WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown may sit on different sides of the aisle but their votes Tuesday were in the same column in support of the plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
With the threat of economic default removed for now and a bipartisan congressional committee set to take up the issue of reforming entitlements and the nation’s tax code both men are in agreement that the focus of Washington needs to immediately turn to putting people to work.
“Now we've got to turn our focus on job creation exclusively,” said Brown. “One of the first things we should do is close the tax loopholes. For example if you close a plant down in Garfield Heights and you move to China you can deduct the cost of the move. I mean those kinds of things we've got to fix."
Some economists like Chad Stone of the Center on Budget Policy Priorities fear the promised spending cuts may make job creation efforts difficult.
"This is not a jobs creating bill, this is a deficit reduction bill and those are in conflict," said Stone. The feeling is with promised cuts there will be less money to spend to stimulate economic growth.
Senator Rob Portman, whose jobs plan will be a blue print for Republican candidates next fall, disagrees. “As the government gets bigger and spends more and more it hurts the private sector,” he said.
“We tried it the other way you know we tried to spend more, the stimulus package was an example of that and it just didn’t work.”
Portman said he's already been discussing with Democrat's regulatory relief. “It’s a huge burden on small businesses all around Ohio. It's now time for us to shift to how to actually reduce the cost of doing business in Ohio so that we can create more jobs."
Brown agrees on regulatory relief though they differ on what some of those tax code reforms should be. “They didn’t close the tax loopholes for Wall Street hedge fund managers who pay a lower tax rate than does a sheet metal worker in Parma or a school teacher in Cleveland.”
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