The Democratic Party have announced a sweeping new agenda focused on . Democratic leaders met in Virginia to announce their plans, which include raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, controlling prescription drug prices, and creating new rules against corporate consolidation.
The new agenda, which Democrats have dubbed “A Better Deal,” comes after several months in which the party’s primary mission seemed to be attacking President Trump. Mr. Trump’s poll numbers have suffered over time period, but Democrats have not become more popular as a result. Many in the media have criticized the Democratic Party for failing to advance a coherent agenda of its own. This new set of policy proposals represents an attempt to respond to those criticisms.
The proposal to raise the minimum wage is generally consistent with the party’s longstanding policy position, but the size of increase was a surprise. During last year’s primary election race, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred over how much to hike the wage. Sanders argued for a $15 minimum, but Clinton advocated a more modest increase to $12 per hour. Her campaign said that Sanders’ proposal would hurt economic growth. If adopted, the $15 per hour wage would more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The second plank of the new agenda, a plan to limit prescription drug prices, is likely to appeal to many Americans angry about recent cost increases. Drug prices have been increasing a several times the rate of inflation for the last decade, but wages have remained largely stagnant. Even drugs that have been on the market for many years and no longer have patent protection have become more expensive.
The Democrats’ vague plans to attack monopolies are the freshest proposals in the bunch. Party leaders say that corporations have grown too large, dominating their respective industries and raising consumer costs by eliminating their competition.
But despite their aggressive new agenda, Democrats have little chance of passing any of their proposals into law before at least the 2018 mid-term elections. The party is in the minority in both houses of congress, and President Trump’s veto power could nix any of their proposals without broad bipartisan support.
Critics say the new agenda is unworkable and yet another example of Democrats fondness for big government. At least some Democrats are enthusiastically backing the new message, however, They want to the party to focus more on the concerns of everyday Americans, and less on the drama of the scandals engulfing the White House.