So much of the frustration Americans feel is due to poor communication and the improper use of vocabulary coming from the White House and Capitol Hill. Legislators must begin to update their use of terms and agencies so that they more accurately align with the expectations and understanding of typical Americans. One clear problem is the use of the term "small business." In some agencies it means less than 500 employees, others less than 1000 employees.
As I have travelled Maryland’s 1st Congressional District in my run for Congress I have seen firsthand how our economy is improving and how far we still have to go. The economy is indeed turning around. But to continue that trend we need to be vigilant and continue to make the changes necessary to build a sustainable economy.
That is why I applaud the President’s plan to close many of the loopholes that allow our largest corporations to avoid paying any meaningful taxes. I am even more excited about his announced plan to tax the foreign earnings of multinational corporations. For too long corporations have been able to play a shell game with their profits; the end result of all of this has always been a larger burden on hard working Americans, small business owners, and Main Street’s throughout the nation.
The President’s plan will do much to create an economy that prioritizes the American worker. Of particular note is his willingness to give tax breaks to manufacturer’s who make things here in the United States. Our economy has always been at its best when we are making American products, selling American products and giving people the opportunity to buy American products. That is why I support the President’s plan. That is also why I think that, while it is a good start, it is not enough.
Main Street has proven time and again that it is the only proven engine behind any economic recovery.
As consumers and neighbors, we don't feel confident about spending our dollars when our local shops on Main Street don't sparkle, and there are vacancy signs in every other window. In fact, for some neighborhoods, those vacancy signs are just the beginning of a downturn to crime and vandalism.
Remember the recessions of the 1980's when storefronts were dark? Remember the boom times of the 1990's when stores were filled, shopkeepers were smiling and confidence was at an all time high?
Main Street is a reflection of our confidence as individuals, as a community and as a country. Look at the beautiful Main Streets of Maryland from Berlin, Easton, St Michaels, Salisbury, Cambridge and Chestertown. The stores in each unique historic setting bring tourists from big cities as far as 200 miles away. Maryland's economy depends on each and every one of those local businesses to serve as a magnet for tourism dollars.
Wendy's Dream for Hampden
Wendy Rosen's career has been devoted to the needs of America's smallest businesses and creative start-ups. The Mill Centre small business and studio complex in Hampden was my first urban revitalization dream. It only took two years to turn a civil war cotton mill into an incubator for start-up businesses and an economic engine that fed the local economy.
In 1984, Hampden area homes averaged $50,000 in value. Today Hampden area homes average $200,000 in value. Vacant storefronts on the "Avenue" are gone, replaced by galleries, gift shops, salons, cafes and great restaurants. The "Avenue" sparkles every evening as locals enjoy the "Hairspray" culture of the neighborhood.
What did this project cost Maryland and the US government? One community development LOAN of $545,000 created $200,000,000 in home equity growth and $6,000,000 in annual tax revenue for the state of Maryland. Add hundreds of new jobs created over the past 25 years of continued revitalization and you've got a great return on public investment.
Now that the holidays are coming to an end. It's time for all of us to consider what resolutions we'll make for the coming year. We won't always be able to follow our own guidelines, but we can little by little make a big difference in our own communities.
This Year, 2012 Can be Different.
This year we can watch our dollars more carefully and recycle more of our cash into our own community with small businesses that recycle those dollars again and again.
For birthday gifts, anniversaries and other special occassions there is no better or more thouoghtful gift that one produced by American hands. Hundreds of websites and thousands of stores sell great products Made in America. FindAmericanMade.com
Think outside the box. If you can’t get to a store carrying American made-- there are other gifts that can only