Labor Day is bittersweet for too many Ohioans. On a holiday meant to
celebrate the end of summer with a day off from work, too many of our
friends and neighbors will spend it looking through the Want Ads for a
job. Full-time jobs are hard to come by, while more and more people are
forced into part-time work. More and more Ohioans are having to take two
or even three jobs just to make ends meet. Washington can and should do
more to help.
We should start by reforming our broken tax code.
Burger King is just the latest company to move its headquarters to
another country to avoid our overcomplicated and burdensome code. Our
tax rate is the highest in the world at 35 percent. Canada, where Burger
King is moving, has a 15 percent rate. The math isn’t complicated.
need to bring our code in line with the rest of the world. We haven’t
reformed our tax code since 1986, and a lot has changed since then. We
should eliminate the special interest tax loopholes, carve-outs, and
preferences that allow some companies to pay little or no taxes and use
the savings to pay for a rate cut to make America more competitive with
the rest of the world. This reform isn’t about helping corporate
boardrooms. The experts tell us that more than 70 percent of the benefit
of tax reform would go to workers in the form of higher wages and
benefits. Comprehensive tax reform is one of the best things we could do
for Americans who are struggling to find a job today.
need a true all-of-the-above energy policy that takes advantage of our
abundant energy resources. Many Ohioans will hit the road this weekend,
and they’ll find the cost to buy a gallon of gas is painfully high. At
the same time, the price of electricity is rising as utility companies
struggle under more and more burdensome regulations from Washington.
These costs have ripple effects throughout the economy, limiting growth,
causing the cost of goods to rise, and making it harder for companies
to expand and hire new workers.
We can do better. First, we should
continue to move towards North American energy independence. Oil
production on private lands has soared. We need to open more public
lands to energy production to continue that expansion. We should also do
more to encourage energy efficiency measures that can cut costs for
consumers and businesses by passing my Energy Efficiency and Industrial
Competitiveness Act. And we should pass regulatory reform that
strengthens cost-benefit analysis so we can ensure that new regulations
don’t do more harm than good while destroying jobs and making it harder
for American companies to compete.
Finally, we know that too many
Americans can’t find good jobs because they don’t have the skills they
need to compete in the modern economy. Earlier this year, we took steps
to reform our worker training programs when provisions of my CAREER Act
were signed into law by the President. These provisions will ensure that
we encourage training programs that actually work and provide the kind
of skills and credentials that are in demand in the area. But there is
so much more that needs to be done to provide better education and
worker training to close the skills gap. A 21st century economy requires
a 21st century workforce.
The recession hit people hard,
especially the Middle Class. Many families are still struggling to get
back on their feet and are anxious and uncertain about the future.
Washington needs to stop the bickering and get to work to help them. By
passing these reforms, we can start to get our economy back on track and
help ensure that this time next year, Labor Day is a holiday millions
more Americans can truly enjoy.