Jobs & Economy
The most important issues facing the 8th District and our country are rebuilding our economy and creating jobs. The federal government has an important role to play in strengthening our economy and this will be my first priority once elected to Congress. I propose a combination of short-term programs that will immediately help accelerate and reinvigorate our economy and long-term policy initiatives that will establish lasting growth. My jobs plan includes significant short-term investment in infrastructure, transportation, schools, communication, utilities and education. Long-term priorities include job training, an extension of the payroll tax credit, as well as business tax credits for research, clean energy development and for companies that hire returning Veterans and those who have been unemployed for more than six months. As Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and again as the Assistant Secretary for the national VA, I implemented a tax credit for businesses that hired Veterans. Creative programs like this will help jump-start our economy and revitalize small business.
First, we need to invest in rebuilding and improving our basic infrastructure. Transportation is critical to a strong economy, and to the 8th District. We need a new transportation bill, now, to repair and expand our roads, bridges, rail network and the critical hub at O’Hare Airport. Too many people in the 8th District struggle to get to work, whether their job is in downtown Chicago, a warehouse in Elk Grove Village or a shopping center in Carpentersville. Traffic is a huge problem, and our alternative transit options are not up to the challenge of getting people from where they live to where the jobs are. We need to invest in more and better transportation options.
Small businesses are critical to the success of our economy. Without the ingenuity and determination that small businesses exhibit everyday in the 8th District, our economy could not thrive. But despite their hard work, small business owners are struggling. They need solutions that will make it easier for them to balance their budget, hire new workers and make payroll. We talk too much about penalizing businesses when they have to lay off workers when we should be talking about incentives to reward businesses that create jobs in the USA. That is why I favor targeted, short-term tax incentives for small- and mid-sized businesses that create new jobs, and for any company that hires a worker who has been unemployed for more than six months. The US Economic Institute estimated that a 15% tax credit for expanded payroll costs could create up to 2.8 million new jobs over just one year. Ideas like this one need to be seriously discussed and acted upon.
These are just a few of the things we need to do to put people back to work. You can read my full jobs plan here.