Congressman Sherman Favors a New Direction for America
By Congressman Brad Sherman
Families across the country are worried about high gas prices, skyrocketing health care costs and rising college tuition. They are concerned about the Iraq War, which has been mismanaged, as well as the security of their cities and towns. It has never been clearer that our country needs a new direction.
I am proud to have worked with other members of Congress to unveil a clear, bold plan for a New Direction for America that responds to these urgent concerns.
Real security demands tough and smart polices that recognize that a stronger America begins at home. I am committed to reclaiming American leadership with a tough, smart plan to transform failed policies in the Middle East, rebuild a state-of-the-art military, implement the bipartisan 9/11 Commission recommendations to secure America's borders and ports, and fully man, train, and equip our National Guard and our police, firefighters and other first responders.
We also must honor our commitments to our veterans through a New GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century.
National security is not the only priority. Millions of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. Instead of creating jobs, reducing the costs of energy, health care, college and helping people save for retirement, the Republican-led Congress has provided billions in corporate tax subsidies for shipping jobs overseas, rewarded profitable oil companies with more subsidies, failed to make health care affordable, voted for the biggest raid on student aid in history, driven up record deficits, and pursued a plan to privatize Social Security.
In order to help build opportunity and prosperity for everyone, we will begin by repealing tax giveaways, and prohibit the congressional pay raise until the nation's minimum wage is raised. Democrats will restore the fiscal discipline of the 1990s that spurred economic growth with pay-as-you-go budgets.
We also will bring down record gas prices with a plan to achieve energy independence within ten years through real investments in alternative fuels.
Access to higher education is critical to building a highly skilled workforce, but the cost of college is soaring. The "New Direction" plan will make tuition tax deductible, expand Pell Grants and cut student loan costs in half.
Finally, saving for retirement has become more difficult for working families, even after a lifetime of hard work. We should work to ensure a dignified retirement for workers by stopping the president's plan to privatize Social Security.
Through this New Direction for America, we are seeking to unite our country, rather than divide it. We believe our democracy should work for everyone - not just those at the top - by building opportunity and prosperity for all, and guaranteeing real security at home and around the world.