Kind continues to focus on small business growthSmall business is the background of the economy — here in the Midwest and everywhere else in America, according to Ron Kind.
By: By Anne Jacobson, Hudson Star-Observer
Small business is the background of the economy — here in the Midwest and everywhere else in America, according to Ron Kind.
The 45-year-old Democrat from La Crosse has continued to champion small business throughout his re-election campaign while also addressing the top issues on the national scene, including foreign policy and energy.
He held business round tables early this summer to hear local people’s views.
“I’m just trying to figure out what business needs,” he said during one swing through the district.
The needs include an ability to help employees save for the future. Kind said that’s why he has introduced SAVE — the Small Businesses Add Value for Employees Act. This bill would create incentives to encourage more small businesses to offer retirement savings plans.
Kind notes that small businesses make up 95 percent of all employers. In Wisconsin some 450,000 small businesses as well as people who are self-employed contribute to the state economy and communities.
Health insurance coverage also is at the top of small-business owners’ list. Most can’t afford the high premiums that come with small pools of workers. Kind said he advocates a national purchasing group for farmers and small businesses.
“That way they can spread the risk,” he said.
Here are Kind’s views on some other issues:
Military: America needs to focus on the real threat today: al Qaeda’s growing strength in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kind advocates responsible redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq and wants more accountability from the Iraqi and U.S. governments.
It is long past time that the Iraqis take full responsibility for their country and make the tough political compromises vital to achieving peace, he said.
Education: No Child Left Behind doesn’t meet schools’ or students’ needs, Kind says. He supports reforming the law and providing full funding.
Before we can help students achieve healthy minds, however, government needs to ensure they have healthy bodies. The emphasis on performance on standardized tests for reading and math has caused many schools to neglect things like physical education. This is counterproductive, Kind says, as students who are physically active are proven to perform better academically.
Energy: Policy should focus on alternative energy and domestic opportunities, according to Kind. For example, he authored the Biogas Production Incentive Act to provide incentives for dairy farmers to turn methane gas into energy.
He voted for the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The goal is to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil while lowering energy costs, creating jobs and addressing global climate change.