Kyrillos Unveils 7-Point Jobs Plan; Backs High-Tech/Entrepreneur Visas

State Senator Joe Kyrillos held a press conference in Trenton earlier this afternoon to accept the endorsement of the National Federation of Independen Business; perhaps more importantly, he announced  a 7-point plan for America’s economic revival today in Trenton, Save Jerseyans.

Up until now, he’d spoken in generalizations and promised to bring the Christie model to Washington, D.C. Now Kyrillos is setting forth a “comprehensive” plan very much akin to Governor Romney’s multi-point proposal.

I’ve re-posted the entire bullet point version below the fold. At first glance, the most controversial proposals may be the high-tech worker and entrepreneur visas discussed in Point #5 (calculated, I’m sure to appeal to both the business community and Hispanic/Cuban voters). But does it appeal to you? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts, Save Jerseyans…

1. RESTORE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.

For too long, politicians in both parties have failed to do what every American family has to do – live within our means. During Bob Menendez’s tenure in the United States Senate, the deficit has quadrupled from $300 billion to $1.36 trillion, and debt has nearly doubled from $8.1 trillion to $15.5 trillion. America’s debt is now larger than the entire U.S. economy, a breaking point at which economists say growth and job creation take a major hit. As the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission reported: “By making it more expensive for entrepreneurs and businesses to raise capital, innovate, and create jobs, rising debt could reduce … each American’s share of the nation’s economy by as much as 15 percent by 2035.” That translates to over 15 million lost jobs. Raising taxes to fund soaring spending will only stifle job creation. The solution is common-sense spending restraint to shrink our deficit and pave the way to long-term growth and job creation.

  • CAP SPENDING AS A SHARE OF THE ECONOMY. The deficit is rising because federal spending – historically 20 percent of the economy – has jumped to 24 percent over the past 3 years, and is projected to rise to 30, 40, and even 50 percent over the coming decades, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That dangerous fiscal path will force massive tax hikes or ruinous borrowing. To change course, Joe Kyrillos will propose a statutory spending limit to cap federal spending at no more than 20 percent of the economy.
  • HOLD THE LINE ON THE $1.2 TRILLION SPENDING CONTROL. Amazingly, just days after the unprecedented downgrade of the U.S. credit rating due to reckless borrowing, Bob Menendez voted against a deficit-reduction plan that even President Obama backed. Now Menendez wants to reverse those bipartisan spending controls and grow the size of government even more. Joe Kyrillos will hold the line on this first step toward fiscal responsibility.
  • PASS A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT. This reform would create a simple rule to govern federal spending: we can’t spend more than we take in. Bob Menendez has voted against this proposal multiple times. Joe Kyrillos will introduce a balanced budget amendment during his first week as a U.S. Senator.
  • SAVE AND REFORM ENTITLEMENTS. We must honor our promise to America’s seniors by reforming and strengthening Social Security and Medicare. With both of these programs on an unsustainable course, Bob Menendez proposes doing nothing. As the Simpson-Bowles Commission explained, this “do-nothing plan would lead to an immediate 22 percent across-the-board benefit cut” in Social Security alone. Joe Kyrillos would not change benefits for current seniors or those about to become seniors. Instead, Joe Kyrillos would take up the Commission’s plan to strengthen these programs by raising the retirement age to 68 by 2050, means-testing benefits for the wealthiest Americans, reforming Medicare cost-sharing with a consumer-driven approach, eliminating Medicare fraud, and reducing excess Medicare payments to hospitals for medical education. Together these reforms would strengthen Social Security and Medicare for generations to come.

2. REFORM THE TAX CODE TO MAKE AMERICA COMPETITIVE AGAIN.

Americans now spend a staggering 7 billion hours annually complying with an outdated tax code that discourages work, saving, investment, and job creation. Every recent bipartisan panel has reached the same conclusion: we need fundamental tax reform that lowers rates and eliminates loopholes. Washington, DC should stop picking winners and losers through the tax code, and instead focus on building a tax climate hospitable to growth and job creation.

  • BUSINESS TAX REFORM. The United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, and as much as 70 percent of that burden falls on American workers. Joe will push to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, paid for by eliminating tax preferences and other special-interest provisions. And unlike Bob Menendez, who supports raising taxes on some businesses that employ more than 1 out of every 7 Americans to over 40%, Joe will fight to cut current rates on small businesses to no higher than 28%.
  • INDIVIDUAL TAX REFORM. Joe will work to reduce tax rates for all Americans by 20 percent, paid for by phasing in a cap on some tax preferences and exclusions. This kind of pro-growth reform will produce a more fair, simple, and efficient tax system for all Americans.
  • INTERNATIONAL TAX REFORM AND TOUGHER ANTI-AB– USE RULES. The IRS’s approach to the international operations of U.S. businesses is a relic of the 1960s. Our major competitors around the world – from Japan to the U.K. – are vying for new capital investment and jobs by reforming their tax codes. Yet, America remains one of few developed countries that still penalize our businesses for seeking new customers around the world, even as we allow some U.S. corporations to shift “stateless income” to offshore sites where no active business exists. Joe Kyrillos will propose moving to a competitive territorial system of taxation like our major trading partners, while tightening tax evasion rules to prevent corporations from shifting intellectual property income to offshore sites where no real production exists. This reform will dramatically reduce the barrier to repatriation of foreign earnings that has “locked out” an estimated $1.4 trillion overseas – money that should be used to create jobs here at home.
  • EMPOWER WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS. With 8 million women-owned businesses in the United States generating $3 trillion in revenue a year, women are a successful economic force and job creators. Representing nearly a third of all small businesses, women are 50% more likely to start businesses than the national average, yet are 70% less likely than men to own a business with revenue of $1 million-plus due to, among other problems, structural barriers to capital. The major sources of funding for women owned business are their own personal savings and reinvested profits. Joe’s plan to reduce taxes will help free up more cash to reinvest and grow women-owned businesses. Joe will also support legislation that gives women entrepreneurs better access to capital, including, enhanced Small Business Administration lending to women-owned businesses.

3. REDUCE JOB-KILLING RED TAPE.

Over-regulation now tops the list of “most important problems” faced by small businesses, according to a recent Gallup survey of business owners. Joe will work to reduce the cost of new regulations, while preserving strong protections for the environment.

  • REGULATORY ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENTS. Too often agencies issue new rules without considering the increased direct and indirect costs to workers and employers. Joe will push for more transparent cost-benefit analysis for every major regulation, with review by an independent third-party entity to ensure that bureaucrats aren’t cutting corners or overlooking costs.
  • PUT REGULATORS ON A BUDGET. Unlike other forms of direct spending and taxes, the massive costs imposed by federal regulations are completely un-budgeted. Joe will rein in excessive red tape by advocating “regulatory cost caps” on any new legislation that calls for major new rules.
  • REFORM PERMITTING TO GET AMERICA BUILDING. Due to regulatory obstacles, it can take years to get approval to build an infrastructure or energy project in the United States today. That means lost or delayed jobs opportunities. Joe will fight for common-sense reforms to speed up permitting of new projects, including prioritizing high job-creation projects, setting deadlines to approve new permits, and cutting back on excessive litigation delays.

 

4. BUILD A COMPETITIVE WORKFORCE.

With 20 million Americans out of work or underemployed, we must make smarter investments in equipping American workers and allow America to make things again. The federal government spends $18 billion a year on 47 overlapping job training programs, only five of which even measure whether the training helped anyone find work. We can spend job-training dollars more effectively.

  • INNOVATION AT THE STATE LEVEL. States are better equipped than the Washington bureaucracy to invest effectively in local workforce needs. A pro-rata share of job training dollars should be block granted, upon application, to states like New Jersey with leaders committed to putting people back to work.
  • WOMEN-FOC– USED JOB TRAINING. The economy is changing, and career fields in which women are underrepresented, like science, technology, and engineering fields, are projected to grow dramatically. As part of Joe’s plan to spend job training dollars more effectively, he will support funding job training programs that are women-focused and prepare them for the good-paying jobs and rewarding careers.
  • STRENGTHEN “BUY AMERICA” PROVISIONS. Buy American provisions put Americans back to work by ensuring goods used in taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects and procured by government agencies are made right here in the United States by American workers. Joe will support strengthening ‘Buy America’ requirements for highways and infrastructure so we support American jobs and rely on American material for American projects.
  • RETRAINING THROUGH COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGES. Many displaced workers are drawn to the flexibility and affordable tuition of community and technical colleges, but too few federal job- training dollars are made available to support them. Joe would streamline and redirect job training funds to help displaced workers acquire high-demand skills at local colleges.
  • FLEXIBLE WORK HOURS. Women should not be forced into taking lower paid jobs simply because they want to raise a child or maintain their family. Women returning to the workforce or working mothers must be allowed to strike the right life-work balance that includes occupational mobility with high advancement opportunities. While some companies are voluntarily providing flexible work hours, more needs to be done to accommodate women’s strength in the workplace. Joe will propose legislation that encourages flexible work schedules for women so that it’s not just left to an agreement between employer and employee.

5. RESTORE AMERICA’S PLACE AS THE HOME OF INNOVATION.

America has long been home to the world’s most creative and daring inventors and entrepreneurs, from New Jersey’s own Thomas Edison to Apple’s Steve Jobs. But increasingly fierce competition in the global economy has threatened America’s role as the leader in innovation. Joe will support policies that encourage investment in science and technology and make America a magnet for the next generation of innovation pioneers.

  • MAKE THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (“R&D”) TAX CREDIT PERMANENT. The R&D tax credit encourages American businesses to invest in job-creating innovation and scientific discovery. But since the credit was introduced over thirty years ago, Congress has let it expire eight times. American businesses can’t make the long-term hiring and investment decisions necessary to promote R&D in the face of uncertainty. It’s time to make this credit for American innovation permanent.
  • INCREASE NUMBER OF HIGH-TECH WORKER VISAS. The competition for top talent is global. To create jobs here, America must strive to attract innovators from around the world. As Senator, Joe will propose increasing the number of high-tech visas available to foreign-born residents with advanced degrees in math, science and technology, and grant permanent residency to eligible foreign graduates from U.S. research institutions.
  • CREATE AN ENTREPRENEUR’S VISA. Immigrants start 16 percent of our top-performing, high-tech companies and produce over 25 percent of all patent applications filed in the United States. That’s why Joe will also support bipartisan efforts like the 2011 Kerry-Lugar bill, to make visas available to overseas entrepreneurs who have financial backing to launch new startup ventures in the U.S.

6. EMPOWER PATIENTS AS HEALTH CARE CONSUMERS.

Bob Menendez strongly supported the President’s health care spending law, which raises taxes on job creators and individuals, adds billions to the deficit, puts bureaucrats ahead of doctors and patients, and imposes mandates that will drive up the cost of health insurance. As the son of a doctor who made house calls with a black bag, Joe understands that patient care and consumer choice are the bedrock principles of our health care system. As Senator, Joe will restore those principles.

  • ELIMINATE THE MEDICAL DEVICE TAX. In 2009, Bob Menendez voted to impose a $28 billion tax on health care innovation. Set to take effect next January, the tax would apply to everything from mammogram machines, to cardiac defibrillators, to MRI scanners. This tax will increase the cost of life-saving screenings and treatments, and kill jobs in the medical innovation industry, which is critical to New Jersey’s economy. Joe will introduce legislation his first day in office to repeal the medical device tax.
  • INCREASE HEALTH CARE PORTABILITY. Due to existing tax incentives, employers currently control most Americans’ choices about what types of policies to buy and from whom. In difficult economies like this one, when employees lose their jobs, they also lose their health care. Employees should receive a tax credit to purchase health care that is portable from job to job so that consumers can decide what to buy and enjoy predictable, continuous care.
  • ENACT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE REFORM. When frivolous lawsuits impose massive costs on doctors and their insurers, patients suffer. The costs of large damages awards (which primarily benefit trial attorneys) are passed on to all of us in the form of higher premiums. Worst of all, doctors are forced to make treatment decisions based on how to avoid the courtroom rather than on what’s best for the patient. There are many instances in which beloved doctors have stopped practicing because of unbearable malpractice premiums, which has hit OB/GYN doctors especially hard. That’s bad medicine and it’s expensive. Joe will support legislation to place sensible limits on punitive damages awards in medical liability cases.

7. FUELING AMERICA’S ECONOMY.

Our nation’s energy policy is running on empty, and Americans are feeling the pain at the gas pump. President Obama and Bob Menendez have responded to our energy crisis by supporting regulations that hinder American energy production at the cost of American jobs. Bob Menendez has proposed legislation that would make the crisis worse by prohibiting struggling Northeast oil refineries from selling overseas – a protectionist policy that will only drive up U.S. energy prices. America needs a real energy strategy focused on creating jobs, ending our dependence on foreign oil, and reducing fuel prices.

  • OPTIMIZE — USE OF AMERICA’S NATURAL RESOURCES WHILE PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT. The only way to reduce and stabilize the price of gas is to increase our own supply of domestic energy and free us from the volatility that comes with reliance on foreign oil. We must open new federal lands – particularly in the Western United States and in Alaska – to harness America’s abundant energy resources, including natural gas, oil, and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass.
  • STREAMLINE PERMITTING OF JOB-CREATING ENERGY PROJECTS. The cumbersome and complex federal process for approving new energy projects has become a roadblock to energy independence. Developers of one wind farm, for example, spent more than ten years jumping through hoops for 17 agencies to secure dozens of permits and approvals. The solutions are to eliminate duplicative permitting requirements, set deadlines, and reduce delays caused by excessive litigation.
  • APPROVE THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE NOW. Bob Menendez backed President Obama’s decision to pull the plug on the Keystone Pipeline, an energy project that would create tens of thousands of jobs. Joe will fight to get the Keystone Pipeline approved to guarantee that new sources of energy produced in North America are available to U.S. consumers, and not shipped to China.