Press Release: Murphy Launches Statewide Getting to Work TourJune 18 2012
ROCKY HILL—Chris Murphy today launched his statewide Getting to Work Tour, which will take him across Connecticut on a jobs tour with a new twist: along with meeting local business owners to talk about how Connecticut’s next U.S. Senator can help spur job creation, he’ll also work alongside employees at each stop. The focus of the tour is to hear from both business owners and workers to get their ideas and perspective on job growth and the future of Connecticut’s economy.
Murphy kicked off the tour at AdChem Manufacturing Techonologies in Manchester, where he spoke with employees and supporters on the shop floor. He later visited Total Image Beauty and Barber in Stamford, where he swept the floors and discussed jobs and hiring with barbers and barber students.
“We’ve all seen politicians taking a top-down approach, telling business owners and workers what they need, but our Getting to Work tour is different,” said Murphy. “Listening has become a lost art in government—I got into public service in the first place because I just thought that my government wasn’t listening to me anymore. That’s why I hold my office hours in supermarkets and shopping plazas, and why I go door to door even when it’s not an election year. There are five basic ideas that are the root of my jobs plan, but I will constantly seek input from people across the state to help grow Connecticut’s economy by leaps and bounds.”
Simplify the tax code – The current complexity of our tax code puts small and medium sized businesses and their employees at a disadvantage, while big corporations that can employ an army of accountants are too often able to get around paying their fair share. We should get rid of the loopholes, the credits, and deductions in the business tax code, and use the savings to lower the rate. It also doesn’t make sense that many employees are paying a higher effective income tax rate than their employer. We should extend the Bush tax cuts for 99% of Americans, but instead of keeping taxes at a 60-year low for the richest 1% percent, let’s take that money and use half of it to pay down the deficit, and half of it to help pay for college for the middle class and job training for the out of work.
Promote and strengthen American manufacturing – Our economy just can’t survive if we don’t make things here. The good news is that factory jobs are slowly but steadily coming back to America. In the last three years, the United States has added a quarter million new manufacturing jobs. And here are two things we can do to help this trend continue: first, make purchases of new machinery tax-free. In the last few years, Congress has temporarily expedited the depreciation of new equipment, but we should say once and for all that we are not going to tax investment in factory floors. Second, the quickest way to bring manufacturing jobs back is for the federal government to buy more things from U.S. companies. This idea came from listening to Connecticut manufacturers, and from there helped build the Buy American movement in Congress. Though we’ve made progress, we know we could create 600,000 jobs alone if we just closed up the most egregious loopholes in the current Buy American laws.
Reinvest in our transportation infrastructure – It’s time to rebuild America’s roads and rails. While China spends 9% of its wealth on infrastructure, Europe spends 5%, and the U.S. spends 2.5%. If we can’t move people and goods efficiently across and out of our country, our economy will suffer. Here in Connecticut, federal spending on roads and rails is especially important, and our state does better than most when it comes to how federal transportation dollars are allocated. We get $1.60 back from every dollar we send to Washington. That means we could put a lot of out of work construction workers back on the job, at a discount to Connecticut taxpayers.
Make education a priority – We know that our country is never going to be the cheapest place in the world to make a widget, so instead we need to be the smartest place. Cutting funding for education and job training would be a disaster for job creation. Education is the lifeline for thousands of kids and workers who know that the only way to compete globally is be smarter and better trained than workers overseas. We should take half the money we’d save from not extending tax cuts for the wealthy, and invest it in making college cheaper and job training more accessible.
Lead the way in renewable energy – Renewable energy is the next big global industry, and we have to ensure that America leads the way in order to keep those jobs in the United States. Continued reliance on oil will leave us in the dust, but if we are able to create new technology in this emerging field, strong job growth will follow. The market—not the government—should decide which technologies win or lose in the effort to meet this standard. If we do this now, we can help grow millions of jobs in renewable energy here in America.
Murphy will announce the second round of Getting to Work tour stops in the coming days.