The left’s middle-class problem

The left’s middle-class problem

illary Clinton isn’t saying much of substance at the moment, but we already have a pretty good idea of the domestic agenda on which she will run next year. In January, the Center for American Progress (CAP), the premier left-wing think tank, released a report on “inclusive prosperity” that synthesizes the best current Democratic thinking about the economy. Co-authored by Lawrence Summers, who held high positions in the last two Democratic administrations, it will probably serve, and was probably designed to serve, as a template for the 2016 campaign.

The bad news for conservatives is that, although the progressive agenda outlined in the report is not well suited to the circumstances and challenges of contemporary American life, it is designed for political appeal and may well have some. The good news is that, by applying their principles to the core problems Americans now face, conservatives could readily outline an agenda that would both do more to strengthen economic growth and opportunity in America and be more attractive to the public.

Defensiveness suffuses the Summers report. It cannot avoid acknowledging that, at the tail end of a two-term Democratic presidency, the economy is by no means in strong shape.

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