Economic Security and Dignity

Economic inequality in America has been growing since the 1970s, and 2017’s Tax Reform legislation will only contribute to the problem. An independent analysis found that the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers by income receive just 35% of the legislation’s benefits in 2018 and will receive none at all by 2027! It further estimates that nearly three quarters of all taxpayers will be adversely impacted starting next year.

Naomi supports an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour, raised in stages. A higher minimum wage means a stronger economy, as 89% of those who would benefit from an increase are age 20 or older, and most are women. Raising the minimum wage helps working families make ends meet, and it drives economic growth for local businesses.  No one who works full-time should have to live in poverty. 

Naomi will always advocate for a robust social safety net, including through the Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly referred to as “food stamps”), Social Security, fuel subsidies, and other benefits. She will never support the type of work requirements passed by the House’s version of the Farm Bill this year because we know that the overwhelming majority of beneficiaries who can work already do. Those who do not are young children, elderly, or disabled, and need help. With average benefits at just $1.40 per meal, SNAP support is already insufficient, and many beneficiaries run out of food purchased through the program in the second or third week of the month. This is unacceptable.  

All Americans should have the opportunity to advance economically, to contribute their talents to our great country. Struggling members of our society and the homeless should always occupy a prominent place in our priorities and deserve a government that connects them with stable housing and employment opportunities, along with physical and mental health services.

As FDR said in 1939, “In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up, or else all go down, as one people.”  We can’t leave our fellow Americans behind. 

Naomi Andrews