A new focus

To the Editor:

I grew up working class, and I understand the importance of good jobs and a strong economy. Republicans in Washington brought our economy to the brink of collapse, and the recovery has favored the largest corporations at the expense of our local communities. It’s time to focus government investment on our local economies again. The role of government is to facilitate, not stifle, entrepreneurship and economic growth.

We can create jobs and build a foundation for our long-term economic security by investing in infrastructure. Transportation is key for the growth of healthy business, and to that end, we need to invest in roads, bridges, rail and a modern public transportation system. We also need to invest in technology infrastructure to build our future economy. A lack of Internet and cell phone access impedes economic growth in our rural communities. We should have high-speed broadband Internet access in every corner of this country, and I will make that a top priority as Maine’s next Senator.

We should also invest in renewable energy – in solar, properly sited wind, tidal, geothermal, biodiesel and biomass – to reduce our domestic energy costs, confront climate change and create good-paying jobs. A modern transportation system, statewide Internet access, and a focus on the technologies and jobs of the future will mean a stable economy and a higher quality of life all over the state.

Investing in infrastructure creates the foundation for a strong economy, but we also need to support entrepreneurs and business owners. As Senator, I will advance access to capital for small and micro businesses to promote the next generation of entrepreneurs. I will advocate for policies that make it easier for small businesses to get started and thrive in our communities.

We need to restore tax and regulatory fairness to our financial system. Current regulations and our tax structure serve as monopoly protection, benefiting the largest corporations at the expense of small businesses in our local communities. Large corporations often pay zero taxes while small businesses pay as much as 35 percent. That’s the opposite of a level playing field. If we’re going to have a real economic recovery, we have to stop sending money to Wall Street at Main Street’s expense.

Working people deserve a strong voice in Washington, and I will always be an ally to workers. I support the right to organize including collective bargaining. I oppose right-to-work-for-less legislation.

Some politicians like to think of the economy as just another issue. For me, the economy is every issue. Better economic policies in Washington can make the difference when you want to get an affordable education, pay your bills, start a family, get the job you want and retire on your own schedule. Investing in Maine’s economy can make those things possible for every Mainer, and that’s what I’m going to do from the first day I’m in Washington.

Shenna Bellows