Not far enough:
- Jobs. "Obama and Biden will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs." So what? That's about $100 per person for the 10.1 million people who are out of work now--and with a recession upon us, there are going to be a lot more unemployed soon! What's really needed is a massive employment program. Repair roads and bridges, redo government computer systems so they are as good as corporate systems, provide childcare and after-school tutoring to everyone who needs it...there are jobs needing to be done everywhere.
- Making Work Pay. "Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 an Hour by 2011," says the Obama platform. This is pitiful. For a full-time worker, $9.50/hour comes to not quite $20,000/year. This is enough for a single person in Alabama, where the cost of living is low. It is not enough for a parent in any of the 50 states. In Massachusetts, a two-parent, two-children family would need to work three full-time jobs at $9.50/hour to make ends meet. And that's right now, not in 2011! Raise the minimum wage to $12/hour immediately, and push high-cost states to set their standards higher.
- Saving the Environment. "Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025." Way too slow! By comparison, the European Union is aiming at a 20% cut by 2020. With recent evidence of how fast the climate is changing, even that is too modest.
Along with pressing the new administration to keep its promises, we have to make them exceed them. WE have to. They won't do it on their own.