Ann McLane Kuster is focused on creating good jobs here in New Hampshire -- it is the #1 issue in her campaign and it will be her #1 priority in Washington.
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, Annie plans to tackle this crisis with her jobs plan, below.
Kuster's New Approach to Creating Jobs
1. Support Small Businesses & New Startups
New Hampshire small businesses employ more than half of all workers here, but they saw a 39% drop in small business lending last year, from $128 million to less than $80 million [Small Business Administration]. Small business owners wake up every day working to create jobs and grow our economy. We need to help them by working to:
* Eliminate capital gains taxes on small business investments. We need to incentivize small businesses to grow. That's why I strongly support eliminating capital gains taxes as well as tax credits for new plants and equipment, and exploring new ways to promote investment in the startups that create new jobs.
* Allow businesses to fully deduct qualified capital investments through the end of 2011. I support providing nearly $200 billion in tax incentives for businesses to invest in capital. This would be the largest temporary investment incentive in history. This proposal would allow businesses to depreciate 100 percent of qualified investments up-front through the end of 2011 and help business make investments now that will spur growth.
* Expand Clean Energy Technology. New Hampshire is already emerging as a leader in clean energy technology, so smart investments now can result in thousands of good jobs across the state. We need to pass comprehensive energy legislation that will provide incentives for businesses to use and produce cleaner forms of energy. I propose doubling federal support for research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies. We can support clean energy manufacturing jobs by extending the 48C advanced energy manufacturing tax credit and expanding the use of the Department of Commerce's Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. To take advantage of our state's existing clean energy employers, we should create clean energy business zones to provide $1.2 billion in tax incentives to help small businesses create jobs. We can pay for these investments by shutting down taxpayer subsidies for the big power companies.
* Modernize Infrastructure, Weatherization, and Universal Access to Broadband. It is a missed opportunity to let tens of thousands of New Hampshire workers sit idle while economic development projects hold so much promise but remain undone. Every building that isn't weatherized costs us wasted heating and cooling costs. Every home and business that is forced to rely on dial-up internet simply can't compete in today's economy. These are projects that can't be outsourced to other countries, and they should employ well-trained, well-paid New Hampshire workers. A good place to start is by pressuring the U.S. Senate to pass the "Creating American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act" which has already passed the U.S. House.
2. Prevent Outsourcing
If we're going to get serious about creating jobs, we need to get serious about combating outsourcing. We can start fighting back by closing tax loopholes that encourage U.S. companies to ship their jobs overseas, creating meaningful incentives for businesses to keep jobs here, only supporting fair trade agreements that enable economic opportunity for all and push China to stop manipulating its currency. Here are my priorities to prevent outsourcing:
* Keeping Jobs Here in the U.S. A new study this spring confirmed that "New Hampshire has lost a higher percentage of jobs to China in the last decade than any other state in the country -- especially in the high-tech industry." That cannot continue. We must end tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas and instead provide tax credits for companies to create jobs right here in New Hampshire.
* Close tax loopholes that encourage U.S. corporations to send good U.S. manufacturing and service jobs overseas. Current tax law allows corporations to "defer" (sometimes indefinitely) payment of taxes owed to the American people on overseas profits and take deductions on the expenses associated with shipping American jobs abroad . We need to reform the tax code to ensure that U.S. companies are pulling their weight, paying their taxes on profits the year they are made and aren't receiving perverse, job-killing tax deductions for expenses related to shipping jobs overseas.
* Create meaningful incentives to encourage U.S. business to keep and create jobs in New Hampshire. Responsible business owners want to create and keep jobs in the communities in which they live and work and we can do more to help them do even more. In particular, I would extend, strengthen and target the HIRE Act, which President Obama signed into law this year, to specifically combat outsourcing and provide one-time tax incentives to companies that bring previously outsourced jobs back to the U.S. and keep them here for at least five years.
* Support and advance "fair" trade agreements between the United States and the rest of the world. The results of many free trade agreements over the last two decades have yielded mixed results at best -- with access to new markets and economic benefits all too often coming at the expense of U.S. jobs and essential labor and environmental protections. A recent study showed that New Hampshire has lost a higher percentage of jobs to China in the last decade than any other state -- particularly in the high-tech and paper industries -- job losses that have devastated the North Country.
* Push the Chinese to properly value their currency against the U.S. dollar. China's unfair manipulation of its currency violates key trade agreements with the United States, makes it more profitable for U.S. companies to outsource manufacturing jobs to China and limits our ability to create and sell goods to Chinese consumers. I support legislation, such as the Currency Reform Fair Trade Act, that would allow the U.S. Commerce Department to respond to foreign currency manipulation with countervailing and anti-dumping duties.
3. Reform Wall Street and Build a New Financial Foundation
The financial collapse didn't happen on its own. In 1999, the U.S. Congress passed the sweeping "Financial Services Modernization Act," which allowed giant financial firms to own investment banks, commercial banks, and insurance firms all at once -- something that had been banned since the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. It left glaring regulatory holes for investment banks such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and for insurance giants like AIG to exploit. Numerous economists have faulted this law as one of the prime causes of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the origin of the words "too big to fail."
It should be no surprise that the strongest voices warning against reform today -- like Congressman Bass -- are the very same people who voted to pass this law which laid the groundwork for the crisis.
I would have voted for the Wall Street reform bill that Congress passed earlier this year. To nurture a stable and fair investment climate, never again can we let financial institutions become so large and so risky at the same time that they threaten our economy as a whole.
Big Banks Need to Pay Back Bailout Money. The big banks must pay back their bailouts in full, and we need new protections so that the financial crash can never happen again.
Strengthen Wall Street Reform. In Congress, I'll continue to support legislation that:
* Cracks down on excessive executive pay at the banks that took taxpayer-funded bailouts.
* Consolidates and strengthens regulatory oversight of the financial services industry.
* Rolls back massive financial corporations' ability to simultaneously act as both a bank and private investor and potentially profit off of customers' misfortunes.
* Regulates complex derivatives.
* Forces banks to pay back the costs of the bailout in full and ensures that future bank failures are paid for by the financial industry, not taxpayers.
* Provides ample consumer protection, including bolstering the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
4. Fixing the Mess in Washington
I'm a frugal Yankee and know how to pinch a penny. Whether it's by cutting coupons or canning fruit and vegetables in the fall my family has always looked to save money. That's what we need to do in Washington. I support strengthening Pay-As-You-Go rules, working to reduce the deficit, ending the broken earmark system, and freezing congressional pay until there is a balanced budget.
Freeze Congressional Pay Until Balanced Budget. We need to stop the automatic pay raises for members of Congress until they do their job and balance the budget.
End the Broken Earmark System. Washington spending is out of control. We need to stop allowing politicians to trade favors and end corporate earmarks all together.
Deficit Reduction. Bringing our troops home from Iraq and refusing to get pulled deeper into Afghanistan will save us hundreds of billions of dollars and reduce the deficit. We also need to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire next year -- this is an estimated $700 billion in deficit reduction that will put us on a stronger financial footing for the future.
Strengthen Pay As You Go Rules. I will not stand by while our country borrows against our children's future. While some targeted spending and job-creation tax cuts like I mentioned above will cost federal dollars, we must also strengthen the Pay-As-You-Go rules that helped us reach balanced budgets in the late 1990s.