Jobs and the Economy

I believe in true free enterprise and believe our innovators and entrepreneurs, who put their personal fortunes on the line and bear all responsibility for their successes and failings should not be burdened with greater taxes and regulations. They should be free to pursue their dreams in the truest spirit of free enterprise there is, and bear the same responsibility to pay taxes as any other private citizen. I believe that there needs to be serious reform in the way the large, mutli-national corporations are treated, and that corporate welfare needs serious attention, as set forth elsewhere on this site. I believe that the President’s jobs bill should be debated and enacted, and that there is no legitimate reason this cannot be done on a bi-partisan basis. The bill addresses the compelling infrastructure needs of our Country, that apply to Pennsylvania, in particular. Pennsylvania has as many or more bridges and roads in need of repair as any other state in the nation, and providing for infrastructure of this nature is one of the most basic functions of government, with an equal benefit to all. This is an appropriate investment in the future, and would create many jobs in Pennsylvania immediately. As I understand the proposal, there is no further tax increase needed to pay for it, and no net deficit increase. Jobs were the issue in the 2012 election, and this Congress has been silent on the issue.

The suffering American middle class needs to have something done for them directly and immediately, and a bi-partisan proposal needs to be put forward. The minimum wage issue is one that is very difficult to gauge in light of the structural problems that I have addressed generally. Under present circumstances, however, I would vote to raise the minimum wage, at least on large businesses. It is inexcusable that employees of Wal-Mart are taking billions of dollars of public support while the corporation is reaping record profits, and its principals are receiving seven and eight figure bonuses. If, as the opponents of raising the minimum wage argue, the free market will produce an equilibrium where all will prosper, people with full time jobs would not need food stamps and other public assistance for them and their families to survive. Something is not working, and an increase in the minimum wage would put more money in the pockets of those who need it most. The earned income tax credit is an important part of this, and should continue to be a part of these proposals as well. American jobs need to stop being shipped overseas

NAFTA has resulted in a huge net loss of middle class manufacturing jobs, and no corresponding increase in GDP or any other real benefit to the middle class in America. I strongly oppose the President’s Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty TPP proposals, so secretive as they are, and his efforts to fast-track this effort. The TPP will serve as yet another drain on American jobs, and a loss of competitiveness. It benefits only the large corporations. We have a responsibility to fix what ails us at home before we go further export American innovation to the world, and with an unemployment level still around 7%, and long term unemployed Americans losing their benefits, it is no time to be considering proposals that could cost more American jobs.