Fighting Tax Cuts for the 1%, Putting Power Behind Workers, and Building a Movement for Digital Equity

October 20, 2017

The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top 5 stories of the week.

1. Hitting the Brakes on Tax Reform

If conservative leaders in this Congress are fast tracking a piece of legislation, it’s probably bad. Republicans want tax “reform” ASAP, but they are keeping many significant details secret and conducting their sweeping rewrite of the tax code behind closed doors. We know that the plan will prioritize economic power for the rich. Even Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin himself says it’s hard not to give tax cuts to those at the top—to which Roosevelt Fellow Michael Linden responded with five ideas to rebalance the tax code without cutting taxes on those who are already wealthy. As Research Director Marshall Steinbaum explains: “progressive taxation curbs the power of the wealthy—and that’s exactly why the Right hates it.”

2. Rebuilding Worker Power

Corporate decisions play a big role in determining how our economy functions and what working people can expect on pay day. And for decades, corporate America has prioritized immediate profits over long-term investment and growth. In Fighting Short-Termism With Worker PowerRoosevelt Fellow Susan R. Holmberg examines how co-determination—providing legal rights to workers to co-manage corporations, as done in Germany—can guide the US towards a more balanced and fair economic system. Senior Fellow Lenore Palladino also recommends building worker power. “Progressives should embrace employee ownership as one of the best ways to challenge corporate power,” she writes.

3. Digital Equity as a Social Right

The Nation’s Michelle Chen looks at universal broadband access as a social movement, with Roosevelt Fellow Maya Wiley discussing the need to tackle the digital divide at the local level. “We need to be doing those kinds of small-scale [approaches] so that we have a way to scale them over time, and at the same time we’re actually helping real people…when they fundamentally just don’t even have the access,” she says. In an op-ed for The Hill, Roosevelt’s Rakeen Mabud explains why Democrats should “heed their own antitrust agenda” and address the issue of affordability—not just access.

4. Contraception is Not Controversial

The Trump administration is actively harming health care for American women, especially through its assault on the ACA mandate that safeguards contraceptives as preventive care. In the Columbia Daily Spectator, Roosevelt network member Sarah Lubin calls on her peers to challenge the president’s push towards discrimination against women. “College students in particular…need to learn about the imposed risks to their access to reproductive health care, and fight to counter these dangerous and callous changes to contraception access,” she writes.

5. The FTC at Full Capacity

The White House announced nominations for key administrative posts this week, including Roosevelt Visiting Fellow Rohit Chopra as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Politico covered the story on Thursday, noting that Chopra is a former consumer watchdog for the FTC and the nation’s first student loans ombudsman. Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recommended Chopra for the position.

What We’re Reading:

In “Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump,” Ari Berman of Mother Jones writes on the consequences strict, racialized voter ID laws (like those in Wisconsin) have on democratic participation. If we cannot protect the ability—let alone the right—for Americans to vote, the future of our nation’s democratic system will remain deeply jeopardized.

What We’re Watching:

“And I know that all of us here stand on the side of justice.” Those were the words delivered by United We Dream Executive Director Cristina Jiménez Moreta during her powerful acceptance speech last week at the Four Freedoms Awards.


Next Thursday, October 26, we’ll be in Durham, NC, for the “In Conversation” conference, in partnership with the Center on Social Equity at Duke University. If you can’t make it to the event, use this link to watch the conference live. There will also be a Hidden Rules book reading that evening with Roosevelt’s Felicia Wong, Andrea Flynn, and Dorian Warren. Learn more here.