A more liberal and populist movement is emerging within the Democratic Party that views President Barack Obama and the party's presumptive presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton as excessively centrist, according to the Washington Post.
This group is looking to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as its 2016 presidential standard-bearer.
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In contrast to Obama, Warren favors increasing Social Security payments. In a recent Senate floor speech she said, "The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 – at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors – is to allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch."
In addition to opposing any budget deal that would involve Social Security reductions, the more liberal faction favors stronger regulation of Wall Street; a $10.10-an-hour minimum wage, higher than the $9 favored by Obama; student loan debt relief; steps aimed at reducing economic inequality, and measures to protect workers from the aftershocks of globalization.
Clinton is seen by many on the left as being too close to Wall Street and to the devotees of Robert Rubin, her husband's Treasury secretary. Some also complain that Rubin's people have been running economic policy under Obama, according to the Post.
Warren, a former Harvard law professor, has also called for big banks to be broken up.
"Wall Street will fight us, but the American people are on our side," she told a union audience.
The Post reported that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, said that though he is not keen to run for president he is willing to do so if a sufficiently liberal Democrat does not enter the raise.
Democrats need to be cautious not to pull too far to the left, the Post said, lest they be charged with being irresponsible over the national debt and not caring about economic growth. Moreover, policies that would further redistribute income would make many Americans uneasy. Also, running a candidate who is too far to the left could also hamper the party's electoral prospects.
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