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John Edwards on Jobs

Democratic Nominee for Vice President; NC Jr Senator


FactCheck: 1.6 million jobs lost ignores federal employment

EDWARDS: Here's what's happened: In the time that they have been in office, in the last four years, 1.6 million private sector jobs have been lost, 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost.

CHENEY: The data he's using is old data. It's from 2003. It doesn't include any of the gains that we've made in the last years. We've added 1.7 million jobs to the economy.

FACT CHECK: Both Edwards and Cheney quoted selective and misleading figures about jobs. Edwards said 1.6 million private sector jobs and 2.7 million manufacturing jobs had been lost during the Bush administration. Both figures are accurate, but omit the growth in employment by federal, state and local governments. The net loss in total employment is actually 913,000 as of August, the most recent figures available. Cheney claimed Edwards was using old data from 2003, which wasn't the case.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate analysis (Ad-Watch by FactCheck.org) Oct 6, 2004

Keep tax cuts for middle class and pay down the debt

Q: How can Kerry guarantee that he absolutely will not raise taxes on anyone who earns under $200,000 a year and also cut the deficit in half?

A: Kerry & I believe we have a moral responsibility not to leave trillions of debt to our children & our grandchildren. We're going to roll back tax cuts for people who make over $200,000 a year. We want to keep the tax cuts that are in place for people who make less than $200,000 a year and give additional tax cuts to those middle-class families, tax cuts for health care, tax cuts to help families pay for their college tuition, tax cuts for child care. These families are struggling and hurting, and they need more tax relief, not less tax relief. We also want to get rid of some of the bureaucratic spending in Washington. We also want to close some corporate loopholes. We can't eliminate this deficit in 4 years. We're in too deep a hole. But we can cut the deficit in half. And if we move, we can move this country back on a path to fiscal responsibility.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Get rid of tax cuts for companies sending jobs overseas

Q: What can you tell the poor and jobless that your administration will do to better their lives?

CHENEY: There's no better antidote to poverty than a good, well-paying job that allows somebody to take care of their own family. To do that, we have to make America the best place in the world to do business. We've got to deal effectively with tax policy. We've got to reduce the litigation costs that are built into our society. We've got to provide the adequate medical care and make certain that we can, in fact, create the opportunities that are vital to that process.

EDWARDS: 4 million more Americans have fallen into poverty during the Bush presidency. They're for outsourcing jobs. Bush says over and over that the outsourcing of millions of American jobs is good. We're against it. We want to get rid of tax cuts for companies sending jobs overseas. We want to balance this budget, get back to fiscal responsibility. And we want to invest in the creative, innovative jobs of the future.

Source: [X-ref Cheney] Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Provide tax breaks for companies that keep jobs in America

We can create good-paying jobs in this country again. We're going to get rid of tax cuts for companies who are outsourcing your jobs and, instead, we're going to give tax breaks to American companies that are keeping jobs right here in America. And we will invest in the jobs of the future to ensure that America stays ahead of the competition. And we're going to do this because A job is about more than a paycheck; it's about dignity and self-respect. We're going to reward work, not just wealth.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 28, 2004

Greater protection for unionization

I support job training programs, an increase in the minimum wage, greater protection for unionization, and greater help for Americans balancing work and families.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Mar 3, 2004

Raise minimum wage to at least $6.65

Q: What increases, if any, do you favor in the $5.15 an hour federal minimum wage?

A: I believe that low-income working people deserve better and support an increase in the minimum wage of at least $1.50.

Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, "Minimum Wage" Jan 25, 2004

Help bring jobs to where they are most needed

Q: What is job creation plan for young people?

A: We'll have a national venture capital fund that will help give you the seed money to a new business in where we need to bring jobs. If you have an existing business or industry, and you're willing to locate in where we desperately need jobs, we will help you do that. We're going to change the tax system so that what Bush is doing now, which is putting the burden on the middle class and on working families.

Source: CNN "Rock The Vote" Democratic Debate Nov 5, 2003

Stand by our farmers-but end millionaire farmer subsidies

Q: Would you be willing to repeal farm subsidies if it helped poor farmers overseas gain a greater standard of living?

EDWARDS: My belief is we have to stand by our farmers. It's been a huge issue in my state of North Carolina. I have specifically proposed that we stop subsidies for millionaire farmers. I don't think we should do that, and I don't think we need to be doing that.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Ban hiring permanent replacement workers for strikers

We need to empower working people to organize. We need labor law reform in this country. Things like card check neutrality, putting teeth in the law to make sure that those who violate the law during organizing campaigns are, in fact, held responsible. And I think we ought to make the hiring of permanent replacement workers for strikers--we ought to ban it. We ought to make it the law of the land tomorrow. We need to empower working people so that they have more voice, not less voice in this country.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Fair trade deals & closing corporate loopholes creates jobs

Good Jobs at Home. America has lost more than 2 million manufacturing jobs under George Bush. Edwards will create good jobs-negotiating only fair trade deals, closing loopholes for companies moving headquarters overseas, and creating tax breaks for companies that manufacture in America.
Source: Real Solutions For America, campaign booklet by John Edwards Aug 6, 2003

Invest in rural America

An Agenda for Rural America. While many in Washington just fly over rural America to get from one coast to the other, Edwards comes from rural America, and he offers real help for rural America-investing capital, introducing technology, and protecting the natural heritage.
Source: Real Solutions For America, campaign booklet by John Edwards Aug 6, 2003

Increase the minimum wage again

Edwards believes America's workers deserve fair pay for their hard work. Today, the minimum wage, in real dollars, is worth less than it was in 1968. That is why Edwards has consistently voted for increasing the minimum wage and believes we need to increase it again, which is why he is currently cosponsoring a Senate bill to increase the minimum wage in the Senate.
Source: Campaign website, johnedwards2004.com, "Key Issues" Jul 17, 2003

Support unions; ban striker replacements

Labor has been a powerful force for good in this country and across the globe, and Edwards supports tougher penalties and stronger enforcement to protect workers' rights to organize and collectively bargain. Edwards also opposes permanent striker replacement because he believes we should not punish an employee with permanent job loss if he or she exercises a legally protected right to strike. Edwards has consistently earned high scores from labor unions for his votes on behalf of American workers
Source: Campaign website, johnedwards2004.com, "Key Issues" Jul 17, 2003

Voted NO on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress.

Vote to pass a resolution to give no enforcement authority to ergonomics rules submitted by the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration. These rules would force businesses to take steps to prevent work-related repetitive stress disorders
Bill S J Res 6 ; vote number 2001-15 on Mar 6, 2001

Voted NO on killing an increase in the minimum wage.

The Kennedy (D-MA) Amdt would have increased the minimum wage by $1 an hour over two years, to $5.65 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2001. The Kennedy Amdt would have also provided $9.5 billion in tax cuts over five years.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)50; N)48; NV)2
Reference: Motion to table Kennedy Amdt #2751; Bill S. 625 ; vote number 1999-356 on Nov 9, 1999

Protect overtime pay protections.

Edwards signed a letter from 43 Senators to the Secretary of Labor

To: Labor Secretary Elaine Chao

Dear Secretary Chao:

We write to express our serious concerns about the Department's proposed regulation on white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act. These sweeping changes could eliminate overtime pay protections for millions of American workers.

We urge you not to implement this new regulation that will end overtime protections for those currently eligible. Under current law, the FLSA discourages employers from scheduling overtime by making overtime more expensive. According to a GAO study, employees exempt from overtime pay are twice as likely to work overtime as those covered by the protections. Our citizens are working longer hours than ever before – longer than in any other industrial nation. At least one in five employees now has a work week that exceeds 50 hours. Protecting the 40-hour work week is vital to balancing work responsibilities and family needs. It is certainly not family friendly to require employees to work more hours for less pay.

Overtime protections clearly make an immense difference in preserving the 40-hour work week. Millions of employees depend on overtime pay to make ends meet and pay their bills for housing, food, and health care. Overtime pay often constitutes 20-25% of their wages. These workers will face an unfair reduction in their take-home pay if they can no longer receive their overtime pay.

We urge you not to go forward with any regulation that denies overtime pay protections to any of America's currently eligible hard-working men and women.

Source: Letter from 43 Senators to the Secretary of Labor 03-SEN4 on Jun 30, 2003

Rated 100% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record.

Edwards scores 100% by the AFL-CIO on labor issues

As the federation of America’s unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America’s workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Jobs: John Edwards on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Foreign Policy
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts