Having more jobs available is a chief concern among Americans, and voters have been asking political candidates for their solutions on how to create more.
The Republic asked the Republican and Democratic candidates for Indiana’s 6th District congressional seat what types of jobs are needed, how they would help the country and how they could be created.
Because of redistricting, the 6th District will include all of Bartholomew and Jennings counties.
Governments at all levels should take advantage of low interest rates and fund needed infrastructure and capital projects, said Dan Bolling, a biotech entrepreneur.
“The jobs created will boost tax revenues and also consumer demand, in a virtuous, self- reinforcing cycle. And our long-term debt will be reduced because we undertook these projects when interest rates are low,” Bolling said.
He also believes that stabilizing home prices through foreclosure-prevention programs would create jobs by supporting consumer spending.
Brad Bookout, an economic development consultant, said the country and the district should focus on creating and attracting industries that produce goods and services largely immune from substitution with cheap imports.
“We must focus on what will best fit our district. If we do not do this, then we are building our economy on a foundation of sand regardless of how else and what else we may do many other areas in which we need to improve,” he said.
Jim Crone, a sociology professor, said he would focus on re-industrializing with tax incentives and tax disincentives; temporarily extend unemployment compensation, to put money in people’s pockets that they will spend; temporarily decrease taxes on Social Security; provide money for improving and upgrading our infrastructure; hire more public school teachers, firefighters, and police where needed; and create a committee in Congress to focus on how to create more jobs.
“We need to go after all types of jobs: factory jobs, service jobs, professional jobs,” he said. “Especially, we need to go after decent-paying jobs.”
A starting point on creating jobs, said retired teacher Susan Hall Heitzman, is changing the welfare system, so that it doesn’t enable people to not find a job.
“My sense is that unemployment needs to be tied to community service. But it needs to be done in ways that utilize the gifts of those needing jobs,” she said.
She said the Civilian Conservation Corps was successful during the Great Depression, and the Peace Corps is another successful model.
“We need to restore opportunities for reclaiming their human dignity,” Heitzman said.
George Holland, a retired pharmaceutical salesman, said America must return to manufacturing items consumers need and buy. Manufacturing jobs have to be the first priority, not service jobs or jobs in the financial sector, he added.
The country also must return to a tariff-based economy as a way to prevent jobs from being shipped overseas, Holland said.
Jobs of all kinds would be created if we cut the corporate tax rate to zero, said Don Bates Jr., a financial adviser.
“Manufacturing jobs would come back to the 6th, and my goal is to add other sectors of the economy to the 6th District, such as (information technology) jobs and other service sector-related jobs,” he said.
Bill Frazier, a business owner, said there is no right type of job needed except for what the free market determines.
“I will work to ensure a more assessable and open free market system by reducing taxes and over-regulation,” he said. “Let the free market determine what jobs and services are needed. It’s as simple as the government getting out of the way with as little oversight as possible to ensure fair, free market process to work.”
Creating jobs and having a sound economy is not possible now because of the country’s massive debt, said real estate investor Travis Hankins.
“Balance the budget and you save the manufacturing sector and create more jobs,” he said.
Hankins also believes people and businesses are taxed excessively, which prevents job creation. He supports eliminating all taxes on people except for sales taxes.
Luke Messer said the free market is the best way to determine jobs for a community, and added that cutting the corporate tax rate would help create jobs.
He noted that as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, he supported the launch of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, tax incentives for small business and educational programs to spur job growth.
Adding manufacturing jobs is important because they spawn spinoff businesses, said Joe Sizemore, a factory worker. He also thinks that the less involved government is in the private sector, the more that will help job creation.
Creating jobs starts with Congress passing a budget, so small businesses know what the tax structure will be and can plan budgets, said Joseph Van Wye Sr., an electronic service technician.
He favors reducing the Capital Gains Tax, because he believes it will help return jobs that have been shipped overseas. Van Wye also would like to see small businesses receive tax breaks and breaks on the costs of utilities.