The people behind this terrible legislation—a sloppy, partially hand-written 450-page document— say that if we give massive tax breaks to corporations and CEOs, that money will somehow “trickle down” to the working people, even as most CEOs themselves say they’re more likely to spend that money on investments and stock dividends for their shareholders.
Raise the Minimum Wage
The disparity in wealth between rich in poor is worse than ever before. Adopting a national minimum wage that is a true living wage is a great first step on the path to shared economic prosperity.
A $15 minimum wage is the next, essential step toward restoring a democratic society. Without fair wages, everything falls apart: the ability of parents to raise their children; the ability of children to care for their elders; the ability of individuals to engage in public discourse and participate in civic life.
The recent tax bill is the exact opposite of what needs to be done, and is essentially the latest iteration of “trickle down economics.” Conservatives such as Michael McCaul tout recent bonuses for some corporate workers (i.e., $250 for Chipotle staff), hoping we will accept crumbs instead of cookies. An increase to a $15 minimum wage would give many workers an increase of $200 or more every week!
Not only would such an increase support social equality, but it would also improve the U.S. economy, as it is common knowledge that working folks put their money back into their communities by buying at local businesses and investing in their homes and neighborhoods.
Change Tax Laws to Benefit All Americans
We need to repeal the recent tax bill, and similar laws that enable the wealthiest Americans to preserve and expand their wealth over generations using tax loopholes that aren’t available to the rest of us.
Under FDR, this country had a more progressive income tax system that required higher income earners to pay a greater share, and we should restore that approach.
There is also a law enforcement side: we must emphasize prosecution of “white collar” crime, financial fraud, tax evasion, and other crimes committed by the wealthiest Americans. I support ending incentives to short-term speculation in financial markets (i.e, a financial transactions tax as proposed in H.R.1144 (2017)), and separating commercial banking from riskier investment banking ( i.e., S.1709(2015)).
A Youth Jobs Program
I believe in the New Deal, and we need another one. We can support youth employment through increased vocational education programs at the high school level; increased investment in national service programs such as Americorps; and a new Works Progress Administration that will put young and underemployed people to work rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, remediating environmental pollution, and supporting public education and the arts. The fundamental right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” requires the government to guarantee full employment to every able and willing person in this country.
Improve and Expand Social Security
We must improve and increase Social Security benefits and ensure that we care for elders. Although the other party used to claim to support “family values,” we have unfortunately neglected too many of our seniors in this country, many of whom live in poverty and can barely survive off of Social Security benefits.
A critical corollary to this demand is to restore fair taxation – the recent tax cuts set the stage for renewed attempts to impose austerity including cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The wealthiest in this country are wealthy by virtue of the opportunities guaranteed by the federal government, and they must pay their fair share for essential governmental programs and services.
My priority as your representative will be to guarantee a living wage for workers and a tax policy that directly benefits all Texans. I will work to devote government resources to building and restoring essential infrastructure such as dams and bridges - and in the process create quality jobs for Central Texas.