Annie’s statement, released in September 2011:
It is time – in fact, it is way past time – to make job-creation the single, critical priority of our entire nation. How do we do it?
Education is how we grew an economy this strong in the first place, and it is where we have to start again.
Moderate Republican David Brooks admitted the truth in the New York Times: We must “rebuild America’s human capital. The United States became the wealthiest nation on earth primarily because Americans were the best educated.” This means an investment in our schools and public higher education, including community colleges and vocational schools. We are in a global economy, and we must train our workforce to win on the global stage.
Innovation has been a powerful competitive advantage for America, and we can’t afford to lose our edge. We need fast-growing companies to hire those well-trained workers.
In New Hampshire, more than half of all workers are employed by small business – that’s been one of our strengths in weathering the recession — and even in this tough climate we have some small and mid-sized businesses experiencing explosive growth, especially in technology and renewable energy. We need more of them. Congress should encourage entrepreneurs – make small business lending easier and more available and fix the broken tax code so that we are rewarding R&D investment and startup growth, not subsidizing rich and powerful industries like oil and gas, agribusiness, and redundant defense contracts that we simply can no longer afford.
Rejuvenation – of our bridges and roads, cities & towns, and economic networks (highways and broadband communications) – that’s the key to a country that is built to win the future.
Hurricane Irene reminded us of just how fragile our region’s backbone really is. Meanwhile, huge opportunities lay waiting for us to exploit: universal access to broadband communication to allow every resident of the state to compete at the global level, biomass and new energy technologies to bring down the cost of energy and make us less dependent upon foreign oil and high speed rail that would expand our economic markets and the range of opportunity for jobseekers.
And of course, these projects themselves create good jobs as they are built. In the mid-nineteenth century we built the railroads, and prospered. In the 1950s, we built the interstate highway system, and grew. In the 1980s and 1990s, we grew American technology, and reaped the rewards.
INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE ALWAYS MEANS CREATING GOOD JOBS TODAY
To be fair, there is no silver bullet – but that’s not an excuse to do nothing, as the U.S. Congress is doing today.
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment; we need to make big, bold moves and take risks. Where investments are needed, we can strip away decades of corporate subsidies, tax breaks, and sweetheart deals. Where taxes come into play, I believe our economy will grow again if we invest in our future by letting the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans expire and use those funds to cut payroll taxes for every working American and every business that employs a worker.