The government should be creating the environment for small businesses to succeed. Sadly, it too often does just the opposite. Higher taxes, burdensome regulations, and the uncertainty of Obamacare have put a wet blanket on our economy that is costing jobs in Ohio and around the nation.
Senator Rob Portman is fighting to simplify and reform our tax code, reform our regulatory system, and improve our worker retraining programs to make America more competitive and to unleash the innovative spirit of the American people.
We should repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms to lower health care costs and increase choices for people in Ohio and around the country. Common-sense changes like allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines, promoting HSAs and other plans that encourage personal responsibility, and passing medical liability reform will reduce the costs and improve the quality of healthcare.
We need a competitive tax code that allows American businesses to compete and win in the global economy. The United States has the highest business tax rate in the developed world, and our companies are too often competing with one hand tied behind their backs. Our uncompetitive tax code is driving companies and investments overseas and hurting jobs here at home. We should simplify the tax code, lowering rates for both companies and individuals. We should make the Research and Development Tax Credit and the Small Business Investment Tax Credit permanent to encourage innovation and small business purchases. We should reduce taxes on capital gains and dividends to encourage growth and investment.
The United States needs to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy to reduce energy prices, protect national security, and create jobs here at home. We should lift the prohibitions on exploration of the oil and natural gas reserves on the Outer Continental Shelf, expand access to federal lands for energy exploration, and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is estimated to create over 40,000 American jobs.
Rob Portman has been a leader in regulatory reform efforts to rein in the growth in burdensome rules and regulations. Too often federal agencies try to circumvent Congress by issuing burdensome regulations, and he believes we should require Congressional approval of any rule that has a $100 million or greater impact on the economy. We should also streamline the permitting process and require a cost benefit analysis to ensure the Administration takes into account the economic burden of their proposed regulations.
In Ohio and around the country, there is a disconnect between the jobs available and the workers who are looking for jobs. Each year, the federal government spends about $18 billion on federal worker retraining efforts. Unfortunately, this money is spread between 47 programs across 9 different federal agencies. We should streamline and improve our worker retraining programs to make sure that we are matching the workers with the jobs that are available.
We should help Ohio manufacturers and farms by opening new markets for American exports. A former United States Trade Representative, Senator Portman understands that passing Trade Promotion Authority will allow our negotiators to work to open additional markets for American exporters.