John Kerry on Jobs
Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President
A: I don't blame them entirely for it. I blame Bush for the things he could do that has an impact on it. Outsourcing is going to happen. I've had shop stewards say, will you promise me you're going to stop all this outsourcing? I can't do that. What I can promise you is that I will make the playing field as fair as possible, and make certain that the tax system is not subsidizing the loss of your job.
FACT CHECK: It is true that figures released earlier in the day show the economy is still down by 1.6 million private sector jobs since Bush took office, but the drop in total payroll employment-including teachers, firemen, policemen and other federal, state and local government employees-is down by much less than that-821,000. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a revision would add an estimated 236,000 payroll jobs to the total reducing the total to 585,000 jobs lost under Bush, about one-third of the number Kerry stated. But Kerry may turn out to be correct when he said Bush would be "the first president in 72 years to lose jobs." Payroll employment has been growing at roughly 100,000 jobs per month for the past four months, and there are only four months to go until the end of Bush's term in January, 2005.
KERRY: There are a lot of ways to be competitive. And unfortunately again I regret this administration has not seized them and embraced them. Let me give you an example. There is a tax loophole right now. You get more money, you keep more of your taxes by going abroad. I'm going to shut that loophole, and I'm going to give the tax benefit to the companies that stay here in America to help make the more competitive. Secondly, we're going to create a manufacturing jobs credit and a new jobs credit for people to be able to help hire and be more competitive here in America. Third, what's really hurting American business more than anything else is the cost of health care. Now, you didn't hear any plan from the president, because he doesn't have a plan to lower the cost of health care.
KERRY: You can't stop all outsourcing. I've never promised that. I'm not going to, because that would be pandering. You can't. But what you can do is create a fair playing field, and that's what I'm talking about.
AD NARRATOR: Millions of good jobs lost to plant closures and outsourcing. Yet President Bush protects tax breaks favoring corporations that move their headquarters overseas. America can do better. John Kerry's plan: End job-killing tax loopholes, and provide incentives to companies who create good jobs here. Because John Kerry believes we should export American products, not American jobs.
ANALYSIS: The Democratic National Committee says 2.7 million manufacturing jobs had been lost under Bush. That's true, but ignores the fact that manufacturing jobs started their decline three years before Bush took office. It actually declined by 0.5 million jobs between the peak reached in March, 1998 and when Clinton left office.
A: If I am elected president, I will continue to support increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. To begin with, I support increasing the minimum wage by $1.50 over the next year.
A: The reason that exists is because we have an indifference, a casual indifference in the leadership of our country that ignores the fact that we have a separate and unequal school system in the US. We need a president who is going to fight against those special interests. We've got to change our attitude about how you raise kids in America, how you provide opportunity.
Beyond any specific proposals, getting this economy moving gin, stopping job losses and creating new jobs depends on national leadership that believes it can make a difference and can muster the courage and imagination to do so. If elected president, I will hold economic policy once week for the first six months of my administration, aimed at developing targeted strategies to create jobs in key regions and key industries.
DEAN: I think that's true. I want a successful trade policy, but I'm no longer willing to sacrifice the jobs of middle-class Americans in order to pad the bottom lines of multinational corporations. Trade has to be fair to workers, not just multinational corporations. And I think Senator Kerry is insensitive to the plight of American workers who have lost their manufacturing jobs.
KERRY: I'm not insensitive to the jobs. I'm desperately concerned about those jobs. But you don't fix them by pandering to people and telling them you're going to shut the door. You have to grow jobs. We need to increase our commitment to science in America, to venture capital, to the kinds of incentives that draw capital to the creation of jobs. Democrats can't love jobs and hate the people who create them. We need to encourage job creation and trade, but fair trade, and I've shown how that can happen.
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.
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.
|Other candidates on Jobs:||John Kerry on other issues:|
George W. Bush
Third Party Candidates:
Carol Moseley Braun
|Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts|