U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) released an action plan today of steps the U.S. Congress can immediately take to create new jobs, help turn the economy around and get Americans back to work.
"With Kentucky's unemployment rate sitting at over 10%, and rates even higher than that in many counties in the First Congressional District, creating jobs must be our top priority in Washington," Whitfield said. "For that reason, I have put together an action plan of policies that, if enacted, would help spur economic growth and put Kentuckians back to work."
Whitfield unveiled "Putting Kentuckians Back to Work: An Action Plan for Turning Our Economy Around." This proposal highlights a number of bills and actions the U.S. Congress can immediately take which would result in job creation in the First District and throughout the Commonwealth.
Below are the Congressman's principles. To see more details on the principles as well as the actions Whitfield is currently taking to promote job growth in the region, please visit the Congressman's website at www.whitfield.house.gov.
Putting Kentuckians Back to Work: An Action Plan for Turning Our Economy Around
1. Encourage Businesses to Grow: We must have federal policies that ensure the U.S. can be competitive in the global marketplace, by providing tax incentives such as expanding expensing and depreciation write-offs for capital investments. This will make it more affordable for businesses to purchase new equipment and expand their operations so they can employ more people. With policies like these we can bring new industries to Kentucky and encourage existing ones to grow.
2. Reduce the National Deficit: The U.S. is currently facing the highest national debt in our country's history. Years of sky high deficits have compounded and led to our current economic situation. These deficits have a direct and damaging impact on job creation because they drive up interest rates making it difficult for businesses to raise the capital they need to expand and, in turn, hire workers. The best way to reduce our deficits and the national debt is to rein in federal spending. We start by paying for any new spending.
3. Invest in New Energy Technologies: Coal continues to be our nation's most abundant natural resource and a critical part of our economy, particularly in Kentucky. Investing in the development of new energy technologies that allow coal and other domestic resources to be used in a more environmentally friendly manner is not only good energy policy, but will create new jobs right here in Kentucky. This could lead to additional coal production and clean coal processing facilities right here in the Commonwealth.
4. Invest in Transportation: Investing in our nation's infrastructure system is one of the best ways to help turn our economy around and create new jobs. In western Kentucky, the completion of I-69 will provide many jobs and have a long lasting impact on the region's future economy. The I-69 corridor passing through the First District is expected to create 27,000 jobs and add $11 billion in wages. Additionally, we need to expand our nation's railway system to help increase the capacity of transporting goods across the country. We also need to invest in our bridges and roads, which will create immediate jobs and pave the way for economic growth down the road.
5. Protect the Value of the Dollar: To ensure we can compete in the global marketplace and enjoy the benefit of jobs associated with exports, we must protect the value of the dollar. To accomplish this goal we need to make certain the agency charged with maintaining the stability of our banking and financial systems, the Federal Reserve, is run as effectively and efficiently as possible. The Federal Reserve has the ability to inflate the money supply and consequently distort interest rates. Allowing this kind of unchecked power to continue could have enormous unwanted ramifications for our economy.
6. Bring New Business to Small Towns: In rural communities throughout the First Congressional District we need to do all that we can to entice businesses to our area. The best way to do this is through tax incentives and grant programs which make it easy and cost effective for companies to locate in the First District.
7. Protect Kentucky Farm Jobs: Kentucky farmers are the backbone of our economy in the Commonwealth. During tough financial times, it is more important than ever that we make certain our agriculture community is protected and that American workers are paid fairly. A wage rate problem with the H-2A Visa program, a critical component of this labor intensive industry, has plagued Kentucky farmers for the past few years and caused some American workers to be paid less than foreign workers. We need to make sure our farmers have the labor they need and that Americans are paid a fair wage.
8. Provide Job Training Opportunities: To help young Kentuckians find work in this tough economy, we need to ensure they have the skills and training necessary to succeed in today's job market. Building a well-trained workforce will also help attract industry to the First District, creating new work opportunities for Kentuckians.