“I’m taking donations of only $10.10 - that being the proposed new minimum wage by President Obama,” Arthur Lieber explained to “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh. “If elected, every voter in the 2nd district will have my equal attention because no one has given me more than $10.10”
Arthur Lieber (D-Creve Coeur) is running for Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District against incumbent Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin) and Bill Slantz, a Libertarian from St. Charles.
Although his campaign contributions are limited to $10.10 per person, Lieber said that he would be happy to see the minimum wage raised even higher than that, following the example of Seattle where the minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour.
Even though he has only raised $62,000 compared to Ann Wagner’s $2.9 million, he has publicly “shown up” in ways that Wagner has not, according the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which publicly endorsed him on Monday. In its endorsement, the newspaper referred to Lieber as a “principled progressive.” He explained, “Progressive, I think, means first and foremost that you have empathy. You have empathy for people who are not as fortunate as you might be. And I think that we’ve moved away from that."
Lieber’s domestic plans emphasize his belief in empathy. Lieber stated that his “number one domestic priority is poverty.”
To solve the problem of poverty, in addition to raising the minimum wage, Lieber is focused on getting people back in the workforce. “I think we’ve got an imbalance between the skills that are needed for a lot of jobs that are open and the skills that a lot of people who are looking for work have. If it means we take a step backwards in terms of automation in some areas, we do so in order to put more people to work. If it means we have higher tariffs in order to encourage more domestic manufacturing and services, we should do it.”
On the international front, Lieber believes “that Congress needs to step up. This ISIL situation is so confusing and Congress has not had any hearings about it. So when I get to Washington a top thing I want do is to make sure that we’re studying this carefully.”
No matter the arena, domestic or international, Lieber does not want to shy away from complex problems. When asked about the Westlake Landfill he stated, “Overall whether we’re talking about a toxic waste dump like that or we’re talking about climate change, so many people lose sight of a basic maxim that we’re taught in Kindergarten and that is to clean up after ourselves. The solutions are not going to be easy but we need to make it a high priority.”
Producer's Note: Congresswoman Ann Wagner has agreed to an interview but it has not yet been scheduled. Libertarian Bill Slantz was a guest on the show on Monday, October 27. You can listen to the audio here.
St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.