We ask our candidates for election to join us and support the issues that we have identified as among the most important to the Middle Class.
#1) Support Federal Government investment in education, training, and infrastructure . Partner with private industry in programs that train manufacturing workers to utilize today's technology. Partner with private industry to create internship programs for the millions of jobs that industry has not been able to fill because trained workers can't be found. Forgive as much student debt as possible and help our youth to attain educations they need for the 21st century. Invest in our schools. Invest in sciences to solve problems of energy, disease and hunger. Invest in the infrastructure of this country. We only spend 2.5% of our Federal Budget on infrastructure while airports, ports, roads and bridges are in disrepair.
#2) Hold financial institutions to regulatory standards that make them accountable and responsible. Fight to end the unprecedented legislative and financial advantages, protections, and power given to our financial institutions today. Strengthen regulations to protect the investment all Americans have made in the bail out of our banks and insurance companies. Work to make sure no institution is ever again too big too fail. At a minimum support Dodd Frank with the Volker rule and a reinstatement of the Glass Steagall Act.
#3) End corporate welfare to oil companies , pharmaceutical companies, agri-business, and other businesses that receive these benefits on the backs of the Middle Class.
#4) Stop wasting the fortune and lives of precious men and women of this country with unending overseas wars. Work to assure that men and women who have so valiantly served in our military receive fair financial compensation and medical resources and support they need both during their service, and when their service ends as they re-enter the private workplace and society. Our national security both physically and in cyber-space is critical. Protect us by 21st century standards.
#5) Work to end laws that imprison large segments of our population for victimless non-violent crimes such as marijuana possession or non-violent crimes that carry maximum sentences because the fall into the 3 strikes equations. Legalize and tax marijuana to make it a source of revenue, not a multi-billion dollar expense. We have a larger per cent of our population in jail than any other country in the world. This is a gross injustice to our citizens that must stop.
#6) Make Social Security a guarantee for both this generation and those who follow by fixing the contribution equations for high income earners if needed- but insure it for future generations.
#7) Work for medical reforms with the government and the medical community that ends the economic and administrative drain current insurance and policies create. End the current fee for services our medical system is now structured on. That alone will reduce Medicare costs by 7%. Support a national medical malpractice insurance similar to the national flood insurance program so doctors and hospitals don't act on fear of malpractice, but instead act on the best medical decision.The per cent of our economy spent on Medical care is more than twice that of other developed countries and is over-burdening our middle class. Support policies that make medical care available and affordable for all citizens whether that is a Medicare for all type system, or a system that provides low private insurance rates that are guaranteed to all. Stop wringing our hands about how it is going to break us and find a way to fix it.
#8) Support tax reform that evens the tax burden for corporations and individuals. Define “pay” to include salary, bonuses, pension benefits, deferred salary, stock options, investment income and every other form of compensation and make the tax equations equal no matter what kind of income is produced. Structure corporate taxes to reward investment in US employment.
#9) Take big money out of politics. Support and pass a constitutional amendment that overturns the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v FEC that gave corporations the right to spend unlimited money influencing elections.
#10) Strictly modify or end the filibuster. It once was ethically used, rarely, by the senate minority on a special circumstance basis. Today it is used to bring government to its knees by preventing any legislation the minority does not support from ever coming to a vote. In the hands of responsible and ethical senators it once was a useful tool but today it has brought the legislative process to collapse. Reform it or end it.
#11) Modify our trade policies to establish real mutual trade agreements. Right now we have one-way open door trade. Other countries like China and Mexico send their goods to the US with no tariffs or taxes. When we send our goods to other countries tariffs are applied, adding sometimes as much as 25 to30% to the cost of US goods. We need this one-way open door policy to end and a real trade policy to be established.
#12) Support a deficit reduction plan that goes into effect only when jobs are back below a 5% employment rate. There is no urgency for deficit reduction. We have our own sovereign currency that is the largest and most highly valued in the world. We do not face the kind of pressures Greece or other European nations do because we control our own currency. Instituting austerity programs now will hurt our economy unnecessarily.