America’s Comeback and Building a Stronger Economy
America’s comeback starts with new energy and a strong resurgence in American innovation and manufacturing. China, India, Germany and other countries have lured U.S. manufacturing -- old and new industries alike – with promises of cash, free land and buildings, and other subsidies that drive job creation and profitability.
If we are to prosper in the long-term we need to focus more on making things and less on poor-paying service-oriented jobs. The U.S. must provide incentives and other investments in new industries, facilitate research and development and the innovation it generates and ensure new production stays in America.
Made in America
Rebuilding American manufacturing is the key in rebuilding our economy. I support a tax code that rewards U.S. manufacturers that build new plants, modernize existing plants, retrain workers, and keep jobs in America. This includes tax credits to cover moving expenses for companies that close production overseas and return jobs to the U.S. Companies that move operations out of the country should be punished in the form of higher taxes.
And, we must do more to enforce free trade rules against countries that violate or manipulate the rules to gain an unfair advantage over American products or workers, including currency manipulation and the theft of technology and intellectual property.
Clean Energy Innovation
The area that created the information technology industry is poised to become an anchor for the emerging clean technology industry. In the long-term, clean energy is the key to job growth and economic vitality, and a cleaner environment.
Bay Area companies and venture capitalists have invested in the development of clean energy technology, but we are falling behind in ramping up manufacturing. The problem is two-fold: other governments are working with private companies to clearly establish a defined national clean energy program that creates an environment of certainty for investors and these governments are providing direct financing and other incentives to establish lasting manufacturing industries in a new and significant global industry.
I think that America, and the Bay Area cannot afford to lose out on the clean energy industry and the innovation and economic growth it will bring. The U.S. must adopt a sensible national renewable energy policy with clear goals for reducing pollution and our dependence on dirty and outdated energy systems.
Second, I believe we should be in the business of facilitating the successful development, manufacturing and exporting of clean energy systems. This includes research and development loans and grants and tax credits and incentives that attract early stage private investment in clean technology. We defend our U.S. companies and research institutions -- like Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory -- that develop and manufacture clean energy systems like solar and wind power, and LED lighting so that they remain a permanent source of U.S. jobs and profitability. If we don’t, then we’ll lose the biggest economic engine of next-generation technology to another country; they will reap the economic benefits of the clean energy industry instead of the U.S.
Develop Alternative Energy
For the first time since 2008 gasoline tops $4 a gallon. There are many world-wide factors contributing to the rising price of oil. This includes Iran’s cut in oil exports in response to pressure from the U.S. and European nations to halt their pursuit of a nuclear weapons program, increased demand for oil here and abroad in response to the economic recovery, and hedge fund managers driving up the price of oil in response to the tightening supply. Since 2008, the U.S. has increased output of domestic oil by 20%, or 300,000 barrels per day. However, this is not enough to combat the increase demand for supply world-wide. I believe we must do more to develop alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on oil and promote American innovation and jobs.
Small businesses are a significant source of job growth. I believe we must provide small business with the incentive to risk starting a new business and employing others. I will level the playing field for contractors and the self-employed and believe a self-employer’s tax contribution should be no higher than an employee’s. I also support deferral of all federal government taxes for the first year of any new small business. The first year of business is crucial to its future success. By deferring taxes for the first year, this will allow the small business owner to focus on getting the business up and running. We’ll collect the deferred federal taxes over a four-year payback period.
A Fairer Tax Code and Our National Budget
We must do more to ensure that if you play by the rules and work hard you can have a better standard of living than the one you left behind in the economic downturn. One path to a brighter financial future is through a fairer tax system. I support a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. Many wealthy people have vastly increased their wealth through a federal tax policy that puts a lower tax rate on investment income like dividend and interest from stocks and other assets. Most Americans pay taxes based on wages and salaries that are taxed at a higher rate than investment income – a vicious circle that ensures the rich get richer and the rest of us just get by.
Finally, Congress and the government must stop wasteful government spending and reduce our national debt as another key step to economic stability.
About the issues:
America needs an economic comeback. I’m ready to lead our comeback and will work from a core set of principles to achieve this. Today’s issues can no longer be placed in silos or separated from one another. In this global economy and digital world, our issues are inter-connected, inter-related and must be integrated. The issues in this section are all inter-dependent on American competitiveness and our ability to create good-paying jobs that strengthen our economy.