Creating an Innovation-Based Economy
Economic growth is the foundation for high-wage jobs that build strong communities. Twenty years of experience as a business leader have shown me that sustainable economic growth occurs when people transform new ideas into business innovations that solve old problems or create new markets.
Here in the 8th Congressional District and the Puget Sound region as a whole, we have the ingredients to drive the growth of new, innovation-based businesses. We have a workforce that ranks among the best educated and most entrepreneurial in the nation, world-leading companies that have built global businesses on the strength of their ideas, and a university that is at the forefront of advancement in key areas of science and research.
But in too many ways, the district has failed to achieve the full promise of its potential to create opportunities for its citizens and deliver sustainable economic growth and prosperity for its communities.
What we need now are policies that provide the incentives and infrastructure to support our existing businesses and nurture new companies and industries. This is equally true for the nation as a whole.
We can have smart policies that encourage entrepreneurs to launch new companies and existing companies to expand. I'll work to enact incentives that foster the growth of new innovation-based industries.
Here are some policies that I believe can help create the innovation economy we need in this district and this country:
* R&D incentives for business: Government support for private-sector research and development is one key to America's long-standing leadership in innovation. As an executive in the high-tech industry, I saw how the lack of a permanent R&D tax credit creates uncertainties for businesses that invest in research. I want to make the R&D tax credit permanent.
* Government investment in research: From physics to aerospace, medicine, and computer science, the U.S. government has long sponsored basic research that has played a vital role in America's economic leadership. Continued government support for research is important for the long-term health of our economy, and we need to increase our research efforts in key areas of science and technology.
* Emerging industries: Here in the 8th Congressional District, we're in an ideal position to lead the development of new businesses that focus on information technology, green technology, biotechnology, and global health care. I support the Green Bank Act, which would fund clean energy projects through a tax-exempt corporation owned by the U.S. government. It is a good model for encouraging private investment in pioneering new technologies.
* Incentives for small businesses: Start-up companies and small businesses are the economic backbone of our communities. Throughout my career in business, I've been involved in helping start new businesses. I know that smart tax policies and well-targeted incentives can make a huge difference in the success or failure of a young company. I will work to expand tax deductions for start-up companies, and speed depreciation and simplify tax filings for small businesses.
* High-speed rail: A modern rail system that moves people and freight quickly and efficiently should be a national priority. Here in the Puget Sound region, our ability to ship freight to cities in the Midwest and East is hampered by a rail system that is overburdened and outdated. Meanwhile, a high-speed rail system that spans the northwest corridor from Portland through the Puget Sound to Vancouver B.C. would enhance the competitiveness of the entire region.
* Broadband infrastructure: Numerous studies make clear that expanded access to broadband networks can have a strong economic impact. For example, a study found that increasing the number of broadband subscribers by 10 people per 100 can increase GDP growth by 1.2 percent. I believe expanding the nation's broadband network to provide a world-class information infrastructure for our citizens and businesses should be an important priority for the nation.