Bernie Sanders has 12 points for his plank. They are (I've added priority marks, High=H, M=Medium, L=Low):
- Rebuilding Our Roads H
- Reversing Climate Change M
- Creating Jobs M
- Protecting Unions M
- Raising the Wage M
- Pay Equity M
- Making Trade Work for Workers M
- Cutting College Costs M
- Breaking Up Big Banks M
- Bringing Health Care to All M
- Ending Poverty M
- Stopping Tax Dodging Corporations M
I think that his list makes a good starting point for some concrete demands. The difference between a plank and a demand is that a plank is usually general and nobody cares if one makes it in a particular year. A set of demands is something that is specific and meeting it can be measured. What is needed now are demands that all Democrats can agree on and that we can make part of the Democratic plank and hold our candidates to pursuing. For that reason they have to be converted to numbers.
A few months ago, I remember, I think it was Obama, floated the following ideas covering point 1. He was immediately shot down, not only by Cons but by our own party. Yet this is and should be the first demand of Democrats over the next 20 years.
Demand Highway and Infrastructure Repair
We must repair our infrastructure. This is a critical capability that has to be fixed. According to the Society of Engineers We must spend 3.6 Trillion dollars by 2020 to fix our infrastruture to the point where it is minimally servicable. [http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/] http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/documents/2013-Report-Card.pdf addressed needs that haven't been met. This is a security issue more important than Al Qaeda or ISIS as they have nothing to attack if we let our bridges collapse from neglect.
- Demand 1: Must have 50 billion per year and 250 billion total for infrastucture investment over next 5 years.
- Demand 2: Must create an Infrastructure Finance Authority to Fund and regulate Infrastructure projects
- Demand 3: Must make Membership in that Finance Authority mandatory to give States access to match funds with private activity bonds.
- Demand 4: Must create a Infrastructure Trust fund to manage SuperFund monies and other investments in cooperation with EPA and State Branch authorities.
- Demand 5: Must make all existing Infrastructure Authorities and states automatic members of the Infrastructure Finance Authority unless they opt out. They shall have representation in a Requirements Board and oversight body on legislative & Budget matters and on a Governors Board for executive matters.
- Component 1; Dams: 21 billion Total needed, 4.2 billion per year over 5 years needed.
- Component 2: Water Safety requires a minimum of 1.25 billion per year total of 7.5 billion $ over 5 years for Water Infrastructure:
- Component 3: We must Reinvigorate State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) program under the Safe Drinking Water Act
- Component 5: Eliminate the state cap on private activity bonds for infrastructure projects allowing states to match Federal spending. And put Federal matching activity bonds under control of the Federal Infrastructure Finance Authority or local subdivisions of the Authority.
- Component 6: Infrastructure Finance Authority:
- Create a Infrastructure Finance Innovations Authority (IFIA), essentially an infrastructure Bank
- This would access funds from the U.S. Treasury at Treasury rates and use those funds to support loans and other credit mechanisms for water and other Infrastructure projects. The loans would be repaid to the Authority and then to the U.S. Treasury with interest
- Component 7: Infrastructure Trust Fund:
- Establish a federal Infrastructure Trust Fund to finance shortfalls in water and other infrastructure and ultimately make these programs self funding. Can also be used to manage the Environmental Superfund.
- This is needed because "At the dawn of the 21st century, much of our drinking water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life. There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States. Assuming every pipe would need to be replaced (or at the minimum relined), the cost over the coming decades could reach more than $1 trillion, according to the American Water Works Association (AWWA).
- Component 8: 500 Million one time outlay to Trust Fund to replenish Superfund:
- We must replenish the Superfund Trust Fund by a minimum of 500 Million Dollars to deal with Hazardous Waste:
- Annual funding for Superfund site cleanup is estimated to be as much as $500 million short of what is needed, and 1,280 sites remain on the National Priorities List with an unknown number of potential sites yet to be identified. More than 400,000 brownfields sites await cleanup and redevelopment.
- Component 9: Levies: 20 Billion per year (100 Billion total) to repair and improve levies
- Public safety remains at risk from these aging structures, and the cost to repair or rehabilitate these levees is roughly estimated to be $100 billion by the National Committee on Levee Safety. However, the return on investment is clear – as levees helped in the prevention of more than $141 billion in flood damages in 2011.[http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/documents/2013-Report-Card.pdf]
- Component 10: Bridges 20.5 billion$ annually.
- Component 11: Remaining infrastructure, ports, rails, waterways, and other infrastructure all need investment too.
- But these investments can be self funding and the role of the Federal Government can and should be to provide the banking and investment needs of States, Counties, Cities and Towns, all of which can be funded through an infrastructure Finance Authority and through cooperation across the country.
We should take money out of DoD and put it into these projects. DoD spends too much money, wastes too much money and risks our country in the process by stirring up hatred and insurrection around the world while serving local Caliph wannabes and Kings. The USA Cannot afford to be an empire. It will destroy our Republic.
Infrastructure investment Demand details: