Senator Scott Brown has a message for Massachusetts business leaders concerned about the willingness of Congress and the President to address economic issues:
“You need to scream louder because they still don’t hear you,” the Republican senator told 400 business leaders this morning at the AIM Executive Forum in Waltham.
Brown said that lawmakers in Washington D.C. who campaigned this fall on economic issues and job creation seem unwilling to address those issues now that the lame-duck session of Congress is underway. He called for lawmakers to get to work on measures that will accelerate the economic recovery - lowering corporate taxes, correcting the onerous Form 1099 provision of health reform and reducing regulatory red tape.
“Washington and Beacon Hill need to regain trust of the people they serve. They need to get back to basics on taxes, deficits, education and debt – the things the American people want to focus on,” he said.
Brown maintained that government “just can’t keep beating corporations over the head” and expect to create a business environment that will put millions of people back to work.
Brown’s comments came as he became the first member of Congress from Massachusetts to be honored with the Manufacturing Excellence Achievement Award from the National Association of Manufacturers for a 100 percent voting record in support of economic growth and opportunity. He also presented the first annual Next Generation Manufacturing Award to Tegra Medical of Franklin.
The junior senator addressed manufacturing throughout his speech, arguing that the lack of urgency surrounding economic policy in Washington stands in stark contrast to the pitched battle that manufacturers in Massachusetts and through the country must fight every day against competitors from Europe and Asia. Brown said that while Massachusetts maintains an enviable base of manufacturing and research in sectors such as high technology, biotechnology, defense, alternative energy and homeland security, uncertain costs and burdensome regulations place jobs in those sectors at risk of going overseas.
“We’re competing with our countries that want to take our mantle as top dog. If they can’t beat us militarily, they will beat us economically,” he said.
He told the audience that he favors an aggressive series of measures to send the message that the U.S. government supports economic growth:
- Lower the corporate income tax;
- Make permanent the federal research and development tax credit;
- Establish a zero percent capital-gains tax rate for startup companies;
- Strengthen and enforce intellectual property laws;
- Extend the Bush-era tax cuts;
- Change major elements of the federal health reform, including the requirement to file 1099 forms for all vendors with whom a company does more than $600 worth of business, and the tax on medical-device manufacturers.
Brown this week twice joined with Democrats to file bills intended to alter the health care law. One bill would eliminate the 1099 provision, while the second would move up the date by which states such as Massachusetts with their own health reforms could opt out of the federal program.
The senator said he judges each bill according to whether it increases taxes, increases the deficit, benefits Massachusetts, helps the country and stimulates job growth. He said that the most common reason he opposes bills is that they contain no funding mechanism.