place in the United States of America.”
However, there is some doubt as to whether Clinton shares this desire to eliminate the death penalty.
Unsurprisingly, Friday’s draft makes no uncertain criticisms about Clinton’s presumptive opponent in November.
“We reject Donald Trump’s vilification of Muslims … We reject Donald Trump’s suggestion that our
military should engage in war crimes … We also firmly reject Donald Trump’s willingness to mire tens of thousands of our combat troops in a misguided ground war in the Middle East,” it says. “It would be reckless to follow Donald Trump and turn our back on the international system that America built.”
“This election is about more than Democrats and Republicans. It is about who we are as a nation,
and who we will be in the future,” the draft states in its preamble. “Despite what some say, America is and has always been great — but not because it has been perfect. What makes America great is our unerring belief that we can make it better. We can and we will build a more just economy, a more equal society, and a more perfect union — because we are stronger together.”