Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Voinovich's View: "Helping Ohio Companies Create Jobs"

Helping Ohio Companies Create Jobs

Ever since I left the governor’s office, I have watched thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs leave our great state, and leaving families in crisis. And I have been trying to figure out new ways in Washington to help our state officials reverse that trend. Recently, we got a big win signed into law for Ohio businesses – but our work can’t stop there.

A few weeks ago, President Bush signed into law an amendment I authored that promises to help struggling businesses make new investments, expand operations and create jobs. The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 included my amendment to provide tax relief to the very companies that are hurting the most in Ohio.

It allows companies operating at a loss the option of claiming their accumulated alternative minimum tax (AMT) and research and development (R&D) tax credits if they use the funds to make new capital investments and create new jobs. But time is running out – this provision expires at the end of 2008. I hope that every eligible company takes advantage of it.

While this is a big win indeed, our work is far from done. I am pursuing even more initiatives to improve the competitiveness of U.S. and Ohio businesses:

Corporate Tax Reform: I recently introduced a bill, the Manufacturing, Assembling, Development, and Export in the USA Tax Act — or MADE in the USA Tax Act — to provide tax relief to domestic corporations and small businesses. My legislation would eliminate tax breaks that advantage foreign competitors and encourage companies to move jobs overseas and then use the additional revenues would then be used to cut taxes on large and small businesses that invest and create jobs in the United States, including: cutting the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent; increasing the domestic activities deduction to 12 percent from 9 percent of qualifying income for S corporations and partnerships that are not taxed at the corporate rate; and making permanent the expanded small business expensing provision enacted in 2003 and that expires in 2011.

Energy Independence: I have cosponsored multiple pieces of legislation to increase our domestic supply of both traditional and alternative energy sources, including oil, coal, natural gas, oil shale, tar sands, nuclear power and other forms of alternative and renewable energy. I recently introduced an amendment that would open up the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration and use a portion of the revenues to fund research into alternative energy. I am also leading the effort to make Ohio a leader in energy production by expanding nuclear power and coal-to-liquids technology.

Intellectual Property Rights: I have joined Senators Specter, Leahy and Bayh to introduce comprehensive intellectual property (IP) enforcement legislation that treats IP theft with the seriousness it demands by offering a focused, aggressive solution to stop counterfeiting. Our bill would preserve jobs and protect the health and safety of American citizens by increasing IP enforcement through improved coordination among the federal and state agencies charged with IP protection and making permanent many of the President’s current initiatives to combat IP theft.

Workforce Development: This year, I introduced legislation aimed at making it easier for states to develop regional workforce development and economic development programs that meet the needs of the workers and employers. The Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Act of 2008 will help states attract and retain businesses and jobs by helping to ensure that the state can leverage its federal workforce dollars with federal development dollars. This will help ensure that Ohio has a well-qualified and well-trained workforce that meets regional employers’ needs.

I am very concerned about our country and the ability of our businesses to compete in a global economy. I will continue to work hard to build an infrastructure of competitiveness so that our businesses can prosper and create jobs for hardworking Ohioans.

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