1. Democrats believe that our communities have a responsibility to help those who are unable to help themselves, and our governments at all levels are effective means for all of us to work together in a common effort to improve the lives of the less fortunate, which results in a more desirable community for everyone.
2. Democrats believe that our free enterprise economic system is effective in maximizing economic production, but history has shown that without any controls on the system it will produce extremely undesirable side effects, including misuse of investors’ funds; price fixing; abuse of workers; environmental degradation; and severely inequitable wealth distribution. Governments have an essential role to play in minimizing these undesirable side effects as well as helping to correct damage already done.
3. Democrats believe that governments at all levels are the only effective means of implementing the rule of law, to help ensure justice, equity, non-discrimination, and equal opportunity for all. Governments are not always effective or just, but citizens have the power to correct such problems through the political process.
4. Democrats believe that governments should not restrict an individual’s freedom of action as long as it does not harm others, and that governments should not be used to impose any particular religious doctrine or practices. Separation of church and state is an essential principle ensuring our freedom.
5. Democrats believe that the Federal government must ensure an effective defense against real aggressors or threats to our physical safety, while avoiding any military adventures intended to impose our policies, economic interests, religious beliefs, or lifestyle on others.
6. Democrats believe that governments should practice sound financial management, including building budget surpluses during good economic times, to permit effective government assistance during economic crises without creating crippling levels of debt.
These beliefs result in Democrats supporting:
1. Continuation of the Social Security program in its present form to help ensure a dignified life for the elderly and disabled.
2. Continuation of the Medicare program to ensure health care for the elderly and disabled, with improvements to manage cost growth more effectively.
3. Essential health care availability for everyone, regardless of income or wealth.
4. An education system that provides everyone an opportunity to use their talents and abilities.
5. Effective regulation of banks, brokers, corporations and all other private institutions handling other people’s money, to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis that occured in 2008.
6. Effective environmental protection regulations and enforcement.
7. An end to the tax breaks for the wealthy. Trickle down economics prescribed by Republican administrations, past and present, have not worked to provide financial security to the non-wealthy. The middle class is shrinking using this flawed Republican policy making and the non-wealthy no longer prosper with livable wages for their families. We seek to reverse this trend of the rich getting richer with the passage of the recent Tax Reform Bill.
8. Fair and feasible immigration reform.
9. The right to equal legal protection and privacy for all, including women, racial minorities, followers of minority religions, and LGBT.
10. An end to expenditures for unnecessary military adventures; an end to spending on unneeded, equipment, and weapons; and a phase-down of the American role as the only international police force by working amicably with allies to assume their fair share of responsibility.
11. Action to eliminate the Federal budget deficit over the next ten years, through reduced spending, elimination of many special-interest tax credits, and an increase in tax rates in higher income brackets, so that the burden is shared equitably by all, rather than primarily by lower income citizens. We can return to a budget surplus like that at the end of the Clinton Administration without destroying the safety net for Americans.