Associated General Contractors of America

Democratic Platform Offers Mixed Messages on AGC Priorities

The Democrat platform was adopted this week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Overall, the platform fails to outline specific Democratic plans or positions in key policy areas. The platform does touch on several issues relevant to AGC priorities including, tax, infrastructure, immigration, labor and employment, regulations, and energy.

Here is a summary of AGC priorities mentioned in the Democrat Platform:

Taxes -- No specifics except for tax-cuts for families who make less than $250,000 a year and closing loopholes and deductions for the largest corporations and highest-earning taxpayers. There was no mention of estate tax, alternative minimum tax or any other taxes that expire at the end of 2012. The platform does support unspecific tax cuts for small businesses that make new investments, hire workers or increase wages.

Infrastructure -- The platform calls for an "immediate investment" for highways, transit, rail and aviation. It also calls for creation of a national infrastructure bank with part of the savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The platform wrongly gives sole credit to President Obama and Congressional Democrats for the two years of funding provided in MAP-21. The platform is effusive about the reforms in the bill but it makes no mention of addressing our long-term transportation funding needs. The platform also supports "sustainable development" (passenger rail, bike paths, pedestrian paths, etc.).

Labor and Employment -- The platform gives credit to the president for his appointments to the National Relations Board and the National Mediation Board. The platform says that the administration will "continue its fight against the exploitive practice of employers fraudulently misclassifying workers as independent contractors" and oppose "Right to Work", "paycheck protection", and "Save our Secret Ballot" measures in Congress.

Immigration -- The platform reiterates the president's position in support of comprehensive immigration reform that allows illegal immigrants to get on a path towards citizenship.

Regulations -- The platform rejects the argument that certain regulatory rules and protections need to be rolled back for the economy to grow but does acknowledge rules should be simpler and more flexible and regulations should be based on sound science.

Energy -- The platform adopts an all-of-the above energy position with an emphasis on cutting "big oil" tax subsidies while expanding the clean energy sector.

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