Release Date: Aug 23, 2010Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Report, Advocacy Effort to Highlight California’s Economic Crisis
Golden State Action Plan Offers Path to Improve Business Climate & Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a major issue advocacy program in California today by releasing a new report that highlights the state’s spiraling deficit, rising taxes, and growing regulations, and offers a state economic growth plan.
“To spur job creation, the state needs a new direction,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “Federal and state policies must be dramatically changed in order to revitalize California’s economy before other states and other nations steal away more businesses, investors, and jobs.”
The Chamber’s report, titled The Golden State Action Plan, calls for the removal of roadblocks to private investments in California’s transportation, energy, water, and broadband infrastructure, and is asking that the state’s failing public schools be overhauled. Public employee pension reform is urgently needed to prevent the state’s slide into insolvency. And, the expansion of exports through a vigorous trade policy would especially benefit California given the state’s position as a gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies.
The report is part of a broader, statewide issue advocacy program that will include television, radio, and Internet ads; a website (www.uschamber.com/ca); and an e-mail community that exchanges information on economic developments and policy choices impacting California. The Chamber’s unrivaled grassroots operation will bolster this effort to highlight the state’s growing crisis and identify the core competitive challenges that the state must address.
“For America to prosper again, California must lead the way,” Donohue said. “We are offering a plan to pull the state’s economy back from the edge of the cliff and build for the future. It’s time to urge all Californians and businesses everywhere to press state and federal officials to implement these ideas without delay.”
This report highlights that 12.3% of the state’s workers are unemployed and that small businesses are suffocating under excessive regulations, high taxes, and lawsuit abuse. To address this, the Chamber’s plan outlines steps to make the Golden State’s economy more competitive and fiscally sound. These include:
- Controlling soaring taxes and fees, since California already has the highest state sales tax in the nation, the fourth-highest personal income tax rate, and the ninth-highest corporate rate.
- Weeding out excessive regulations, including not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) roadblocks that even stand in the way of “green” energy projects.
- Reforming the legal system so that it punishes actual wrongdoing, without punishing businesses that are playing by the rules. A recent survey by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform ranks California the fifth-worst legal system in the country.
Make Sacramento live within its means by controlling runaway spending, which has led to a projected $19.1 billion deficit this year alone. Mandatory spending programs, mandatory budget allocations, public employee pension systems, and a steeply progressive tax system must all be reexamined and reformed.
“Good, bad, or otherwise, what happens in California often spreads eastward to the rest of America,” Donohue said. “That’s why the Chamber is encouraging support for policies and forward-looking programs that will restore this trendsetting state to its full economic potential.”
The complete report is available at: http://tinyurl.com/24mxqtj
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations, including tens of thousands of California members. Ninety-six percent of Chamber members are small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.
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