A Positive Business Environment
Promoting a positive business environment is a critical responsibility of our Government. When businesses prosper they create more jobs and reduce the strain on government resources through reduction in payouts for unemployment benefits and welfare benefits. Prospering businesses also increase government coffers through their own taxes as well as the employee taxes created by added jobs.
When businesses suffer government resources become strained at the same time that taxable income is going down. Without a sound and prosperous business environment, Government lacks the resources to tackle important issues such as education, affordable housing and research into alternative energy. We must make the needs of our businesses, especially our small businesses, a top priority of Government.
During my two decades of operating my own independent law firm, I experienced first hand the challenges and travails faced by small business owners. All four of my children have owned successful small businesses, three of them in Hawaii. My youngest son, Greg Thielen, has been recognized as having one of the 50 fastest growing businesses in the State for two years running and was one of Pacific Business News' class of Forty under 40 in 2006. We are a family of entrepreneurs who understand the commitment and effort made by small business owners through out our state and country. This real life experience has taught me practical lessons that I have employed in my 16 years of legislative experience.
Every year that I have been in office, I received either the highest or second highest ranking given out by Small Business Hawaii. I am a recipient of Small Business Hawaii's Legislator of the Year Award and I have been consistently endorsed in my legislative races by Paychecks Hawaii. I have earned these honors by consistently voting in favor of small business measures to slash government bureaucracy, provide regulatory relief, cut taxes and promote a business friendly environment.
In the 2006 legislative session I supported the suspension of business payments to the State Unemployment Fund and opposed the rate hike in the General Excise Tax. When I get to Washington, I will maintain this strong commitment to small business and use my position as Senator to promote a prosperous business environment. This will be a welcome change from the anti-business representation provided by Senator Akaka.
Senator Akaka is consistently ranked near the bottom of the Senate by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We can't afford to have his views continue to hold back our small businesses. We need independent and energetic leadership for Hawaii that understands first hand how important our business community is. Once elected, I pledge to continue to be a strong advocate and accessible representative for Hawaii and our nation's small businesses.