JOIN LACo Efforts to Avert Sequestration Cuts
The LA County Jobs Defense Council - a strike team formed by Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) consisting of defense and aerospace-related industry leaders, jobs and community advocates, and regional public officials - is urgently calling for efforts to avert sequestration cuts set to trigger March 1.
The Council (www.lajobsdefensecouncil.com) is co-chaired by Norm Hinkling from the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and George Burden, Secretary and Treasurer for UAW Local 148.
The team has written an URGENT letter - that was sent yesterday (See below). MORE SIGNERS are sought across our region as the letter will be updated continuously and resent as the March 1 deadline nears.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SIGN ON, contact JoAnne Golden at LAEDC - email@example.com
February 26, 2013
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Barbara Boxer, United States Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Re: Stop Sequestration Cuts and Find a Grand Bargain
Dear Senators Feinstein and Boxer:
We, the undersigned, a network of California-based organizations and leaders from the business, labor, education, nonprofit, and public sectors dedicated to protecting the hundreds of thousands of workers, countless families and entire communities throughout the state that will be harshly affected by the automatic, across-the-board $1 trillion in federal sequestration cuts set to trigger on March 1, 2013, urge your leadership to pass legislation to forestall the fiscal year 2013 sequestration cuts and to find a “grand bargain” with a balanced and comprehensive package of solutions that include: tax code reform; entitlement reform; Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization; and short- and long-term job growth and economic prosperity strategies.
As you know, the $1 trillion in federal spending cuts over 10 years will capriciously shrink defense and non-defense discretionary spending, including critical programs in community development, education and job training, health services, affordable housing, and numerous other discretionary grants to states and localities. Moreover, these cuts would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the United States, including tens of thousands of jobs in California alone, as well as shave billions from the nation’s gross domestic product at a time when our economic recovery has just begun to gain traction.1
There is no greater immediate threat to our economic recovery and longer-term economic wellbeing than these looming sequestration cuts. And so, it is the duty of Congress to put a comprehensive package together with specific proposals that lower our nation’s debt as a percentage of GDP, promote short-term job creation, and ensure the long-term prosperity and well-being of the American people. Specifically, we recommend that Congress draw on some of the below illustrative ideas contained in the following five (5) thematic proposals:
1) Tax code reform, including for example, lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, which it is estimated would add 581,000 jobs every year for the next decade and increase GDP growth by up to 2 percent.2
2) Entitlement reform, including for example: using a chained consumer price index (CPI) formula to tweak the way the government figures out how much more seniors should get in Social Security benefits each year to account for changes in buying habits when prices rise, as well as exploring expanded means testing for Medicare to shift some of the program’s costs to wealthier seniors.
3) Employ short-term job creation strategies by investing in infrastructure and fixing the infrastructure development, financing and delivery process, including for example:
· Establishing a National Infrastructure Bank to complement existing federal programs to fund infrastructure and provide financing for qualified infrastructure projects by issuing public benefit bonds, providing direct subsidies and lending to entities and commercial banks for funding infrastructure projects;
· Expanding federal qualified infrastructure improvement bond programs, such as the Build America Bond program, to other areas, e.g., large-scale transportation investments by establishing an “America Fast Forward Transportation Bond” program;
· Embracing public-private partnerships fully to provide additional investment for our deteriorating infrastructure facilities throughout the U.S. (a major economic drag in the U.S.) by harnessing the capital, speed to market, technical expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector with the function of the public sector to maximize public benefit and service with faster project delivery times, reduced operating costs, and improved customer satisfaction;
· Expanding the National Environmental Policy Act delegation authority beyond U.S. Department of Transportation (highway, rail, public transit and multi-modal) projects to all federal departments with authority over critical infrastructure maintenance and delivery, e.g., water, energy, information/broadband, etc.; and
· Crafting a 21st Century regulatory system that protects public safety, health and the environment while delivering critical infrastructure projects and the jobs they create more quickly and cost-effectively by simplifying rules, by better coordinating with state and local governments to reduce duplication, and by reducing burdens and costs passed on to local governments, developers and consumers.
4) Reauthorize WIA to focus on emerging sectors and to reward (fund) performance-based, system-wide approaches and collaboration, including for example:
· Aligning workforce development and economic development to build career path education that moves individuals from one level to the next in areas of employment that are responsive to and shared with the industries driving a given region’s economy;
· Encouraging the engagement of employers much earlier in the process to ensure a greater degree of work readiness and thus a smoother transition from school or training to work placement;
· Developing and incorporating flexible, performance-based measurements to evaluate workforce development and programmatic success;
· Integrating workforce training activities and education from entry to college or advanced professional job training education to create seamless career pathways leading to permanent employment in demand sectors;
· Tying workforce funding to the individual to provide a more “client-driven,” flexible mechanism for individuals to learn new – and/or upgrade – skills; and
· Incorporating a longer-term focus to address the long-term training and education needs of job seekers and incumbent workers as they advance in or change careers in response to the changing economy.
5) Exercise long-term economic prosperity strategies by investing more in research and development (R&D) and the jobs that provide pathways to middle class jobs, such as manufacturing, including for example:
· Attracting more highly skilled entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists that will help create jobs and grow our economy, including expanding the H1-B visa cap, and ensuring that foreign-born, but U.S.-educated graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math fields can stay here to continue work and innovate;
· Promoting early-stage research and development by establishing an innovation tax credit that can be claimed for R&D directed to fund external research and development through sponsored or collaborative R&D or early-stage, venture-backed investments;
· Modernizing the Small Business Administration to expand its focus to the new breed of 21st Century start-up companies; and
· Fully funding the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation to invest $1 billion to establish a national network of up to 15 manufacturing innovation institutes around the country that would serve as regional hubs of manufacturing excellence to help make our manufacturing firms more competitive, and thus encourage investment back into the U.S., by upgrading our advanced manufacturing (e.g., additive/3-D printing) capabilities and techniques to use data throughout the lifecycle of a product, from design to recycling and across the entire supply chain of departments and/or companies involved in its design, prototyping and (scaled-up) manufacture.
For the sake of both the California and national economies, we ask you to carry on your stellar records in DC of embracing bipartisan solutions to protect jobs here at home in California and urge you to find a way to avoid the sequestration cuts, to help bring all sides together around a balanced and thoughtful “grand bargain” and to embrace the above themes and examples to ensure that jobs are created quickly and long-term economic prosperity is sustained.
Co-Chair, L.A. Jobs Defense Council
Co-Chair, L.A. Jobs Defense Council
Councilmember, City of Manhattan Beach
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
President, ACE Clearwater Enterprises
Vice President, ACE Clearwater Enterprises
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
Ventura County Economic Development Association
Mary Ann Lutz
Mayor, City of Monrovia
Joseph M. Ahn
South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce
Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
Mayor, City of El Segundo
Councilmember, City of Redondo Beach
President Barack Obama
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader
Congressmember Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader
Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader
1Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D., George Mason University, The Economic Impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on DOD &non-DOD Agencies (July 17, 2012).
2 Karen Campbell, Ph.D. and John L. Ligon, the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, The Economic Impact of a 25 percent Corporate Income Tax Rate (December 2010).