Robert Reich: The Middle Ground Where Left and Right Meet

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A Wall Street sign in New York City on January 20. The author argues that when it comes to banning insider trading, closing the tax loophole for hedge fund partners and ending corporate welfare and crony capitalism, there should be no gridlock. Below, he lists policies where both sides agree. Mike Segar/reuters

This article first appeared on RobertReich.org.

The old debate goes something like this:

"You don't believe women have reproductive rights."

"You don't value human life."

Or this:

"You think everyone should own a gun."

"You think we're safer if only criminals have them."

Or this:

"You don't care about poor people."

" You think they're better off with handouts."

Or this:

"You want to cut taxes on the rich."

"You want to tax everyone to death."

But we're seeing the emergence of a new debate where the populist left and right are on the same side:

Both are against the rich to spend as much as they want corrupting our democracy.

Both are against crony capitalism.

Both are against corporate welfare.

Both are against another Wall Street bailout.

Both want to stop subsidizing Big Agriculture, Big Oil and the pharmaceutical industry.

Both want to close the tax loophole for hedge fund partners.

Both want to ban inside trading on Wall Street.

Both want to stop CEOs from pumping up share prices with stock buybacks...and then cashing in their stock options.

Both want to stop tax deductions of CEO pay over $1 million.

Both want to get big money out of politics, reverse Citizens United and restore our democracy,

If we join together, we can make these things happen.

Robert Reich is the chancellor's professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, and Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 14 books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations and Beyond Outrage and, most recently, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-creator of the award-winning documentary Inequality for All.