Unlikely Pair Of Lawmakers Set Out On Intriguing Excursion

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.”

bennet gardner1 Unlikely Pair Of Lawmakers Set Out On Intriguing Excursion

Woodward CEO Tom Gendron, left, with Sen. Michael Bennet, center, and Rep. Cory Gardner, right (credit: CBS)

“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 Digital Globe in Longmont and Prieto Battery in Fort Collins.

  • Mike

    Did you know that the hiring done at Woodward Governor has been of temporary workers getting NO benefits and making less than the prevailing wage?

  • Kathryn Barrett

    Before you buy that piece of advice, Senator, find out what they are actually paying in taxes – as a proportion of their gross revenues. They all scream for lower taxes, but they’ve had that for 10 years and still refuse to hire. Lowering revenue (taxes) during a recession is not the right thing to do according to the economists. It is government’s role to RAISE revenue and to spend it on job creation (stimulus bills targeted specifically to fund a jobs bill).

  • Bryan Wm. Blakely

    Mike and Kathryn raise excellent points. Nevertheless, I applaud your efforts.

    I can’t help but wonder how many times the wages of one of the new Woodward workers the CEO gets and what the effective tax rate (payroll and income) he pays is compared to the average Woodward worker.

    Until the millionaires and billionaires in this country pay their fair share of taxes the government won’t have the revenues it needs to create jobs or control the deficit.

  • Nita Roy

    It is the job of the government to get out of the way of free enterprise. Supply and demand. The government creates jobs from our taxes and produces NOTHING. Even Obama said stimulus did not work.

    The old story, I never got hired by a poor person. The wealthy are distributing their wealth and pay 97% of US taxes.

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