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Public Statements

Disclose Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I am reminded today of the old saying that we campaign in poetry but we govern in prose. We are in the midst of a campaign season when we hear a lot of rhetoric perhaps posing as poetry, but we have an obligation to govern. I rise today in support of S. 2337, which is most certainly simple, straightforward prose in dedication to the art of government. It is the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act. It is about as simple and straightforward as it possibly could be.

It has two compelling, concise concepts. The first is a tax credit of 10 percent on new payroll. It can be either new hiring or increased wages in 2012 as compared to 2011, and it is capped at $500,000--pretty simple, straightforward prose in aid of jobs, in aid of employment.

It also extends for 1 year the 100-percent bonus depreciation allowance to stimulate economic investment--again, to create jobs. It is a very simple and straightforward extension of the accelerated depreciation that boosts gross domestic product and will benefit 2 million businesses--it is estimated 2 million businesses--most of them small businesses across the United States. In fact, this measure is very specifically targeted and aimed at small businesses creating jobs. They are the backbone of our economy. They are the source of the majority of new jobs.

It economizes, very prudently and practically, the aid that is designed to boost new jobs, as well as overall output in our economy.

It is supported by a broad consensus of economists, including Alan Blinder, who has endorsed this idea as a job creator, saying:

The basic idea is to offer firms that boost their payrolls a tax break. As one concrete example, companies might be offered a tax credit equal to 10% of the increase in their wage bills. ..... No increase, no reward.

That is the concept: ``No increase, no reward.'' But the reward and the incentive are a powerful potential driving force to aid small businesses in increasing the numbers of jobs they provide.

I thank Leader Harry Reid for this very targeted and profoundly meaningful proposal. But when I think about the impact of this legislation, I do not think of the folks who are gathered in this Chamber. I think of people in Connecticut--13,000 people in Connecticut--who will have jobs if we move forward on this bill.

I think of a man named Hector Hernandez. I met Hector at a jobs fair I hosted in East Hartford this past September. After 25 years of working for the same company--as they say, working hard and playing by the rules--Hector lost his job. He is willing to do most anything to find a new job, but he cannot find one. There are simply no jobs for Hector. This measure will help to provide him one.

At that same jobs fair I met Ty Wagner. Ty took a very smart path. He decided he was going to get all the education that could possibly be accessible to him. He got a technical degree from a top university. He wanted to work in the State when he graduated. His dream job was to give back, to provide public service. He has not been able to find any job, let alone his dream job, and he is every bit as lost as Hector Hernandez.

That situation faced by Hector and Ty is only one aspect of the crisis in America's job market. I think of Jodey Lazarus who moved to Stamford 5 years ago in search of economic opportunity. She put her two kids in local schools, signed up for college classes, started to get her finances in order, and today she makes barely enough to feed her family. She receives no benefits. She has been looking for a job that will pay her more and give her more security, but in this economy her efforts have come to nothing. Every week she hopes and prays her income will be enough to provide food for her family. People like Jodey and Hector and Ty deserve better.

As I travel across Connecticut, I hear often that there are jobs and employers cannot find people with the skills to fill them. We need to provide those skills to develop our workforce, to make sure education and training are available so people have skills to fill the jobs that exist.

Washington can do more for them. This kind of targeted, practical approach--not Republican or Democrat, not conservative or progressive--simply provides the tools small businesses need: a 10-percent payroll tax cut, accelerated depreciation--simple, straightforward prose, not poetry, prose--that will put people back to work in Connecticut and around the country.

I urge that my colleagues come together--as the American people want us to do desperately, are seeking for us to do--and to govern in prose that makes a practical difference in their lives, a tool for small business--not as a panacea but as a practical aid so small businesses can put people back to work across the State of Connecticut and the country.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.


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