Growing an Economy that works for everyone
Despite record profits for major corporations in the United States, this economy has NOT delivered results to Working Families. As proof, I’d point to the fact that the median, household income for the lower half of the economic ladder has been stagnant for over 35 years.
This income disparity can also be examined another way – CEO-to-worker pay ratios. This ratio was 30.0:1 in 1978, roughly 40 years ago. Today, Fortune magazine reports a ratio of 286.0:1. This is both unconscionable and unsustainable.
I’ve lived this inequality. When I got out of the Navy, I didn’t have a job; I didn’t have any skills or training applicable for civilian work; I had very little savings; and I didn’t have a place to live. But a friend was kind enough to let me live in his garage in National City while I looked for work. Then, the best job I could find was working as a busboy at a restaurant in Point Loma. So, I can tell you with a good degree of authority; if you don’t have a job and you can’t take care of your family, NOTHING else much matters.
For the next 14 years, I worked a variety of minimum wage jobs, living paycheck-to-paycheck. I worked as a cook, a waiter, a sales clerk at Sears and Color Tile. I was a security guard at concerts and sporting events. I also picked up part-time work as a casual Teamster at trade shows for over 12 of those years, and that job was an absolute lifeline. During these years, I was unable to save and I couldn’t afford health insurance.
So, I can say from personal experience, you can barely support yourself, much less a family, on a minimum-wage job. That’s why I support California’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next 5 years and then tying future increases to the rate of inflation. As a member of Congress, I will work to take the California model national, so that every American has a Living Wage of $15 an hour. We can never go another 9 years without giving workers a raise. Raising the minimum-wage will help millions of Working Families climb out of poverty, and will have the added benefit of putting more money back into our economy.
In the 49th Congressional district, there are six primary drivers of jobs; small businesses, scientific research, technology (including cleantech), national defense, the military and our world-renowned tourism. In Congress, I will work with business leaders from every sector of our economy to support and nurture the development and continued success of their firms, while fighting off any threats resulting from actions initiated by the Trump administration.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Small business account for almost 50% of all non-farm employment in the country, and an estimated 65% of all new jobs created in America. Once elected, I will work to make it easier to start, finance and grow a small business.
Because of the recently passed Trump tax con, large corporations are benefiting from loopholes that allow them to avoid paying federal taxes, while getting large tax breaks for the costs incurred sending jobs overseas. In addition, this tax scam will add an estimated $1.4 to $1.8 trillion to our already-bloated national debt. This is wrong. In fact, this kind of transfer of wealth from Working Families to major corporations and the uber-wealthy is exactly what’s wrong with professional, career, pay-to-play, Washington politicians. I will work to reverse this tax giveaway con, and close these tax loopholes.
I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act. It’s absurd that there are women in this country who are being paid less than a man for doing the same work.
In Congress, I will approach all legislation that comes before me with a simple test; if it helps working families, I’ll support it. If it doesn’t, I won’t. It’s that simple! I will always put Working Families first in everything I do, because we MUST restore our middle-class and reverse the income and wealth inequality that’s come to plague our nation and now threatens our future.