Explainer: What you should know about the Democratic Party platform (Part II)
Religion & Liberty Online

Explainer: What you should know about the Democratic Party platform (Part II)

dncplatformNote: This second article in a two-part series on the Democratic Party Platform. Part I can be found here.

In the previous article we looked at summary outline of the Democratic platform as it relates to several non-economic issues covered by the Acton Institute. Today, we’ll look at the party’s economic agenda as laid out in the platform. Because the document is lengthy (55 pages) and covers an extensive variety of economic-related areas (agriculture, energy) this list won’t be exhaustive. But it does cover the primary economic positions that are being supported or opposed by the Democratic Party.

(Last week, after the Republican National Convention, we examined their platform’s stance on the same and related issues.)

Federal Budget and Debt

Supports ensuring that “new spending and tax cuts are offset so that they do not add to the nation’s debt over time.”

The Federal Reserve

Supports reforming the Federal Reserve to “make it more representative of America as a whole, and we will fight to enhance its independence by ensuring that executives of financial institutions are not allowed to serve on the boards of regional Federal Reserve banks or to select members of those boards.”

Financial Markets

Supports prohibitions that would prevent “Wall Street from picking and choosing which credit agency will rate its products as well as from imposing excessive fees on consumers.”

Support stronger criminal laws and civil penalties for Wall Street criminals who prey on the public trust.

Support extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting major financial fraud, and providing the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more resources to prosecute wrongdoing.

Supports the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Opposes payday lending and supports “implementing strong new regulations” to limit it.

Supports a financial transactions tax on Wall Street.

Supports an “updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall.”

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Opposes “contracting, outsourcing, or privatizing work that is inherently governmental in nature.”

Labor and Wages

Supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and indexing it to inflation.

Supports the rights of all workers to form and join a union.

Supports ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and people with disabilities.

Supports leveraging “federal dollars to support employers who provide their workers with a living wage, good benefits, and the opportunity to form a union without reprisal.”

Supports passing laws that direct the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union if a simple majority of eligible workers sign valid authorization cards, as well as laws that bring companies to the negotiating table.

Supports binding arbitration to help workers who have voted to join a union reach a first contract.

Opposes right to work laws.

Opposes laws that eliminate union “dues check-off procedures, roll-back prevailing wage standards, abolish fair share requirements, restrict the use of voluntary membership payments for political purposes, attack seniority, restrict due process protections, and require annual recertification efforts.”

Opposes legislation and lawsuits that “would strike down laws protecting the rights of teachers and other public employees.”

Supports President Obama’s overtime rule.

Supports efforts to limit the use of forced arbitration clauses in employment and service contracts.

Supports national paid family and medical leave that would provide all workers at least 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or address a personal or family member’s serious health issue.

Supports workers “right to earn at least seven days of paid sick leave.”

Encourages employers to provide paid vacation.

Supports increased investments to “increase investments to make quality childcare more affordable, boost wages for childcare workers, and support the millions of people paying for, coordinating, or providing care for aging relatives or those with disabilities.”

Supports incentivizing companies to share profits with their employees on top of wages and pay increases.

Supports direct federal funding for a “range of local programs that will put young people to work and create new career opportunities.”

Postal Service

Opposes efforts to privative the Post Office.

Private Property and Intellectual Property Rights

Supports protecting the intellectual property rights of “artists, creators, and inventors at home and abroad.”


Supports a ban on “golden parachutes for those taking government jobs.”

Supports requiring bank and corporate regulators to recuse themselves from official work on particular matters that would directly benefit their former employers.

Supports requirement to bar financial service regulators from lobbying their former colleagues for at least two years.

Supports enhancing the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and encouraging other agencies to police “anti-competitive practices in their areas of jurisdiction.”

Social Security

Opposes attempts to raise the retirement age, cut cost-of-living or adjustments, or reduce earned benefits.

Supports taxing some of the income of people above $250,000 to pay for Social Security increases.

Opposes quotas, discriminatory measures, and data localization requirements for intellectual property and other digital trade.

Supports increased funding of NASA.


Supports tax relief and tax simplification for small businesses.

Opposes tax breaks for companies that “ship jobs overseas.

Supports eliminating tax breaks for “big oil and gas companies.”

Supports a “crack down” on inversions and other methods companies use to “dodge their tax responsibilities.”

Supports ending deferrals so that American corporations pay United States taxes immediately on foreign profits.

Supports establishing a multimillionaire surtax.

Technology and Electricity

Supports public and private investments in science, technology, and research.

Trade Policy

Supports the Export-Import Bank.

Supports net neutrality.

Supports strengthening enforcement of “existing trade rules and the tools we have, including by holding countries accountable on currency manipulation and significantly expanding enforcement resources.”

Opposes “trade agreements that do not support good American jobs, raise wages, and improve our national security.”


Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).