America’s freedom is uniquely characterized by the unparalleled opportunity we have to realize our dreams. Today, we face greater challenges than ever before, both at home and from abroad. Rapid advancements in technological innovation and emerging foreign markets require us to reexamine what we must do to unleash our nation’s spirit and remain a global symbol of freedom and opportunity. American Competitiveness encompasses a number of broad policy agendas, including lower taxes, free but fair trade, immigration reform and energy policy, all of which I will discuss in separate position papers. But, for now, we must achieve several goals so that America remains a global leader and beacon of opportunity in a rapidly changing world.
(1) Reduce the Cost of Doing Business. The short-term focus to improving America’s competitive standing in the world is to pursue policy goals which get government off the back of the American worker.
• Reduce Government Spending and Provide Relief from Excessive Regulations. Duplicative and unnecessary government regulation is an impediment to economic growth, drives down wages for all workers and harms our ability to create good, new jobs. For example, transportation spending should be based on critical infrastructure needs and the national economy, not local pork-laden projects.
• Implement Legal Reform. Foreign and domestic investors cannot be deterred by the threat of frivolous litigation, high punitive damages awards and uncertain legal decisions. Excessive compliance costs for small businesses hurt the average American worker and impede job creation.
• Lower Tax Rates. Our corporate income tax rate is higher than those rates found in social welfare states, such as France. We will continue to lose opportunities to compete in the global economy unless meaningful tax reform is implemented. Even reducing the corporate tax rate to average levels in the industrialized world can create up to 200,000 new jobs. Individual tax policy must encourage savings and work.
• Enforce and Reform Immigration Laws. Securing America’s borders is a critical function of the federal government. Illegal immigration undermines this nation’s social cohesion and must not be tolerated. The federal government must enforce the laws on the books, eliminate discretionary funding for “sanctuary” cities and provide employers with effective means to verify the legality of their workers. A more extensive position paper on Immigration will be forthcoming.
• Detach Health Care Coverage from Employment. See Health Care position papers.
(2) Give Families a Real Educational Choice. The long-term policy goal we must pursue is to educate our children better and eliminate central planning of education by the federal government.
• Make Schools Compete. Our school system must be based on competition so that learning institutions continually strive to find new, innovative education models to attract new students.
• Control Federal Spending. Our federal government cannot continue to throw money at the education system. That money should be returned to families who can decide where to send their children. Structural reform is needed to raise test scores and achievement comparisons worldwide.
• Create School Choice Program. Every credible study of education choice programs has concluded that they have overwhelmingly positive academic effects. Successful school choice programs in Milwaukee and the State of Florida have had the result of improving public education. Every family can benefit from having the resources to select the school that will best help their children.
For more information on Senator Lauzen’s policies concerning American Competitiveness, please click here