When I ran for Congress in 2010, my focus was "jobs, jobs, jobs." That is what I heard from people across the district. Beginning in 2008, Congress acted rashly to preserve Wall Street banks and insurance companies, it's time someone in Washington starts looking out for most vital job creators, our small businesses.
When politicians talk about "fixes", we must be vigilant that we address root causes and not just throw money at symptoms. I see three causes to unemployment today and my plan address all three.
First, small/medium sized business cannot access the credit/capital they need due to limitations of lending and over-regulation. For anyone who has tried to use the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) resources, you will love my proposed changes. I will open the gates on lending by increasing the SBA loan limits to $1 million dollars, increasing the government guarantee portion to 90 percent and creating a deferred loan program for select businesses to delay first payment up to one year.
Second, SBA loan processing is cumbersome and expensive, which keeps many entrepreneurs from ever opening their doors. We need 250 new businesses to open in the 17th District by 2013 and 100,000 nationwide. I will move to eliminate the fees on SBA loan applications for a period, reduce the 100+ pages of documentation needed to even apply, and use unallocated TARP money for start-up matching grants of up to $10,000 for things like equipment and technology.
Entrepreneurs are willing to invest and grants will help businesses make it out of infancy. Many of our biggest corporations started out on kitchen tables across America like John Deere and reflect our core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation.
Third is the lack of confidence in the government. Business are making profits and stockpiling cash but are not spending/hiring because of the uncertainty created by partisan bickering, cumbersome regulation, and uncertain health/benefits/tax liabilities. My proposal includes addressing the uncertainty in each of these.
National budgeting must be completed annually, no more pushing it off until later; later is now.
I will support Midwestern common sense legislation and oppose the foolhardy no matter the source. The people of the 17th District will be my first priority. Government sometimes creates laws in response to a crisis and they often have unintended consequences. I will review reactionary regulations that businesses tell me are stifling their growth. We also need to address the uncertainty surrounding the new health care law so that business can plan for the future. The law is facing legal challenges and will likely be revisited in the next congress.
I will preserve the spirit of the law while accommodating the cost realities so as not to crush businesses. The corporate tax code needs updating as well. Instead of more taxes and loopholes, we need simplification. As part of the overhaul I support increasing the president's new-hire tax credit to $7,500 as soon as possible.
Again, the plan adds certainty to corporate decision making and incentives for hiring.
In closing, we need to enact a competent jobs plan that addresses unfair trade from off-shore in order to return stability. It will signal businesses that the storm is over and it is safe to expand and hire. My proposal offers real concrete solutions because like you, I'm sick of the Washington shell game.
We need a congressman that understands everything from the hedge to arrive contracts in the corn market to non-consumable assets and will affect real change on day one. George Gaulrapp will be that congressman for the 17th district.
On the Internet:
www.gaulrapp4congress.com or www.gaulrapp4congress.marzar.net
Today is Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013. There are 220 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The annual review of the fire department of this city took placeyesterday and made a fine showing with machines and hose carts in tip-top order. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Last night's prayer meeting at Central Presbyterian Church wascalled off due to water in the basement, residue of last week's flood. 1913 -- 100 years ago: The junior class of Rock Island High School will hold a riverexcursion on the steamer St. Paul next Tuesday. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The 75th Anniversary of the Rock Island Arsenal today finds thenation's largest ordinance manufacturing plant filling many important orders for the army. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Miss Patrice Daly, Rock Island, a senior at Rock Island HighSchool, won second place in the recent state public speaking contest held in Peoria underthe auspices of the Knights of Pythias. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Hampton's sesquicentennial committee and the Hampton HistoricalSociety have scheduled a full slate of activities, which will be held throughout the year, to celebrate the village's 150th birthday. The first celebration will be the Memorial Dayprogram at 10 a.m. May 30, at the Brettun and Black Store Museum on River Road. Therewill be a sesquicentennial display.