Dave’s Jobs Plan
More Jobs for Missourians
A good job not only provides income, but it also provides self worth. In Missouri, good new jobs are scarce. Far too many of our family, friends, and neighbors can’t find work. This is a devastating reality for hardworking folks who find themselves out of a job through no fault of their own. The career politicians have really made a mess of things. With every day that passes, it becomes more obvious that they have no idea how to fix it. I am running for governor because I want to repair the damage that has been done and help get our state’s people back to work.
Jay Nixon is a career politician who has been running for office for the past 25 years. At the same time, I have been a proven job creator who has been running a successful small business. It wasn’t always easy to keep the lights on at the factory or to make payroll, but I found a way. Through hard work, sacrifice, and determination, I eventually grew my manufacturing company from 15 employees to over 800 employees. Along the way, I learned valuable lessons about how things work out here in the real world.
During the course of this campaign, people will try to tell you that getting our economy back on track is more complicated than it really is. These are the same people who have failed us – the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the pundits. Much to their dismay, I have actually seen the incredible power of the free market to solve problems quickly and efficiently. I have also seen the frustrating reality of government creating more problems than it solves. These simple truths that I learned from firsthand experience serve as the foundation for my plan to create an environment where more jobs will be created for Missourians.
A Mission for Missouri’s Economic Future
As Governor, Dave Spence will remove impediments to job creation by getting government out of the way of responsible private sector employers, allowing them to do what they do best. He will put an end to the current corrupted system that uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize businesses with the most powerful lobbyists or deepest pockets. Instead, Dave’s top priority will be improving the environment for all Missouri businesses to grow and prosper.
The Spence Business Plan for Missouri Jobs
Using Common Sense
In Missouri state government there is an abundance of economically-draining policies that could use a healthy dose of common sense. Upon taking office, Dave Spence will apply his real world experience to change the bureaucratically burdensome culture in Jefferson City.
- Spence will improve executive branch leadership by appointing state agency heads with proven private sector success. He will also address a major shortcoming by recruiting a team of top Missouri executives and managers (people with no financial interest in state business) to evaluate the Department of Economic Development and make recommendations for better management practices and restructuring.
- There are approximately 133,215 businesses in the state of Missouri. 94 percent of these businesses have 50 or fewer employees. Common sense would tell you that it’s time to focus on helping the small businesses in our state versus the slip-and-fall attorneys who constantly sue them. That begins with asking small businesses what they need to be successful. Spence is committed to personally calling small business owners and executives to identify their problems and find solutions.
- Spence wants to move Missouri businesses past mere survival and onto helping business thrive. He will take the obvious step of creating opportunities for businesses to expand by aggressively improving upon and promoting all of Missouri’s strengths. Dave will be the state’s chief marketing officer and salesman. That means maximizing agricultural exports, increasing tourism, and making Missouri a national transportation infrastructure leader.
- Spence’s common sense approach will impact all policies relating to job creation. Some of his ideas include: mandating drug tests for unemployment recipients and revoking benefits for those who fail; bringing Missouri’s employment discrimination standard into line with 49 other states; and eliminating the requirement that forces taxpayers to pay more for public-works projects through government’s flawed prevailing wage and simply let the market dictate wages.
Providing Tax Certainty and Fairness
Missouri is currently in a recession, and we should not raise any job-killing taxes. Dave understands that state government needs to learn to live within its means just like any Missouri family does when times get tough. In addition to opposing new taxes on individuals and businesses, he has several proposals to provide certainty and fairness.
- Spence wants to protect Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars by making it more difficult to ever raise your taxes. Spence will work to require at least two-thirds support from the legislature to put any tax measure on the ballot.
- We need to modernize the tax code by creating a tax system that is fair to employers and employees alike. Onerous taxes shouldn’t discourage productivity. Spence also believes a more competitive tax system would encourage business start-ups, help small businesses grow, and lure companies looking to relocate. Upon election, he will immediately appoint an independent panel of experts to look at our outdated tax system and make recommendations for reforms that encourage expansion and the creation of new high-paying jobs.
- A critical component to comprehensive tax reform is fixing Missouri’s broken tax credit programs. On November 30, 2010 the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission made numerous recommendations for reforms that have not been implemented. Recommendations included eliminating 28 programs as well as sun setting and capping all programs. Spence will take a fresh look at this proposal to determine if ineffective tax credits could be shifted to higher budget priorities that provide a positive return on investment for all Missourians.
Fighting for Litigation Reform
In June of 2011, Dallas Federal Reserve CEO Richard Fisher stated that, “Since the recovery began, 38 percent of all the jobs created in America have been created in the state of Texas…the most important thing that has happened to [Texas] is tort reform.” If Missouri wants to be a player in the job creation game, we HAVE to reform our litigation environment. Businesses won’t take a chance on Missouri if they know the potential exists for litigants to take advantage of our court system that is skewed in favor plaintiffs. That’s a fact.
- Spence will take on the powerful trial bar unlike Governor Nixon who is bought and paid for by plaintiff’s attorneys. He will work to institute “loser pay” laws designed to make people that file frivolous lawsuits pay by awarding attorney fees to the defendant. This encourages plaintiff’s attorneys to only file meritorious lawsuits rather than filing tenuous claims in the hopes that the defendant will settle rather than fight the case in court.
- Missouri also needs to join the ranks of states that use the comparative fault rule subject to the 51 percent bar. This rule apportions liability among the parties based on each party’s actual fault. If the plaintiff is found to be 51 percent or greater at fault, then their ability to recover is barred. This common sense reform would put Missouri’s litigation rules in line with over 30 other states. Right now Missouri is one of the worst states in which to be sued. Spence believes that not only drives job creators away, but also prevents them from locating here.
- Dave supports making changes to reduce the cost of workers compensation for businesses while insuring more for workers, and less for trial attorneys. He will pursue common sense reforms to Missouri’s worker’s compensation system and second injury fund (SIF). Spence supports the Missouri business communities’ initiatives to ensure workplace injury cases are handled within the worker’s compensation framework – Governor Nixon recently vetoed legislation that would have done just that. Spence also supports legislative action to address co-worker liability stemming from the Robinson v. Hooker decision.
- It is important to note that Governor Nixon also oversaw SIF while he was Attorney General and failed to ensure its solvency. Due to Nixon’s neglect, the fund is now a relic of a bygone era. Spence supports specific reforms to the second injury fund including eliminating Permanent Total Disability (PTD) once a worker is gainfully employed; limiting access to pre-existing disabilities from military service or work-related injuries; and allowing workers to receive only one PTD award in their lifetime.
Modernizing Missouri’s Workforce
Time and time again we have seen that Missouri’s economy isn’t performing as well as our neighboring states. In December, the New York Times reported that our state was 50th in job creation since the economic downturn. Just this March the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported, “…our region is falling behind once again.” We must modernize our workforce to make us more competitive for the jobs that are available now and to prepare ourselves for future economic growth.
- Education and job growth are inseparable. Inexplicably, Governor Nixon has slashed higher education every year since he took office and has repeatedly withheld money from K-12 schools. Spence believes our public schools should receive the funds needed to complete their mission and then be held accountable for the results.
- Dave believes cooperation between real world employees and employers with our schools from elementary level to graduate degree level should be greatly enhanced and expanded. He will reprioritize education in Missouri’s budget and increase funding for job retraining programs such as technology training, vocational schools, and community colleges. This necessary investment in a highly trained workforce will encourage companies to hire and expand in Missouri.
- Spence supports making Missouri a Right-to-Work state in order to make us competitive with our neighboring states. Spence is not anti-union, he is pro-worker. States like Kansas currently have a distinct advantage in attracting major business relocations and massive new expansions. Dave understands that most unemployed union workers would rather have access to a quality job than protect union bosses’ salaries.
- Right-to-Work laws simply make it clear that employees do not have to pay union dues to get a job, meaning it doesn’t prevent unions from forming. For that reason, Spence believes that business and labor can work together to move Missouri forward. Too many good laborers in the trades and other unions are on the shelf instead of hard at work. He will ensure labor and business leaders partner in support of major job-creation initiatives. Together, Dave knows we can compete with any state in the nation and show Missouri is open for business.
Stopping Overreach and Unnecessary Regulations
State and federal regulators are out of control. Dave believes we can create a strong pro-jobs environment here in Missouri by reducing burdensome regulations and eliminating unnecessary red tape. He also realizes that our state-level efforts will be moot if we do not fend off the overreaching federal government.
- As a small business owner, Spence understands the hurdles government can put in front of job creators. In his first year of office, he will direct a top-to-bottom review of state regulations resulting in identifying and eliminating unnecessary regulations that cost Missouri jobs.
- Federal mandates are proven job-killers. Efforts to regulate farm dust, implement Obamacare, and force Cap-and-Trade through the back door are just a few recent examples. As Governor, Spence will stand up to and fight any remnants of the Obama Administration’s burdensome regulations and unfunded mandates.
- The federal government is waging an ongoing national war on domestic energy production through overregulation. Regardless of the baffling position of the current administration, Missouri must secure our energy future. Unlike President Obama, Dave isn’t just paying lip service to having a robust energy policy. He truly believes that Missouri needs an “all of the above” energy strategy whereby we encourage a diverse energy portfolio.
- Low electric rates are one of Missouri’s greatest assets in attracting job creators and keeping more money in families’ bank accounts. We need to keep those rates low by not falling into the same trap as the Obama administration. As governor, Spence would fight the EPA’s restrictions on coal-fired electricity plants and work to ensure additional clean coal plants are built in Missouri. Natural gas exploration and extraction will also be a top priority in a Spence administration. In addition, Spence will work to develop a compromise between providers contemplating construction of nuclear power facilities and the end-users. This will ensure clean, safe, affordable power can be delivered now and in the future.
- The federal government is not the only guilty party when it comes to overly burdensome regulations. State government agencies under the Nixon administration have forgotten that the taxpayers are the customers. We pay their salary and expect and deserve helpful, friendly and courteous service in return. Dealing with the Department of Natural Resources should not be akin to getting a root canal. Dave Spence is committed to delivering to the citizens of Missouri the most efficient, effective and taxpayer friendly state government in Missouri history.