The American people are facing difficult times. Rising gas and health care costs are taking a toll on family budgets. Wages have not kept pace with inflation. Bright and eager high school graduates can no longer afford to go to college. And record deficits threaten to bury future generations in debt. America needs a New Direction. House Democrats will lead the way.
Democrats in Congress offer a New Direction, putting the common good
of all Americans first for a change, and will:
MAKE HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE
Fix the prescription drug program by putting people ahead of drug companies and HMOs, eliminating wasteful subsidies, negotiating lower drug prices and ensuring the program works for all seniors; invest in stem cell and other medical research.
LOWER GAS PRICES AND ACHIEVE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
Crack down on price gouging; eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop American alternatives, including biofuels; promote energy efficient technology.
HELP WORKING FAMILIES
Raise the minimum wage; repeal tax giveaways that encourage companies to move jobs overseas.
CUT COLLEGE COSTS
Make college tuition deductible from taxes; expand Pell grants and cut student loan costs.
ENSURE DIGNIFIED RETIREMENT
Prevent the privatization of Social Security; expand savings incentives; ensure pension fairness.
REQUIRE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Restore the budget discipline of the 1990s that helped eliminate deficits and spur record economic growth.
THE WRONG DIRECTION
RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS
Under this Administration, the cost of family health insurance has risen more than 70%, or an average of $4,500 per family, and 6 million more Americans are uninsured. Meanwhile, the Majority has enacted a confusing and costly prescription drug benefit that prohibits Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, has cut funding for medical research, and has prohibited federal funding of a real stem cell research program.
RISING ENERGY PRICES
Gas prices have nearly doubled and exceed $3.00 per gallon in many places, and dependence on foreign oil increased to 60%. Meanwhile, the Republican Majority has blocked efforts to ban price gouging, rewarded oil and gas companies with billions in new subsidies at a time of record profits, and opposed investments in alternative fuels and energy efficient technology.
RISING ECONOMIC INSECURITY
Real family income has fallen every year of the Bush Administration, while CEO compensation has soared. Meanwhile, the Majority has blocked any increase in the minimum wage for 7.5 million workers, while providing billions in corporate tax subsidies that encourage sending jobs overseas.
RISING DEFICITS AND DEBT
The Majority has turned a projected $5.6 trillion budget surplus into a $3.2 trillion budget deficit and put us on course to double our national debt to nearly $12 trillion by 2011.
RISING COLLEGE COSTS
Tuition has increased by $2,000 (57%) at public universities and by $5,000 (32%) at private universities since the 2000-2001 school year. Meanwhile, the Majority has cut $12 billion from college student aid, increasing the costs of loans; has frozen Pell Grants for higher education; and has failed to extend the college tuition tax deduction.
RISING RETIREMENT INSECURITY
The Majority has fought to privatize Social Security, which would have cut benefits for the middle class and added trillions to our debt, and failed to protect workers’ pensions while CEOs receive hundred-million dollar retirement packages.