"Unfortunately, President Obama’s American Job Act is a rehash of previously offered fixes with an estimated price tag of more than $447 billion. Even Democrats have turned away from the President’s proposal during recent votes in Congress.”
Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) October 24, 2011
“The President is offering a shot of Novocain to mask the pain of a rotting tooth—American unemployment—without providing a credible plan to solve the problem,” says Dr. Ronald R. Pollina, author of the recently released annual Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States Study for 2011 and recent book entitled Selling Out A Superpower: Where the U.S. Economy Went Wrong and How We Can Turn it Around.
“American jobs have not vanished from the planet, the vast majority simply moved offshore. We began losing jobs years before the recession. Unemployment can be traced to decades of horrible decisions by presidents, governors, and federal and state legislators in both parties. Unfortunately, President Obama’s American Job Act is a rehash of previously offered fixes with an estimated price tag of more than $447 billion. Even Democrats have turned away from the President’s proposal during recent votes in Congress.”
Pollina, a geoeconomist who has followed American economic development trends for more than 30 years, is one of only a handful of people in the country who has his pulse on economic development programs in all 50 states. His annual pro-business study is the most comprehensive analysis of state efforts to create jobs and is referred to as the “Gold Standard” for such research.
But solutions to the jobs problem need not require billions in federal funds, explains Pollina. A jobs program should be based on major policy changes rather than spending money the country must borrow for solutions that mask the problem. According to findings in the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States Study for 2011, a national jobs program must address:
1. U.S. Trade Policy. Our Free Trade policy favors our trading partners and large global corporations at the expense of the American public. If, however, America changed its focus to Fair Trade we would assure that agreements first consider American jobs and corporate operations in the U.S. Fair Trade need not be protectionist to work for all parties.
2. U.S tax code. It encourages large companies to move and expand operations offshore. President Obama proposes the elimination of tax loopholes that encourage offshoring with a lowering of the corporate tax rate. This is not a new idea, but rather one that comes up every election cycle. Congress has yet to buck the lobbyists who created the loopholes. Members of Congress need to find a backbone, fight K Street lobbyists who want to keep the loopholes, and place the interest of the American public above their own desire for lobbyist campaign contributions.
3. Regulations. We overregulate some industries and underregulate others. Small and mid-sized companies with little political clout and funds do not have the resources to hire experts and lobbyists to circumvent or de-regulate. Therefore, they are stifled by regulations imposed by Congress, state, and local governments. These burdensome regulations must be reduced or streamlined
4. Tax Credits. We must automate American manufacturers willing to invest in high tech equipment and employee training, allowing American workers to produce products at reasonable costs. Fewer workers will be required through automation; however, jobs will be saved from moving offshore, taxes will be paid, and as these companies grow so will American jobs.
5. Research & Development. Additional tax credits for research and development and employee training should be established and made permanent. Benefits must be restricted to R&D conducted in the U.S., using U.S.-based engineers and scientists and resulting in manufacturing in the U.S. These restrictions have not been placed on taxpayer dollars provided for R&D in the past. We also must shorten the depreciation period for IT and other high-tech equipment.
6. Education. It is critical for the future of our nation to refocus education and equip Americans for 21st Century jobs. Our educational system prepares Americans for low-tech 20th Century jobs. We need tax credits for companies that hire U.S.-based engineers and scientists. College students pursuing engineering, math, and science degrees who remain in the U.S. after graduation should be given tax credits to compensate for or reduce student-loan payments. This would encourage students to pursue careers in fields vital to the nation’s economy.
7. Financing. A lack of funding is literally killing small and mid-sized companies, and this issue must be addressed at the federal level for equipment, job training, and a general increase in employee productivity. Making low-interest capital available to small and mid-sized banks targeted specifically for financing start-ups and small to mid-sized business would stimulate the segment of our economy that has traditionally generated the most new jobs.
Without a credible national jobs plan, companies will continue to grow offshore, but a credible jobs plan must involve all levels of government. Abraham Lincoln said, “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”
American sentiment demands a credible jobs program designed for them, not one that favors special interests. Sadly, President Obama’s plan to inject Novocain will not win public sentiment.