There is a clear choice in this election between two very different sets of priorities for our country.
I've spent my whole life fighting for middle class families and our community, and that's exactly what I'll do in Congress.
First, we must create jobs by leveling the playing field for Illinois workers. Second, we have to invest in our future by making our public schools the best in the world so we can prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, and build a stronger workforce.
And, third, we have to tackle our nation's debt crisis and balance the budget the right way.
To create jobs, we have to level the playing field for Illinois workers -- and we can start by ending tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas. American workers are the best in the world and can compete with anyone -- but Congressman Bobby Schilling and the current Congress actually support a tax code that allows corporations to write off the cost of moving manufacturing plants abroad.
To add insult and even more injury, they've built a tax code that lets U.S. companies escape taxes by moving jobs to places like China. That's wrong.
I have a different approach I believe we should restructure the tax code to offer incentives for companies to return those jobs to the United States. That's why I support the Bring American Jobs Home Act -- a piece of common-sense legislation that ends tax incentives to outsource and replaces them with tax incentives to bring jobs home. Our country can do better to lift up the middle class and those trying to get into the middle class with strong public schools.
We have to build a well-educated workforce to attract the quality jobs of today, and we have to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow. Education can be the greatest economic engine of all, but we're falling short. Right now, there are 600,000 manufacturing jobs across the country unfilled because the workforce doesn't have the skills to fill them. We have to fix that.
In Congress, I'll invest in our community colleges to put a stronger focus on job training.
And I'll hold an annual economic summit to bring together college administrators and local business leaders to make sure we're working together to create a workforce with the skills necessary to succeed. I'll work to expand access to a college education, and vote to roll back the cuts to Pell Grants Congressman Schilling favors. I'll also reverse his deep cuts to K-12 public schools and Head Start.
Finally, we have to balance the budget -- the right way. We can start by cutting government waste, and making sure Washington does a better job with the money it has.
Next, we have to create a fair tax code. It's time to get rid of the tax breaks for Big Oil and use the income tax code of the Clinton years, which asks the wealthiest few to chip in their fair share.
Congressman Schilling's voting record shows he has the wrong priorities, and that he would balance the budget on the backs of middle class families. He was wrong to vote for the Ryan Budget, which protects tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, but cuts Medicare by more than $700 billion and ends Medicare's guaranteed benefit.
The Ryan-Schilling Budget would require seniors to pay $6,400 more in out-of-pocket costs to receive their Medicare benefits. That's unconscionable.
We can strengthen America's middle class, but to do it, we need leaders with the right priorities.
I hope you'll join me, and I ask for your vote on Nov. 6. Cheri Bustos of East Moline is the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 17th District.
Today is Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2013. There are 21 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: We give "the government" the benefit of our circulation free of charge, for two advertisements for mules, horses and forage. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The official board of the First Methodist Church voted to build a new church. 1913 -- 100 years ago: W.A. Reid was elected commander of Siboney Bay Camp No. 8, United Spanish War Veterans. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Blanche S. Osborne, of Rock Island, is the only woman in the city who is a member of the American Legion. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Rocket Barbershop Chorus, under the direction of Howard Mesecher, will present a concert of barbershop songs at the December meeting of the Woman's Club of Moline at 2 Saturday afternoon in Scottish Rite Cathedral. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Helen A. Stone, of Moline, traded her organ's bench for a seat in the pew when she retired as church organist of Union Congregational Church, Moline, recently. She's been playing either piano or organ for the church for 61 years.