The Politics of The Green New Deal: The Opposition Of The Rich

Posts in this series:

The Green New Deal Challenges The Domination Of Capital

Part 1 on Labor

The Green New Deal: Part 2 On Capital

Every discussion of the Green New Deal begins with the assertion that it can’t pass. In the US this means one thing: the donor class doesn’t like it. We need to confront this fact.

If the richest people in the US strongly supported the Green New Deal, it would be on its way to passage with the support of enough Republican legislators. As evidence, let’s look at a widely read study by Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin Page of Northwestern of legislative actions and voter preferences. Here’s a short description. In this rebuttal of their critics, a group of researchers including Gilens and Page say this:

When only the affluent strongly support a proposed policy change, that policy is adopted 46 percent of the time; when only the middle-class strongly support a policy, that policy is adopted only 24 percent of the time.

The affluent are, not surprisingly, better at blocking policies they dislike than achieving policy change they desire. When a policy is strongly opposed by the affluent (less than 25 percent support) but not strongly opposed by the middle-class, that policy is adopted only 4 percent of the time. But when a policy is strongly opposed by the middle-class but not by the affluent, the policy is adopted 40 percent of the time.

Blocking the Green New Deal is obviously a priority of the capitalists in the donor class, and given their selection of old men in the Senate who won’t live to suffer the damage of climate disaster, the donor class will likely get its way in the near term.

Page and Jeffrey Winters published an article in December 2009 titled Oligarchy in the United States?. Here’s a less academic version. They think that oligarchs, meaning the very richest among capitalists, share three goals which I summarize as:

1. Protecting and preserving wealth
2. Insuring the unrestricted use of wealth
3. Acquiring more wealth.

I think most capitalists share those goals, and the richer they are, the more they agree.

In the past when confronted with economic disaster capital used its political and ideological power and of course its money to get the government to bail it out of economic difficulty, to direct the efforts of the government to deal with the problem (not necessarily solving it), and to enable capital to profit from dealing with the problem. We don’t have to look back but a decade to see this.

The Green New Deal is a direct threat to that approach. Capitalists. and their political allies are angry and outraged at the very idea that something should be done. It must be infuriating to hear politicians say that government should protect the working class and local communities from climate change and its consequences. It especially terrible because that protection will sometimes come at the expense of the three goals of the capitalists.

For example, Section 4.4 calls for increased research and development of new and renewable energy technologies and industries. Section 4.1 establishes a goal of:

providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization ….

In the past, the government has created valuable knowledge and technical expertise, and turned it over to the private sector to exploit at no or very little cost. Not only that, but there were no price controls to protect the consumers who are, of course, working class, not capitalists. This source of profit dries up under the Green New Deal. Capital is not permitted to impose excessive prices as it routinely has, for example in the drug business.

Section 4.5 adds this:

directing investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry in local and regional economies, and build wealth and community ownership, while prioritizing high-quality job creation and economic, social, and environmental benefits in frontline and vulnerable communities that may otherwise struggle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries;

In the past, capital has invested where it chose for its own reasons. Capitalists use that power to extract tax preferences from state and local governments. Or they choose to locate in places with compliant, meaning non-union, workers, who are much easier to exploit. Section 4.5 seeks to change that. Section 4.7 calls for better jobs with higher pay. Section 4.6 insists on deep involvement of the community in planning for reaching the goals of the Green New Deal.

Taken together, these provisions should lead to a more resilient economy by spreading work and production across the nation. It’s true that the Green New Deal will reduce the freedom of capital to invest for its own benefit without regard to the costs it imposes on workers and society,and perhaps lower returns. Politically, making the economy work for everyone should be seen by the vast majority as a more important goal.

Until now, wealthier people, not all capitalists, have acted to ensure that factories, refineries, and other heavy polluters are kept in poor communities. The Green New Deal calls for moving to cleaner energy and production, and offers a path to that future. It also calls for cleaning up the mess the capitalists have imposed on society. It requires industry to go green as well, reducing pollution and damage to the people nearby. Thanks to the requirement for heavy community involvement, the balance of power related to the location of work should shift towards the working class. This, we can hope, will lead to a healthier and happier population.

It will also affect the profitability of some businesses because it forces capital to eat costs it has imposed on people and on the environment for decades. But the cost of improvements will be partly offset by government contributions of technology, financial assistance, and technical support under Section 4.1. And following Econ 101 logic, forcing capital to internalize all of its costs improves market outcomes by making the costs of production obvious.

The good things offered by the Green New Deal are not enough for the capitalists. They have always had their way, and they won’t give up without a fight. They’ve already started operating their most trusted tool: Shrieking About Socialism. I’ll look at that next.

47 replies
  1. tacocat says:

    But what more do they want? And to what end? It does no good to own all the resources in the world if you don’t have a servant class to prepare it for your consumption.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      As Michelle Obama said: “They’re not all that smart”. Wealthy people think their wealth makes them superior to the poors, smarter too. It doesn’t.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      As Rutger Bregman states, MLK, Jr. didn’t say, “I have a nightmare.” He said, “I have a Dream!”
      Rutger Bregman says if DT wants to “MAGA,” let’s make taxes like they were in the 1950s, when the rich had a 90% tax rate.

      Rutger Bregman is a young Dutch historian who wrote a book titled, “Utopia for Realists.” He also was invited to Davos where he went off script and told the super wealthy to stop their BS philanthropy and raise taxes on themselves instead.

      If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will soon. Or, you can watch his TEDx. He is making the MSM rounds, too. Trevor Noah also interviewed him.

      Take a look. It will make you feel better. Hope is a good thing! Rutger Bregman, yes!

  2. Anon says:

    Thank you Ed, well written as always. Let me comment in advance on the next part. The thing about Shrieking about socialism is that it has increasingly dwindling historical value. It worked great in the 50’s and even up to the 80’s when there were genuinely socialist countries that periodically engaged in horrific purges or cultural revolutions, and which were seen as even enemies in the world hell-bent on killing us. In that sense they were able to argue that sacrificing for capitalist freedom was essentially necessary for the common good.

    These days while the enemies remain, they are not socialist in any meaningful sense and people no longer see them as the only alternative which leaves the Council of Economic Advisors warning about socialism by pointing to the horrors of … Norway.

    It is just plain hard to get younger people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck even with a degree quaking in their boots at losing that precariousness to live in a more equal society. Especially when the “You wouldn’t be able to afford a new SUV” argument that the CEA advanced is already true here.

    Snark aside I am curious to hear how you think this shrieking would play out now given that the economic conditions have changed, society is waaaay more unequal than it was in the 50’s and everyone knows it and, most importantly, the fears that are being exploited are no longer fresh or believable even to people in their 40s.

  3. Hops says:

    Echoes of the past…


    In the 1930’s U. S. Senator George Norris of Nebraska was concerned that the descendents of homesteaders and other people living in rural America were not getting a ‘fair chance.’ Norris lamented that in rural America the men and women were “growing old prematurely; dying before their time; conscious of the great gap between their lives and the lives of those whom the accident of birth or choice placed in towns and cities.”

    Norris and other senators and congressmen believed that access to electricity would revolutionize the rural way of life. Therefore, in 1936 Congress passed the Rural Electrification Act to give rural Americans a ‘fair chance.’

  4. Tom says:

    When the Democrats are accused of being socialists, they should ask their opponents to explain what it means to be a Republican these days. The answer, of course, is that it means whatever Donald Trump says it means.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      Capitalism is linked to Democracy and christianity, in a lot of American’s minds. Socialism means totalitarian repression, violence, and atheism!

  5. ken melvin says:

    What are the politics of an uninhabitable earth? Why not more acknowledgment of the similarities between our times and those of ‘The Progressive Era’.

      • e.a.f. says:

        I’d agree. the U.S.A. today, looks more like it did during the “gilded” age than looking like a “progressive era”. There isn’t much which is progressive these days when it comes to the majority of governments in North America.

  6. Pete says:

    So, these oligarchical capitalists will have to become real capitalists – or dare I say it social-capitalists. I forget where I read it, but the GND can be viewed through a lens of increased growth in non upper class wealth (e.g. job creation) and GDP. Sure there’s a cost, but I wonder what the GDN public costs versus the existing government “socialism” to big corporations and the ultra wealthy already is?!

  7. LossMentality says:

    “They’ve already started operating their most trusted tool: Shrieking About Socialism. ”

    Well and humorously said. Indeed, SAS has “trickled down” to the MSM – now every Dem candidate for 2020 is being asked if they’re a socialist, which is, of course, a trick question.

    • e.a..f says:

      Those who are asked the question, are you a socialist, might consider asking the questioner what their definition of a socialist is. The term “socialist” has different meanings in different geographical locations.

  8. dan hunter says:

    It seems every empire does the same thing. Wealth creates its own class that becomes more and more isolated from the needs of the rest of the empire’s citizens. Eventually they put their own desires so far above the needs of the society they do things that lead to the collapse of the empire that was the source of their wealth and power.

    • Steve13209 says:

      I don’t think the ultra wealthy worry that there will ever be a time where they can’t get (buy) what they want somewhere . If not in the USA, then somewhere else in the world. With the global economy, citizenship in a specific country (empire or otherwise) is not such a big factor. I feel like we are living through a real-life Rollerball (and I don’t see any Jonathan around).

  9. JamesJoyce says:

    Slaveowners who enjoyed monopoly on energy, via discrimination, passed risk on too society.

    The sun does not discriminate. Ignorant human beings who are played; do!

    Deja Vu

  10. Valley girl says:

    To add a bit to this:
    ~In the past, the government has created valuable knowledge and technical expertise, and turned it over to the private sector to exploit at no or very little cost.~

    I’m not sure what you have in mind here, but in terms of “the government has created valuable knowledge”, I would add that “government funding has created valuable knowledge”. I thought immediately of the NIH (National Institues of Health), which gives grant money to fund individual researchers at universities to undertake or continue scientific research into health-related topics.

    I have received grants from NiH, and also served on grant review panels. The latter, a grant review panel, makes recommendations as to which grant proposals should be funded, and ranks proposals by perceived merit.

    My research involved more basic than applied science, but NIH funds both. In terms of applied science, drug discovery and development is high on the list of priorities. It has always rankled me that pharmaceutical companies use the results of studies funded by NIH to pursue their own for-profit drug development.

    The NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) is under the umbrella of NIH. I was poking around on the internet, as a result of having read your post. I found this:

    I will quote part of the above press release:

    ~A biopharmaceutical company utilized these basic research findings to develop brexanolone, a drug that can be used to treat postpartum depression by restoring levels of this metabolite. Successful clinical trials have led to FDA approval of an injectable version of this drug.~

    Above is from March 19, 2019 • Press Release. So, this is in the present, not the past. I am referring to your words “In the past”.

    • drmyk says:

      Of course, the same argument goes to many things we use every day. The internet, LCD displays, WiFi, GPS, all things that came directly or indirectly from government research funding and support, but we don’t think as much about the federal support of your router or your iphone as we do about drug development.

      That said, I was at a group where they were raising money to treat cystic fibrosis. One of the speakers said that the government doesn’t fund this work so it was important for people to donate. Granted, it is important to help raise money but the CFTR gene that causes CF was described by Francis Collins. The at that time, and current, director of the NIH. The lines between government research and its application to marketable products are often blurry.

  11. Jenny says:

    Thank you Ed. Great posts.

    The Green New Deal raises the level of consciousness about how planet Earth is a living being and how humanity treats her poorly. Shoddy stewards to a planet used and abused by the greedy taking what they want and doing what they want, no matter the cost to the planet.

    Environmental protections disappearing and corporations given carte blanche to do what they wish. These selfish money-grubbing people care only about themselves, their own money and the power over others.

    The Green New Deal exposes the gain for profit trashing the environment, people’s health and violating the land. It brings awareness to we, as a society and homeworld that as stewards of the land we are obligated to care, serve and respect Mother Earth. When we do so, a cleaner and healthier environment is created providing healing and protection for ALL.

    “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” Cree Indian Proverb

  12. sand says:

    Section 4.6 insists on deep involvement of the community in planning for reaching the goals of the Green New Deal.

    It is not easy to get the public to “engage” on complex public policy issues. That said, it seems that many of the working-class people that are engaged at this point are against the GND. They have bought into the capitalist argument that regulation (almost any regulation) means loss of jobs. Many seem too exhausted to realize that they work all day in part to pay the bill for poisoned water for their children.

    In this cynical world, why don’t more people see regulation as a means of thwarting the constant corporate desire to externalize costs while internalizing profits? How can we convince people to examine corporate claims about regulation with an eye toward the future in 20+ years?

    Most working-class people that I know are against the GND. I have not taken a scientific poll, but I fear that it will be very hard to get those that stand to benefit to take a more careful look. Trump country is full of working-class people, and I think many of them will need to get on board for something like the GND to pass.

    • Ed Walker says:

      This is a real problem. But I think that there are plenty of people ready to protect their communitites. I see it here in Chicago; there are plenty of activists but little wider support because people are exhausted, as you say. I hope the Green New Deal revives their belief that they can change their lives for the better.

    • JD12 says:

      The rollout of the GND was botched unfortunately. The new Congress wanted to hit the ground running but it seems AOC’s staff hadn’t thought all the PR angles through, Markey probably should’ve helped. Granted the GOP was going to attack it in bad faith anyway.

      I’m still hopeful for the GND, but it will probably have to be a rebranded compromise bill to pass in the next 6 years.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes yes, it was all so “botched”. Let us blame AOC. That seems lazy. Probably the Dems should help the GOP by furthering this nonsense. Good grief.

        • JD12 says:

          Sorry that’s just the truth. In a perfect world people would judge bills on the merits but in reality the PR is part of it.

  13. oldpaint says:

    Shrieking About Socialism is what the capitalists’ legislative water boys do — and those who elect them, the Don’t-Tread-On-Me class who consider themselves to be the real true independent Americans, who hate liberals and government even though their career ambition might be to “get on disability.”

    The ultra-wealthy capitalists, many of them, have quietly and for many years put huge amounts of money into building a solid foundation to support their libertarian interests. They have funded ALEC and bought legislators at the state and federal levels who do their bidding. They have even funded business courses at respected universities that use Ayn Rand novels as textbooks.

    I am an old man now. I am happy to see young progressives with decent values having some success, and I hope it continues. But I wonder if we are witnessing an American version of the Arab Spring. I worry that we might have passed a tipping point, not just in climate change but in our ability to change for the better. I look to this site for reasons to be more hopeful — just as I look to other parts of the country, because I live in a Don’t-Tread-On-Me stronghold.

  14. jaango says:

    I have intentionally refrained from participating in any discussion on the internet blogs relative to my lack of gusto for what is today’s ‘passing’ of a New Green Deal. Consequently, for these past twenty years, my political-making rhetoric and approach to public policy has been on the “value” inherent in “demographics” as it pertains to Latinos, and as Latinos ‘invent’ their future, hence the next twenty years or so.

    Therefore, the rhetorical flourish for a European-oriented display of Socialism, is not my cup of tea. However, the Latino cohort among progressives, is the largest cohort and which poses a serious challenge to today’s “majority.” And subsequently, coalition-building will continue but only where ‘new Ideas” have to be crafted into legislation, and leads to public policy.

    And with the above in mind, today’s White House Press Room is not much better that was Obama’s Press Room. As such, will the next Democratic-oriented President establish a weekly Saturday Morning Bloggers Conference that would require each of the Cabinet Secretaries to submit themselves to the wide array of internet ‘smarties’ asking diligent as well as insightful questions that must be answered. If so, the nation would have considerable easy access to how government operates as per the impactful questions being posed, and perhaps, even lead to a consequential advocacy for crafting a far better democracy than we have today. Hope remains infernal, yet, tomorrow’s future can be easily assured. To wit, the Votes Are Here!

    In summary, I am looking forward your Part Three. And BTW, my thanks for parts one and two.

  15. gmoke says:

    “…old men in the Senate who won’t live to suffer the damage of climate disaster, the donor class will likely get its way in the near term.”

    Tell that to the people flooded in the Midwest, Houston with its series of 500 year floods in less than a decade, CA with its increasing fires. Denial is not just a river in Egypt and is always at flood it seems. Every day now climate change is coming home. It ain’t the “storms of my grandchildren.” It’s the storm tomorrow.

    Wise capitalists (if there are any) should realize that a government supporting a Green New Deal could be a bonanza just as the government support of the Internet was a bonanza. But then, wise is very different from smart.

    I’ve been looking for economists who have looked at what happens when the cost of fuel goes away which is what a 100% renewably powered society will be. There will be lots of money available for new investment and operating costs for the energy sector will go waaaaaay down while employment goes up.

    Incidentally, here’s the latest report on renewable energy jobs in the USA:

    There are 3.3 million jobs in the renewable energy sector already and only 1.15 million in the entire US fossil fuel industry, something like 50,000 in coal. The transition is already under way and, although two years of Trmp have slowed it a little, the increasing drop in renewable prices should wipe all that away. Utilities are now contracting for renewables, even in the USA, at 2¢ per kWh while the operating costs of existing coal plants is 4-20¢ per kWh. Fossil fools are being priced out of the market and even a smart capitalist, if there is such a thing, can read that handwriting on the bottom line.

  16. e.a.f. says:

    gmoke, the old men in the Senate don’t have to suffer the current effects of climate change. Yes, there have been horrible floods and hurricanes in Texas, but the old men and women in the Senate weren’t impacted. That is the thing about wealth, you can re locate any time you wish and you will always have enough money to start over. Its those who are left behind, like the working middle class and the poor who can’t move, can’t always start over. They don’t have the money.

    Living in an area which once didn’t think much about forest fires, never concerned me. Now, its different and have an exit strategy. Being retired with pensions, I have alternatives, but a great many people don’t. Their jobs, mortgages tie them to an area.

    This year the province of B.C. has allocated $100M for its fire fighting budget. That won’t be enough. In 2018 the province budgeted $63M and spent $274M. I see a GND as a way to reduce the amount of money spent on forest fires and destroyed communities.

    About the only way to get the attention of the major corporate polluters in the world is to start taxing them for it. That isn’t going to happen under the current American administration or Canadian, however, under a GND, it might. The current U.S. administration gave tax cuts to the wealthy and ignored the rest. “The rest” appear to be O.K. with that, thinking they would some how benefit. By now people ought to understand their interests and those of the super rich are very different. Hoping things will change is a form of denial. Tax cuts only defund government.

    When you look at how quickly Australia and N.Z. were able to change their gun laws, its amazing. In my opinion, the majority of American politicians are the hired staff of the super rich. Democracy has always been for the rich only. People like to think democracy began in England. What it was, a group of rich and power men attempting to control the richest and most powerful man so he wouldn’t take away what they owned. Not much has changed since. O.K. people without land, women and people of colour may now vote, in most places.

    Until money is taken out of politics it will truly be very difficult to have a democracy or a GND. In Canada exceeding financial limits could see you sent to jail, such as previous Cabinet minister, Del Mastro, who was found guilt and sentenced to one month in jail, 4 months of house arrest and then probation.

    • gmoke says:

      As I recall, Trent Lott, when still a Senator, had a house that was damaged or destroyed by a hurricane. Yes, they are insulated from many harms and have the $$$$ and connections to replace their material goods when and if harm does touch them but I guarantee you that the constituents flooded out in the Midwest now are going to be asking some hard questions to their governmental representatives in the next election cycle.

      As for taxing harms to eliminate pollution, I remember a conversation with some environmental people from 3M about two decades ago. They had a plant in a county which taxed pollution and eventually found that the county authorities made it more difficult for them to reduce their emissions because the county came to rely on the income from pollution taxes.

      I like full cost ecological accounting throughout the economy but doubt that I’ll ever live to see it. Almost always, a good idea from government has perverse consequences, often unintended although sometimes the bad consequences are completely intended too.

      It is not for nothing that complex problems can be categorized as wicked.

      • e.a.f. says:

        a government isn’t to use that money for their regular budget but rather to remediate the effects of the pollution/carbon/ etc.

        As to the citizens of the Midwest, the news being what it is regarding Mueller, etc. there hasn’t been much on the news as to what the federal government is doing to assist the people in this area. it would appear to have become a black hole when it comes to news, same for the flooding in Africa.

  17. Richard says:

    To: Ed Walker
    Excellent article. I’ve studied Block and Somers Power of Market Fundamentalism
    and their writing about Polanyi’s writing.
    The GND is a way to implement Polanyi’s vision.

  18. JasonS says:

    When someone goes off about the “global warming” hoax i say this. If we take drastic measures to combat climate change pollution and its not real the richest of the rich will just have a little less wealth , but if we pretend its not a problem and it is real all of your children and grandchildren …oh and the planet will be severely impacted if not utterly destroyed. Then they look at me in the eye and say , but Hillery’s emails and i weep for the future.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Scooter Libby was not so lighthearted about a conviction for obstruction of justice. Trump’s supporters would be wise to think about that. But if they were smart enough to do that, they probably would not be Trump supporters.

  20. JD12 says:

    For public support for the GND I’d love to see an awareness-raising book or documentary on the TVA. I grew up in TN and even though it’s a red state the TVA is considered a success and not socialism. It wasn’t intended during planning but the hydroelectric dams helped power the build up to WWII in Alcoa, uranium enrichment for the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge, and the space program in Huntsville, AL. Democrats want action on climate change already so it would be to persuade the Republicans and climate deniers, and hearing their own people touting the TVA’s success would hopefully be disarming and open them up on the idea.

  21. tinao says:

    Speaking of capital Ed, what about the law suit against exxon who is economically bigger than I forget how many countries? I would love to see that corrupt player fund a huge part of the capital necessary for our survival in a world we are all still familiar with. Thanks for your great work!

  22. Watson says:

    I think that the terms ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’ are too imprecise to be helpful in analyzing a project such as the Green New Deal.

    ‘Socialism’, however defined, will not be on our ballots; and it is generally assumed that any economic system will include a mixture of activity by private actors and by the government.

    Hopefully we can agree on the urgency of taking action to save our planet, and I suggest that the focus should be on whether/how much of a particular proposed activity belongs in the public sector versus the private sector, and whether/how much of it should be conducted on a for-profit basis versus a not-for-profit basis.

  23. Ken says:

    OK, second try here on the GND. Ed, I appreciate your work and your commitment to civil discourse, thanks for continuing to write about this. I wanted to provide a broader counterpoint for why those in favor of the GND are seeing so much resistance it, in the hopes that folks such as yourself Ed who clearly have thought deeply about it can use it to figure out how to shape it and sell it better. Because the reality is that the GND is DOA in its current form.

    1. Just because someone says they don’t agree with every aspect of the GND does not mean they’re rejecting all of it. The discourse on this has been nothing short of silly. You can see it on the comments on this very website. Apparently to be properly Democratic and accepted you have to endorse the whole thing heartily and be a big cheerleader. You get extra credit if you fawn over AOC in the process. You get summarily dismissed, however, if you express any criticism of it. It’s OK to believe only in parts of it and wanting to have substantive discourse about how to implement the parts you want.

    2. The primary reason you are seeing so much resistance to, if not outright mockery around the GND is that are simply too many policies stuffed into it, especially policies that would force the complete restructuring of multiple industries and take far longer to implement than stated. Jay Inslee is 100% correct in saying that it all comes down to climate change. Why can’t we just focus on climate change first? Clear, unambiguous, challenging but doable. Easy to explain. Sound bite-able. Twitter-savvy.

    3. Multiple GND boosters are running around the country saying how much better life is going to be with the GND and that anyone who disagrees is trying to “manipulate” the conversation. While the end game may be positive for the GND, the process of reshaping the industries and governmental institutions involved is going to to be nothing short of what happened in wartime in WWII, i.e. it’s going to be incredibly painful and paradigm-shifting and there is going to be a ton of discomfort, uncertainty and change. Truth in advertising would be helpful in properly communicating what’s really going to happen, because people already viscerally understand this, so you insult their intelligence when you blithely dismiss their skepticism.

    4. You have to win before you can implement anything. The Dems held the Presidency and both houses of Congress in 2008-2010 and still barely passed the ACA with a ton of compromises. I fail to see how the political climate is any different (many would say it’s actually worse) and I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how, when we currently only hold the House, that it was a good idea to throw something out there 20 times more ambitious than the ACA before we even won everything back.

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