The American middle class was built in the 1950s by government programs that dramatically expanded access to higher education and home ownership, while making large investments in public infrastructure for generations to come.

Sixty-odd years later, and the picture is not quite as bright. We’ve sabotaged the government’s ability to help people make investments in their future, and by pushing taxation away from the richest people in our country and onto working families, we’ve stifled small business creation.

We can put America back to work by:

  1. Expanding Pell Grants and subsidized loans that encourage young people to be the first in their family to go to college. I will promote partnerships between manufacturers and vocational programs that encourage the development of needed skills.
  2. Supporting meaningful public works projects to restore our national economic infrastructure. Ten percent of bridges and nearly a third of our roads are deficient or at risk. Our investment in rail — for both freight and passengers — has lagged other developed countries even though freight rail is by far the most energy-efficient way we have of transporting cargo. And our failure to invest in seaports means that we are steadily losing international competitiveness for our exports.
  3. Investing rail and air transport here in the 16th District. We are already a logistics hub for the state of Illinois; with the proper investment, we can become a hub for the rest of the country.
  4. Enforcing anti-trust legislation. The biggest reason that small-town economies are struggling is also the one reason that we’re not allowed to discuss in polite company – we’re all being squeezed out by Amazon and Wal-Mart. If we break up companies with monopoly power, we’ll provide the environment for small businesses to start flourishing again.