Tuesday, February 27, 2007

News: The Fifty Percent Solution

Senator Charles Schumer on Positively American

Josh Kurp
Schumer at The New School

By Josh Kurp

During time away from his political duties to speak about his recently released book, New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) came to The New School on Thursday, February 22, to further discuss the points he made within its pages.

Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time was released on January 27 with the goal, as Schumer described it, “to bring the middle class back to politics.”

Schumer said he wrote the book because he, “didn’t think the Democrats were doing anything” to help the middle class. In Positively American, Schumer uses a fictional family, "the Baileys", in order to act out the life of a typical middle-class family.

Schumer said that he was worried that Democrats “have forgotten about the Baileys,” and described his book as being in two parts: the first is to “talk to the Baileys,” while the second deals with his “50% solution.”

Schumer detailed eleven goals (all of which are done in 50% increments) that would get the middle class to vote for the Democratic Party. They include reducing property taxes, Internet pornography, child obesity and dependence on fossil fuels, increasing college enrollment and improving math and reading skills in K-12 students.

When asked for his position on gay marriage by an audience member, Schumer said he was “opposed to anti-gay marriage,” but wouldn’t say whether he supported same-sex relationships.

Schumer also said that although he believes troops should be fighting terrorism, he doesn’t support the way the government is handling the fight.

“If we’re going to end this war we should change our mission from civil war to focusing on terrorism,” he said.

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