PLATTSBURGH — Congressional candidate Matt Doheny says he has a plan to improve the service industry in the North Country.
After visiting 14 businesses in the service field recently, Doheny said that keeping existing tax cuts, lowering corporate taxes, re-working job-training programs and curtailing further expansion of unemployment benefits will help.
His opponent did not seem impressed.
“I don’t see any new ideas here,” incumbent Congressman Bill Owens said.
Doheny, an investor from Watertown who is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines in the race for the 21st District seat, said people in the service industry are deeply concerned about the future.
“The looming threat of ‘taxmageddon,’ has hurt job growth,” a Doheny news release said, in relation to the possibility that several tax cuts on the books could be allowed to expire and that more taxes, as part of the Affordable Care Act, could create a burden on all taxpayers.
Doheny said the federal tax rate for corporations is 35 percent, the highest in the world, and it does not include New York’s 7.1 percent for corporations.
“There is global competition for jobs, and the United States contends with one arm tied behind its back,” he said.
Improving and streamlining job-training programs by partnering with local Boards of Cooperative Educational Services and community and four-year colleges to create better programs is essential, he said.
“Our federal jobs programs likely need to be consolidated, but they also need to be retooled and refocused so they can also be nimble enough to respond to specific needs within a region,” Doheny said.
Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, said he has, for years, been touting programs that include schools and colleges providing job training.
“We also need to put money into on-the-job training,” he said.
Elected to Congress in 2009, Owens said that lowering the corporate tax rate might be a good idea, but it would requiring a major revamping of the tax code, which would be difficult.
Doheny doesn’t think that lengthing unemployment benefits is the answer because it is costly to states, which must borrow from the federal government to pay for extended benefits.
As far as unemployment benefits, Owens said he may favor a program that would increase wages for those out of work but can’t find a job that paid what they previously earned.
“If a guy was making $12 per hour but can only find a job that pays $8 per hour, we would pay the difference,” Owens said.
“That way, he is back to work, paying taxes and putting money back into the economy.”
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