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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, September 22, 2008

III. Dent & Bennett Can Create New Jobs. Really!

Question: What would you do to create jobs or bring outsourced jobs back to the Lehigh Valley?

Dent: "Well, first, jobs is what many of us are most concerned about. If you want to create jobs in energy, I can tell you a few things we ought not to do.

"We can't litigate and tax our way into a prosperous future.

"One thing I would like to quickly point out on the issue of jobs is that I spend a lot of time visiting local companies and they tell me everywhere I go, 'Don't raise that capital gains tax.' If you want us to invest in alternative and renewable energy, if you raise that tax on savings and investment, you'll make it that much more difficult to create jobs.

"My opponent and I disagree on the Employee Free Choice Act, the card check bill. She wants to eliminate secret ballots when companies are organized. I'll tell you what. Most of my manufacturers have said to me, 'Please don't do that. You'll make it difficult for us to expand; you'll be incenting us to go elsewhere.' She supports that legislation. I don't. I believe that workers should have the right to vote in a secret ballot. That's important. It protects workers."

[Applause, followed by catcalls from the dude in a wheel chair with a miniature French poodle. It might have been the poodle.]

"I'd like to finish my answer, thank you. I'm reclaiming my time, as they say in Washington."

"Jobs are a critical issue and we need significant tort reform and we're going to need some regulatory reform, too. I'd be happy at some point to talk about what happened on Wall Street and the financial meltdown up there.

"On the energy side, this is where we really need to get smart. We can create enormous amounts of jobs in America if we simply have policy makers who say yes to American energy, say yes to oil shale, say yes to nuclear, say yes to clean coal. Air Products, right up the street here - they're a leader in coal gasification, synthetic fuels, coal liquids. We're doing it here. We have to say yes.

"We need to incentivize and we have a high corporate income tax, one of the highest in the industrialized world. Thirty-five percent. That's causing jobs to go overseas. We need to address that issue. It's critically important that we do so.

"I yield back my time."

Bennett: "I have a friend who works at Bethlehem Steel who's a hero. All his skin on his hands and his forearms is burned off because once on a shift at Bethlehem Steel, he saved the men on the shift. When Bethlehem Steel closed down, he lost his job, he lost his health care and he lost his pension. In the world's richest nation, we should be able to do better than that.

"Let's take a look at that meltdown on Wall Street, a clear indicator that the Bush-Dent economic policies have failed.

"My opponent is all for bailing out corporations, but when it comes to protecting workers' pensions, he says No. When it comes to people whose homes have been foreclosed on to stay in those homes, once again, he votes No. When it comes to replacing Social Security with private risk accounts, he says he's open to the idea. Imagine what would happen to millions of Americans with the current fall of the Dow if that idea had borne fruition.

"That being said, America has the most productive and innovative workforce in the world. The alternative energy manufacturing industry and retrofit manufacturing industry represent a terrific opportunity for us to create high-paying jobs right here.

"So imagine this. You receive a big tax credit for putting solar energy panels on your home. And there's a young business owner who's given tax credits for starting a business to build those solar panels for you, and it's hooked up through PPL on the grid. Then we find that that contractor and manufacturer will have to produce those solar panels. We have a new industry built, right underneath our feet.

"Henry Ford created the American middle class in our powerful economy when he paid his workers enough so that they could afford to buy the cars that they were manufacturing. That just makes good business sense. Of the two of us, I'm the one who's a twenty year small business owner and five-year corporate executive.

"If it was good enough for Henry Ford, it could be good enough for us."


Blah Society said...

Damn poodle...

Chris Miller said...

It is interesting that she selected Ford a man who was against the unions for many years. In addition to that he was an anti-Semite, was given a medal from Hitler for his work on eugenics, cheated on his wife and abused his oldest son while refusing to modernize and were he alive today one suspects he would still be pushing the Model T

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sounds like a conservative!

Anonymous said...

Five year corporate executive?

Where was she an executive?

Anonymous said...

"I'm the one who's a twenty year small business owner and five-year corporate executive"--Sam Bennett

What small business (or consecutive small business) did she own for a total of 20 years? And more importantly, was she successful at these business, or were they merely small operations that fizzled out, or outright failed? The William Allen Construction Company, from what I understand, is considered a school organization at and is run through the school, which does not really fall under the category of privately-owned and operated small business.

From what one could gather from the live Webcast last night, the forum was not Ms. Bennett's shining hour. At the start, it seemed impossible for any Democratic candidate to lose that audience (especially after the presidential forum that preceded it), but by the end of the night she clearly managed to do just that. Talk about change!

And I certainly hope that someone from the media takes Ms. Bennett up on her offer to supply all the documentation for her many incredible claims. (Just contact her office, was the implication.) With four more debate/forums to go, these documents will be most useful.

She never really did answer the question about creating jobs, by the way. She just asked us to imagine the utopia of a solar-paneled Lehigh Valley without mentioning how long it would take for that kind of R&D project to come to fruition.