Frankenomics: How will Sen. Franken vote on the economy?

Soon he’ll be the junior senator from Minnesota. So what exactly did Al Franken want to do with the economy?

I could only recall him saying he wouldn’t vote for bailouts for fat cats or something like that. So let’s look back at some stuff he said/proposed in the campaign. (BIG thanks to my MPR colleague Melody Ng for the help in finding stuff.)

Bailouts. Candidate Franken railed against the $700 billion rescue package for the nation’s financial system at the end of the Bush administration. However, he said he would have voted for the nearly $800 billion American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009 sought by the Obama administration.

Trade. No surprise, his positions line up with organized labor positions on international trade. That includes no “fast track” trade negotiations, review of the North American Free Trade Agreement and using U.S. trade laws to protect U.S. jobs and manufacturing base.

Green economy. Franken got a virtual high-five on this today from President Obama who said he looked forward to the new guy’s support in “investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century.”

And in this video Franken talks about wanting to see wind turbines and and plug-in hybrid electric cars being produced in Minnesota

The 401(u). Didn’t remember this one, eh? Every firm with more than 10 workers that does not provide a qualified pension plan would be called upon to offer universal automatic payroll-deduction retirement account. Current tax deductions for retirement savings would be replaced with a generous 30% government matching contribution.

Health care. He’s pro single-payer system, but doesn’t think the US will get there. So instead, he calls on every state to cover every citizen. All children 18 and under must have a single-payer system. Medicare must be allowed to negotiate with pharmaceuticals for lower Rx prices.

This isn’t meant to be all-inclusive but more to prime the discussion pump.

We all know that the rhetoric of the campaign trail doesn’t always match up with the realities of governing. For instance, I don’t expect the 401(u) to show up any time soon.

If you run across other things you like or dislike about Franken’s economic ideas, please post below or drop me a line.

You can also use our handy, all purpose “what’s your MN economy story” form


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