CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Economy and Jobs: In Depth

We have made dramatic progress recovering from the financial crisis of 2008, but there are too many people, across America and here in Connecticut, who have been left behind. As the cost of living continues to rise and wages don’t keep up, it’s becoming harder and harder for Americans to afford the middle-class life that their parents had. Homeownership, a good job, and opportunities for our kids are the bedrock of the American dream. I’m committed to supporting the policies necessary to make that dream achievable once more.

This means both growing the economic pie and ensuring it is distributed fairly. I believe that a strong working and middle class is essential to the economic health of our country and that the federal government can play a helpful role in making sure that no one gets left out in the cold.

Infrastructure

If I hear one consistent message from local businesses about how we can help them expand and create more jobs, it is that we must improve our infrastructure. While China and Europe are investing in high-speed trains and next generation energy grids, our systems are clogged and outdated. Everyone in Connecticut knows that our transportation infrastructure is in dire need of repair and replacement as we face traffic and delays every day. 

Making these investments will not only create jobs but will provide for our region’s long-term economic vitality by employing thousands of our neighbors with good-paying, non-exportable jobs. Our grandparents came together to bind our nation with an unparalleled interstate highway system. It is our turn to imagine and build the 21st century equivalent.

Education

The nation that best educates its children will ultimately be the nation that out-innovates and out-competes the rest of the world. Nothing is more essential to our long-term prosperity than our children’s ability to become the next generation of entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, and leaders. Efforts to cut education funding are fatally short-sighted. While simply throwing money at our schools will not fix our problems, we know we need to invest in our children’s future if they are to become competitive workers. The federal government must search the nation for examples of success in high-achieving public, private and charter schools, and then use its reach and resources to make sure best practices are universally adopted.

Innovation

Innovation and education go hand in hand. As we prepare people for the jobs of the future, we must also invest in the technologies and infrastructure that create those jobs.

With an increasingly competitive global economy, it’s more important than ever to advance policies that promote economic competitiveness and lay the foundation for the next generation to build on our success. A strong innovation agenda must include a strong partnership between the private sector and the federal government to spur greater private-sector growth. Even as we work to get our fiscal situation in order, we must foster the innovation that will ensure our continued economic prosperity and position in the global economy. To maintain our competitive edge, America must provide the right environment to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tax reform

Our tax code is unwieldy, archaic, and almost impossible for the average person to negotiate. I am in favor of instituting tax reform for both businesses and individuals with simplification and competitiveness as the guiding principles.

I also hear from many businesses in our district that our tax code keeping money and investing abroad. This must change. Making these changes is going to be a real test of political willpower, but with hard work and compromise we should be able to reach a deal for the benefit of the American people.