Washington Post: Sherrod Brown as Trump-slayer? Here’s his big idea.
Sen. Sherrod Brown will travel to the early presidential primary states in coming weeks, he confirmed to me in an interview. This will stoke speculation about the presidential ambitions of the Ohio Democrat who is widely seen as an ideal messenger for true economic populism as the antidote to President Trump’s sham version of the same.
At the core of Brown’s message is a simple idea: The way to confer dignity on work is to ensure that it pays well. Due to structural economic factors beyond ordinary Americans’ control, wages have stagnated for millions, with many trapped in the ranks of the working poor; but government can remedy this through the tax code by sending struggling Americans money.
Democrats, Brown says, can reframe the argument over how government can genuinely act to boost people’s standard of living. “Government has not been on their side on this,” Brown says. “Government is more interested in top down tax cuts that really don’t trickle down. They end up as stock buybacks, enriching the people who are already rich.”
By contrast, Brown says, giving people at those income levels cash ensures that they will “spend that money in the community. That increases way more economic growth than the top-down Trump-McConnell-Ryan way of doing tax reform.” Brown doesn’t discuss pay-fors, in keeping with a new progressive approach of not getting baited into one-sided deficit constraints that Republicans toss overboard with tax cuts for the rich.