Clearing the Way for Our Economy

By:  Rep. Mark Takano
Inland Empire Business Journal

Every year, the President goes to Congress to present their vision for our country.  For some, it is an opportunity to propose specific policies, and for others, it is a chance to set the tone for the rest of the year. While speaking to the country on January 20, President Obama took the opportunity to talk about our much-improved economy. The national unemployment rate is under 6 percent, our GDP is growing at a rate not seen since 1999, and wages are finally beginning to rise. However, there is still much more work that needs to be done – especially here in the Inland Empire. For our nation to overcome these final economic roadblocks, Congress must put politics aside and address some very specific issues. 

“The idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

We must do everything we can to help working and middle-class families, who carry the largest amount of buying power. If we create or extend tax breaks for these Americans, instead of the top 1 percent, our economy will continue to grow at rates not seen since the 1990’s.

“21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure.”

For a region like the Inland Empire that relies heavily on the movement of goods, having a modern infrastructure could not be more important. The 2010 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers for the Inland Empire, grades the Inland Empire’s transportation system at a D plus, and gives overall infrastructure for the area a C plus. We must pass a long-term highway bill that properly funds the Highway Trust Fund and allows for long-term project planning. 

While our government is divided, I am confident that President Obama, Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans can find common ground on these issues and others that matter most to the American people. Acting, instead of blocking legislation by participating in political theatre, will undoubtedly help businesses grow, especially right here in the Inland Empire.