De Blasio Gearing Up to Release Nationwide 'Progressive Agenda'
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's borrowing from the tactics of Newt Gingrich in putting forward a left-wing version of the Contract with America: The Progressive Agenda.
It will be unveiled on May 12 on the steps of the Capitol with lawmakers at his side from the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
"The bottom line here is that we are in a moment of history where we need to hear a clear vision for addressing the economic reality. A number of us have put together such a vision that's going to go right at the question of income and equality, which I think is the crisis of our times," de Blasio told MSNBC this morning, adding the plan will include "raising the minimum wage, providing the kinds of benefits families need like paid sick leave that are rare for many families."
Hillary Clinton, he opined, is "beginning to fashion a progressive agenda."
"I think a lot of us understandably want to hear the core ideas around fighting income and equality because that's what people struggle with. Just an easy example of the challenge of this country for a typical American family, their median income has actually gone backwards the last quarter century," the mayor said. "If that's the state of our country, where most people actually have lost ground economically, of course we need our candidates to talk about real change."
De Blasio plans on hosting a bipartisan presidential forum so everyone can dig into his Progressive Agenda.
"Progressive taxation, close the carried interest loophole. Why should a hedge fund manager pay less proportionally in taxes than the woman who cleans his beach house or the man who flies his private jet for him? The Buffett Rule. Buffett Rule says simply that millionaires and billionaires should pay at least the same tax rate as their secretary and assistants," he said in describing tenets of the plan.
"...I actually think there is a yearning out there for a set of solutions. I think the typical American believes in progressive taxation and wants to see those who have done well pay their fair share. When it comes to things like minimum wage, I am fascinated by this, red state, blue state dynamics don't apply the same way. Look at Nebraska that passed a minimum wage increase by referendum in 2014. I think at this moment, you see this incredible movement around the country for the $15 minimum wage. It reflects the reality that people can't make ends meet on the current minimum wage."
De Blasio suggested the agenda could be a moment for progressives and conservatives to "find some common ground."
"I actually think we could. We are having a presidential forum, as I mentioned, in the fall. Bipartisan because if both parties are talking about -- let's now talk about the specific solutions," he said. "I'd love to see Republican candidates come to our presidential forum and say, I can buy into the Buffet Rule."