House and Senate Democratic leaders held a press conference on June 16 to announce their bold, new policy initiatives in a plan called New Direction. Their accompanying press statement promises, “Democrats are ready with a New Direction, with policies to address the real challenges Americans face every day.” Their idea of the “real challenges Americans face every day” does not include fighting and winning the global war on terrorism, restructuring the Social Security and Medicare programs, rewriting the income tax code or cutting federal spending, because none of those issues are included in New Direction. Instead, they proposed more obstruction, more pandering and more deception with new rhetoric.
One new initiative in the Democrats’ New Direction is Ensure Dignified Retirement. Democrats plan to ensure dignified retirement by preventing (obstruction) the so-called privatization of Social Security and expanding savings incentives. Of course, there will be no Social Security program as we know it after 2041, because the program will be completely bankrupt. That date will come sooner if we start giving more benefits to illegal aliens and their families. And the Democrats blew the perfect opportunity to expand savings incentives by opposing full repeal of the estate tax. Memo to Democrats: More taxes equals less savings.
A second new initiative is called Help Working Families. Those ingenious Democrats promise to help working families – but not those doggone nonworking families – by raising the minimum wage (pandering). According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, in 2004 about 74 million American workers were paid at hourly rates. Of this 74 million, 520,000 workers earned exactly the minimum wage. That is because workers who start at minimum wage do not stay at minimum wage if they are productive. About half of those working at or below the minimum wage are under the age of 25, and about one quarter are between the ages of 16 and 19. In other words, a minimum wage job is a starting job for thousands of workers. Minimum wage is not the lottery for millions of working families.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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