|Businessman and co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Stephen Pagliuca|
Creating jobs, one at a time
I’M GOING to use some four-letter words. It’s the only way I know how to talk about the situation we’re facing.
No, not those four-letter words, different ones that just might help us get out of this mess we’re in.
JOBS. This election is about jobs - how we create good-paying jobs with quality benefits and how we make those jobs last. In the past year, more than 110,000 people in Massachusetts have lost their jobs and almost 320,000 are now unemployed. There has been no net job creation in Massachusetts in almost 10 years. At the same time, our national debt is almost $13 trillion. The way out of our troubles is growth - growth in jobs, growth in income, growth in the economy.
PLAN. But creating these jobs cannot be done with platitudes or political rhetoric. Jobs have to be created on the ground, one at a time. This requires detailed plans and specific policies. I have developed four plans that focus on putting people back to work.
First, I have a plan to invest in strategic areas like the state’s growing life sciences industry. This plan offers small businesses the help they need to grow through public-private partnerships, expanded small business loans, expedited regulatory approvals, and increased investment in research and development.
Second, I’ve proposed a comprehensive overhaul of our financial regulatory system. My plan will help secure the foundation of our economy so that businesses have confidence in the system they require to grow again. My approach would put in place robust consumer protections, a strong, central, federal regulator, a principles-based approach to regulation, and adequate capital across the system. Doing so will ensure that taxpayers are never again called on to bail out institutions that are “too big to fail.’’
Third, I’ve provided a blueprint for how I would work to control the health care costs that make it increasingly difficult for small businesses to hire new workers. My plan starts with guaranteed, universal coverage and a strong public option. It also calls for a reduction in the administrative and overutilization costs that represent more than 45 percent of the total cost of health care without improving quality. These reductions are facilitated by best practice sharing, technological implementation, and tort reform.
Finally, I’ve proposed a set of targeted, self-funding reforms to the tax code. These reforms crack down on excessive executive compensation and reverse the Bush capital gains tax cuts. I would then reinvest these new funds into job tax credits to provide businesses incentives to hire again and the job training and education workers need to get the high-paying jobs of the future. We spend $770 million each year on unemployment benefits in Massachusetts - which we should. But we spend only $21 million on job training. My plan would correct that imbalance, and give people the tools they need for the jobs of the future.
PACS. Why haven’t we been able to make progress on these issues? Why is Congress just starting to move legislation to reform the financial system 13 months after the crisis? Why may health care reform be delayed until next year? Why haven’t we passed bold new job creation plans?
Because money from PACs, lobbyists, and special interest groups clog the arteries of Washington and delay, weaken, and often prevent meaningful reform. I’ve made it clear that I’m not taking special interest PAC money or accepting donations from lobbyists - ever. I want to represent the interests of the citizens.
My father was a veteran, and my mother a schoolteacher. They taught me the value of a good job and an honest day’s work. I know that behind these proposals are real people who need their next US Senator to deliver for them. As a father of four, I want our children to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that are the fruit of progressive values. That’s why I got into this campaign - to use my 25 years experience on the ground working to create jobs and working within our health care system to help the people of Massachusetts.
Stephen Pagliuca is a businessman and co-owner of the Boston Celtics.