Congressional Democrats have mostly been in a defensive posture, and resisted persistent efforts to erode the social contract created in the 1930s and 60s, with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid-especially when those trying to “privatize” i.e., destroy this safety net want to continue to cut reasonable taxes on wealth at the same time. Are debt and deficits a problem? Of course. But an agenda of “cutting spending” while at the same time cutting taxes will never be accepted by the solid majority of Americans who support these programs and believe in tax justice. Democrats are not on the extreme left — equivalent to the Republicans’ new right — by seeking to protect this social contract and safety net. They are simply trying to protect a social bargain accepted by a large majority of Americans then and now against an attempt to return to the pre-New Deal era of law of the jungle, every man for himself, and devil take the hindmost.