While speaking today at the 21st Century Job Summit in Pittsburgh, PA, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced a plan that would reward companies who create new jobs in the United States, and eliminate the tax rewards for outsourcing.
Clinton plans on saving $7 billion a year by getting rid of the outsourcing tax breaks. She proposed that this savings be used to reward companies who invest in research and job growth.
The Clinton plan would create 15 “Innovation and Research Clusters” around the country, provide what she called an “Insourcing Markets Tax Credit,” and spend $500 million to encourage companies to create jobs in clean energy manufacturing technologies.
“We reward companies like Exxon-Mobil who park $56 billion in profits overseas because they don’t have to pay a dime in U.S. taxes on those profits. And we’re using your tax dollars to reward companies that ship your jobs overseas,” said Clinton. “My insourcing agenda is based on a different approach. I believe our government should get out of the business of rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas, and get back into the business of rewarding companies that create good, high-wage jobs – with good benefits – right here in America.”
Clinton completely gets that issue number one in Pennsylvania is always jobs. Outsourcing is a very touchy issue in Western PA, where the manufacturing sector was decimated by foreign competition and outsourcing.
Clinton does have to toe a fine line here, because it was the trade policies of husband’s administration that put the nail in the coffin of the region’s manufacturing sector, but Pittsburgh has been able to reinvent itself as a national center for medical research, and technology development. It is no longer the smoky steel town of decades ago. This is who the Clinton plan was appealing to.
Candidates who win in Pennsylvania understand that there are actually three Pennsylvanias. There is Philadelphia and its suburbs, the western part of the state which is made up of Pittsburgh and the dozen or so counties that surround it, and everything else in the middle. The one issue that concerns voters of both parties in all regions of the state is jobs.
If Barack Obama is going to continue to close the gap on Hillary Clinton in the state, he needs to learn to speak the language of jobs, and lay out his proposals for creating them.
Candidates who come in to PA and stick to their standard stump speeches lose. The economy is Hillary Clinton’s best issue, and she seems at home discussing it. This is the main reason why she has maintained a double digit lead in Pennsylvania.