Democratic Party is dedicated to fighting for the values that
make America great, and we will never give up that fight.
We will aggressively pursue our agenda in the coming months,
and we need your help. Here are just a few examples of what
Democrats will be fighting for in the weeks ahead:
Creating Jobs and Keeping Them at Home
We will stop rewarding companies that send American jobs overseas
and reward those that keep them at home. We will fight for
higher wages, restore overtime pay, and expand and protect
the middle class.
Making Health Care Affordable for Everyone
We believe in an America where health care is available and
affordable, a right, and not a privilege.
Our goal is straightforward: quality, affordable health coverage
for all Americans. In the wealthiest country in the world,
every expectant mother should get quality prenatal care; every
child should get regular check-ups; every senior should be
able to get safe, affordable prescription drugs; and no hardworking
family should ever lose everything because illness strikes
a loved one.
Fighting an Effective War on Terror
Victory in the war on terror requires a combination of American
determination and international cooperation on all fronts.
We know that promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule
of law is vital to our long-term security. Americans will
be safer in a world of democracies. We will restore America's
credibility and commitment as a force for democracy and human
rights, starting in Iraq.
Protecting Social Security
We believe in protecting the guaranteed benefits that have
kept generations out of poverty. We will not allow anyone
to dismantle Social Security through privatization or any
other scheme. We will fight for a fiscally responsible budget,
fulfilling our promises for this generation and those to come
by ensuring Social Security's future.
Social Security: Know the Facts
Social Security is the foundation of a secure retirement.
In 2005, more than 47 million Americans will receive nearly
$510 billion in benefits. The average benefit for a retired
worker is $950 a month. Nine out of ten individuals age 65
and older receive Social Security benefits. For nearly two-thirds
of retirees, Social Security provides more than half their
income. While some retirees have pensions or savings, Social
Security is the only guaranteed retirement income seniors
have. In addition to providing retirement benefits, Social
Security is a crucial life and disability insurance program.
More than 6 million disabled workers, nearly 5 million widows,
and 4 million children receive Social Security benefits.
Social Security is based on the contributions of millions
of workers in order to ensure that every American can achieve
retirement security. It is financed through a dedicated payroll
tax. Employers and employees each pay 6.2% of wages up to
the taxable maximum of $87,900 (in 2004). Social Security
also receives revenue from the income taxation of Social Security
benefits, and interest earnings on its reserves.
Social Security is a defined benefit, which means that workers
are guaranteed a certain level of retirement benefits. The
benefits are linked to the worker's earnings level, so it
provides continuity of income in retirement. Social Security's
benefits keep pace with inflation and last as long as the
person lives; they can't be depleted like a savings account
can. And they can't lose value, such as a 401(k) invested
in the stock market. And unlike any private pension or savings
plan, Social Security also pays benefits to qualified family
members, without reducing the amount going to the worker.
The Social Security Trust Fund is a financial account in the
U.S. Treasury. Social Security taxes are deposited in this
account, and Social Security benefits are paid from it. Also,
the Social Security Trust Fund holds any funds not needed
in the current year to pay benefits and invests them in interest-earning
Treasury bonds that are guaranteed by the U.S. Government.
The Social Security Trust Fund is NOT going bankrupt. Social
Security faces a challenge, not a crisis. Social Security
is solvent for nearly 50 years, and even after that it will
still be able to pay 80 % of benefits.
All of the Republican proposals to overhaul Social Security
will cut benefits. President Bush's Commission came up with
three different proposals to privatize Social Security, and
every one of these proposals would cut Social Security's guaranteed
benefits. In fact, even people who don't choose to enroll
in the new individual accounts will have their benefits cut.
Private accounts are very different than a 401(k). Unlike
the "private accounts" Republicans are proposing, a 401(k)
does not reduce the amount of Social Security benefits you
are entitled to receive. In other words, 401(k)s supplement
Social Security rather than replace it, as the Republican
schemes would. Finally, a 401(k) also allows retirees to keep
control of their investments beyond their retirement date.
The "private accounts" proposed by Republicans would require
workers to convert all or most of their "private retirement
accounts" into an annuity at retirement, which means they
would have to turn over their account balances to an insurance
company, and couldn't leave it to their heirs. In addition,
forcing individuals to annuitize means that, during a downturn
in the market, seniors would either have to postpone their
retirement or face a significant drop in retirement income.
None of the Republican proposals will extend the life of the
Social Security Trust Fund. The Republican proposals to privatize
Social Security actually move the date of Trust Fund insolvency
up by over 20 years, to 2021. That's because they take approximately
$2 trillion out of the Social Security Trust Fund and move
hard earned retirement contributions into the stock market.
Top 11 Reasons Privatizing Social Security is a Bad Idea
1. Today's insurance to protect workers and their families
against death and disability would be threatened.
2. Creating private accounts would make Social Security's
financing problem worse, not better.
3. Creating private accounts could dampen economic growth,
which would further weaken Social Security's future finances.
4. Privatization has not worked elsewhere.
5. The odds are against individuals investing successfully.
6. What you get will depend on whether you retire when the
market is up or down.
7. Wall Street would reap windfalls from your taxes.
8. Private accounts would require a new government bureaucracy.
9. Young people would be worse off.
10. Women stand to lose the most.
11. African Americans and Hispanic Americans also would become
more vulnerable under privatization.
Ensuring a Fair Judiciary
We will protect the federal courts -- including the Supreme
Court -- from being stacked by extremists who will erode civil
rights. We will support the appointment of judges who will
uphold our laws and constitutional rights, not their own narrow
Protecting the Environment
We will not stand by as decades of environmental protections
are rolled back. We will fight for clean air and clean water
to protect our families. We will hold polluters responsible
for their actions. We will ensure responsible stewardship
of federal lands, and preserve the beauty of our nation. And
we will support alternative energy solutions that make America
cleaner, safer, and more prosperous.
This page is devoted to addressing these issues as expressed
by your voiceand the voice of your neighbors
here throughout Scott County. Click contact
to add your voice to the issues.
our Federal Bench
It is interesting that the Republicans think that after they
refused to approve any Federal court justice nominations during
the last nine months of President Clinton's administration,
that all of their nominations should be approved. In a New
York Times article dated November 12, 2004, it was stated
that the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist wanted to stop
filibusters that would block action on judicial nominees in
President Bush's second term. "One way or another, the filibuster
of judicial nominees must end," Frist said in a speech to
the Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers' group.
It is clear that Republicans hope that in a Senate with 55
Republicans, they will be able to push through any nomination
they want. Fortunately for the county, Democrats still will
have the 40 votes necessary to uphold a filibuster. No matter
how much the Republicans cry foul, it should be noted that
Democrats have blocked votes on 10 nominees to federal appeals
courts while approving more than 200 of Bush's choices for
the federal bench.
Pat Callahan, Sand Creek Township
Big Lie to Gullible Believers
The Self-Righteous Wing of the Republican Party has been
good at talking the talk, but not at walking the walk. They
talk about family value issues just before an election to
persuade the gullible to vote for them but they fail the
test when it comes to demonstrating Christian principles
in their actions. After six years of Republican control
of every branch of our federal government abortions are
on the rise.
Their actions are inconsistent with their talk about the
sanctity of life. Though they talk against abortion seemingly
to demonstrate their concern about human life, they vote
for unnecessary wars and funding for weapons of mass destruction
like chemical and biological weapons, land mines and cluster
bombs that have no discretion on whose lives are taken.
They support the death penalty and oppose gun control. They
cut funding for medical assistance and enact programs that
increase the cost of prescription drugs. Though multitudes
of church leaders speak out against many of these anti-life
issues many others swallow the hype. Stopping abortion by
passing laws is like stopping prostitution by stoning prostitutes.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that abortions increase
when people are poor and undereducated. The Alan Gutmacher
Institute conducted research and concluded that the right
wing cuts to funding for family planning and sexually transmitted
disease prevention is actually resulting in more loss of
The Republicans aren't really pro-life; they are just selfish
and use that argument to keep from having to fund socially
Democrats for Life are proposing a walk-the-walk initiative
to reduce the number of abortions by funding programs that
have been demonstrated to be effective in other countries.
This initiative preserves the right for a woman to choose
but provides better choices. Instead of spending millions
trying to ban abortions the initiative would increase funding
to support pregnant women and offer incentives for adoption.
This initiative is consistent with the MN DFL Platform and
is supported by the National Catholic Social Justice Network.
Republicans oppose funding social programs because they
hold their precious money at a higher value than the lives
of others. Here is the Website for the Democrat's
Al Frechette, Shakopee
add your voice to the issues.
2004-2007 - Scott County DFL