The Democratic National Platform and Goodwill’s Priorities (Part Two)

Last week’s blog highlighted some of the key points of the 2016 GOP National Platform and as the Democrats head out of Philadelphia, here is a look at key parts of the 2016 Democratic Platform that pertain to Goodwill’s priorities.

On protecting the charitable deduction, the Democratic platform is silent.  It is very strong on issues of income and wealth inequality, increasing wages and job creation ideas.

The platform states they will protect proven programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program should be expanded for low-wage workers not raising children, including extending the credit to young workers starting at age 21.  These are positions that Goodwill generally supports.

On social security, the platform states that they will make guaranteed benefits continue for generations to come by asking those at the top to pay more, and will achieve this goal by taxing some of the income of people above $250,000. They also oppose private accounts, a proposal also opposed by a vast majority of Americans.  The platform opposes every effort to cut or weaken Social Security, including attempts to raise the retirement age, diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments, or reducing earned benefits.

The problem here is that any solution to solvency likely can’t be achieved without both a premium adjustment and a serious look at the retirement age or benefits related adjustments.  They also call for “…expanding social security so that every American can retire with dignity and respect, including women who are widowed or took time out of the workforce to care for their children, aging parents, or ailing family members.”  However, there are no details about how large this expansion would be or how it would be paid for.

The platform also calls for support for removing barriers to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society by “banning the box,” expanding reentry programs, and restoring voting rights.  We hope this includes passing the Second Chance Act, legislation that enjoys bipartisan support and which Goodwill strongly supports.

The platform supports the Pell grant program, including year-round Pell funding that helps low income students reach for a college education.  It also supports tuition-free community college for all and that working families should not have to pay any tuition to go to public colleges and universities.

Finally, we were pleased to learn that Beth Mathias of Marion County, Ohio is one of several everyday Americans invited to speak during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Beth is a full time employee of Marion Goodwill Industries*   Mathias will take the stage at the Wells Fargo Center following the gavel between 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. today.  You can read more about her story here.

We provided links above to the both the GOP and Democratic party platforms. Tell us what you think in the comments section at the end of the blog.

*Please note that Goodwill organizations are 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits and do not endorse any candidate for office. While Beth is an employee of a local Goodwill organization, she is speaking to the convention in her personal capacity.