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Public Statements

Issue Position: Economy and Jobs

Issue Position

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Americans have faced serious economic challenges since the near collapse of our economy in 2008. Many have struggled with long-term unemployment, loss of their homes and businesses, and loss of their savings. While our economy is slowly recovering, the on-going real estate crisis and high level of unemployment continue to plague our state and nation. Job creation must be our number one priority. Real recovery will not happen until Americans are back to work.

My work to create jobs has focused on investing to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, expanding access to credit for small business, providing targeted tax credits to promote job creation and ending incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas. I have also worked to help businesses in south central Wisconsin access resources from the federal government to increase their exports and create jobs here at home.

Creating Jobs Here in Wisconsin:
Throughout my time in Congress I have worked closely with community leaders to support efforts to preserve good jobs and create new ones right here in south central Wisconsin. I have been pleased to support economic development initiatives in communities throughout the district, from the Gateway project in Beloit, and the revitalization of State Street and East Washington Avenue in Madison, to the RiverWalk project in Wisconsin Dells. Local leaders know best what will help get their economy back on track. These leaders continue to inform my work on your behalf.

I have also worked closely with businesses to help them with their job creation and preservation efforts, including my work to:

* Keep high quality jobs for workers at the Fairbanks Morse Engine Company in Beloit, where workers build sophisticated ship engines for our Navy and Coast Guard.

* Create 21st century jobs at emerging biotech businesses including Platypus Technologies (developing nanotechnology to protect our troops and first responders from chemical and biological agents); Stratech (working to develop artificial skin for burn victims); Conjugon (developing technology to fight antibiotic resistant infections); and Alfalight (developing cutting-edge laser technology), among many others.

* Advocate for policies that help Wisconsin companies grow, including working with: Regal Beloit to encourage replacement of inefficient motors with new high efficiency motors; Orion to encourage development of energy saving lighting technology; and Virent to encourage development of advanced biofuel technology.

* Promote exports by Wisconsin businesses though presentations and seminars by federal experts from the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, International Trade Administration, and other federal agencies.

Rebuilding our Infrastructure :
Rebuilding our infrastructure is important for our long term economic growth, and provides immediate job creation. I strongly support efforts to invest in rebuilding our roads, bridges and mass transit systems, as well as investing to ensure that all Americans, in both urban and rural communities alike, have access to the information superhighway through broadband technology. Businesses today consider access to broadband in deciding where to locate and expand. Rural America must not be left behind.

I strongly supported infrastructure investments of this kind made by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that this measure increased the number of full time equivalent jobs by as much as 4.1 million. But for this law, these jobs would not have been created or preserved.

Expanding Access to Credit for Small Businesses:
Access to credit has been one of the greatest challenges facing small businesses. In response to this challenge I supported, and President Obama signed into law late last year, the landmark Small Business Jobs Act. Among many important elements, the legislation provided the resources to restart the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Recovery lending effort. Thousands of businesses nationwide are benefiting from this critical investment. In addition, the legislation reformed SBA lending practices to allow greater levels of lending and enhanced guarantees to help small businesses grow and hire.

Targeted Tax Cuts to Create Jobs:
Small business is the engine of job growth in our state and nation. To help them grow and hire, I supported targeted tax cuts that allow them to immediately write off the first $500,000 of investments in new equipment, deduct the first $10,000 in start-up costs, and for the self-employed, deduct 100 percent of the cost of health insurance from self-employment taxes. In addition, I supported cuts in the capital gains tax, enhanced depreciation on new investments, and a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire unemployed workers. These targeted tax cuts, combined with $40 billion in tax credits for small businesses to help them offer employee health coverage, if they choose to do so, will help Wisconsin businesses grow.

I continue to support extension of the Bush tax cuts for middle class businesses and families.

Ending Incentives for Companies to Ship Jobs Overseas:
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that many of the largest businesses in the United States were avoiding paying their fair share of taxes by setting up offshore operations in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. These tax avoidance schemes cost U.S. taxpayers over $100 billion a year. In 2010, I strongly supported, and the President signed legislation that ends these abuses. In addition, the legislation eliminated unintended tax incentives for companies to move U.S. assets overseas.


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