Administration turned its back on policies that led the United States to the longest period of economic
expansion in history during the 1990s. We need to return to policies that work -- balanced budgets, middle
class tax cuts, and tax incentives for businesses. The government must create conditions that allow the
economy to prosper by putting money into the hands of consumers and providing opportunities for businesses
to invest in the future and create jobs.
During my career in Congress, I have voted to reduce income tax rates, create a new 10% income tax bracket, eliminate the marriage penalty, and increase the amount of families eligible for the child tax credit. Lowering taxes for the middle class is fair, and it is good policy. However, I will continue to oppose further cuts for the wealthiest Americans at a time when budget deficits are at a record level, leaving future generations to pay the bill.
We have also seen our unemployment rate increase at an alarming rate, which is why I have supported an extension of unemployment benefits and funding for job training programs. I have also advocated for a new economic stimulus proposal that invests in infrastructure, additional unemployment assistance and critical health safety net programs to immediately help Rhode Island families and get people back to work.
Since January 2001, the country has seen too many jobs move overseas to take advantage of cheap labor. Today, Rhode Island manufacturing industries are nearly non-existent. While we cannot stop globalization, government policies should encourage companies to hire workers in America, not reward companies that move overseas. For this reason, I have worked to provide a tax cut to domestic manufacturers that produce goods on American soil while ending incentives for companies that move factories overseas. I also believe that our country must invest in an economy for the 21st Century. That is why I continue to support tax credits and other initiatives to build up a renewable energy sector and create "green collar" jobs across the country and particularly in Rhode Island.
In addition, I believe that the government should not force expensive mandates on
businesses. For instance, I applaud the Rhode Island General Assembly for passing legislation modernizing
the state fire code to require fire sprinklers in more buildings in the wake of the Station nightclub fire, but this
new law is a large burden for property owners. For this reason, I joined a Republican colleague to introduce
the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, which creates a tax incentive for building owners to install fire sprinklers and
save lives. This year, I also worked to pass language into law to encourage the installation of fire sprinklers in
residential buildings through educational awareness programs on this life saving issue.
Our economy is struggling to create jobs, and businesses and workers need help. Rather than continue the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration that favor big business over the middle class, I will work to return our nation to a path of fiscal responsibility and relief for the hard working men and women in Rhode Island. p>
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