Ventura County needs independent leaders who will work to unite our community around economic policies that provide hope and prosperity for families struggling to make ends meet. Over the past three and a half years, our government has failed in its core duty: promoting an economy where lasting, well-paying jobs can be created in America.
Our current economic state is simply unacceptable. As of May 2012, 8.2% of our fellow Americans remain unemployed, with 5.4 million Americans being plagued by long term unemployment, and an additional 2.4 million distressed by marginal employment. Furthermore, 830,000 America have moved into the discouraged workers category and are no actively seeking employment because they believe there are no opportunities for them in the workforce. These statistics are deplorable, and Washington has resoundingly failed the American public in ensuring that Americans secure meaningful employment.
By investing in the creation of local private sector jobs, rather than subsidizing a massive government stimulus and the bailout of financial institutions, the federal government can support the American people in their quest to rebuild and strengthen our economy. It is the will of the American people and their pursuit of the American dream which fuels economic growth in the United States, and the American people should be encouraged by the government to create new businesses and reinvest into our common American economy.
Our tax policy and regulatory measures should encourage economic growth, not punish small businesses that form the backbone of our economy. We can, however, help in the field of job creation by giving private and local enterprises the ability to reinvest their profits within local economies and the American workforce.
Keeping American jobs in America is absolutely critical to protecting the American Dream. Well-paying, local jobs should be the focus of every job-creating measure and policy. Instead of encouraging companies to outsource their workforce, we need specific, targeted initiatives that create jobs right here in Ventura County.
Unfortunately, there are a number of economic sectors that remain lagging due to the recession. Offering tax credits to benefit certain sectors severely affected by the economic downturn is the foundation to help them rebuild and reform into thriving industries. States, like Florida, have introduced a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program (QTI) which encourages the creation of jobs in specific sectors, and awards employers with a $3,000 tax refund for every new employee they hire within these specific sectors. By following Florida's model, the federal government can encourage the resurgence of manufacturing and construction at the national level, firmly placing federal support behind these reemerging sectors.
The federal government can also focus on economic growth by providing business incentives to encourage new small businesses the ability to invest in infrastructure, thus aiding the resurgence of strategic sectors worst hit by the economic downturn. To achieve this goal, the federal government can follow the example of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's Investment and Job Creation Incentive which gives businesses tax exemptions on manufacturing and machinery equipment and a favorable individual and small business tax rate.
By adhering to policies that focus on producing and protecting well-paying American jobs, we can ensure we keep the American dream alive for all of us.