The Democrats released their party platform yesterday, just one day ahead of their three day convention. There were not a lot of surprises in the document, with typical support for Medicare, Planned Parenthood, unions, and tax increases on the wealthy. The platform also expressed support for Obamacare, immigration reform, and gay marriage.
On healthcare, the platform took shots at the Republican Party, claiming they want to end Medicare as we know. Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan authored a budget that changed the program to a voucher style system. The Romney plan offers a similar option, but also keeps traditional Medicare as an option to seniors. The platform also speaks highly of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The platform also mentions the need for immigration reform. It outlines the need to bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows and get them right with the law. The platform calls for teaching the undocumented workers English and getting them to pay taxes. This idea is in stark contrast to the plan offered by Mitt Romney, which calls for self deportation.
Surprisingly, the Democrats call for lowering the corporate tax rate. The platform calls for closing loopholes and rewarding companies that create jobs in the US with even lower taxes. The policy also calls for an end of tax breaks for companies that are sending jobs overseas. President Obama has been a strong proponent for tax cuts for companies that employ American workers. The document also takes a shot at Romney by claiming Democrats want to insource jobs, and that the Republicans nominated a candidate who was a pioneer in outsourcing.
For the first time, the platform endorses same sex marriage. President Obama made headlines when he came out in favor of marriage equality earlier this year. He has even instructed the Justice Department to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. The subject has gotten a lot of press this year, and flared to dramatic proportions after the president of Chic-Fil-A came out against gay marriage.
Party platforms are generally meaningless these days, as they reveal things we already know about a party. At this point, everyone knows where both the Democratic and Republican parties stand. Tonight the Democrats take center stage, and will have a chance to sell this platform to the nation. With the presidential polls tight, they had better do a good job if they hope to keep the White House.