Federal Policy

Budget, Spending, and Debt
Taxes
Energy
Environment
Health Care
Labor Relations
Regulations
Trade 
Education

Budget, Spending, and Debt

Federal spending in fiscal year 2012 reached nearly 4 trillion. This spending drains away resources that could otherwise contribute to economic growth and is the principal cause of today’s unprecedented budget deficits. Politicians from both parties have invited millions of Americans into greater dependence on the government, promising expensive services without regard to cost, efficiency, or the proper size and role of government.
 
Out-of-control federal spending and debt are burdening Americans and saddling future generations with unaffordable debt and an intrusive government. Entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are the driving factors of America’s long-term spending and debt crisis. While current debt projections are very troubling, the bigger problem is our long-term, unsustainable spending path.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
Congress must make substantial cuts in current and future spending and prohibit funding for unauthorized appropriations.
 
Cut spending and enact spending caps. Every dollar spent by Washington must be taxed or borrowed out of the productive economy. In the absence of a constitutional requirement to balance the budget, Congress should reduce spending levels and say no to any other “stimulus” proposals. A firm cap should be enacted that will bring government spending down to affordable levels.
 
Reform entitlements. The costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are on an unsustainable path. Congress should restructure these programs by changing the incentives that drive excessive spending and set a long-term budget for each program.
Balance the federal budget. Federal spending and revenue should be balanced at the historical average level of tax revenues to avoid deficits adding to national debt.
 
Give more power to the states and private sector. Congress should limit the federal government’s role in highway, education, justice and economic development. More government functions could be privatized.
 
Fact and Figures
  • Over the past four decades, spending has increased 288 percent.
  • Entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, food stamps, unemployment, etc. accounted for more than half of federal spending in 2012.
  • Without major spending reforms, publicly held debt is projected to reach 185 percent of GDP by 2035.
  • Federal spending has grown nearly 12 times faster than median income.
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Taxes

To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it. ― Thomas Jefferson
 
The current tax system punishes the economy, imposes heavy compliance costs on taxpayers, rewards special interests and makes America less competitive. U.S. manufacturers of all sizes and industry sectors face higher tax costs than most of their competitors overseas, making it difficult to compete in the global marketplace. Our corporate tax rate is the highest among developed nations and the impact of our worldwide tax system increases the cost of doing business for U.S. corporations – ultimately costing American jobs.
 
The goal of tax policy should be to raise the amount of money needed to fund legitimate functions of government while doing the least amount of damage to the economy, all the while respecting the principle of treating taxpayers equally.
Fiscally responsible, pro-growth, pro-jobs tax changes will ensure that U.S. companies can compete in the global arena and keep manufacturers in the United States.
 
The benefits derived from lower taxes ― higher growth, higher incomes, higher productivity, more jobs and lower inflation ― will support manufacturers, their workers and the overall U.S. economy.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
The prime objective of long-term tax policy should be to maintain competitive tax rates that are low enough to attract the capital formation and investment necessary to ensure durable economic growth.
 
Impose a flat-tax system. A flat tax would reduce the federal government’s power over the lives of taxpayers and prevent government from micromanaging the economy. A flat tax would boost the economy by reducing the tax burden on work, saving and investment. This tax would also reduce political corruption through a simple and transparent system.
 
Reject tax increases. Tax reform should boost the economy, not raise taxes. America needs job-creating economic growth and increasing taxes will hurt this effort. Policymakers need to reject any tax increase proposals.
 
Reform the tax code. Simplicity and stability should be important goals of federal tax policy. A flat tax, or single-rate national sales tax, would be fair, offer lower compliance costs and spur economic growth. The tax burden should be as low as possible, broadly based and nondiscriminatory.
 
Permanent, strengthened R&D Tax Credit. We support a permanent, relatively simple-to-use, competitive and readily available R&D Tax Credit, guaranteed to provide benefits equal to or greater than the current credit. Since 1981, this tax code has encouraged U.S. job creation and R&D.
 
Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. The original role of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was to prevent a small group of high-income taxpayers from combining so many deductions and exemptions that they owed little or no income tax. The corporate AMT hits companies with a higher tax burden when they can least afford it ― when profits are down ― and penalizes business investment. Congress never indexed its income threshold to grow with inflation and the AMT now threatens to affect millions of middle-income families. Eliminating the AMT would reduce complexity and prevent unintended tax hikes on the middle class.
 
Eliminate the death tax. Studies routinely find that estate taxes, first enacted in 1916, discourage entrepreneurship and lead to large tax compliance costs. Placing an incredible burden on American businesses, rates as high as 46 percent from federal estate and gift taxes force some families to sell a business when the owner dies. Many business owners are also forced to adopt estate-planning strategies that are costly, cumbersome and time-consuming. Permanently eliminating this tax will help increase the economy’s long term growth potential.
 
Shift to a territorial tax system. Switching to a “territorial system” that taxes businesses only on the income earned within U.S. borders would improve U.S. competitiveness abroad and spur job creation. The current system discourages investment that would create jobs here in the United States by adding a second layer of taxation that foreign competitors do not face.
 
Lower the corporate income tax rate. Since enactment in 1909, the corporate income tax rate has changed approximately 35 times, with the current rate at almost 40 percent when combining the federal rate with the average rate added by the states. This puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage. The U.S. corporate rate should be set at or below the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 25 percent. This will revive competiveness and spur economic growth.
 
Lower tax rates on corporate capital gains. The Manufacturer & Business Association supports tax policy that recognizes that capital is not actually income, but that investment in capital produces income and only the resulting income stream should be subject to income tax. The tax rate on capital gains for both corporations and individuals should be as low as possible.
 
Facts and Figures
  • The current tax code is more than 70,000 pages long and continues to increase at an alarming rate. Taxpayers are forced to spend almost $20 billion each year just to comply with it.
  • 75 percent of small businesses are structured as pass-through businesses so owners report business income on their personal taxes, which means a top rate of 44.6 percent compared to a tax rate of 35 percent for big corporations.
  • Tax compliance costs are 65 percent higher for small businesses compared to large businesses.
  • Collected tax revenue by the federal government has grown by more than 217 percent since 1960 (after accounting for inflation).
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Energy

Energy policy is a national priority. A dynamic, growing economy requires dependable energy supplies. Manufacturers currently consume a third of the nation’s energy, with total U.S. energy consumption expected to increase more rapidly than domestic energy supply through 2025.
 
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have generated an energy boom in the United States Natural gas is vital for many businesses and lower natural gas prices are saving Americans money. Energy is poised to be a competitive advantage for manufacturing.

We should embrace every energy resource at our disposal. Affordable and reliable energy is essential to the long-term health of the U.S. economy and the prosperity of American workers. America is one of the few nations to put known domestic supplies of oil and gas off-limits to exploration.

The federal government is holding the economy back by promoting policies and regulations that disfavor oil, nuclear, coal and natural gas. Lawmakers should implement a long-term energy plan. While investing in new energy sources and continuing to boost efficiency gains will play critical roles in meeting our country’s energy demands in the future, America must increase its energy independence.

MBA Recommendations

The development of markets that provide competitively priced energy resources, require minimum government intervention, and promote an economically balanced and varied mix of energy sources consistent with prudent environmental policies will be most beneficial.
 
Increase domestic supply of energy. Congress should increase the amount of federal lands available for responsible development and open the limited area needed to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Removing the moratorium on drilling – both on shore and off shore – would immediately increase supply and create jobs. The MBA also encourages the expansion of domestic supplies of reliable, low-cost domestic oil and natural gas through continued exploration and new methods of production.
 
Streamline regulatory burdens. Regulatory actions can often affect the supply, distribution and use of energy. Environmental restrictions should be reviewed and applied in a manner that balances responsible environmental objectives with the need to continue cost-effectiveness.
 
Standardize and streamline regulations, policies and permitting.
 
Deny the EPA authority to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act. The regulation of CO2 is costly to the economy and the environment, leading to higher energy costs and job loss.
 
Energy subsidies should be eliminated. They are unfair and serve only special interests. This wastes tax dollars, reduces competitiveness and offers few tangible environmental benefits.
 
Keystone XL Pipeline. Congress should pass legislation that acknowledges the Department of State’s environmental review as satisfactory for construction of the entire Keystone XL Pipeline.
 
Facts and Figures
  • 85 percent of America’s territorial waters are currently off-limits to drilling for exploration and production.

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Environment

American industry has established an admirable record on environmental protection. These achievements can generate further progress toward reducing environmental impacts and increasing sustainable operations.
 
An improved quality of life will encompass complex economic and social considerations – clean air, water, and conservation of natural and human resources – while continuing economic development.
 
The goal should be to balance economic growth with responsible management of our resources and preservation of biological diversity.
 
Measures to protect environmental quality should address an identified need, be based on facts and credible science, adopted only when the benefits to be achieved outweigh the cost of implementation and implemented in a cost- effective manner.
 
The MBA opposes any federal or state government climate-change mandate that could adversely affect U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
Environmental laws and regulations should be designed with care to ensure that they are effective in achieving their objectives, without imposing unnecessary and adverse economic impact. Rigorous economic analysis of proposed changes to environmental laws should be conducted to better understand potential economic impacts and cost-benefit relationships, helping to identify sensible policy options and optimizing the allocation of available resources.
 
Avoid cap and trade type measures. Any policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be subject to thorough and open public debate, including consideration of their impact on the U.S. economy and its international competitiveness.
 
Prevent the federal government from using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Congress should reverse CO2 regulations already in place. The EPA and other agencies should not be able to use the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions – this leads to unwarranted regulations.
 
Measures to protect environmental quality should be based on factual and scientific data. This data should include the total impact on employment, energy use, resources and land use, as well as other regional, national and international social-economic concerns.
 
Rigorous economic analysis should be employed to better understand potential economic impacts and cost-benefit relationships. Regulations should not be issued without making sure the costs do not outweigh the benefits. This analysis will aid in identifying sensible policy operations and optimizing the allocation of available resources. It will also help prevent requirements that create costly inefficiencies and waste economic and natural resources.
 
Facts and Figures
  • The United States has the largest fossil fuel reserves with 972.6 billions of barrels. Saudi Arabia is the fifth largest with 309.1.

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Health Care

More than 170 million Americans receive health insurance through voluntary, employer-sponsored plans. The cost of providing health coverage to employees is one of the most significant challenges facing our nation. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that since 2001, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 78 percent.
 
Companies continue to provide health benefits to employees as they recognize the competitive value it provides in a demanding market where highly skilled employees are in short supply. However, rising health insurance costs hinder the ability to compete globally, drain resources that could be invested in new technologies and facilities, inhibit the creation of new manufacturing jobs and undermine economic growth across the nation.
 
Health-care “reform” legislation passed by Congress in 2010 resulted in passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), often referred to as “Obamacare.” It is neither a “patient protection” act, nor an “affordable care” act. It violates our rights, puts us deeper in debt and is incompatible with consumer choice and free markets. Obamacare adds $1 trillion in new health-care spending, expands expensive entitlement programs and creates a subsidy scheme that discourages work.
 
The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) encourages process improvement and the implementation of health information technology, promoting greater transparency in health care, providing for better prevention and management of chronic conditions, and encouraging consumerism among individuals seeking health services in order to create a dynamic, market/value-driven health-care system.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
While there is not one specific “quick fix” to health-care reform, the MBA recommends several strategies to move towards this goal.
 
Repeal Obamacare. Within two months of passage of Obamacare, the job market stopped improving. The law significantly raises business costs and creates considerable uncertainty about the future. Sound, market-based reform cannot be built on the crumbling foundation. Congress should repeal Obamacare.
 
Withhold funding, block provisions and regulations. Until Obamacare is repealed, Congress should withhold funding, block key provisions and override regulations carrying out Obamacare. For example, prohibit funding from going to the IRS for enforcing the individual mandate.
 
Proceed carefully towards market-based reform and promote personal control. Congress should promote personal control of health coverage and costs through the free market, where individuals have the opportunity to make market decisions based on price and value.
 
Enable portability. Congress also should enact a law that facilitates federal and state activities to increase the portability of private health insurance coverage.

Implement a health-care strategy that will increase efficiency, productivity and quality, while also reducing costs. This can be accomplished through streamlined health care and operations, but also will require the collaboration of public and private stakeholders, as well as individual consumers.

Raise Medicare’s eligibility age. Gradually raise the age from 65 to 67. Raising the age to 68 would save an estimated $243.6 billion over 10 years.

Encourage consumer-directed health care. The consumer-directed health-care movement offers the potential to harness consumerism as a force to control health-care costs. The private sector and lawmakers should continue to encourage its development and adoption.

Oppose benefit mandates. Policymakers should avoid liability expansions and benefit mandates, such as the so-called Patients’ Bill of Rights, and expanded mental health parity.

Pass national medical liability/tort reforms. Unlimited damage awards, the rising cost of medical liability insurance and wasteful defensive medical practices all contribute to the rising cost of health coverage costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year.

Help businesses of all sizes offer affordable coverage to all employees. Lawmakers should maintain the individual tax exemption and employer deduction for employer-sponsored coverage. Congress should allow small businesses to pool risk and purchase coverage at an affordable price.
 
Facts and Figures
  • Studies published by Health Affairs and the Common-wealth Fund reflect that the long-term uninsured comprise only a small portion of the total uninsured population. Millions of people cycle in and out of health insurance coverage, largely as a result of employment changes.
  • The United States spends $2.7 trillion a year on health care.
  • Obamacare expands the government’s role as the primary payer of health care by adding 18 million people to the Medicaid program.
  • The government owed $38.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Medicare in 2011 as a result of the entitlements created by the health-care reform law.
  • $52 billion in new taxes will be imposed on businesses by mandating that employers provide health insurance.
  • Raising the Medicaid eligibility age to 68 would save an estimated $243.6 billion over 10 years.
  • Due to increased regulation and less reimbursement, 66 percent of doctors are considering no longer accepting government health programs.
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Labor Relations

The economy, labor market and labor-management relations have changed dramatically since the 1930s. Federal labor laws have not. In today's manufacturing economy, success depends on fostering positive employee relations. Cooperation among employers and employees is necessary to improve economic competitiveness, especially during times of economic downturn.
 
In a democratic society there is the need to afford employees at all levels the fullest degree of individual freedom and opportunity consistent with the coordination required for efficient operation. Both employers and employees have rights and obligations that each must observe in order to develop and maintain positive relationships.
 
Manufacturers strive to maintain amiable relations while paying competitive wages and benefits. The key to maintaining this work environment is the ability of employers to have the flexibility to respond to changing market demands while still providing high quality benefits.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
The Manufacturer & Business Association supports changes that will lead to greater investment, higher employment rates, job growth and increased productivity.
 
Protect Workers’ Rights to a Democratic Workplace. “Card check” legislation would take the power and voice from America’s working people and give it to union bosses. For decades, employees have had the right to a private-ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB ensures a fair union-certification election, free of fraud, where employees may cast their vote confidentially without peer pressure or coercion from unions or employers. However, union bosses find secret ballot elections an impediment to unionization. They prefer “card check” elections, where employees are forced to cast their vote in front of union organizers and fellow employees who support unionization.
 
Every employee and prospective employee should be guaranteed freedom without intimidation of coercion from any source to join or not join a labor organization, and to maintain or discontinue membership, financial support and participation in its activities. The fundamental employee right to select or reject a bargaining agent should be guaranteed through secret ballot elections conducted by an appropriate agency with adequate safeguards.
 
Enhance union accountability. Union membership and support should be an individual choice, based on a member’s best interests and conscience. Emphasis should be placed on solving problems and resolving issues, rather than conflict and confrontation among employees unions and employers.
 
Restrict Government Unions. The government earns no profits. Government unions organize against voters and taxpayers. They pressure the government to put their interests ahead of public service. In most agencies, collective bargaining means less efficiency and higher costs.
 
Reform the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA was written for the industrial economy of the 1930s. Congress has not seriously amended the Act since 1947. Surveys show that 60 percent of workers prefer employee involvement programs to more government regulations or labor unions. But the NLRA prohibits employer-dominated “labor organizations.” Employees have an all-or-nothing choice: They can have union representation at work or no representation at work. Today’s workers also expect to be rewarded for their individual contributions. However, the NLRA prevents unionized companies from paying union members more than their contract calls for without negotiating with the union. Without this restriction, many unionized businesses would offer performance pay.
 
Reform unemployment insurance. Research shows that the cur-rent unemployment insurance program lengthens terms of unemployment for recipients. Congress should require workers receiving federal extended UI benefits to participate in training or skill improvement programs as a condition of employment.
 
Facts and Figures
  • Restrictive job markets stifle job creation and drive up unemployment rates. Jobs designed specifically to prevent layoffs will often backfire. Germany and France suffer from an unemployment rate twice as high as America’s, largely because their heavy labor protections discourage employers from hiring new people.
  • NLRB’s national and 32 regional offices process 20,000 to 30,000 charges of unfair labor practices each year.
  • Sixty percent of union members object to unions spending their dues on politics.
  • A majority (52 percent) of union members now work in government. Government unions accounted for three of the top five outside political spenders in the last election.
  • A McLaughlin & Associates Public Opinion Poll shows that 87 percent of those surveyed believe every worker should have the right to a federally supervised, secret ballot election when deciding whether to organize a union.
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Regulations

A favorable business climate is essential for expansion of the economy, creation of new products, additional jobs and the prosperity of our nation.
 
The benefits of appropriate regulations are clear and supported by the public. Not all regulations are unjustified – many are quite beneficial, such as those to protect health, safety or economic competition. Regulations such as anti-fraud rules actually reinforce individual and property rights consistent with free-market principles.
 
The issue then is how to enable the regulatory system to provide for these concerns without unreasonably impeding innovation, research, development and product deployment.
 
Regulatory burdens can cause substantial economic harm by reducing economic growth, slowing job growth and reducing American incomes. The actual effects vary depending on the type of regulation, however, in a globally competitive marketplace, manufacturers need a regulatory system that is focused on real priorities and removes unnecessary obstacles to economic growth.
 
Overreaching regulations are now at a historical high in our country. With even more new regulations in the pipeline, especially as they relate to the government takeover of the health-care industry and the Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul, there seems to be no end in sight.
 
According to reports by regulating agencies themselves, more than $40 billion in new annual regulatory burdens has been imposed since the start of the Obama administration.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
The Manufacturer & Business Association supports regulatory policies designed to favor markets and adhere to sound principles of science, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis.
 
Make regulatory reform a major priority. Congress and the President should recognize the costs of over-regulation, and make restraining and reducing this burden a clear and high priority. The MBA strongly urges the reduction of regulatory costs through sound science and economic analysis.
 
Further strengthening of the regulatory review processes. Major regulations are reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, subject to cost-benefit analysis before implementation. This process is good, however, it should be strengthened and expanded, with greater resources for OMB reviewers and stricter guidelines for analysis.
 
Establish a congressional Office of Regulatory Affairs. Such an office would benefit Congress by providing information on the costs and benefits of regulatory legislation, in addition to serving as an independent source of information on trends in regulation and rules promulgated by regulatory agencies. It also should remove the ability of regulating agencies to circumvent the congressional voting process. This would ensure that regulators are accountable and limited.

Reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB, an agency created by Dodd-Frank, is unaccountable to the president or Congress and its authority is vaguely defined. Placing the CFPB under the congressional appropriations process would help to eliminate abuse of power.

Facts and Figures
  • According to the Small Business Administration, the annual cost of federal regulations in the United States is roughly $1.75 trillion.
  • A record 79,000 pages of regulation were printed in the Federal Register in 2011.
  • Small businesses spend an estimated $10,500 per employee to comply with federal regulations.
  • The cost of compliance for rules added in 2011 alone is more than $230 billion.
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Trade

Manufactured goods account for two-thirds of America’s total exports of goods and services. With one in every five-factory workers job due to exports, it is clear that export-oriented companies grow the fastest and pay the highest wages. The United States exports more than $1 trillion of manufactured products to 236 countries, but this represents just a fraction of its export potential.
 
America needs a trade policy that, particularly in a period of slower economic growth, promotes fair trade and the ability to sell more around the world.
 
With two-thirds of the world’s production and consumption taking place outside our borders, the creation of American jobs and an increased standard of living depends more than ever on competing and selling our products around the world.
 
Trade policy that will strengthen manufacturing in America and improve the competitiveness of American manufacturing in the worldwide economy is crucial to U.S. manufacturing. A balanced trade policy that is fairly conducted provides opportunity for growth and expansion of manufacturing in America, increases the range of goods and services available to consumers, enhances market-based production globally, and contributes to closer understanding and cooperation among nations.
 
MBA Recommendations
 
Fair trade policies, coupled with domestic policies that would boost our competitiveness – such as tax, energy, regulatory and worker training – are critical for our future.
 
Make trade rules work for us. The U.S. should seek full compliance with trade agreements and strictly enforce and monitor the arrangements, imposing sanctions against violators.
 
Change U.S. export controls to promote national security and economic competitiveness.

Require all trading partners to implement or maintain market-based currency policies. Government intervention in currency markets must end.

Limit costs and other impediments imposed on U.S. manufacturers.
 
Level the global playing field. Global negotiations, known as the Doha Round, must produce significant new trade opportunities for the U.S. The Doha Round was established to promote economic development through trade, but talks have been underway for 10 years with no clear deadline to conclude negotiations. We must work for effective enforcement of world trade rules to eliminate unfair subsidies and other actions that distort world trade, while also avoiding weakened U.S. trade laws. Global rules need to address new barriers, such as non-tariff barriers and trade distortions that cost the U.S. exports and jobs.
 
Continue to pursue other trade and investment agreements. Now that free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea have been concluded, the U.S. should pursue other opportunities, such as pacts with the European Union and interested countries in Asia, South America and Africa.

Facts and Figures
  • The Institute for International Economics has calculated that moving from today’s trade environment to one characterized by perfectly free trade and investment would generate an additional $500 billion in annual U.S. income.
  • The United States exports more than $1 trillion of manufactured products to 236 countries.
  • In Pennsylvania, total exports have increased by $8.9 billion over the past five years.
  • Approximately one of every six manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania is connected to trade.
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Education

Many American manufacturers are facing a serious shortage of qualified employees who have the knowledge and skills necessary for today’s high-tech manufacturing jobs.
 
It is imperative that we improve the quality of education in our primary, secondary and post-secondary school systems, and in our job-training programs.

Taking a toll on America’s ability to be innovative and productive in the global marketplace, the broadening skills gap can be attributed to several factors including: the retirement of baby boomers; advancements in technology that require new skills; increased job competition in the global marketplace; failure to cultivate a highly skilled workforce; a lack of emphasis on the necessary skill sets for advanced manufacturing; and difficulty with retaining skilled talent.

MBA Recommendations
 
Our economy is driven by innovation; therefore, the ability of manufacturers to succeed in the highly competitive global marketplace depends on access to an educated, flexible and knowledge-based workforce.
 
Encourage the emergence of a market-driven education system by promoting accountability to parents. Congress should reform federal education programs to give parents control over how their child’s share of federal education funding is used.

Meet and exceed international standards in math, science, reading and writing skills.

Reform and streamline federal education programs to promote parental choice in education. Congress should support program eliminations and consolidations, while concentrating federal funds on the disadvantaged students for which federal education programs were originally intended. This would in turn give states the opportunity to consolidate programs and utilize existing federal education funding for student-focused grants.

Change technical degree requirements to eliminate unneeded courses at the college level.

Improve job-training programs to address the continuous demands of training/re-training workers.
 
Congress should reform federal education programs to transfer control from the federal bureaucracy to parents and local authorities, who have the real responsibility for educating children.
 
Congress should streamline education programs and return to the initial rationale for federal involvement in education – compensatory education to assist disadvantaged students – but deliver that funding assistance as portable aid to individual students, not aid to institutions.

Facts and Figures
  • The United States spent more than $550 billion – more than 4 percent of GDP – on K-12 education in 2010.
  • Spending per student has nearly doubled in the past 30 years, but test scores have seen no significant improvement.
  • Today, 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to the lack of skilled workers.
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