When U.S. Representative Ed Markey began his campaign to succeed John Kerry in the U.S. Senate, most Democrats looked forward to his candidacy as an opportunity to highlight a genuinely progressive vision of what the Democratic Party can offer. Markey has spent his time in the House of Representatives up until this time promoting environmental responsibility and a fiscally progressive agenda.
Today, however, it seems that the Ed Markey for Senate campaign has hit a major bump in the road, with his vote on the progressive Back To Work Budget. The Back To Work Budget legislation embodied both progressive economics and climate action – everything that Representative Markey has said that he stands for.
Introduced by Raul Grijalva of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Back To Work Budget would have, if it had passed:
- increased income taxes for millionaires and billionaires
- eliminated tax loopholes for households with an annual income of over $250,000
- bring education budgets back up to responsible levels
- restore funding for jobs programs in economically troubled communities
- put income from investments at the same level of taxation as income from work
- end tax breaks that reward outsourcing of jobs to overseas sweatshops
- shut down the pipeline of subsidies to polluting fossil fuels companies
- reduce military spending to 2006 levels
- set a price for the emission of carbon pollution that is causing climate change
Ed Markey claims to support progressive economic reform and action on climate change, but Markey voted against the progressive Back To Work Budget. Ed Markey voted the same position as for Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on this bill.
Why would he do that? Does Markey believe that he can take progressive voters in Massachusetts for granted?