Full Story @ NAM
"Manufacturing generates more economic activity per dollar of production than any other business sector in the country. Manufacturing industries perform almost two-thirds of the private sector research and development (R&D), driving America's leading edge in innovation and break-through technologies. But manufacturers in America face serious challenges that threaten to undermine their contributions to U.S. prosperity," said Lori Anderson, chair of the CMA and president and CEO of the International Sign Association.
Specific recommendations to help create jobs and support U.S. manufacturing innovation, productivity and competitiveness including the following:
- Reduce the corporate income tax rate on profits earned from production in the United States to match those of our major trading partners.
- Make the research and development (R&D) tax credit permanent to provide more certainty for private sector decisions to undertake R&D.
- Make the commitments now that will guide private sector decisions on R&D investment for cleaner energy technologies and more varied energy sources
- Continue to improve our education system to enhance the pool of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates and support programs of technical training and certification.
- Assure the health of small businesses, for example, by widening the lowest corporate income tax bracket. They are niche suppliers of components and parts for finished goods manufacturers. And they are also important investors in and initiators of high-risk, ground-breaking innovative endeavors.
- Invest in all levels of infrastructure -- transportation, communication channels and the energy grid.
If we are to get our fair share of growth opportunities, it will take more than small tax breaks, and the redundant Powerpoint economic development plans prepared by pricey consultants, to drive industrial job growth in the Shenandoah Valley. It will take a stronger commitment by county supervisors and state legislators. I have my doubts about both groups. Technical savvy, and industrial economics can be learned -- political courage is more of an innate characteristic. It's up to voters to challenge our leaders to step up to the plate - there might be a bit of courage in these folks after all.
Ask Steve Landes about the heat he felt in 2009 for his short-sighted, slim record on industrial development in the 25th HD district. Voters were mostly clueless, but at least the local media was paying attention and asking the right questions. Time to ask those same questions in 2010 of Misters Bell, Cline, Lohr, Landes, Hanger, Deeds, Obenshain and their com-padres on the Augusta and Rockingham Boards of Supervisors. Where's your "big boy" industrial development plans for our area, fellas?