The Economy and Business Growth
The current COVID-19 healthcare pandemic has caused a US economic crisis deeply impacting workers, families, and businesses. The US is a free and open society that values the health of our people as much as the economy of our nation. As such, it is critical that as Congress turns towards building economic solutions aimed at strengthening the economy, there is consideration for the lasting impact of these policies – now and for future generations.
When elected to Congress, I will be committed to:
- Recognizing that decisions made today have a lasting impact on future generations. Congress has a responsibility to ensure policies and programs enacted today are accountable to future generations.
- Creating incentives for people to work, save, invest and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors. I firmly believe money is best spent by those who earn it, not the government.
- Improvements to household income, quality of jobs in the Kansas City region and workforce preparedness.
The Economy in the Near-Term
A February 2020 survey by the First National Bank of Omaha indicated a weak spot in the US economy when they reported that 49% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and 53% do not have an emergency fund that covers at least three months of expenses. One month later the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in March 2020, that the Coronavirus outbreak had reached global pandemic status creating a problem for community health organizations, businesses, and the workers who depend on them as our economy shutdown.
At the core of the current economic problem is the availability of cash to operate businesses when operations are stalled or slowed. Further is the concern that as businesses potentially default on loans the current economic crisis could turn into a banking crisis. Related to both, there were some positive, interim steps taken in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
- Maintaining income streams for workers. Under the legislation, businesses have been given credits for providing paid leave to employees. As an alternative, States have also been given flexibility to pay unemployment benefits if an employer has no choice but to temporarily cease operations due to the COVID-19 virus.
- Creating paths for sustainability for business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has put a process in place to provide disaster loans for small business (up to $2 million per business).
While these steps are warranted in the near term, I caution that such practices need to focus on maintaining the relationship of the worker to the employer – as opposed to worker dependency on government. Proper oversight must be in place to ensure responsibility and accountability to results in these instances.
Let me be clear – we must maintain full recognition that decisions made by Congress today will have lasting impact on future generations.
The first five months of the federal government’s current fiscal year (October 2019 – February 2020), it was reported that the US had already run a budget deficit of $625 billion. The original projection for the year was a $1 trillion budget deficit before any new additions.
What will it be now? What level of spending and how much loan forgiveness can our great nation afford? Congress runs the risk of ruining the wellbeing of future generations by saddling them with debt, ultimately resulting in lower incomes than their parents and less economic opportunity in their lives, including cuts to benefits, higher taxes or both.
As a nation we should be worried that half our population lives paycheck-to-paycheck. Long-term we must focus on creating incentives for people to work, save, invest and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors. Money is best spent by those who earn it, not the government.
Kansas City has seen growth in many sectors and already showcases numerous examples of entrepreneurial success. Once the US gets out of the current economic and healthcare crisis and can lift our eyes to the horizon, we stand to gain. This is only possible if we are committed to making improvements in household income, the quality of jobs in our region, and workforce preparedness. Based on my experience in healthcare and business, I am focused on vitality in both areas. Our progress will depend on serious planning and restraint.
**NOTE: This policy will be updated on a periodic basis as Amanda continues to meet with entrepreneurs, business owners, and workers whose ideas will be incorporated in a vision and plan for economic vitality in the region.**