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Jobs and Economic Justice
We believe in a tax structure that is judiciously based on ability to pay. Our government should have the ability to provide vital services and promote the general welfare in times of crisis as well as times of prosperity.
We need reform of our banks and credit card companies to protect consumers.
Workers are entitled to a safe and fair work environment, gender equity, the right to organize, a fair livable wage, trade laws that keep jobs in this country, and protection from retaliation.
We support trade that is equitable to both parties and enforces workers’ rights, environmental rights, and produces products that are safe for consumers. So-called “free-trade” agreements that are more about corporate protectionism than free trade (securing and extending patents, trademarks, and copyrights abroad, and protecting global franchise agreements, securities, and loans) only exacerbate inequality at home and abroad.
Social Security is essential to keeping the elderly out of poverty. As a means of reducing inequality, it should be expanded for low-earning Americans to guarantee a minimum income comparable to a “living wage.”
2016 Policy Priorities
U.S. Congress: No cutbacks in Social Security. Raise the minimum social security benefits for all Americans.
U.S. Congress: Remove the upper income limit on Social Security payroll taxes.
U.S. Congress: Tax financial transactions.
Federal Government: Implement a strong and effective Financial Consumer Protection Agency.
Federal Government: Provide tax incentives for companies to keep jobs in the US or return them here. Create tax disincentives for leaving, including recovery of tax breaks claimed over the previous decade and recapture of depreciation benefits.
U.S. Congress and Executive Branch: Strengthen and enforce whistleblower laws, providing protection and restitution for any whistleblowers that lose their livelihoods.
Washington State, Whatcom County, and local cities: Encourage transfer of government institutional accounts out of national banks and into local banks and credit unions.
Washington State Legislature: Establish a State Bank.
Washington State Legislature: Promote the formation of employee and consumer cooperatives by offering loans to purchase businesses in which management intends to shift production abroad.
Washington State Legislature: Prioritize employee pensions in bankruptcy proceedings, and prohibit pensions based on stock options.
U.S. Congress: Enforce separation of Banking and Investment Institutions by reinstating Glass-Steagall laws.
U.S. Federal Government: We oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement, which give extraordinary powers to corporations over governments. Insist that any new trade agreements incorporate enforceable guarantees of human rights, labor rights, environmental laws, and transparency at all levels, and basic democratic procedures that require buy-in from civil society stakeholders.
U.S. Federal Government: Reject trade agreements that prioritize corporate protectionism over free trade (securing and extending patents, trademarks, and copyrights abroad, and protecting global franchise agreements, securities, and loans), and that enable corporations to sue governments who seek to regulate harms to their citizens (e.g. banning cigarette advertising, climate change legislation).
Washington State Legislature and U.S. Congress: Raise inheritance taxes and lower the exemption to a million dollars.
Washington State: Repeal day use admission fees at state parks, replacing them with a funding source that does not impose a disproportionate burden on those with lower incomes.
U.S. Congress: Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Washington State Legislature: End the piece rate wage for employees.