At Living Room Discussion, Strickland Calls To Re-Write The Rules Of Our Economy To Prioritize Middle Class
COLUMBUS, OH — Today Ted Strickland joined Ohioans for a living room discussion to announce his Ohio Families First Plan to bring economic fairness for the middle class.
The initiative is the first in a series of policy proposals that will be introduced throughout the campaign and focuses on re-writing the rules of our economy to prioritize Ohio’s working people – including a tax cut for middle class Ohioans, increasing wages and overtime protections for workers, and stricter transparency to crack down on unfair trade deals.
Highlighting the kinds of economic conversations that are taking place in middle class homes across the state, Strickland announced his proposal at a roundtable discussion with a diverse group of Ohioans in a home in Columbus.
“There’s a big difference between our world here in Ohio and Senator Rob Portman’s world in Washington. In our world, the middle class is feeling squeezed because the costs for everything from a house, to an education to retirement are all going up — but wages are staying flat, and the economy seems to be rigged against the interests of working people,” said Ted Strickland. "Meanwhile, the well-connected and the ultra-wealthy in Senator Portman’s Washington world are getting richer. That’s no accident -- it’s the result of politicians like Senator Portman who are pushing the agenda of the D.C. power brokers and the wealthy special interests they serve at the expense of Ohio’s middle class. The idea of these two worlds is not acceptable to me. Our country should be a place where every Ohioan who works hard and plays by the rules can get a good paying job and build a good life. To make that possible we’ve got to rewrite the rules and re-balance our economy so that more working people can get ahead."
"In homes across Ohio, middle class families are feeling anxious, because this economy isn’t working for them. My plan will put more money in their pockets, make sure they get paid a fair wage for the work that they’re doing, and fight back against countries like China that are using unfair trade policies to send our jobs overseas,” continued Strickland. “I understand the struggles that are facing Ohioans who work for a living because that’s where I come from — and in the U.S. Senate that’s who I’ll fight to put first.”
Strickland’s plan focuses on 3 key areas:
Giving The Middle-Class A Break: A Tax Cut For Working Families. To bring fairness to the tax code, Strickland is calling for a “Working Families First” tax cut: a $1,000 tax break for joint-filers with incomes up to $150,000 a year and a $500 tax break for individual filers making up to $75,000 a year. Strickland's Plan also calls for closing unfair tax loopholes, policies and exemptions that are being exploited by the wealthiest and well-connected — like ending taxpayer subsidies for extravagant CEO bonuses, closing the carried interest tax loophole, ending subsidies for lobbyists, and eliminating tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. As governor, Strickland successfully oversaw a tax break for every Ohioan by making government do more with less: finding and eliminating waste, balancing the budget every year, and implementing one of the most favorable small business tax climates in the country. Strickland’s tax plan contrasts sharply with Senator Rob Portman’s proposal to provide a tax giveaway to companies that dodged U.S. taxes by storing their profits overseas.
Ensuring Fair Wages And Good Paying Jobs. Strickland's Plan includes a series of tangible proposals that will help Ohioans get paid a fair wage for the work they do. To ensure workers receive the overtime wages they’ve earned, Strickland supports raising the income threshold for overtime pay to $50,440, a change that will bring overtime pay to nearly five million more workers who are currently working more than 40 hours a week and not getting paid for it. He also supports raising the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour, strong equal pay legislation, and the right for workers to collectively bargain to get a fair wage. As a Congressman, Rob Portman undermined overtime wage protections, and in the U.S. Senate Portman voted against raising the minimum wage and voted 5 times against equal pay legislation for women.
Making Sure Foreign Trade Does Not Undermine Opportunity For Ohio. Strickland will crack down on the kind of unfair trade deals that are hurting Ohio’s economy and sending our jobs to places like China. His Plan calls for enhanced transparency and stakeholder involvement in trade negotiations by calling for the draft of any trade deal to be made public 90 days before Congress votes to authorize Fast Track Authority, and for a period of public comment to precede any vote. In the U.S. Senate he will continue to oppose unfair trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership, as well as new efforts by China to gain additional protections, like Market Economy Status. Senator Portman has voted for 8 unfair trade deals, voted to grant China Most Favored Nation status, and voted to fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership without even reading the bill. As United States Trade Representative, Portman also refused to take action against Chinese currency manipulation.