Issue Position: Economy and Job Creation
Our economy is in turmoil. For decades, Wall Street and Washington have worked hand in hand to look after their own interests, with corporate fat cats enriching themselves with little to no regulation. Meanwhile, ordinary Americans are saddled with debtfrom student loans, to credit card bills, to unmanageable mortgagesand unemployment is on the rise. Only now are we beginning to come to terms with the extent of the crisis.
To make matters worse, most of our federal budget is being consumed by a poorly planned and poorly executed wara war we shouldn't have started in the first place.
Little is being invested in our country's basic infrastructure. Our bridges and levees are failing. Students attend crumbling schools, and our roads are riddled with potholes.
Right now, our leaders in D.C. are rushing to bail out the corporate interests with a so-called rescue plan that will cost tax-payers billions of dollars. Instead of rubber-stamping another poorly planned and executed proposal by the Bush Administration, I call for a comprehensive "bottom up" plan that gets to the heart of the economic crisis and addresses the needs of everyday Americans. The plan must:
Slash the budget of the Pentagon;
Utilize the trillions of dollars currently being poured into the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations to implement a federal program similar to the WPA. This program should create jobs to repair our crumbling infrastructure, with workers paid prevailing wages and in partnership with relevant unions;
Extends unemployment and food stamp benefits;
Increases taxes for the top two percent of the nation's wealthiest people;
Decreases the tax burden for the remainder of the country;
Finally, the deregulation of airlines, telecommunications, media, energy, banking, insurance and other industries has created a dangerous and unhealthy environment. I call for greater oversight and regulation of these industries.