I want you to be able to relax a little and know that someone who both cares and is capable is working on the economy for you in this state. There are things we CAN do that will make a real difference.
We need more commonsense business people at the state capitol; people who have made a payroll, who know the difference between what we need, what we want and what we can afford. With over 30 years' experience in business and being on the frontlines of this economy, I know that the three most important issues before us are JOB, JOBS, JOBS.
It seems like politicians and elected officials are easily sidetracked and aren't in touch with how businesses and their employees are truly hurting in this economy. There are things we can do.
I will evaluate each bill in the legislative session by asking the following:
1. Will it grow jobs in Arkansas?
2. Will it enhance jobs in Arkansas?
3. Will it bring jobs to Arkansas?
4. Will it hinder job growth in Arkansas?
The corporate tax rate in Arkansas is 10% higher than the six states that geographically touch our borders. We are often "dead in the water' from that fact alone when competing for major new jobs (e.g. car manufacturers).
The State of Arkansas only allows businesses to carry losses forward three years. This is just another example of creating a less than ideal business climate. A bad business climate is a bad jobs climate.
My management philosophy is MBWA: Management By Wandering Around. I know if you want to know how to drive a truck better, ask the truck driver. If you want to know how to improve healthcare, ask healthcare professionals that work in it every day. One of our greatest resources in this district is its people. As I have traveled thousands of miles and visited with many of our neighbors I am hearing some encouraging ideas. I will take the best ones, find support and fight for them.
We need to study states like North Dakota and replicate what they have done. (North Dakota has gone from 82% to 110% of national median income in 10 years, 3½% unemployment, 6th fastest growing state in the U.S.) Our resources may be different, but the principles they have used will work in any state. Their governor (now Senator John Hoeven) put a team together that studied the North Dakota economy and which sectors they could directly influence. Then they put that plan in action. That is what a businessman does.