A Pro-Growth Plan of Action for Jobs, Competitiveness, Freedom and Opportunity for Virginia
Making America Competitive for Job Creators (America is Open for Business!)
If America is going to make a comeback, we must reinvigorate our economy so that it is growing and creating jobs again. Yet, more than two years – and nearly a trillion dollars – after passage of Washington’s jobless stimulus bill, the American economy is stuck in idle. GDP grew at an anemic 1.8 percent rate during the second quarter of 2011. Unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent, with more than 14 million Americans looking for jobs while millions of others have simply given up.
Clearly, Washington’s big spending, high-tax, heavy-regulation policies are not working. The draconian regulations, threatened tax increases, costly health insurance mandates, and counterproductive energy policies have paralyzed America’s businesses – our economy’s job creators – leaving them unable to invest, hire or expand.
George Allen followed a different approach as Governor of Virginia. With competitive tax and regulatory policies, the message went out: Virginia is Open for Business! The Commonwealth of Virginia was able to attract a record $14.2 billion in announced new investment and create over 310,000 net new private-sector jobs; and unemployment dropped from 5 percent to 2.9 percent during George Allen’s service as Governor.
It’s time to provide similar opportunities for America.
- Reduce the federal tax on job-creating businesses – currently one of the highest in the world – to 20 percent. With this one policy change, America could begin adding over half a million private-sector jobs each year and expand our economy by $132 billion (about 1 percentage point) a year. At least 75 countries have cut their corporate tax rates over the last four years as a means of attracting jobs and investment from high-tax nations like ours, and industrialized nations that reduced their rates generally found investment increased, as did corporate tax revenues – even at lower rates! Bringing our near “worst in the world” rate back in line makes America much more competitive, attracts new investment and expansion in the U.S., and allows U.S. businesses to raise wages and create over 5 million more jobs over the next 10 years.
- Allow small businesses to take advantage of the new, lower 20 percent tax rate.
- Make the tax code more simple and fair for businesses and individuals. Taxpayers and businesses spend about 7.6 billion hours a year complying with the filing requirements for their taxes – at a cost of $193 billion in addition to what they pay in taxes.
- In conjunction with corporate tax reform, remove distortions from the cumbersome, complicated tax code by eliminating or modifying credits, deductions, and special carve-outs that have Washington picking winners and losers.
- End double taxation of business profits by adopting a territorial system of taxation.
- Enact the “Freedom to Choose” Flat Tax for individuals. Let the American people decide for themselves whether to stay with the current code or go with a flat-tax alternative so simple that the entire federal tax return can be reduced to a single page.
- Make permanent tax changes affecting small businesses to provide them the certainty they need to reasonably plan, invest and create jobs. Small businesses cite uncertainty about the economy and the tax code itself as a major reason they are not expanding and creating jobs. As recently as the late 1990s, there were typically fewer than a dozen tax provisions that needed to be renewed every year or so; today there are 141.
- Death penalty to the death tax. Eliminating this unfair tax will help family businesses and farms survive into the next generation and allow the owners to invest in jobs instead of tax planning. Moreover, it will restore an important part of the American Dream – the ability and freedom to pass along your hard-earned assets, including a small business or farm, to your children.
- Regulate the regulators. Washington’s unelected, unaccountable regulators are out of control, and the regulatory onslaught is strangling our economy. Government regulations cost our economy over $1.75 trillion in 2008, according to the Small Business Administration, and the regulatory pace is accelerating. The Federal Register, where all regulations must be published, grew to 81,405 pages in 2010, an all-time high.
- Deny authority for EPA to impose draconian CO2 regulations that would result in skyrocketing fuel, electricity and food costs; cause massive job losses; and make America less competitive for jobs. The Clean Air Act was designed to regulate regional air pollutants, not global concentrations of carbon dioxide.
- Require a “jobs and family impact analysis” of all new proposed regulations before they go into effect. Require Congressional approval for any regulation with an economic impact greater than $100 million (REINS Act). The Obama Administration has 191 regulations above that threshold under consideration. To put that in perspective, Presidents of both parties in the past 25 years have averaged between 30 and 40 such rules.
- Keep America the world capital of innovation by preparing Americans to compete for and succeed in the good-paying, high-skill, high-knowledge jobs of the 21st Century economy.
- Work with the States and private sector to encourage and promote science, math, engineering, and technology education. With our economic competitors – such as China and India – more determined than ever to be key players in the fields of science, technology and engineering, it is imperative to develop tangible methods to encourage more American students and teachers to become involved in these important fields.
- Consolidate the dozens of overlapping, duplicative federal job-training and education programs and give States flexibility to innovate and manage to best train workers and educate school children.
- Lead in updating America’s older schools with the School Modernization and Revitalization Tax Credit (SMART Credit). This bipartisan proposal will provide students a better learning environment; create jobs in building, construction, and supplies; save taxpayers money for school construction; and improve energy efficiency.
- Promote public-private collaboration on university-based research for transformational improvements in our lives from nanotechnology and health sciences.
Continue reading the Blueprint for America’s Comeback