Welfare & Poverty 

I believe the dream of the middle class should belong to all Minnesotans. We still have work to do as long as thousands of Minnesotans work full-time, fulfill their responsibilities and continue to live in poverty. I want to see these Americans climb the ladder to the middle class. That means raising the minimum wage to $15.00 over the next few years, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and extending child credits so that parents who work full-time don’t have to raise their children in poverty and it means continuing on the path of welfare reform. We must match parents’ responsibility to work with the real opportunity to do so, by making sure parents can get the health care, child care, and transportation they need. And we must expect increased responsibility from fathers as well as mothers by increasing child support enforcement and promoting responsible fatherhood together with religious and civic organizations.

We live in the wealthiest country in the world, however, that truth may seem irrelevant to the poor and disadvantaged as wealth is managed by a small group of people. The problem of wealth and wage disparity is a major moral issue and it is not simply an economic issue; it is political. Too many families and children are living in poverty and the number is increasing. This is not just wrong; it is shameful for the most prosperous country in the world. Thousands of Minnesotans are being paid substandard wages that will not support a family and are forced to work longer hours or several jobs. We must also ensure that women are paid the same as men for the same job. This means equal pay for women. It’s unacceptable that our wives and daughters earn less than men because of their gender. This is monetary and gender bias. It must end, and I will work to end it.

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