Bill Richardson on Jobs
Democratic Governor (NM); Secretary of Commerce-Designee
ANNOUNCER: The New Mexico comeback, a model for the nation. Governor Bill Richardson started with tax credits for creating jobs that pay above the prevailing wage. He passed a permanent rural jobs tax credit and invested in brand new industries like wind and solar energy, aerospace and laser technology. Over 80,000 new jobs, up to 6th in the nation for job growth.
RICHARDSON: We need a president who is focused on good paying jobs again.
We’ll start by saying that the truth about Richardson’s job record is actually quite respectable and hardly needs the sort of petty exaggeration we find in Richardson’s TV ads. The number of payroll jobs in NM has increased by nearly 10% since Richardson took office. NM is far from being the standout in the fast-growing Sun Belt region, lagging well behind nearby AZ & NV. But NM’s job growth is well above the 6.1% gain for the nation as a whole. The unemployment rate for the state is now 3.7%, substantially below the 4.6% rate for the nation
Saying the state ranks “up to” 6th is therefore literally true, since it has ranked that high at least once. But the words “up to” are the sort of qualifiers that voters and consumers need to question. Such qualifiers are called “weasel words,” because they suck the meaning out of a phrase the way weasels supposedly suck the insides out of an egg. It would be equally true to say that under Richardson, the state has ranked “as low as 23rd,” which it did for one month, February 2005.
To be accurate, Richardson should say that “we briefly regained 6th place” under his leadership.
A: I want to find a way to make sure that the big agribusiness interests don’t hurt the small farmer, the family farmer. What we also need to do is to promote conservation. We need to promote, besides subsidy reform, renewable fuels and technology. Our farm policy, if we have renewable fuel, [we end up with] enormous exports, trade, jobs.
GRAVEL: Oh, yes, I would, but I would say that we don’t need a minimum wage; we need a living wage. We don’t have that in this country because of what they passed.
DODD: I don’t think I could live on the minimum wage, but I’m a strong advocate to seeing to it that we increase it at least to $9 or $10.
OBAMA: We could afford to do it for a few years. Most folks can’t. And that’s why we’ve got to fight and advocate for [an increase].
Q: Would you serve at minimum wage?
RICHARDSON: Yes, I would.
BIDEN: I couldn’t afford to stay in the Congress for the minimum wage. But if I get a second job, I’d do it.
KUCINICH: I think we need to increase the minimum wage and so all my neighbors can get an increase in their wages.
Q: So would you work for it?
KUCINICH: I would. But I wouldn’t want to.
We passed in New Mexico a tax credit for creating good-paying jobs. We passed a law saying that if you’re a company and you create a job paying over the prevailing wage, you get a 10% tax credit. Rather than tax cuts to reward the wealthy, I use them to reward people to go to work.
State Small Business Credit Initiative, which would strengthen innovative state programs that support small business lending. In our states, these programs are facing increased demand, yet the budgetary pressures we face have limited their ability to fill the credit gap left by the financial crisis. These innovative programs include those that augment collateral values for small businesses and manufacturers who have seen them decline as a result of the financial crisis, capital access programs that contribute to loan loss reserves that allow banks to expand credit to more businesses, and loan guarantee and other programs that help share risk with lenders that are willing to extend credit to viable small businesses, manufacturers and farms that are crucial to a strong recovery. By supporting these programs, the State Small Business Credit Initiative would leverage Federal funds several times over to enable billions in new lending to small businesses that can support new job creation. We urge you to take immediate action to increase small business lending in the United States. While our nation's economy continues to recover from this great recession, small businesses in our states continue to struggle to gain access to the credit they need to create jobs. We believe federal action is necessary to remedy this issue.
We strongly support a comprehensive package being considered that would include expanding the size of Small Business Administration loans and temporarily extending successful Recovery Act provisions reducing fees and raising guarantees for SBA loans, enacting tax incentives for small business investment, and a proposal for a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund that would provide community banks with capital and incentives to increase lending to small businesses.
In addition, we especially want to convey our support for a new proposal for a
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