Building an economy that works for all of us is one of America’s most urgent priorities. We need leaders in Washington who value our jobs—not simply their own.
Corporate profits are rising, but they’re not lifting all boats:
- One out of every eight Americans is unemployed or underemployed.
- Economic mobility is stagnant; it’s harder to climb out of poverty in the U.S. than it is in other industrialized nations.
- Real average incomes are no higher now than they were 40 years ago.
- The minimum wage isn’t a living wage.
- Anti-labor policies are stifling wage growth, making workplaces more dangerous, and leaving workers without the health and retirement benefits they need.
- Students stagger out of school under a mountain of debt.
- The top 1 percent of earners made almost 40 times as much as the lowest 90 percent combined.
- Income inequality is wider than at any point since the 1930s, and it’s growing.
These are problems we can solve. In the Colorado legislature, I fought to reduce unemployment, modernize our aging infrastructure, and train our workforce to compete around the world. I authored an Economic Recovery Plan to lift our state out of a deep recession and helped build the broadest coalition in state history to pass that measure.
But instead of creating conditions conducive to job growth and economic mobility, Congress has become part of the problem. A series of fiscal crises on Capitol Hill has shaken consumer confidence and left employers uncertain about the future. The most recent government shutdown cost our economy $11 billion.
Here’s a better plan:
- End tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
- Ensure that large corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.
- Make post-secondary education, including vocational training and apprenticeship programs, available and affordable to every American.
- Raise the national minimum wage to keep pace with the cost of living.
- Ensure equal pay for equal work.
- Restore overtime pay and protect against wage theft.
- Sustain and strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Increase the supply of affordable housing.
- Help families meet the demands of child care and medical hardship.
- Provide job training for dislocated workers.
- Defend the rights of workers to form labor unions and engage in collective bargaining.
- Repair and rebuild America’s roads, bridges and transit systems.
- Extend high-speed, broadband access to rural America and other underserved communities.
- Promote public-private partnerships to advance education, research, and development in science, technology, engineering and math.
- Prepare our information networks and energy grids to meet the demands of a growing population and global competition.
- Expand opportunities for vocational rehabilitation.
- Protect consumers from fraud and predatory practices.