Here’s the opinion piece from Republican congressional candidate Ethan Wingfield (NC–11):
A Plan for Job Creation and Economic Growth
Last Wednesday, the North Carolina Division of Employment Security released unemployment figures for the state. The story is not good. In the 11th Congressional district, unemployment is stuck in the double digits at an average of 10.3% and as high as 17.5% in some counties.
These numbers understate the true challenges faced by many families experiencing hardships and tragedies in Western North Carolina. Unemployment figures exclude people who have stopped looking for work or who have taken a part-time job to make ends meet. When these individuals are taken into account, as much as half of the workforce in some counties may be out of work or in need of a full-time job. Just to get unemployment down to 5%—a more economically healthy figure—we must add at least 17,000 more jobs.
In 2009, President Obama spent $787 billion, which was added to our national debt, on a massive experiment in government-funded economic stimulus. Economists debate its impact, but we know two things for sure: this stimulus effort did not avert a severe downturn and it left us with the slowest economic recovery in American history.
The best economic stimulus is private investment, but American companies are not investing. Instead they are stockpiling $2 trillion in cash which equals 13% of the total U.S. economy. If companies invested their cash stockpiles in new growth, a private and efficient stimulus would create a massive boost in hiring and economic growth. This stimulus would not suffer from the problems associated with government stimulus.
Why are these companies not investing? The fundamental problem is that the current business environment is too uncertain due to federal government interference to warrant investing their cash. When exploring new investments, businesses today must take into account unpredictable and overactive regulatory agencies, the possibility that contracts will be overridden by the government, and high taxes and compliance costs that overburden companies.
If we are to entice companies to invest their $2 trillion cash stockpile and stimulate the economy, the federal government must enact a sweeping pro-growth agenda that will give companies the certainty and advantages needed to invest in America. If I am elected as your next Congressman, I will go to work on a broad policy agenda to put more Americans to work.
First, since my overwhelming focus will be putting Western North Carolinians back to work, I will hire an economic development expert to work full time in Western North Carolina to ensure that my office works to expand and attract companies to Western North Carolina.
Second, we must get government out of the way of businesses. I will support the unwinding of the federal government’s regulatory overreach. Small businesses today pay over $10,000 per employee each year to comply with burdensome regulations.
Lastly, we must rethink our corporate tax code. I support a pro-growth tax code that eliminates loopholes and lowers the overall rate to 25%. This could help companies save as much as $200 billion each year in compliance costs. I also support eliminating corporate income taxes on foreign earnings because a significant share of the $2 trillion stockpile is foreign earnings that businesses do not want to bring home.
America has a bright future, but it will take hard work to make it reality. If I have the honor of serving you in Congress, I pledge to work tirelessly to help seize this opportunity and make 21st century America the envy of all nations.