LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The latest jobless numbers have two members of Colorado’s congressional delegation taking an unusual approach to spur job growth. They are an unlikely pair — being that one is Republican and the other a Democrat.
Like most Americans, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Corey Gardner are fed-up. Not just by an unemployment rate that went up last month to over 9 percent, but by a divided Congress that can’t seem to get anything done. So the unlikely pair set out on their own Friday on an intriguing excursion. The goal — jobs, jobs, jobs.
“We’ve got to come together to get this economy moving again and the screaming match going on in Washington isn’t helping us do that,” Bennet said.
So they left Washington and came back to Colorado to ask companies like Woodward in Loveland the question Congress seems unable to answer.
“What would it take for you to hire one more person? What is it you need to do to get one more job created?” Gardner said.
Woodward CEO Tom Gendron says the answer is simple — simplify the tax code.
“Take away all deductions and just give us a lower rate and we’ll be more competitive globally and that means jobs in the U.S.,” Gendron said.
Woodward, a manufacturer of emission control products, has added more than 200 jobs in Colorado in the last couple years. But when it expanded recently, it was in Poland where the tax rate is almost half what it is in the U.S. That is especially troubling, according to Bennet, when many U.S. companies aren’t expanding at all.
“They’re doing what they were doing before the recession with fewer people. Profits are up, but they’re not hiring people because they don’t need to hire people to do what did before,” Bennet said. “Which means that it’s all about growing companies like the one standing in front of right now.”
“Today we heard a lot of ideas on what it’s going to take to get not just one more job, but whole heck of a lot more jobs right here in Colorado,” Gardner said. “That’s what I’m going to be concentrating on.”
In addition to the tax code, Bennet and Gardner promised to work on regulatory reform in areas like exporting, for example, that would help Woodward add jobs. The company exports 60 percent of its products overseas.
Gardner and Bennet also visited DigitalGlobe in Longmont and Prieto Battery in Fort Collins.