My message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.
Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let’s change it. First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it.
It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.
Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth: a rising, thriving middle class.
The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms and more time expanding and hiring, a tax code that ensures billionaires with high- powered accountants can’t work the system and pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries, a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that are creating jobs right here in the United States of America.
A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs, that must be the North Star that guides our efforts.
We can do this. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known.
It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country, the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like or who you love. America moves forward only when we do so together and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.
So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges, a power grid that wastes too much energy, an incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small-business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.
During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our states with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today.
Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills they need to get those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?
Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity — broad, shared, built on a thriving middle class — that has always been the source of our progress at home. It’s also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world.
It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.
The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party.
I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed, that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.
No laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all of the challenges we face. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can — to secure this nation, expand opportunity, uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.
We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.
Seriously, do a majority of Americans disagree with the above? Do you? Maybe if we can find some ideas upon which we agree, then we can turn those ideas and words into actions.