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Notes from Brett - Keeping America Competitive


Location: Unknown

We are facing real problems in our country right now. While other countries are saving, investing and building, the United States is spending, borrowing and patching.

Over the recent district work period, I held four town halls in the Second District, and my frustrations with the current attitude of individuals in Washington are the same frustrations I heard from Kentuckians -- the Majority in Congress must discontinue its path toward higher taxation and greater debt.

Our country's problems can be addressed with adjustments to fiscal and monetary policy. We are the greatest country in the world, but we need to move our country in a direction that ensures long term growth and leadership for our economy.

If you combine the United States state and federal corporate tax rates, it is the second highest in the industrialized world. These high rates are punishing the most innovative and successful firms.

Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, the microchip maker, was in Washington in late February and said the United States corporate taxes and capital equipment credits are not conducive to investments.

For him to build a new factory from scratch here in the United States, it would cost about $4.5 billion dollars. If he chose to build that same factory in almost any other country in the world, he would save $1 billion dollars, just because of the tax breaks other governments give to new investors.

This heavy tax burden stifles the entrepreneurial spirit, which results in less investment in our workforce.

In December, I introduced legislation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, which provides federal investment in job training, adult education and vocational rehabilitation services.

There has never been a more critical time to make sure our workforce has the opportunity to find new jobs or receive additional training.

I come from a small business, manufacturing background, and I have seen firsthand that unemployed or underemployed workers who receive additional training for new skills obtain a higher-paying job, which can radically transform their way of life.

The latest government readings by IHS Global Insight, an economic research firm, show that China's manufacturing sector is on the brink of passing that of the United States.

China has been pursuing policies that capitalize on manufacturing growth and we need to do the same.

As Kentuckians continue to work hard, the Majority in Congress continues to push irresponsible legislation that unfairly hurts our commonwealth.

The controversial energy legislation known as cap-and-trade is a job-killer, especially in Kentucky, and leads to even more government intrusion by creating a $624 billion national energy tax that will hurt all of us.

One of Kentucky's major economic advantages is plentiful, affordable electricity, making the commonwealth an attractive place for companies to move their manufacturing operations. Cap-and-trade legislation will dramatically raise the cost of power in Kentucky, forcing these companies to cut jobs or even move out of the state.

If you drive a car, turn on a light switch, buy an American-made product - you will pay this new energy tax. A study by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association found that the average monthly utility bill for Kentuckians will go up by as much as $68 - that's $816 a year.

We need to take America back to its roots of capitalism, innovation and investment. Our country is facing its toughest economic challenges in recent memory, but Americans are hardworking and driven individuals.

As long as Washington is willing to stop taxing, borrowing and spending and to start investing in our infrastructure and workforce, Americans will succeed, get our economy back on track and remind us all what makes this country great.

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