Like many of you, I consider myself part of the middle class.
I work hard at my job. I have a house, with a huge mortgage that is upside down, and it requires constant care and attention. I am married with three amazing children who bring great joy to our lives but also strain our family finances.
My wife and I decided that it would be better for us if she stayed home to take care of our children, rather than pay for full-time daycare for three children. We know how lucky we are, to be able to make this work. We know that most families are not so lucky.
Many families have both parents working, some couples have three or four jobs between them, yet they are still struggling every month to pay their bills.
Over the last four decades, workers have greatly increased our productivity – yet our wages have stagnated. But CEO compensation has skyrocketed: CEOs now earn 350 times what their average employee makes.
Marilinda Garcia says she wants to go to Congress to fight for the middle class. She talks like she is part of the struggling middle class, herself.
Despite her campaign rhetoric, she is anything but a middle class American. She is in her early 30s, yet still lives at home with her parents. Her main occupation is State Representative, which we all know pays a whopping $100 a year. She also has a side job giving harp lessons, and has done some consulting in the past.
According to Garcia’s campaign financial disclosure statement, she made a little more than $6,000 total last year.
She admits that she would qualify for reduced-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange. Based on her financial disclosure, she would qualify for Medicaid, because her income is well below the poverty line.
But Garcia says she doesn’t buy her health insurance through the exchange – instead, her campaign is focused on getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. Even though the Affordable Care Act has lowered healthcare costs for millions of middle class Americans, and tens of thousands of Granite Staters.
Garcia also wants to destroy the Department of Education, and essentially eliminate the federal student loan program – another program that the middle class depends on, so their children can go to college. According to her financial disclosure, she herself owes between $15,000 and $50,000 in student loan debt to Sallie Mae – but she doesn’t want other families to have access to the program. As a State Representative, Garcia voted to slash the budget, cutting $95 million from the New Hampshire University system, forcing tuition increases and massive layoffs. That hurt thousands of middle class families.
Garcia opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would shrink the wage gap between men and women. Giving working women a little more in their paychecks would help middle class families – but Garcia is opposed to it.
Garcia even boasted on a local radio show that she voted against raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would help lift more than 100,000 Granite Staters out of poverty. A recent Gallup showed that more than 75 percent of Americans support raising the wage. Yet Garcia said it was nothing more than a “petty, short-sighted type of little issue.” Voters who support raising the wage, workers who depend on the minimum wage – these are real people, the same people Garcia wants to represent.
She may be a candidate for Congress, but she’s not a member of the middle class. Fight for middle class families? I can’t see it. Garcia doesn’t even bother to show any respect for us.
She is living at her parents’ house and earning about $6,000 a year. How is she paying for her student loan and whatever health insurance she bought, wherever she bought it? Maybe Garcia’s parents could be considered middle class – with two adult children living back at home – but Marilinda herself hardly qualifies.
Granite Staters need a Congresswoman who understands what real middle class Americans are going through – someone who will vote to help us, not hurt us.
Garcia has a proven track record of voting against the middle class.
The middle class needs a real representative, like Annie Kuster.
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Matthew Murray is founder of the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message, and oversees the NH Labor News Facebook page. Follow @NHLabor_News on Twitter.