Economic Opportunity

 
 

Our Economy needs to work for everyone...

And that means we must have a government that stands up for all hard-working Americans, not just those at the top. I stand firmly for middle-class Ohioans and I believe that government needs to spend smarter. I strongly oppose the current Republican tax plan, which would give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and I’ll work hard to bring back money from the federal government to build up Ohio’s businesses and infrastructure. I also believe that work should be a place of dignity and safety for workers. I support raising the minimum wage because everyone who works hard deserves to get paid for what they do, and I support tougher anti-harassment policies to make sure everyone has equal opportunity to succeed while at work.

I have served my community for decades by working as a teacher, and I won’t stop working for the people now. I won’t sell out to the biggest donors in Washington, and will continue to promote economic opportunity for everyone as I serve in Congress. This fight is about preseving the individual dignity of the many people living in the 4th district.

Taxes

I believe in a tax code that encourages hard work and helps the middle class. The current Republican plan promises tax cuts for the middle class, but there’s little proof of that so far. Right now, the only definitive tax cuts offered will benefit businesses and the wealthy:

The Estate Tax -- This only applies to millionaires who attempt to leave their children a fortune, like President Trump. The new tax plan will get rid of it.

The Alternative Minimum Tax -- President Trump and the Republicans also plan to undo this regulation, which was created to prevent wealthy families from taking too many tax breaks.

A Break for Big Businesses -- The maximum tax rate for businesses now is 35 percent. The Republicans plan to cut it to 20 percent, below the average of major developed countries.

Pass throughs -- Small businesses currently pay taxes based on the owner’s personal tax rate, which means that the very rich can file their own income as a small business and pay lower taxes. The Republicans are not attempting to close this loophole.

If elected, I would support the repeal of the badly flawed Republican tax law. I would like to see it replaced with a much fairer measure that (1) provides far bigger tax-cuts to middle class wage-earners, (2) requires the wealthy to pay a fairer share of taxes, (3) closes corporate loopholes, (4) tailors the tax code to incentivize job-creation, and (5) ensures that the law does not result in increasing the deficit.

Minimum Wage and Equal Pay for Equal Work

I believe that everyone who works hard has the right to a decent living, to be afforded certain dignity, and the right to care for their family. I support plans to increase the minimum wage over 7 years to reflect the increasing costs of living in America. We must then link the minimum wage to cost of living measures like inflation. A $15 dollar minimum wage in 2025 would mean that families relying on the minimum wage to put food on the table would be able to live above the poverty line. There is no alternative to a strong minimum wage for workers who are providing for their families by working hard. Furthermore, many economic studies indicate that minimum wage increases do not lead to significant job loss. The benefits of an increase in the minimum wage are too significant to ignore and it is time for our representatives to step up to the plate in support of American workers.

Equal Opportunity to Succeed

I believe that everyone should be able to succeed in the workforce and not be subject to harassment or mistreatment. First, we must address pervasive, but underreported, workplace harassment by gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, disability, and religion by encouraging more climate surveys and introducing more instruments that will gather data on the depth of this problem. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that ⅓ of all its complaints in 2015 were of workplace harassment, even though ¾ of harassment victims never report. I also support measures that encourage accountability at the leadership level, strengthen anti-harassment policies, and improve prevention training in workplaces.

Glass-Steagall Act

I support the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act in order to break up the big banks and rein in risky behaviors by financial institutions. The Glass-Steagall Act was originally passed in 1933 and separated commercial and investment banking, so that the banks that hold your money cannot engage in risky financial ventures. Since Glass-Steagall has been virtually ineffective since the 1990s, banks have continued to merge and have grown increasingly larger, a factor that may have contributed to the financial crisis. I do not believe that banks can be “too big to fail.” In Congress, I will support the Return to Prudent Banking Act currently in the House, which revives the separation of commercial banking and the securities business.

The Deficit

Recently, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other parts of the world coupled with economic downturn in the early 2000s and the Great Recession of 2008 have caused deficits to grow significantly and the debt to increase as well. The deficits peaked in 2009 after the Bush Presidency, but then continued to decrease for the next several years until the 2015 tax cuts which again cut back on government revenue. In 2017 the deficit was $666 billion, $80 billion more than the year before. According to New York Times reporting, the deficit this year is supposed to be $804 billion dollars and then continue to grow to exceed $1 trillion by 2020. All of this contributes to larger and larger increases in the national debt.

The growing deficits of recent years are concerning, and the projections for the year 2020 under the current spending bill and tax plan are only adding to the problem. In order to balance the budget, decrease deficits, and begin to reduce the debt, I will embrace legislation that asks the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share in taxes. This will allow us to invest in essential programs that will generate more revenue and taxes going forward such as education, infrastructure, and jobs. Additionally, I will always look for ways to cut wasteful spending and to end expensive wars. I believe that bipartisan cooperation is needed to keep our children from suffering under the burdens of increasing debt.

Jobs

I support legislation that will create jobs right here in the 4th district through necessary investments in infrastructure, clean energy, American businesses, sound trade policy, and laws that ensure that workers arocess the district can earn a decent living when they work hard. Additionally, I know that we need to invest in a strong competitive workforce starting with our children which is why I support strong public schools, increased access to early childhood education, and more opportunities for our students to attend institutes of higher education, community colleges, and quality vocational schools.

Through new investments in infrustructure we can create millions of jobs across America. By investing in renewable energy sources we can continue to lift Ohio, a state that is already in the top 10% of energy efficient jobs, up with better economic growth. I will support new trade agreements that open markets for U.S. comapnies, but that ensure protection for workers in competitive U.S. industries by spreading the benefits of trade out across the economy. Finally, I will remain dedicated to imporving education from pre-K to college or vocational school, becasue investing in our young people is the best way to create real, sustainable jobs. Just a 14% increase in graduation rates in Ohio could lead to 2,300 new jobs and a $332 million boost to our local economy.