U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s Democratic club meeting at Colony Cottage recreation Center. The two-term Congressman, who is now running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Marco Rubio, outlined what he believes to be the two most important challenges facing Americans today.
The first challenge Murphy addressed was income inequality which combined with income insecurity is responsible for much of the difficulties facing Americans. He indicated he would address those issues by stressing improving educational opportunities for Americans to give them the tools to advance economically. He also indicated that he would support spending on infrastructure, including transportation, and other public works suggest replacing antiquated schools.
Murphy also believes that it is necessary to bring corporate offshore profits back to the United States so that they can be fairly taxed. He would also support the right of workers to organize as well as support increasing the minimum-wage to $15 per hour. Murphy went on to point out that had the minimum wage been indexed to the rate of inflation it would be $23 per hour today.
As a native of Key Largo, Murphy indicated that he is acutely aware of the impact of climate change on South Florida. He went on to point out that parts of Miami are regularly flooding during high tides. As this climate change increases it will have a detrimental impact on Florida’s economy and therefore it must also be a priority for all elected Florida officeholders.
Murphy indicated that he would strengthen the Social Security system by raising the cap on earned income subject to tax. He indicated that single move would make Social Security solvent for the next 30-plus years. He also would be in favor of including medical expenses such as drug prescriptions in the calculations to determine cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.
Murphy took questions from the audience. One man asked why Murphy had changed from being a registered Republican to a Democrat. Murphy indicated that the decision to invade Iraq and the rise of the Tea Party movement made him question why he could remain as a Republican. He decided to change party affiliation and run against Allen West for Congress. West had been a darling of the Tea Party. Even though Murphy was outspent 5-to-1, he managed to defeat West in 2012.
Murphy emphasized that the Middle East problems stem from deep-seated cultural and religious differences between the different populations vying for power. He favors engaging our allies in the middle east to find a political solution to the problems facing the area. He would continue to use special forces along with our allies armed forces to confront ISIS.
In other business a new slate of officers was nominated to head the Democratic Club. They include Lynn Margolis as president, Roger Novak and Chris Staley as vice pPresidents, Jackie Davis as secretary and Paul Hausner as treasurer. Elections of officers will be at the February meeting.