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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:38 PM

Third Way, William Daley, and the Grand Bargain.

Last edited Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:57 PM - Edit history (1)

Third Way: Friends in High Places.

Third Way is a self-described "moderate" think tank. They are currently advocating for a Grand Bargain on entitlements. Third Way was founded in 2005 but is closely linked with former Clinton staffers as well as former and current members of the Obama administration. Former Third Way Honorary Co-chairs include Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

The current roster of Honorary Co-chairs is: Representatives Clyburn (SC), Dingell (MI), Kind (WI), Crowley (NY), Schwartz (PA), and Polis (CO) and Senators Carper (DE), Coons (DE), McCaskill (MO), Udall (CO), Shaheen (NH), and Hagan (NC). All are Democrats. It seems reasonable to suppose that if these Democrats are willing to lend their name to Third Way they are also sympathetic to their policy positions.

Third Way's website includes the following description of their methods: "Unlike traditional think tanks, which focus on producing academic-oriented papers, we aggressively market our ideas to policymakers and advocates to maximize their impact on the national debate. Third Way’s policy and political work has been incorporated into President Obama’s State of the Union addresses, introduced in more than fifty bills in Congress, included as part of major bipartisan budget deals and the President’s Deficit Commission recommendations..." They aspire to be a neoliberal ALEC.

Third Way = Wall Street Power Play?

President Obama's former Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, is on Third Way's Board of Directors. During the Clinton administration, he served as Special Counsel and coordinated the campaign to pass NAFTA. He also served as Clinton's Commerce Secretary. Prior to joining the Obama administration he was a Vice Chairman of JP Morgan Chase.

Including Daley, Third Way has 29 Directors. The Board is dominated by representatives of the financial industry. Chairman John Vogelstein is Chairman of New Providence Asset Management and is the retired President of the private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The Vice Chairman is David Heller who was formerly the global head of equity trading for Goldman Sachs.

David Coulter is Managing Director of Warburg Pincus. He is an alumnus of JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. Andrew Feldstein is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of BlueMountain Capital Management. He also previously worked at JP Morgan. Derek Kaufman is Head of Global Fixed Income at Citadel LLC. He previously worked at JP Morgan. Michael Novogratz is President and Director of Fortress Investment Group LLC. He previously was a partner at Goldman Sachs.

Brian Frank is a Director and Portfolio Manager at MSD Capital and previously worked in mergers and acquisitions at Lazard Freres. Michael Goldberg is Managing Director at the private equity firm Kelso & Co. He also has prior experience in mergers and acquisitions at First Boston Co. Derek Kirkland is a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley’s Financial Institutions Group in Investment Banking. He has a background in mergers and acquisitions. Joseph Zimlich is the Chief Executive Officer of Bohemian Companies, a group of family-owned real estate and private equity holdings. Mr. Zimlich also has a background in mergers and acquisitions.

John Dyson is Chairman of Millbrook Capital Management. Robert Dyson is Chairman and CEO of Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp., a privately owned investment holding company. Andrew Parmentier is a founding partner of Height Analytics, an investment research firm. Howard Rossman is President of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, a manager of hedge fund portfolios. Kirk Radke is an internationally recognized private equity attorney. Barbara Vogelstein has a background in venture capital and private equity, including a tour as a partner at Warburg Pincus.

Two other Directors who do not have a Wall Street background are worth a mention because they help complete the picture of Third Way. Jonathan Cowan is a co-founder who also co-founded Lead...or Leave, a Generation X advocacy group that was largely financed by Pete Peterson. The other director is Ron Klain who recently served as a senior White House aide to President Obama, and Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden. Pairing Klain with Daley gives Third Way recent Chiefs of Staff of both the President and Vice President. If Daley and Klain can't provide access to the administration, it's difficult to imagine who could.

This think tank/advocacy group, which seeks to shape Democratic Party policy, includes no representives from the labor movement. By contrast, individual financial firms including JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Warburg Pincus each provide more than one Director to Third Way's Board.

Pushing a Grand Bargain- the Talking Points.

Third Way recently released a Memo entitled "Six Facts About a Grand Bargain."
Link: http://www.thirdway.org/publications/609

Summary:
Claim #1: The deficit is not a real economic problem.
Fact #1. Our current fiscal path, unchanged, guarantees higher interest rates and lower economic growth.

Claim #2: Social Security and Medicare don’t contribute to the deficit.
Fact #2. Social Security and Medicare’s fiscal shortfalls directly contribute to the deficit problem.

Claim #3: A grand bargain “betrays” voters.
Fact #3. Large majorities of voters support the core principles of a grand bargain.

Claim #4: A grand bargain means austerity.
Fact #4. A grand bargain is the best alternative to austerity.

Claim #5: Taxing the rich is enough to resolve deficits.
Fact #5. Leaving Social Security and Medicare untouched guarantees middle class tax hikes, because no plausible tax increase on the wealthy, alone, can stop deficit growth.

And finally, in its entirety:
Claim #6: President Obama promised not to touch Medicare and Social Security.
Fact #6: The president has repeatedly endorsed a deal that includes reasonable savings to make Social Security and Medicare stable for future generations.

President Obama has been entirely consistent on the deficit and entitlements. He proposes to cut deficits by $4 trillion, over ten years, “in a balanced way.” There is no question as to what balance means to the president. In the midst of the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, Obama said, “Despite what some in my own
party have argued, I believe that we need to make some modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to ensure that they’re still around for future generations.”

The president has maintained that position throughout the presidential campaign. In the first presidential debate alone, he referred to “balanced” deficit reduction seven separate times. And the transcript of his Des Moines Register interview is clear: “I am absolutely confident that we can get what the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.”



What does it mean to be a Third Way Democrat?

A more expansive exposition of Third Way's policy prescriptions is contained in a recently released paper entitled "The Bargain."
Link: http://content.thirdway.org/publications/613/Third_Way_Report_-_The_Bargain.pdf

Third Way's program is based on the premise that America's biggest problem going forward is a reduction in projected growth of GDP from 3.3% to 2.3% per year. This leads, in short order, to an economy that is too small to sustain promised safety net benefits. In this paper they offer a 7-point plan to spur growth in the economy and thereby save as much of the safety net as possible.

A summary of their prescription:

1. Entitlement reform and tax increases. "Democrats must accept reconfiguring the budget so that, in relative terms, the amount of spending on health care and income supports is reduced compared to public investments."

2. Become an export giant. "Democrats must accept that expanding U.S. exports comes primarily through aggressive new trade measures like the Trans Pacific Partnership."

3. Reform corporate taxes and business regulations. "Democrats must accept that a simpler tax code with a low corporate rate and a streamlined regulatory regime that helps businesses grow is good for America."

4. Increase the productivity and educational attainment of the American workforce. "Democrats must accept that education funding comes with a commitment to reform that puts student performance above all else. They must accept that it is virtually impossible to reform and improve education without restructuring the way teachers are hired, promoted, and dismissed." Third Way Directors active in the charter school movement include William Budinger, Andrew Feldstein, and Derek Kaufman.

5. Become a global magnet for talent. "Democrats must accept that legislation must tilt future immigration flows into the country decidedly in the direction of skills and education." The vague language here suggests support for expanding HB1 visas.

6. Improve infrastructure.

7. Spur breakthrough innovation.

Notably absent from the list are cuts to military spending and serious reform of our hugely expensive employment-based and private insurance-based health care system. Third Way's program appears to be indifferent to the interests of minorities and hostile to the interests of teachers and labor unions. A party that disregards the concerns of a sizeable portion of its base is likely to shatter- sooner rather than later.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Third Way, William Daley, and the Grand Bargain. (Original post)
hay rick Nov 2012 OP
iemitsu Nov 2012 #1
WCGreen Nov 2012 #2
hay rick Nov 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #22
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #3
hootinholler Nov 2012 #4
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #5
Erose999 Nov 2012 #7
Erose999 Nov 2012 #8
hay rick Nov 2012 #11
Zorra Nov 2012 #9
hay rick Nov 2012 #10
Zorra Nov 2012 #13
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #23
WorseBeforeBetter Nov 2012 #12
Hydra Nov 2012 #14
hay rick Nov 2012 #15
PufPuf23 Nov 2012 #16
Samantha Nov 2012 #17
hay rick Nov 2012 #18
Samantha Nov 2012 #19
hay rick Nov 2012 #20
Samantha Nov 2012 #21

Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:41 PM

1. Depressing news, but it explains a lot.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:58 PM

2. Well this Democrat doesn't HAVE to accept a water downed version of radical republicanism...

The only way to stop all of this is to stop putting ex employees of the largest Investment Banks in charge of the economy.

Why don't we just try to raise taxes, make it harder to be compensated with Investment Instrument and stop giving special tax treatment to Capital Gains taxes. The idea that we are "taxing" successful investment is only making it more confusing to the non investing public to make a clear decision on whether to support tax policy concerning investments.

If workers are to be "partners" in this economy, then we must be treated the same as investors.

Also, any country that has "free trade" agreements with the US has to agree on paying a "living Wage" to their workers.

While we are at it, if a US company moves production to a third or fourth world country then they will be charged an excise tax before they can re-import their product to the US in order to even the competition between those people willing to work for a buck a day and American workers.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:40 AM

6. The emphasis on free trade is the cherry on the sundae.

I guess raising profits is more important in the Third Way world than the unquantified downward pressure on wages. As noted, Daley organized the passage of NAFTA. At the time, labor and environmental side agreements were a big part of the discussion. That part hasn't worked out so well...

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:01 AM

22. Neither does this one. How did these stealth Republicans get so much control over our party?

Third Way’s policy and political work has been incorporated into President Obama’s State of the Union addresses, introduced in more than fifty bills in Congress, included as part of major bipartisan budget deals and the President’s Deficit Commission recommendations..." They aspire to be a neoliberal ALEC


Really? That's good to know, now we know where we have to begin to get rid of this poison from our party and send them back to where they belong.

No wonder there has been so much division in the Dem Party.

It explains too some things that I used to find so baffling. Votes in Congress eg where I expected all Dems would vote for or against, such as many of Bush's dreadful policies. And when I would see on the list of 'yes' votes, many Dems I used to be so frustrated, unable to understand. NOW we know why.

Time for us to get really active and rid the party of these infiltrators who are working against the people and for the MIC (airc, they support Neocon ME wars also) and Wall Street.

A good start is the new Coalition of Unions, Progressive Groups and SS advocates.

Obviously Dems were asleep when they allowed this hi-jacking of the Dem Party.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:57 PM

3. kr. rot never sleeps.

 

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:06 PM

4. The reincarnation of the DLC

Nothing more, and not surprising what they advocate.

This will do nothing to move the country back to where the population actually is, but help to prevent progress.

I much prefer FDR's grand bargain or LBJ's grand bargain.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:41 PM

5. K&R

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:56 AM

7. Turd Way never seems to be around when its time to win seats. But whenever we do get the upper hand


and have a little leverage, they're always there telling us how NOT to use it.

Fuck Turd Way. They're not a "think tank" they're a god damn septic tank.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:10 AM

8. "restructuring the way teachers are hired, promoted, and dismissed." Yeah that'll get academia on


board with the Democrats. "Hey guys we need your votes, but we're advocating stalling your promotions and making it easier for your employer to fire you". Also, when how do you expect schools to improve when you're taking a dump on the teachers? But I'm sure Turd Way has some sort of 7-point plan of top-down hierarchical solutions to fix that problem. Because the one thing education needs is more top-down administration.

"I like to fire people who provide services to me" - Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican primary debates.

The rest of the goals are so unrealistic as to be laughable.

"Become an export giant... primarily through aggressive new trade measures like the Trans Pacific Partnership" - Maybe if they want our chief export to be American jobs. Haven't these fartsniffers figured out that without protectionist policies jobs will go to where the labor and resources are cheaper?

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:34 AM

11. Bipartisan support for the Trans Pacific Partnership.

One of the disappointments of the campaign was the lack of discussion about TPP. I guess when there is no disagreement there is no reason for debate.

If multinational corporations are people, TPP is going to be their bill of rights.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:14 AM

9. The ALEC/Chamber of Commerce right wing of the Democratic party. We should purge them.

There's not enough of them to make any significant difference in the vote, and by purging them we'd actually gain votes by bringing back all the left leaning independents who left the party because of their disgust at DLC/Third Way infiltration.

The amount of control over the party that they have, compared to the actual number of "Democrats" who adhere to their GOP affiliated corporatist ideology, is extremely disproportionate.

They do a lot of harm, and almost no good whatsoever.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:08 AM

10. Their contribution is money.

The corporatization of the Democratic Party has created a large pool of "stuck" voters. They support Democrats, without enthusiasm, for lack of a less bad alternative. There is a huge opportunity for a third party occupying the left side of the political spectrum as the Democratic Party abandons the interests of traditional constituents in favor of the interests of business interests that can pay the bills for ever-more-expensive election campaigns. If we are going to preserve the Democratic Party, we need to find ways to neutralize the power of money in our elections.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:15 AM

13. Well said. I could not agree more.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:07 AM

23. This is true:

The amount of control over the party that they have, compared to the actual number of "Democrats" who adhere to their GOP affiliated corporatist ideology, is extremely disproportionate.


But we didn't know about this, at least I did not until fairly recently and I imagine a majority of Dems who are not political junkies do not know about it. Education is important, to spread the word so that more people realize why things do not seem to be working even when we elect Democrats. There are way more of us then of them. And there is strength in numbers. But we are not organized or well funded as they are.

So, where do we begin to remove this poison from the party? I can only think of a few things, 1) Work to primary those Dems who are Third Way and 2) spead the facts around as much as possible.

Learning about the Third Way explained a lot for me that had been so baffling for so long. The seeming betrayal of Dems in key votes during the Bush years eg. NOW I get it.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:59 AM

12. Thanks for putting that together... K&R

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:59 PM

14. Talk about lightly veiled corporate fascism

The fact that they get any traction in our party is a HUGE sign that somebody sold their soul(and our bodies) for corp cash.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:31 PM

15. And you thought the Republicans were the party of business.

And so did I- 20 years ago.

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:48 PM

16. Tired of this shit. kr

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Response to hay rick (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

17. On the other hand

(From the thread) Let's look at these points closely:

A summary of their prescription:

1. Entitlement reform and tax increases. "Democrats must accept reconfiguring the budget so that, in relative terms, the amount of spending on health care and income supports is reduced compared to public investments."

No, we Democrats do not have to accept entitlement reform and tax increases because you state we must. Many of us want the true White Collar Crime in America, the outrageous gouging of health beneficiaries by out of control health care providers and pharmaceutical companies to be reigned in. Many of us Democrats recognize that the "Third Way" although inspired by a term Bill Clinton coined during his administration is virtually a new version of the DLC, which folded because its ideas and promotions were thoroughly outrageous to Democrats. The DLC was basically Republican ideas in Democratic wraps. Today, it is the Third Way. If you support Republican philosophies, discard the facade and go join the Republican party.

2. Become an export giant. "Democrats must accept that expanding U.S. exports comes primarily through aggressive new trade measures like the Trans Pacific Partnership."

Most Democrats do support expanding exports, provided the terms and conditions are reasonable. The Trans Pacific Partnership is unacceptable. You misunderstand us. Most of us can read and have excellent reading comprehension skills. Here is a link to a site which discusses this partnership, and some of the detail within the document has already been rejected by a great number of Democrats:

http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/07/trans-pacific-partnership-threatens-environment-economy-american-sovereignty/

"Fortunately, there are some brave souls out there, as there were in revolutionary times, who defy their masters, risking all, in the pursuit of truth, justice, and the American way.

One of these brave souls leaked a document, that was not supposed to see the light of day, which exposes a grand scheme to essentially sell off large portions of this country’s property, rights and resources for the express purpose of increasing the profits of the corporations who appear to have a heavy hand in writing the agreement.

I am speaking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a “trade agreement,” that basically hands over the keys to our country to a number of foreign and multinational corporations entitling them to basically do whatever they want."

So if you would like to sell your soul to the Company store, go right ahead. But don't try dragging true progressive Democrats who care about the environment and this Country's true assets along with you.


3. Reform corporate taxes and business regulations. "Democrats must accept that a simpler tax code with a low corporate rate and a streamlined regulatory regime that helps businesses grow is good for America."

There you go again, telling Democrats what we must accept. The elected legislators who make decisions for this Country, are public servants charged with the responsibility of protecting the best interests of the Country and its citizenry. I do not remember seeing the "Third Way" mentioned in the Constitution as the fourth arm of our government, so please, do not tell us "what Democrats must accept." Corporations should without question be taxed at reasonable rates and this Country needs to crack down on those who avoid paying taxes through manipulating tax loopholes. Additionally, most thinking Americans want regulation in this area by the government on functioning corporations and individuals making profits through vulture capitalism.

4. Increase the productivity and educational attainment of the American workforce. "Democrats must accept that education funding comes with a commitment to reform that puts student performance above all else. They must accept that it is virtually impossible to reform and improve education without restructuring the way teachers are hired, promoted, and dismissed." Third Way Directors active in the charter school movement include William Budinger, Andrew Feldstein, and Derek Kaufman.

Most working people in the conventional work force are currently doing the job of two or three people and are being highly exploited. So to suggest we need to increase the workers' productivity at this time seems to suggest you advocate working Americans to death. Genuine Democrats advocate for higher pay for our current workforce and adding to the work force as needed, not further exploiting employees already in place as in "doing more with less." Employers should hire as many employees as are needed to get the job done without exploiting those employees already in place.

5. Become a global magnet for talent. "Democrats must accept that legislation must tilt future immigration flows into the country decidedly in the direction of skills and education." The vague language here suggests support for expanding HB1 visas.

While it is a commonly echoed Republican plank that Americans are stupid, Americans are uneducated, and Americans cannot do many of the jobs currently opened, many Americans know this is not true. Hire Americans first when qualified people apply for the job. Extend visas to those applying in areas where there are genuine labor shortfalls and when possible extend courtesy visas to those who wish to come to the Country to train in a specific arena. More than one large employer has extended job opportunities to people from beyond our borders simply working from the belief they can be exploited and underpaid easily. This has to be stopped. Employers hiring workers from other countries to do jobs here must treat them within the legal realms of our current labor laws.

6. Improve infrastructure.

Democrats have been advocating for improving infrastructure for years. We see a lot of potential especially in rebuilding bridges, rebuilding and/or shoring up levies, investing in wind and solar power, rebuilding the electric grid, just to name a few things, that would give rise to more domestic employment with jobs that cannot be outsourced. Perhaps you must accept that real progressives are not going to back down from this.

7. Spur breakthrough innovation.

When did we not? Why do you think we need you to tell us this?

So don't come knocking on my door, trying to make me over. I think we progressives are in the right place and perhaps it is you who need to change.

Sam

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Response to Samantha (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:17 PM

18. Thank you for your dissection of Third Way's program.

Here's mine.

1. Entitlement reform and tax increases. "Democrats must accept reconfiguring the budget so that, in relative terms, the amount of spending on health care and income supports is reduced compared to public investments."

Public investments need to be increased, but "entitlements" are not crowding out that spending. Try looking at bloated military spending, excessive and under-taxed corporate profits, the over-compensated and under-taxed 1%, and out-of-control costs imposed by health care providers and big pharma.

2. Become an export giant. "Democrats must accept that expanding U.S. exports comes primarily through aggressive new trade measures like the Trans Pacific Partnership."

What you said and amen- and thanks for the link. As I said elsewhere, if multinational corporations are people, TPP is their bill of rights.

3. Reform corporate taxes and business regulations. "Democrats must accept that a simpler tax code with a low corporate rate and a streamlined regulatory regime that helps businesses grow is good for America."

The complexity of our tax code is a legitimate issue. The nominal corporate tax rates may be too high, but the effective rates are too low. Corporate tax receipts as a share of total tax receipts have plunged with the proliferation of loopholes and credits.

4. Increase the productivity and educational attainment of the American workforce...

Anti-union screed...teachers are the problem...bullshit.

5. Become a global magnet for talent. "Democrats must accept that legislation must tilt future immigration flows into the country decidedly in the direction of skills and education." The vague language here suggests support for expanding HB1 visas.

The skills gap is another bogus right-wing meme. The real problem is the pay gap- employers don't want to pay a living wage to qualified Americans.

6. Improve infrastructure.

Duh.

7. Spur breakthrough innovation.

See 6.








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Response to hay rick (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:09 AM

19. Well, I started this response too late and too tired to do it justice

but once I waded in, I couldn't easily wade back out. Your response adds a lot.

I have a longstanding grudge against the DLC and I do recognize they folded because they burned too many bridges. Suddenly we have the Third Way propagating the same tone and attitude. I think we all need to collectively speak out against them because they are not progressive and should have no influence with Dems. Nor should they be allowed to speak in our name!

Before too long, they will arrogantly assert that while they do not have the power to choose the Democratic candidate, they do have the influence to block those they do not want to run and empower someone else more in alignment with their policies to get the nomination. This is exactly what the DLC did pre-2004 to pull the rug out from underneath Gore from running again. And, to make matters worse, the DLC'ers had the poor judgment to give the Washington Post an interview stating exactly that. What an arrogant, egotistical group. And they are back, just with a different name.

Sam

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Response to Samantha (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:21 AM

20. Third Way continues the work of the DLC.

Current Third Way Honorary Co-chair Thomas Carper was the last Vice Chairman of the DLC. Evan Bayh was also active in both groups. Third Way continues the tradition of the "Republican wing of the Democratic Party."

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Response to hay rick (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:39 AM

21. And they thought we would never notice.... (n/t)

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