As Congress moves from one showdown to another, Minnesota’s families continue to face challenges that demand national solutions.
From growing income inequality to the erosion of workplace standards, it is growing harder for Minnesotans to join and remain in the middle class. As our Members of Congress face urgent deadlines, we believe it is critical that Congress act to increase family security and raise revenues fairly.
Increasing Family Security:
Ensuring Retirement Security: The promise of a secure retirement has been at the core of the American dream for generations. No one should have to live in poverty after a lifetime of work. Still, the basic tenets of this promise are under threat. People are paid too little to save; pensions are undermined by employers; and public systems like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are being attacked by a well-funded, corporate-backed austerity lobby. We oppose cuts to these programs but also believe we need to work proactively to improve them. We can do so by:
- Caring for Those Who Care for Us
- Providing Adequate Benefits for the Lowest-Income Earners
- Improving Benefits to Reflect the True Cost of Living (COLA and CPI-E)
- Building an Educated Workforce by Restoring Social Security Benefits for College-Age Students
- Scrapping the Cap: Strengthening Social Security for Future Generations
Raising the Minimum Wage: After decades of wage stagnation, Minnesota’s families are getting paid less and less to do more and more. Had our minimum wage kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.59 per hour. If it had risen with the growth of U.S. productivity, it would be $18.72 per hour. At $7.25 per hour, it is insufficient to even lift people out of poverty. We support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015. Find out more about the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1010 / S. 460) here.
Opposing Austerity Schemes: All too frequently, conservatives in Congress ask those with the least to sacrifice the most for our country. This often takes the form of proposals to cut domestic discretionary spending on things like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan (SNAP). After forcing nearly $1 trillion in ‘sequestration’ spending cuts, it is both unfair and economically destructive to implement the ‘cuts-only’ approach perennially favored by conservatives in Congress. Find out more about SNAP cuts and the austerity lobby that is backing them.
Raising Revenue Fairly:
Stopping Tax Haven Abuse: We lose $100 billion a year in federal revenue to complex tax avoidance schemes involving tax havens. This tax dodging drains needed revenue, passes costs on to families, and erodes trust in our government. We can no longer afford to let big corporations and the ultra-rich get away with abusive tax practices. That is why we support closing corporate federal tax loopholes though legislation like Sen. Carl Levin’s Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. For more on this bill read here.
Ending the Tax Preference for Wealth Over Work: In 2013 alone, we will lose over $160 billion in federal tax revenue due to tax breaks for dividends and long-term capital gains. Currently, we have a two-tiered federal tax system that taxes income from work at a lower rate than income from wealth. This stands on its head the idea that hard work and fair play are the way to succeed in America. We need to end a tax system that preferences income derived pre-existing wealth. Find out more about this issue here.
Enact a Tax on Financial Speculation: The financial crisis and the recession that followed have been a huge drain on our national economy and by extension our federal tax system. The basic systems Americans rely on for healthcare, housing, food, transit, and education have also been struggling in the wake of the financial crisis. A small tax on financial transactions–known as the Robin Hood Tax–would have the dual benefit of both raising the revenue these services need and discouraging the runaway speculative trading that caused the financial crisis in the first place. To find out more about the Robin Hood Tax visit: www.robinhoodtax.org
To find out more about our work in these areas, please contact Chris Conry at 651-379-0760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.