The Real War on Women

by Terri Lynn Land As a little girl, I loved working alongside Grandma Jenny at our family motel. Grandma was not the typical woman of her time; she helped run the family business, which was a rarity. Her and grandpa were a true team, with grandpa running the day-to-day operations of the motel, and grandma managing the books. I helped her clean the rooms and was thrilled just to be a member of the family team. After college, I became the motel manager, and it was Grandma Jenny who taught me that with hard work, women could not only succeed, but also excel in the workplace. Ever since I was a young girl — standing on the stool at the kitchen sink doing dishes — I’ve kept Grandma Jenny’s advice with me. When Washington politicians like Congressman Peters and Barack Obama sit in their offices in Washington, D.C. to talk about the struggles Michigan women face, I think of Grandma Jenny and chuckle. The fact is that these men don’t understand this struggle and have no idea what a war on women really is. When an entrepreneur is struggling to keep the doors to her coffee shop open because of high taxes and regulatory burdens, due to Congressman Peters’ unpopular policies like Obamacare, that’s a war on women. When a young woman who just graduated college faces student loan default because she can’t find a good-paying job and struggles under the weight of unaffordable insurance, that’s a war on women. When a grandmother living on a fixed income sees her Medicare benefits cut, to pay for ObamaCare, that’s a war on women. When a single mom who saw her hours cut from full-time to part-time has to decide between buying gas and putting food on the table, that’s a war on women. Detroit leads the nation in cities with women-owned businesses. But, as a business owner, I can tell you that government is putting too many obstacles in the way. According to the Heritage Foundation, the annual regulatory burden on Americans increased by more than $70 billion in the five years since Congressman Peters was first sent to Congress. These regulations stifle opportunity for women, which is why we need a new approach. Government needs to get out of the way so that small businesses can flourish and women have more opportunities to earn a good paycheck and succeed. Congressman Peters, of course, wants to take even more money from working women’s paychecks so he can spend it on Washington programs. He and I have an honest disagreement on this, as I have always believed in protecting the paychecks of hardworking Michigan families. President Obama and Congressman Peters’ campaign tricks and scare tactics are laughable. I’m a woman, of course I support equal pay for equal work! My commitment to women’s equality doesn’t end there. I also support women having a bigger role in the workplace and having more control over their workday. As Kent County Clerk I implemented programs that were so successful on both levels that we carried them over to the Secretary of State. I worked with labor unions and developed flexible time so that working moms could have more control over their hours—something that even the wife of President Obama’s top spokesman says is critical for working women. And, I developed a Lead Worker program that resulted in more female managers statewide. Unlike Congressman Peters, I support policies that will create good-paying jobs and which will ensure working-women can keep more of what they earn. Women know best how to manage their own money, without the interference of Washington politicians like Congressman Peters. As your Senator, I will continue to protect your paycheck by cutting wasteful spending, supporting tax relief, and reducing job-killing regulations. All women deserve opportunity and less interference from Washington so they can chart their own path. That is my vision, one that I believe women across Michigan share.