Congressman Thompson believes that Congress’ number one priority should be creating jobs for the American people. Every effort that comes before Congress will be measured by whether it creates jobs strengthens the middle class and reduces the deficit. Congress should be working with laser-like focus to put Americans back to work.
More than one million private sector jobs were created last year; indeed, more jobs were created last year than 2001 through 2008 combined. Further, one-fifth of the new jobs – over 200,000 – have been in the health care industry. However, there is more work to be done; far too many Americans are still out of work.
Congressman Thompson strongly supports the Make It in America agenda, a legislative initiative to revitalize manufacturing in America, create new good-paying jobs, and make our nation more secure. During 2010, six Make It in America initiatives became law, including the landmark Small Business Jobs Act that provided eight tax cuts, unleashed private lending for small businesses and is projected to create 500,000 jobs.
Every moment we spend on partisan bickering is another opportunity that we are missing to make real progress for the American people.
Congressman Thompson has been a longtime supporter of Agriculture. In fact, Congressman Thompson has never voted against a Farm Bill during his nine terms in Congress. The Farm Bill is the primary policy tool for agriculture and food policy in the United States. Our most recent Farm Bill was passed enacted in May of 2008. It contains 15 titles covering support for commodity crops, horticulture and livestock production, conservation, nutrition, trade and food aid, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, energy, forestry, and other related programs. It also includes provisions that make certain changes to tax laws, in order to offset some new spending initiatives in the final bill. The enacted bill succeeds the most recent 2002 farm bill and is to guide most federal farm and food policies through 2012.
The enacted 2008 farm bill continues or modifies most existing farm and commodity programs, and also creates new programs and provisions. For farm commodities, the bill generally continues the framework of the 2002 farm bill, revises payment limitations adjusts support prices for some commodities, and creates a new revenue support program, in addition to the traditional direct, counter-cyclical, and marketing loan programs for major supported crops. The bill also adds new stand-alone titles containing provisions to address horticulture and livestock issues, including new mandatory funding for specialty crop block grants and to support organic production; and provisions to address meat and poultry inspection, country-of-origin labeling, and livestock competition. Other provisions include changes to the current crop insurance program, a new provision for ongoing disaster assistance, and expanded borrowing opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers.
The bill’s nutrition title increases food stamp benefits and sets new standards that will make more households eligible, and also raises funding for fresh fruits and vegetables in most domestic food programs. For research, the bill requires the reorganization of USDA’s research, extension, and economic agencies. For most other titles—conservation, international trade and food aid, rural development, forestry, and energy—the enacted law reauthorizes, expands, or modifies many of the existing programs, creates new programs and initiatives, and allows some programs to expire.
Congressman Thompson believes that protecting the promise of Social Security is an absolute. He feels that the hard working people of this nation deserve the right to a retirement which lends to a sense of dignity. Pension reform should support the best interest of laborers, saving incentives should offer room for expansion and social security should not be made susceptible to the “income over individual” pitfalls of the private industry.
Mississippi’s Second Congressional District currently has a total of 128,304 beneficiaries that receive Social Security of which 18,182 are children. Privatization is a proposal that takes the hard earned money of hard-working people and puts that money into risky private stock accounts. Such uncertainty takes the security out of this social program and places in jeopardy the livelihood of these 128,304 citizens.
Our nation was and continues to be built on the backs of an extraordinary class of people who have and will continue to earn the right to a secure retirement. This should not come at the lost of enjoyable livelihood, which has been lost due an increase in retirement age. The Social Security retirement system was created to help alleviate poverty among elderly Americans and meet the retirement needs of all workers. Social Security has become the single most effective federal anti-poverty program in our history, lifting more than 11 million seniors and countless disabled workers out of poverty. For many seniors, Social Security is the only retirement security they have.
Now more than ever we must stand by the promise of Social Security as a safety net available to retirees who otherwise would have nothing.
Women, more than any other group, may be the most severely impacted by attempts to reform Social Security. One-third of all women age 65 and older receive 90 percent of their retirement income from Social Security. More so than their male counterparts, Hispanic women are less likely to have access to private pension coverage and they tend to receive the lowest wages of any category of worker. The great promise of Social Security has been its dependability, the guarantee of the United States government that we will not let seniors down in their time of need. Our goal is to hold strong to this public trust.
The Social Security is and has always been an on-time, guaranteed benefit for retirees and should stay this way. Congressman Thompson will continue to monitor this issue, keeping a close watch to ensure Social Security remains intact as Congress works toward reform.