Most of us think of Labor Day as a farewell to summer — the last three-day weekend to enjoy the Jersey Shore.
It’s a day to barbecue and relax with family and friends. But Labor Day is much more than that.
It’s a day to remember those who fought for safe working conditions, fair wages, and a basic standard of living.
It’s a day to reflect on the promise of the American dream — that all of us deserve a fair shot and that all of us can have a successful life if we’re willing to work hard.
Today, as I run for Congress, I see the American dream fading. I see middle- and working-class families struggling to make ends meet. They say to me, “Why does Congress want to take away my Medicare? Why does Congress want to take away my Social Security? Why does Congress want my family to live without health care? Why does Congress want to take away college grants for my children?”
Honestly, I don’t have good answers because the proposals being offered by the Republican leadership don’t make sense.
Slashing Medicare and Social Security doesn’t make sense. Cutting Pell Grants for college students doesn’t make sense. Cutting Head Start for young children doesn’t make sense. Eliminating aid for Planned Parenthood doesn’t make sense.
Worst of all, providing tax welfare for the richest Americans in the name of creating jobs doesn’t make sense. Why?
Because the top 2% have had the benefit of the Bush-era tax cuts for almost a decade now and they haven’t created the jobs that we need or want. Yet, the House of Representatives, with the help of my Republican opponent, voted twice to enact the Paul Ryan Plan — a scheme that would favor the wealthiest Americans with no mandate that they create jobs.
As I have said before, I'm sure Rep. Frelinghuysen is a genuinely good man. But being “good” and being “likable” does not mean that the people of the 11th District are well served by him.
The truth is Mr. Frelinghuysen has no affinity for the middle or working class. He doesn’t understand what it takes to put food on the table for his family. He doesn’t understand what it means to build a business from the ground up.
I’ve been there. I built a small business by scratching and clawing like my father before me. I was handed nothing. Working and middle class Americans are handed nothing but hollow rhetoric.
This Labor Day, I hope you will take a few minutes to reflect on the hard working men and women who built this country and the great state of New Jersey.
It’s time to stand up for the benefits that we have earned. It’s time to stand up for the future that we deserve. It’s time to stand up for America and for New Jersey's 11th District. It’s time for us to do the right thing.