LET’S INVEST IN AMERICA AGAIN
Businesses invest in equipment, human resources, research and development to generate a profit. America needs to invest in people’s health, safety and education to restore our nation’s economic prosperity.
It was the public investments made after World War II that brought us interstate highways, an educated workforce, secure home ownership, “electrification,” and safe drinking water. These things helped create the largest expansion of the Middle Class in American history.
Today, our tax code is full of exemptions for special interests, and loop holes that haven’t made sense for decades. The Middle Class is disappearing unless we begin keeping pace with 21st century investments in transportation, education, and technology and energy independence.
More and more Americans are living on the edge of poverty. We need to turn this around, by investing in the things that will restore our economy, and people’s faith and confidence in America.
RESTORE AMERICA’S SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
We need to refocus on the health of our education system. From the educational opportunities generated by the G.I. Bill in the 1950s, to the creation of California’s world-class system of public universities in the 1960s, investment in education is the proven means for nurturing a healthy and expanding America’s Middle Class. We must restore funding for Pell Grants and keep college affordable for every family who wants their children to have a chance at a better future.
PROTECT AMERICAN WORKERS
People are better off when they can work with others to negotiate in their own interest. We need to make sure workers who choose to join with others to protect their rights have the freedom to organize for better wages, benefits and working conditions. States that have rolled back workers rights are seeing lower wages, fewer benefits, and higher rates of poverty. Congress must support America’s working families.
REVIVE SMALL BUSINESSES
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and I applaud the President’s decision to give the Small Business Administration cabinet level status. I have a friend who runs a small healthcare business and wants to hire new employees and expand his business to meet increased demands for his services. His credit is good, his business is healthy and his plans are sound, but banks refuse to give him a loan. We need to restore access to capital to ensure success for small businesses.
RESTORE AND UPDATE AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE
Let’s put people back to work by investing in America’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure. We need to be building and repairing roads, updating and modernizing schools, restoring leaking water systems, building affordable housing, maximizing energy efficiency, and investing in clean, renewable energy. These efforts will create millions of good-paying jobs, get money circulating back into the economy and provide tangible public goods.
REFOCUS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY
My sisters and I were taught to turn off lights when we left the room, and put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat. This common sense approach to conservation is reflected in my legislative work on energy policy– an approach I will take to Washington. We can help families and businesses save money by decreasing our dependence on imported oil and dirty fossil fuels and end tax breaks and subsidies to fossil fuel s. It’s time to invest in clean energy.
PROTECT MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Extremist in Washington have tried to dismantle the social safety net. Social Security has kept millions of seniors out of poverty, and is fully-funded for another 25 years. Small reforms might be necessary to keep it sustainable, but there is no reason for radical measures like privatization or vouchers. Likewise, Medicare could be more effective if patients and their families had help to hold unscrupulous hospitals and healthcare providers accountable for fraudulent billing, but the basic idea of healthcare for all makes the most economic sense.