By Jeff Flake
There is no greater issue in this election than the need to put the economy back on track to prosperity and getting people back to work.
In the last four years, manufacturing jobs in Arizona have decreased by 10%; construction jobs by 33%; home values by 22%; and the number of Arizonans on food stamps has increased by 46%. There’s no question that President Obama inherited a fragile economy when he took office, but rather than enacting policies that would encourage the economy to grow, his administration’s agenda has made the problem worse, significantly weakening the economy and hampering job creation.
Traveling the state I hear the same thing over and over again from small business owners: we can’t grow our business and create jobs when there’s uncertainty on federal taxes and certainty of federal regulation.
The corporate tax rate may not seem like an issue thatdirectly affects working class Arizonans, but it has a major impact on job creation, or the lack thereof. The U.S. currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. If we hope to retain major manufacturers and encourage new businesses, we need to lower the tax rate. Additionally, it’s tough for businesses, large and small, to make plans to expand when they are facing the so-called “Taxmageddon” at the end of this year when several temporary lower tax rates could expire resulting in a massive tax increase of $310 billion.
I support comprehensive tax reform that will broaden the base and lower overall rates. It’s been decades since the tax code was reformed, and there are hundreds of credits, subsidies, expenditures, and other loopholes that need to be closed. By giving taxpayers and the business sector certainty on taxes, they can begin to make plans to grow their businesses and create jobs.
In addition to tax reform, in order to be able to grow the economy, the private sector needs relief from burdensome federal regulations. The U.S. Senate’s inability to pass a budget in three years has allowed mettlesome federal regulators to run amok. Whether it’s environmental, labor, or financial regulations, the federal government seems to be going out of its way to stifle economic growth in Arizona.
As President Obama has shown, government spending doesn’t foster long-term economic growth. Government doesn’t create jobs either. However, it can, and should, create the economic environment that enables businesses to thrive, creating jobs. When that happens, it helps everyone. The federal government may have gotten the country into this mess, but it’s going to be people working that gets us out.
Jeff Flake is a candidate for United States Senate. He currently serves in the House of Representatives representing Arizona’s 6th congressional district.