Jobs and the Economy
As our economy continues to struggle, many Americans are faced with dwindling family finances and too many are facing joblessness. No one knows better than the families who are desperately trying to make ends meet each month how critically important it is to get our country moving again. Rebuilding the economy and putting Americans back to work is a top priority, and our efforts must focus on jobs, jobs, jobs!
That is why I have developed a five-point plan that will help create jobs for southeastern North Carolina. It includes:1. Help Small Business
- Improve access to capital so that small businesses can expand and grow; and
- Reduce regulation so that infrastructure projects are not held up with onerous red tape.
- Speed up permitting times for construction projects so bridges, roads, and other infrastructure can get going;
- Increase high-speed Internet to build opportunities for business and education that will make a real difference in people’s lives; and
- Invest in water and wastewater projects to help communities and create a national infrastructure bank that will leverage public-private partnerships and maximize private funding to address water and transportation needs.
- Work with companies and community colleges to make sure career training is matched with what is needed in the business world; and
- Get our manufacturing base back to work with “Make it in America” and the repeal of NAFTA.
- Simplify the tax code to lower taxes for businesses and individuals; and
- Close loopholes that ship jobs overseas.
- Ensure we are graduating students focused on math, engineering, technology, and science-related fields;
- Invest in the fields of bio-fuels, marine biotechnology, and green industry; and
- Invest in North Carolina’s coast to boost travel and tourism.
As a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, I also helped release the Blue Dog Small Business Package, legislation aimed at providing small business owners the resources they need to grow their businesses and hire new workers. Specifically, the measure promotes job growth in America by providing small businesses with increased access to capital through streamlined approval processes, lowers interest rates on SBAEXPRESS loans, increase access to government contracts, as well as the opportunity to lock in long-term, stable financing. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we need to do all we can to help them succeed. These bills would keep available to small businesses specific tools to invest, protect, and grow jobs.
Strengthen Rural America
I have long advocated for rural economic development and have been a leader in promoting economic development policies that spur growth and opportunity in rural communities. In the most recent Farm Bill I worked with my colleagues on the Committee to craft the Rural Development title of the law which has made possible thousands of investments in rural North Carolina through the Rural Business Service, the Rural Utilities Service and the Rural Housing Service.
Citizens in rural places experience great difficulty in accessing the infrastructure and amenities that are available in our urban centers. The modern economy requires that businesses be able to access broadband services to connect to the global marketplace, electric power to run equipment, and clean water to support communities that supply the labor and skills needed for commerce. Rural Americans deserve the attention of their government and need an agency that directly focuses on addressing rural problems.
Those that work at USDA Rural Development live in the communities that they serve and are intimately aware of what rural means and what needs to be done to ensure that rural America remains a place that families choose to live and businesses are able to grow. To falter in our efforts to develop the rural economy would be a great disservice to the 20% of the US population that lives in a rural community, not just in North Carolina but throughout the country. The costs associated with bringing needed services to rural America can be high. Utility companies and telecommunications providers must incur higher capital costs to make the investments necessary to provide services to rural Americans on par with those that we take for granted in urban centers. However, rural communities and businesses have continually shown us that they can and will responsibly take on these investments when financing for such endeavors is available.
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