Op-ed: Fitzpatrick: Economic opportunity for all

By Brian Fitzpatrick, candidate for Congress, PA-8

Throughout the last couple years, and especially the last couple months, we’ve seen political polarization and partisan gridlock take a growing control of how our country, and our government, operates. Unfortunately, it’s not the career partisan politicians in Harrisburg or Washington who suffer – it’s hardworking Bucks and Montgomery county families who pay the price.

From rising tax burdens to increased regulations, our economy is being rigged by partisan politicians more interested in protecting the status quo and blaming others than working together to fix the things we all know are wrong.

The corporate tax rate, unfair trade deals, a growing national debt, under-investing in infrastructure – Republicans, Democrats and Independents all agree we’re not meeting the needs of a changing economy. Yet nothing gets done.

That’s why I’m running for Congress.

When I announced I was running for Congress, I did it as an FBI Supervisory Special Agent and former federal prosecutor – as well as a CPA who helped businesses balance their books and succeed. It’s this background that shaped my campaign’s message: security and opportunity for all.

I believe that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to achieve their own American dream. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the last eight years has been a slow recovery marked by stagnant wages, increased unemployment and underemployment, a workforce participation rate at its lowest level in generations and the increased burdens of top-down government mandates: from healthcare to regulation.

As I talk to business owners, workers and families around this district, my message is simple: No more finger pointing. The time is now to focus on solutions and getting things done. That’s the attitude I will bring to Congress each day because it’s the attitude of this community – the community I was born and raised in.

My economic priorities are straightforward: support measures that that put American workers and businesses back at the forefront of our economy to creates family sustaining careers and true wealth for our nation. They’re the priorities that earned me the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.

We need to address our broken tax code. Our corporate tax rate is unacceptable as we compete globally. Congress and President Obama both agree something needs to be done, yet it hasn’t happened. To make our nation attractive to investors and businesses we need to lower that rate. But we can’t stop there; individual taxes are out of control as well. While those in Washington and Harrisburg are never shy about needing more of your hard-earned dollars, I’ll be a champion for taxpayers. Paying taxes should be easy, fair and straight-forward.  That means simplifying and flattening our broken tax code while ensuring that everybody pays their fair share with the goal of propelling American economic growth on Main Street.

We need to cut red tape that hampers start-ups and punishes innovation. Washington’s power has grown beyond the three branches our founders intended with the advent of a fourth branch: the regulatory agencies. While we all agree there are important regulations which do everything from protect our environment to ensure the safety of workers, too often these agencies and their unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats add costly, duplicative rules without oversight or approval. That’s why in Congress I’ll fight to force the bureaucracies to seek a Congressional vote for any regulation costing the economy more than $100 million and ensure we’re sun-setting outdated ones.

And, we need to invest in education to ensure we have the best trained, most prepared workforce on the planet for the economy of tomorrow. Not only does that mean standing up for our kids in our great local schools, but it means setting each up for success in a changing job market. I will advocate for interest-free student loans for Americans pursuing a career in the trades, a vocational-technical skill, or Science, Education, Math and Technology (STEM) industries to position our nation as a leader in manufacturing and emerging economies.

The key to rising to the challenges before us is to focus on priorities that will keep our families safe and that will put the American economy back on track. That’s why I’m running for Congress and that’s what I’ll do as your congressman.

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