Congressman Dan Lipinski: My Five-Point Plan To Create American Jobs (July 28, 2011)
July 28, 2011
By Congressman Dan Lipinski
Job creation is our nation’s most pressing task and has long been my top priority. While cutting the deficit is also crucial, if we do not get Americans back to work we will not be able to balance the budget and build a brighter future.
Today, 14 million Americans are out of work, another 8.5 million are underemployed, and there are five unemployed workers for every job opening. But no number can capture the terrible uncertainty and hardship borne by the jobless and their families.
Yet Washington has done far too little to promote job creation. While Wall Street was bailed out after the financial crisis, middle-class Americans were left behind.
I believe that in order to grow jobs, we must put the middle class first. Earlier this month, I released a five-point job creation plan that does exactly that. My plan strengthens manufacturing, levels the international playing field, modernizes our infrastructure, improves education and workforce training, and invests in cutting-edge research that will drive innovation and job growth.
The loss of one-third of American manufacturing jobs over the last decade has taken a terrible toll on the middle class. My bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act, H.R. 1366, will produce a strategy for promoting job creation in the manufacturing sector. And my Buy American Improvement Act will help manufacturers by making sure that the $530 billion the federal government spends annually on goods and services buys products stamped “Made in U.S.A.” whenever possible.
Washington’s failure to defend American workers from unfair trade has cost countless jobs. My plan includes opposing job-killing NAFTA-style trade deals, stopping foreign companies from evading U.S. customs duties, and combating China’s currency manipulation, which if halted could create millions of jobs.
Today, Chicagoland has the worst traffic congestion in the country, costing us billions in wasted time and fuel and hampering job creation. I strongly support passage of long overdue surface transportation and aviation funding bills to reduce congestion and put people to work immediately. I am also working to increase private investment in infrastructure, including through the CREATE rail modernization program, which is needed for 17,000 Chicagoland jobs. Among the CREATE projects I have helped secure funding for is the Englewood Flyover, which is set to break ground this year, creating 1,450 local jobs and paving the way for a reduction in delays on Metra’s Southwest Service line.
The poor performance of U.S. students in math and science is a major obstacle to job creation in the 21st century. To field a workforce that is prepared to compete, I helped write and pass the bipartisan America COMPETES Act to improve science and math education through a host of new initiatives. In addition, my plan provides for tax credits, public-private partnerships, and other measures to improve education in these fields and increase the effectiveness of programs that provide the training needed for the jobs of today and the future.
Over the years, the federal government’s investment in cutting-edge research has paid extraordinary dividends for our economy and job creation by contributing to a wide range of breakthrough technologies. To boost job-creating innovation, I helped write and pass legislation that puts us on a path to double investment in high-tech research and speeds the commercialization of researchers’ discoveries. And to help small businesses innovate, I voted to provide them with $12 billion in tax relief and increased access to credit.
America’s economic troubles peaked in the recession that began in December 2007, but they did not begin there. In fact, the years prior to the downturn were marked by sluggish growth, stagnating incomes for the middle class, and the offshoring of jobs. A return to the pre-recession economy is not good enough. That is why my plan puts the middle class first and helps create jobs both now and for decades to come.