Our economy isn't just measured by the stock market -- it is measured by whether New Hampshire workers have good-paying jobs, whether our small businesses are flourishing, and whether our companies are able to invest in the innovation that will build a strong economy for years to come.
To help our economy recover, we need to tackle the crisis directly. President Obama has acted decisively to prevent a full-scale economic collapse, but now we need to make sure that our workers and businesses have the tools they need to fuel growth.
INVESTING IN JOB GROWTH
New Hampshire has all the ingredients we need for strong job growth: a well-educated workforce, laborers who know what hard work means, great higher-education institutions, abundant natural resources like timber and wood pulp, and some of the nation's most livable cities and towns. We must preserve the jobs we have while also creating new ones by encouraging investment in alternative energy development and production; by expanding broadband technology, especially to rural and under-served areas; by improving our transportation infrastructure; by extending more low-cost loans to small businesses; and by ensuring that health care reform passes so that our employers can afford to focus on growing and creating jobs, not just on paying their health insurance bills.
HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES CREATE JOBS
Small businesses are the backbone of New Hampshire's economy, and we must focus special attention on helping our small business owners deal with the national economic crisis. This includes increasing low-cost loans to small businesses, finding ways to decrease startup costs for new companies, and working with the rest of New Hampshire's congressional delegation to provide our small business community with a strong network of support.
REFORMING WALL STREET
We must have new accountability and transparency on Wall Street, especially where taxpayer dollars have bailed-out financial institutions. Ann McLane Kuster supports the White House's efforts to crack down on excessive executive pay at the banks that took large taxpayer-funded bailouts, as well as President Obama's financial system reforms.
Today, approximately half of last year's financial sector bailout money is unspent. Kuster believes we must have better transparency for the money that has been spent already, and that future spending should be targeted to job-creation and not simply to prop-up large Wall Street banks.
TAX RELIEF AND TAX FAIRNESS
The Bush administration showed us exactly what not to do when it comes to taxes -- they gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%, blowing a huge hole in our budget and leading to record deficits. At the same time they protected tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas or who set up phony headquarters in tax havens. Ann McLane Kuster believes it is middle class families who need relief from higher taxes, not the wealthiest.
Today, we have some wealthy individuals paying an effective tax rate much lower than the janitors and secretaries who work for them, simply because they have been given special tax breaks and ways to hide their money. Ann McLane Kuster supports the President's move to stop US companies from hiding money offshore to skip out on U.S. taxes, and she is eager to find more ways to create a truly level playing field -- one where everyone can succeed.
Ann McLane Kuster is a frugal Yankee, and she believes that our tax dollars must be spent wisely or not spent at all. Passing real health care reform, ending the war in Iraq, and moving towards an exit strategy for our troops in Afghanistan are three critical steps towards getting our federal budget under control, but we must do more.
We should remember that when Bill Clinton was President, he worked to turn big deficits into big surpluses, and it took George Bush less than a year in office to undo all that. And now, the more we borrow, the more control we give to the Chinese, and the Saudis, and the other countries that buy our debt. Getting the long-term deficit under control will be one of Ann McLane Kuster's top priorities in Washington.
Our number one priority, even above the deficit, is getting our economy growing again, because that is how we really get rid of the deficit like we did in the 90s. But when it takes government spending to do that, Kuster believes we need to tap into the $330 billion that is sitting unused in the TARP bank bailout account, rather than make our already-bad deficits even worse. It is outrageous that banks have taken massive taxpayer-funded bailouts while continuing to reap record profits and reward their executives with millions in bonuses.