Republican Obstructionism Harms Business

Republicans like to portray their party as pro-business, but the Tea Party ideology so influential in Republican circles today favors policies that are distinctly harmful to business. In this article and a followup, we’ll be taking a look at two current issues vitally important to business — the looming insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund and the potential dissolution of the Export-Import Bank on September 30 unless its authorization is renewed.  On both of these issues, Republican obstructionism inspired by Tea Party thinking threatens serious harm to businesses and to America’s economic interests.

First, the Highway Trust Fund.

The Highway Trust Fund helps support road and bridge projects all across the nation, but at some point in August or September, it will run out of money, throwing as many as 700,000 workers into unemployment. Our infrastructure is decaying, and this undermines the ability of American businesses to compete in global markets. Potholes, deteriorated surfaces,  and road closures slow everyone down, not just businesses. We we have plenty of all three in New York’s 23rd.

The failure to build needed new roads due to strapped budgets is another problem. Anyone who has driven south from our district toward Washington knows that a bypass is desperately needed at Shamokin Dam, PA — and has been for decades.

Businesses and ordinary drivers deserve a long-term solution that will fund repairs and significant improvements to our highways and bridges. That’s why President Obama has proposed a four-year $302 billion infrastructure program to be paid for in part by closing corporate tax loopholes.

But Republican obstructionists in Washington, determined to thwart the President at every turn, will have none of it. Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee unveiled a pitiful little bill to fund transportation projects through May 15, 2015, using revenue sources Democrats had been hoping to use to pay for extending benefits for the long-term unemployed. Our congressman, Republican Tom Reed, serves on Ways and Means.

New York’s 23rd deserves to be represented in Congress by a person of vision — someone truly committed to jobs and economic development — rather than a member who backs stopgaps that damage unemployed constituents.  Martha Robertson is that person of vision.

The collapse of the Export-Import Bank, if it is allowed to occur, will also do damage to businesses in New York and throughout the United States. Watch this space for an upcoming analysis.

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5 Responses to Republican Obstructionism Harms Business

  1. whungerford says:

    “The House plan would be financed through a financial maneuver known as pension smoothing, which increases tax revenues by allowing companies to delay tax-deductible pension contributions…” Oh no, not that; many pension plans are underfunded already.


  2. Barbara Griffin says:

    Rather than implementing a “Robin Hood” tax on Wall Street sales transactions, which would cost only a penny per transaction, I believe…the government continues to take from poor Peter to pay Paul. And how are those corporate tax loopholes workin’ for ya?


  3. solodm says:

    “Driving on roads in need of repair costs New York motorists $4.551 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $403 per motorist.
    60% of New York’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.”
    How much more then, can it cost businesses with cars and trucks using NYS roads?

    Using pension contributions for this Republican short term plan, smacks of the once brilliant borrowing from Social Security funds “for other purposes”. The very same Social Security trust funds which remain to this day, in IOU status – giving Tom Reed a topic with which to try scaring seniors.


  4. Pingback: Reed Backs “Sad Excuse for a Highway Funding Bill” | New NY 23rd

  5. Pingback: Tom Reed supports Export-Import Bank for #NY23 | New NY 23rd

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