Much of the 2nd District remains rural, where an agricultural economy and lifestyle still dominate. These lands were the basis of early American growth and remain fundamental to supplying agricultural commodities and trade that supports the world. We cannot continue to lose farmland because the jobs are no longer economically viable. The Department of Agriculture works with states and counties to provide support programs that are vital to making farming communities more efficient and more productive, enabling farming families to maintain their livelihoods and their futures. I will continue to support these programs and oppose the drastic cuts that have been proposed by the current administration. Let’s ensure trade disputes don’t harm our agricultural economy so that we can have good jobs and farmers can continue to provide safe, reliable food supplies.
Retirement security is something every older American hopes for, but insufficient planning can threaten that security. The Social Security system has helped to support retirees since 1935. The system is still sound, but some adjustments are needed to keep it that way as we go through a period when the baby boomers retire. As of now, Americans pay social security taxes on their income up to $128,400. I support raising that limit so that people who earn more than $128,400 would pay social security taxes on all earned income. This would provide the funds needed to stabilize the Social Security trust fund for many more decades. Let’s extend the life of the Social Security trust fund to ensure retirement security.
Tennessee has more minimum wage workers per person than nearly any other state in the country. No family should have to pick between paying for their food and paying for essential bills. The US has not had a minimum wage increase since 2009. Utilizing the MIT living wage tool to better understand the costs of living in the Second District, I have proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour over the span of three years and indexing it to inflation afterward. This would give businesses time to adjust, while still allowing individual states and cities to establish a higher minimum wage. Let’s raise the minimum wage to a living wage and ensure that no working family has to live in poverty.