MY AGENDA: GROWING OUR ECONOMY
My top priority as U. S. Senator will be to grow our economy and create good jobs for Americans today and over the next generation.
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Ten Principles. I will be guided by these ten principles:
(1) Our private sector must lead the way, with our government providing a stable partner base.
(2) A strong private sector assures not only jobs but the revenues to fund core government functions.
(3) We can compete effectively with the rest of the world if we make the right decisions.
(4) Our challenges are all interrelated; when we make the right decisions on our national budget, health care, education or foreign policy, we help our economy, and vice versa.
(5) We must engage with the world rather than put up barriers.
(6) We can best grow Hawai‘i’s economy by growing our national economy.
(7) We must also continue to focus for Hawai’i on what we do best at home.
(8) For Hawai’i, we must further identify and foster emerging industries in which we can compete effectively.
(9) We must focus on small business both nationally and for Hawai’i.
(10) A Senator matters, from forging stable foreign and national policy, to advocating for Hawai’i industries, to helping individual businesses with their federal concerns.
The Four Ts. My national agenda will focus around these four areas:
(a) Tax reform. The best tax codes are broad (they spread the burden), fair (nobody is unfairly excluded), stable (decisions can be made) and direct sound public policy. Our federal tax code is none of these: it’s a relic of a bygone world, riddled with credits and deductions and special interest provisions, impossible to plan around and out of synch with wise national policy choices. It must be reviewed top down, side to side and overhauled.
(b) Technology. What we do best is invent and innovate, and where we can best do that over the next generation is in technology, from information to services to products, in current industries and emerging ones for Hawai’i especially such as sustainable energy and health care.
(c) Trade. Our world is increasingly connected economically, socially and politically. Barriers against the free flow of goods, services and ideas across national borders must be removed with fair international standards on labor rights, environmental protections and other items.
(d) Talent. An educated, skilled and flexible workforce will be indispensable to continuing our leadership role in a rapidly changing world economy and to providing good jobs. We must invest in both education geared to the job opportunities of our future economy and to retraining workers displaced by inevitable economic changes.
Fifteen Specifics. As examples, my agenda will include these fifteen specifics:
1. Taxes. Reform the federal tax code.
2. Technology. Make the research and development tax credit permanent.
3. Trade. Implement further fair trade agreements especially with Asia including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
4. Talent. Strengthen future jobs-focused education and worker retraining efforts.
5. Regulations. Improve federal regulatory impact review requirements.
6. Flexible workplace. Expand/strengthen home office deduction.
7. Infrastructure. Create national infrastructure bank to focus and fund full upgrade.
8. Tourism. Ease travel restrictions for overseas tourists especially China.
9. Pacific center. Support Asia/Pacific-focused institutions like the East-West Center and pursue further APEC-style international conferences.
10. Defense. Support presence and needs of defense community in Hawai’i.
11. Construction. Improve access for Hawai’i businesses to federal contracts.
12. Agriculture. Remove barriers to product exports.
13. Green energy. Implement national renewable energy standards and facilitate export of Hawai’i-specific sustainable energy knowhow.
14. Education. Promote Hawai’i as education destination for foreign students.
15. Health care. Promote Hawai’i as health care destination especially to Asia.
With strong and effective leadership on these and other initiatives, we can absolutely revitalize our economy and assure goods jobs for ourselves and our children.
Here is a short video summarizing my points on Growing Our Economy:
MY AGENDA: GROWING OUR ECONOMY