Edwards: I Will Offer a New New Deal

Presidential hopeful John Edwards promises that if elected president, he will introduce an entire new suite of programs similar to the programs introduced with the New Deal

John Edwards says if he’s elected president, he’ll institute a New Deal-like suite of programs to fight poverty and stem growing wealth disparity. To do it, he said, he’ll ask many Americans to make sacrifices, like paying higher taxes.

Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina, says the federal government should underwrite universal pre-kindergarten, create matching savings accounts for low-income people, mandate a minimum wage of $9.50 and provide a million new Section 8 housing vouchers for the poor. He also pledged to start a government-funded public higher education program called “College for Everyone.”

What’s a little sacrifice from us greedy Americans, considering, you know, how under taxed we all are as it is:

At every stop, Edwards said, he tells voters he’ll ask them to sacrifice. Asked to describe what he means, he described his plan for increases in capital gains taxes, saying taxes on “wealth income” should be in line with those on work income.

“I think if we want to fund the things that I think are important to share in prosperity, then people who have done well in this country, including me, have more of a responsibility to give back,” he said. Later, he added: “There are no free meals.”

Don’t break your arm patting yourself on your back, Senator:

Edwards billed himself as a “rare combination”: The most progressive of the major candidates as well as “the most electable.” He pointed to the fact that he was elected to the Senate from a “red state” and that he comes from a rural area, two factors that he said prove his electability.

Edwards said the time has passed for “poll-driven, careful, cautious ideas.”

“I think you have to say, ‘There’s something rotten in Denmark,’ ” he said. “The system needs to be fixed.”

I would say that your ideas, what you believe in and your candidacy is what’s rotten.

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