I believe in free trade but I also believe in fair trade. First, I do not support a state income tax. We should increase revenue by closing outdated tax loopholes for a select few corporations that take advantage. We also need to hold companies that receive state incentives and tax credits accountable for creating the jobs they promise. If the contract is not fulfilled then we have the right to take back our tax dollars if they don't deliver on their promise.
Second, while government cannot create jobs, it can provide an atmosphere to promote jobs through innovation, research, grants and loans. Tennessee unemployment is below the national average but we can do better by giving Tennessee businesses first crack at state and local contracts, so our tax dollars create jobs here, not other states or overseas.
Third, we need to invest in workforce training through technical schools and community colleges so young people have the opportunity to gain the skills they need for 21st century jobs. We can do this by investing in our states technology centers. We need to create partnerships between laid off workers and businesses so that workers can learn new skills and have the opportunity to be hired on full time. For instance, I support giving tax breaks to small businesses that hire people off the unemployment line.
Finally, we need to focus on roads and bridges that carry the goods to our local small businesses that employ our neighbors. Our time is now.