Monday, March 17, 2008

McCain Correct Forecast : GM adds 900 Jobs – Time to Support H.R.5602

Which member of the Minnesota Congressional delegation will connect these dots first ?

Story #1 : General Motors Corp. plans to increase the number of employees at its plant in Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil to 1,500.

Story #2 : the Labor Department estimated that the nation had lost 63,000 jobs in February. It was the second consecutive monthly decline, and third straight drop for private-sector jobs.

Story #3 : Northrop Grumman and the European parent of Airbus were selected over Boeing in for a contract that could be worth as much as $100 billion over 30 or more years, as the Air Force seeks to acquire 400 tankers at a rate of about 15 a year.

Story #4 : An American contractor set up two Cayman Islands companies (Service Employers International Inc., and Overseas Administrative Services) "in order to allow us to reduce certain tax obligations of the company and its employees" while their American employees who were assigned jobs in Iraq. As a result, workers hired through the Cayman Island companies cannot receive unemployment assistance should they lose their jobs. While the use of the shell companies saves workers their half of their Social Security and Medicare taxes, it deprives them of future retirement benefits.

Story #5 : Staying on the subject of Iraq, the House Oversight Committee plans to investigate private security contractor Blackwater Worldwide who obtained $144 million in contracts set aside for small businesses and avoided paying as much as $50 million in withholding taxes.

Story #6 : President Bush issues his budget that will see spending cuts of $208 billion over the next five years in Entitlement programs (short for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). The cuts in these programs that primarily affect senior citizens are even larger than earlier estimates.

Story #7 : The 2007 study by the consulting firm Abt Associates Inc. found that 18 percent of the veterans were unemployed within one to three years of discharge, while one out of four who did find jobs earned less than $21,840 a year.

Connecting the dots is not hard.

Business is taking jobs overseas and uses whatever tax havens available to avoid paying taxes. The result is that government coffers are not being filled resulting in lower monies available for obligations that have been made.

Congress needs to address these issues before it gets worse.

The first step is to contact members of the Minnesota delegation and ask them to co-sponsor H.R.5602 which will amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Social Security Act to treat certain domestically controlled foreign persons performing services under contract with the United States Government as American employers for purposes of certain employment taxes and benefits. Although this is a bill originated in the House, Senators Coleman and Klobuchar should be encouraged to contact Senators Kerry and Obama who plan to offer a companion bill.

Second, Congress needs to do more than just hold hearings on the Boeing Tanker deal. It’s not only American jobs at stake, but also American prestige .. this story even made the Tehran Times. The House Armed Services Committee held hearings last week. Rick Larsen (D-WA) pointed out that the U.S. Trade Representative has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization charging the European Union with providing unfair subsidies to Airbus for commercial planes.
Congress needs to ensure that the contract is awarded on the “lowest evaluated cost” … which does not mean the lowest price. Boeing has said roughly 85 percent of its tanker components would be American-made and its bid would create or support 44,000 American jobs. That needs to be factored in the equation. American content is critical even if Boeing does not get the job … that is not an outlandish request. Heck, if an American company does business with the Government of Israel, the Government of Israel requires that Israeli businesses be given an opportunity to supply goods and services to the US company. Boeing may need to "sharpen their pencil" to eliminate any excessive costs, but with foreign governments providing health care services, Boeing is at a distinct disadvantage.

John McCain may have told Michigan voters that "Those jobs are gone and they're never coming back" in discussing the auto industry, but that does not mean that Congress should not support American industries and American jobs. I want my tax dollars to support American jobs.

There is no time like the present to start, so contact your Representative today.

No comments: