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Posted: 9/6/2004 2:37:29 PM EDT
Editorial by Joe Baca

"Keep America working

This weekend, Americans will celebrate the end of summer with barbecues, beach trips and picnics. But for the 14 million Americans who don't have jobs, Labor Day is nothing to celebrate this year. Thanks to the Bush administration's policies, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their overtime pay, and their health insurance. Today, as we enjoy the last days of summer, I ask that you take a moment to recognize the contributions of American workers to our economy, and to think about the effects of recent government policies that stifle the spirit of the American workforce and hurt working families.
This administration has the worst job creation record since the Great Depression. Over 14 million Americans are unemployed. Over 1.8 million private sector jobs have been lost since President Bush took office. Over 4.5 million people have given up searching and have been forced to take part time jobs instead. The median household income has dropped $1400. About a half of a million jobs have been outsourced, or sent overseas. This Labor Day it is essential that we keep these statistics at the forefront of our minds, if we wish to truly honor the American worker.

The Bush administration says our economy is turning a corner. For the 6 million Americans who lost overtime pay in August, that turn is in the wrong direction. The Bush administration's new overtime regulations make it legal for employers to stop paying workers overtime. In 2000, overtime pay accounted for about 25 percent of the income of employees who worked overtime. Administration officials dress up the new rules as a much-needed simplification of the old ones, but the truth is this will be the biggest pay cut America's middle class has ever suffered. Without overtime pay, families will struggle to pay their mortgage, health insurance, utility bills and even groceries. I supported the Democrats' plan that would prohibit overtime cuts. It is unthinkable in this economic climate that the administration would cut the pay families depend on.

President Bush promised tax cuts that would create jobs and put money back in the pockets of Americans. Instead, he took money out of the pockets of working Americans and into the pockets of millionaires. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently confirmed that the Bush tax cuts unfairly burden the middle class. President Bush's tax cuts boosted the income of millionaires by over 10 percent, but only provided two percent more for middle- class families. That's not nearly enough for families to pay for rising college tuition, property taxes and health insurance premiums. I voted against the Bush tax cuts. I support lower taxes, but believe these tax cuts merely shift the burden to the middle class. As for creating jobs, the dismal job creation numbers for July were only a fraction of what the administration predicted.

Democrats have a better plan, the 'American Jobs Plan', to make businesses more competitive and create better-paying jobs here at home. Our plan is focused on the future; it invests in our people through job training and education, and it will create new, high-paying jobs by supporting research and development. Our plan will make sure that Americans can afford to pay for their groceries, their college tuition and their health insurance. It will put workers back to work.

This weekend, as you enjoy the end of summer with your family, remember the meaning of Labor Day. Let's celebrate American worker by looking to leaders who enact policy that protects our jobs, our families, our futures and our quality of life. Let's keep America working.

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, represents the 43rd Congressional District."
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 2:49:13 PM EDT
Why would I bother to read that?
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 2:55:24 PM EDT
I wish Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, represents the 43rd Congressional Distric was one of the 14 million....
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 2:59:01 PM EDT
It's so funny when I see the loony lefties blaming Bush for all those lost jobs...like he personally fired them all like Donald Trump...what...ever...
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 2:59:04 PM EDT
His editorial is a typical example of how Union democrats view Bush. Those "opinions" are what the Bush Campaign must overcome to win union states like Cali, Penn, Ohio, & Michigan.
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