Congress: Question 2 – Economy
Candidates discuss their views on the recovery.
As a way to inform our readers about the candidates, Patch asked the four candidates for the Congress in the Fifth Congressional District five questions that focused on topics ranging from education to war and from the economy to veterans' services.
Here is Question 2:
As the economy comes back into a period of growth, albeit very slowly, what legislation if any do you envision that might further its development along, specifically in Massachusetts?
Dale Brown (I)
Reducing taxes and stabilizing regulatory burdens will encourage business expansion. Tax credits for hiring in the manufacturing process would hopefully encourage the return of manufacturing jobs and the support structure for manufacturing. I just read that the reduction of the sales tax to 3% would create 27,000 private sector jobs while requiring the elimination of only 9,000 state employment jobs.
Bob Clark (I)
First of all, I do not believe our economy is coming back. What we're seeing is the result of unprecedented amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus, and then measuring the result with a formula created by our government. The steps being taken to produce this faux recovery are the exact things that I believe we should stop. The government spending and liquidity injections from the Federal Reserve are not trying to make the economy more healthy, they're attempting to make the economy look the way it used to. If government interference in the market isn't scaled back, an even greater crisis awaits us.
Jon Golnik (R)
We can improve the economy by lifting the cloud of uncertainty as I discussed [in Question 1]. Whether it is Carlisle or Lowell, small businesses need to know that it is safe for them to grow and hire. We do that by reducing the cost of doing business. I simply don't understand the legislation that keeps increasing the costs on small businesses—how can you be anti-business and pro-jobs? It's like liking the chicken and not the egg.
Niki Tsongas (D), incumbent
Historically, we rely on our small businesses to help bring economies out of recession and create a significant percentage of new jobs. An important step in helping our small businesses recover was taken recently when the Small Business Jobs Act was signed into law.
This new law provides small businesses with $12 billion in tax cuts to spur investment and hiring, allows for 100% exclusion of capital gains on investments in small business, and doubles the tax deduction for start-up expenditures.
It also helps to unlock credit for small businesses through loan guarantees that are backed up by the Small Business Administration and existing successful state loan guarantee programs. There are additional steps that Congress should take to support our small businesses, such as new tax credits for firms that hire new employees. It is also essential that we close tax loopholes that encourage large employers to ship jobs overseas.
While it is important to support policies at the federal level that encourage growth, it is equally important that a member of Congress be responsive to the unique business needs of their state and district.
That is why I have led the fight in Congress to extend the highly successful Renewal Communities Tax Credit, which is vital to job creation in Lowell and Lawrence. I am also working to make permanent the Research and Development tax credit, which is so important to innovative businesses in the Fifth District.
Massachusetts is one of the top research and development economies in the world. Making this tax credit permanent would provide businesses in our area with a valuable tool with which to hire more workers while increasing our global competitiveness.