By Lynn R. Mitchell
In a conference call today, Ed Gillespie announced The Ed Gillespie Agenda for Economic Growth (EG²). The agenda details the commitments Ed would make in the Senate to policies that would create jobs in Virginia and get the economy moving again. Further specific policies under the framework of the EG² Agenda will be rolled out in the weeks ahead. A pdf version of the agenda is available at the following link: http://edforsenate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/EG2Agenda.pdf
The Ed Gillespie Agenda for Economic Growth (EG²)
It’s time for policies that make life better for hardworking taxpayers who are feeling the impact of fewer working hours, lower take-home pay, skyrocketing health care costs, and gas prices that are too high – and to end policies that make it harder for the unemployed to find work.
My five-point agenda for growth would be the polar opposite of the failed philosophy of diminished expectations we have endured for the last five years with Mark Warner and President Obama. The Ed Gillespie Agenda for Economic Growth (EG²) would get our economy moving again, provide opportunities for the middle class and working poor to improve their lives through good-paying jobs, and help lift millions out of poverty.
The single biggest drag on our economy right now is Obamacare, and the single most important thing we can do to create jobs, foster growth, increase wages, and save taxpayer dollars is to replace this failed legislation with sensible, market-based reforms that work. I will vote to replace Obamacare with a real reform plan that puts patients first and provides more affordable options. My plan is based on the belief that the American people want a health care system that provides access to quality, affordable care; empowering doctors and patients, not politicians and political appointees. They want a system that makes healthcare more affordable, lets us keep the insurance we like and the doctors we trust, and allows businesses to grow and hire.
Unleashing American Energy
The Obama Administration’s anti-energy policies are among the biggest impediments to economic growth. At every turn, President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress like Mark Warner have pursued energy policies driven by a narrow political agenda rather than developing our domestic natural resources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign producers, create high-paying jobs, and lower utility bills and the price of gas at the pump for all Americans. While Mark Warner supports a carbon tax and cap and trade policies, I have fought against them and taken a strong stand against new EPA regulations that would raise energy prices for consumers and kill even more jobs.
I believe in an energy approach that embraces both traditional and alternative energy resources. I support oil and natural gas production—including responsible deep sea drilling off our coast which has been under moratorium since Mark Warner took office—because we can protect our environment while ensuring access to the domestic energy resources we need to create new jobs in Virginia, lower prices at the pump, and keep utility bills affordable.
It’s time to harness our energy production capabilities and our natural resources in the service of improving the quality of life of our citizens and prosperity, and to put a stop to misguided policies that are a drag on economic growth and damaging our international competitiveness.
Tax and Regulatory Relief
The onerous tax and regulatory burden on U.S. businesses and American families is a boot on the throat of our economic recovery, and simplifying our complicated tax code and streamlining regulations are essential parts of any pro-growth agenda. We need to reduce one of the highest marginal business tax rates in the world to make American companies more competitive, while at the same time easing the tax burden on individuals and families, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money.
Federal regulations should be subject to cost-benefit analysis, and outdated and unnecessarily excessive regulations should be repealed. Employers—and small businesses in particular—are being strangled by an unending cascade of burdensome regulations.
New federal mandates handed down from Washington cannot hope to address what ails our public education system. Yet Washington has been doubling down on this failed approach. The Warner-Obama solution to education has been to continue throwing money at the problem in hopes that doing more of the same will result in a higher percentage of students graduating from our K-12 schools with a quality education.
On the issue of school choice, parents have spoken. We want a greater range of options for our children, particularly those stuck in failing public schools. As your Senator, I will answer. I will work to make it easier for states to establish new charter schools, foster innovation, and ensure that our children are given the tools they need to succeed. Every child deserves a high quality education, which is why I’ll work tirelessly to empower parents to make the educational choices that are in their children’s best interests. Opportunity is enhanced by competition and choice, which is why I support public schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, magnet schools, and home schooling, and support school choice programs that help ensure that all families have access to meaningful educational options.
Cutting Wasteful Spending and Balancing the Budget
One of the most important steps we can take to get America’s economy moving again is to rein in reckless federal spending that threatens to bankrupt our country and leave future generations with an unsupportable burden of debt that will dramatically reduce the quality of their lives.
An $18 trillion debt is simply unacceptable, and we cannot afford the consequences of continued inaction. We’re saddling our children with debt to pay for promises made in the past, and new promises President Obama and Mark Warner made in Obamacare.
As your Senator, I’ll support a Balanced Budget Amendment (which Mark Warner voted against), work to reform and simplify our tax code, and fight to cut wasteful spending. It’s time we stop spending money we just don’t have.
HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE
When he ran for the United States Senate, Mark Warner promised us he would be a fiscal moderate, a pro-business Democrat, and an independent voice for Virginians. After more than five years in the Senate, his record clearly shows he has not made good on those commitments.
I am putting forward these five specific economic growth policies so Virginians can know what I would do as our Senator, and hold me accountable. If I am elected and then seek re-election, voters can measure my performance against these commitments. If my record is at odds with what I’ve promised, I should be held accountable, and voters should give someone else a chance—as I ask Virginia to do with Senator Warner this year.