Creating long-term and sustainable jobs for Michigan is my top priority. Michigan and our entire nation have been crippled by unenforced trade agreements and an inability to get access to capital for innovations and expansion. In order to create good paying jobs in our state, we must offer incentives that will encourage our companies to create jobs and employ our state’s workforce. Investing in long-term solutions to our infrastructure and to research and development is vital to a vibrant economy. Education, training, and workforce development will help to create new high-paying jobs for Michigan’s residents. It is critically important to our economic success that we maintain and grow a solid manufacturing base in Michigan. Creating programs that will help GM, Ford and Chrysler, but more importantly, all of the suppliers to the auto and other manufacturing industries, to be more competitive has to be a big part of our plan to turn the economy around. The current tax code subsidizes corporations who move their corporate headquarters overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes. The federal government must stop providing corporations an incentive to leave our shores. We should be offering an alternative that provides a tax incentive for companies that produce and manufacture their products within America’s borders and employ our domestic workforce. America is known around the world for our entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity, it is time that we help those companies grow and expand here in Michigan.
The United States has long been a dominant power in the world, both economically and militarily, and our foreign policy has played a great role in shaping the world. We should use our powers to positively influence events in the world. The goodwill and respect we have regained over the last several years should be used to re-assert our standing in the global community as a leader for democracy. We can ensure our own national security while at the same time pressing for international human rights by working with allies and emerging democracies around the world. We have seen major citizen led movements around the world as more countries move toward democracy, and we take pride in the knowledge that we stand as an example of how a democracy can succeed. At the same time that these developments give us hope, we must make our unwavering support to our longstanding and historic relationships with our democratic allies.
Developing a comprehensive strategy against terrorism is vital to our security. Whether it is fighting terrorist cells throughout the world, or strengthening our protection against cyber-threats, we must ensure that our citizens are safe.Our financial institutions and military forces heavy reliance on technology makes it imperative that we build a system of security measures to keep our country safe.
For years, America has suffered economically as a result of an uneven playing field in the global economy. We have been better stewards of the environment than our trading partners and have a proud tradition of providing our workforce with a living wage and safe working conditions. Fighting against trade agreements that undermine American competitiveness around the world is essential for Michigan companies. I will stand up against unfair trade agreements such as NAFTA that do not promote good labor and environmental standards.
The world is becoming more interconnected economically, and we must insist that China and our other trading partners stop manipulating their currency to gain an advantage in the market. Exploring all avenues at our disposal to protect our intellectual property and stop the theft of American technology is essential. This can be accomplished through an international commission on intellectual property which would protect the rights of inventors and innovators around the world.
One of our top priorities in this country should be providing our children with the best possible education we can offer. We should resolve that every child deserves a high-quality education. We must strengthen our public school systems by providing them with the funding they need while ensuring that students are each administration’s top priority. This can be accomplished by setting achievable goals, working with local school districts, teachers, and parents, and empowering teachers to make a difference. For too long, the federal government has used programs like No Child Left Behind to set our schools up for failure, offering the wrong incentives and demanding the same results for school districts in vastly different situations. All children deserve a high-quality, challenging education that will prepare them for future success regardless of their economic or social circumstances. Every child should have the opportunity to attend college, and we must continue to fund programs to make higher education more attainable for poor and middle class students if we are to remain competitive in the world.
A full economic recovery can only be achieved when we lift up all areas of our state; from urban core communities to suburban communities. There are many ways we can effect positive change in Detroit to move forward. Unemployment for city residents is precipitously higher than in the surrounding suburban communities, and the key to developing the City of Detroit is collaboration. Bringing jobs and investment into the 13th district will be my number one focus in Congress. We must also address infrastructure issues, by building a functional, efficient and reliable public transportation system throughout the southeast Michigan region as well maintaining our existing roads, bridges and highways. We can restore our neighborhoods by passing legislation creating incentives for banks and mortgage lenders to re-negotiate mortgages with those suffering most from the housing crisis. Ensuring public safety, lowering insurance rates, and promoting broadband access to all homes in urban areas will bring investment back into our neighborhoods and encourage a return to our core urban areas.
Consumers often find themselves without an advocate against large corporations, making them a victim of the system. We must ensure that access to our court system is protected for each citizen. By providing protection to one and all through common sense regulations, we will keep our citizens safe from unscrupulous and predatory practices. New security standards for banks, credit bureaus and lenders need to be enacted to protect against identity theft. The authority to regulate credit card companies should be returned from the federal government back to the states. I support the President’s efforts to create a new federal consumer protection office and look forward to ensuring that it is a success.
Perhaps the biggest effect the economic recession had on individuals is the thousands of homeowners who are now struggling to keep their homes. This is especially true in southeast Michigan. Sadly, we would be in a much better position if we had the cooperation of the mortgage holders in righting the ship. Congress should provide incentives for banks that choose to work with homeowners to renegotiate their mortgage terms rather than foreclose. We should insist that banks and mortgage holders negotiate in good faith with their customers when considering a modification of their interest rates. If they do not, we must end the tax write-offs for those banks and close the tax loopholes that they benefit from. A home should be a safe haven for families, and by ensuring that our citizens can stay in their homes we are uplifting communities throughout Michigan.
Our democracy was founded on the principle of citizen involvement in government and the accountability of our elected leaders. There are some simple measures that will help to correct some of the inadequacies in our election law, and make our leaders and those who influence them more accountable. Laws are needed that fully disclose those who pay for all political activity, creating transparency for everyone. Candidate disclosures of their financial interests as well as past convictions and illegal activities should be required before allowing ballot access, and failing to disclose should be grounds for removal from office. We should require political fundraising and expenditures to be totally transparent. We should require that every dollar spent by a registered lobbyist is disclosed. Issue groups should be required to register with the federal government and be subject to the same rules as everyone else. Through steps like these, we can move from a culture of corruption in politics to a system that begins to restore public trust in our leaders.
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Paid for by Glenn Anderson for Congress