Economic disruption—the fading of old products, industries, and jobs in favor of new ones—has always been part of the American experience. Yet as everything else has changed, the laws, policies, and support structures that protect and promote American workers remain relics of a bygone era. New Democrats believe that as the nature of work continues to change, we can no longer rely on outdated systems and institutions to prepare and protect our workers. It is critical that we think and act now to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed in the changing economy. We need to close the skills and opportunity gap, rethink the relationship between employers and workers and empower workers and entrepreneurs.
The changing economy is creating new kinds of work and opportunities, requiring policymakers to improve the role and structure of learning for students and workers. The skills needed for students and workers to achieve the American Dream have changed. Skills also have a much shorter shelf-life than in the past. Learning and training is becoming a lifelong necessity to keep up with changing technology and demands. We must implement policies to help students and workers adapt, including modernizing and expanding access to career and technical education, traditional educational institutions, and skills training to help workers upskill or change occupations.
Startups and high growth businesses are the engines that drive our economy and the entrepreneurs who start them help spur growth that makes everyone more prosperous. More new businesses mean new ideas and more opportunities for consumers to purchase the goods and services they need. New Democrats support policies to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital, get access to a high skilled workforce, and navigate the regulatory environment in order to grow our economy and create jobs.
Our nation’s debt continues to grow at an unsustainable rate. On our current trajectory, our budget deficits become more and more unsustainable further squeezing the important investments that will help create good-paying jobs, make the economy work better for everyone and keep our country safe. New Democrats support a bipartisan, long-term approach to address structural causes of our growing deficits and debt, including impact of the Republican tax bill and reforms to mandatory spending programs.
In order to increase access to affordable health care for all Americans, we must advance real solutions that reduce health care costs for families and seniors, increase choices for consumers, and encourage participation by the young and healthy. To stabilize health insurance markets and bring down the cost of healthcare for all Americans, New Democrats believe we must first stabilize the Affordable Care Act and strengthen it to provide more Americans with access to affordable health care options.
The New Democrat Coalition believes access to affordable housing is paramount to the economic security of American families. Unfortunately, housing is increasingly unaffordable because prices and rents are rising faster than wages because construction is not keeping up with demand. The high cost of shelter is the single biggest squeeze on household budgets and a significant draft on the economy. It is forcing Americans to live on the street, reducing GDP by trillions of dollars, substantially reducing Americans’ retirement savings, and undermining our ability to recover from recession.
New Democrats believe both parties need to work together to pass comprehensive immigration reform. We can smartly secure our border and create a modern immigration system that reflects our American values, creates a process for undocumented immigrants with long ties to the U.S. to earn citizenship, revamp our visa system and support U.S. businesses and farmers. Comprehensive immigration reform has the potential to reduce the deficit by over $900 billion and create hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
The New Democrat Coalition is determined to increase long-term federal investments in all types of infrastructure. Supporting the movement of people, goods, energy, and information through our infrastructure is crucial to driving investment in our communities and maintaining America’s economic competitiveness. This investment is vital to both the jobs created to build and maintain our infrastructure, as well as those supported and bolstered by a strong and healthy infrastructure system that facilitates the efficient movement of workers, goods, services, and ideas. Modernizing our infrastructure is important to Americans in every part of the country. We know that infrastructure projects are consistently evaluated as one of the best returns on government investments, and that Americans would rather spend more time doing the things they love than sitting in traffic wasting time and money.
With an increasingly competitive global economy, it’s more important than ever to advance policies that promote innovation and economic competitiveness laying the foundation for the next generation to build on our success. New Democrats believe that in order to maintain our competitive edge, the United States must promote the right environment for innovation. The strength of America’s economic machine is underpinned by the link between innovation, economic development and job creation.
New Democrats are committed to a tough and smart national security strategy that secures our homeland and protects our values. Our first responsibility as Members of Congress is to keep America safe. We need to invest in a 21st century military force and in national security agencies that adapt to modern challenges and eliminate terrorist threats without reckless interventions. We cannot ignore the indispensible role diplomacy and development play in meeting our most pressing security challenges and demonstrating American leadership in global affairs. We must advance a comprehensive national security policy that focuses on what really keeps Americans safe.
Adopted and implemented correctly, regulatory oversight can boost competition and make markets more effective for everyday people. Unfortunately, some regulations can impose obstacles to new businesses, running the risk of stifling growth and limiting entrepreneurial opportunities. In many cases, regulatory oversight protects middle class Americans but still needs fine-tuning to operate more effectively.
The New Democrat Coalition supports comprehensive tax reform that will promote economic growth, is targeted towards our middle class and is fiscally responsible. We believe tax reform done right is important for middle class families, American businesses and keeping our national economy competitive.
New Democrats support a pro-growth, pro-worker trade agenda that puts American jobs first. We need to set the rules for the global economy, not have them set by others. In doing so, the United States should focus on championing the economy of the future, not the economy of 50 years ago. Being actively engaged in global trade allows us to lead geo-politically; grows our economy and expands opportunity; exports our goods, services, and values; and levels the playing field for American workers, businesses, and farmers. President Trump’s unilateral trade actions are fueling a trade war that is disrupting markets, raising prices, and costing American jobs. This could jeopardize our nation’s security and lead to retaliation from other countries against American made goods and services.