Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/462847
February 2015 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 53 >> VIEW FROM THE HILL GUEST COLUMNIST JAY TIMMONS It's Time To Govern Elected officials have important work cut out for them; the business community should keep them focused on the issues that drive growth. T he months of campaigning, fundraising and getting-out-the-vote efforts have come to an end. For the National Asso- ciation of Manufacturers (NAM), we can close the book on unprecedented election outreach in 2014, educating millions of potential manufacturing voters nationwide and helping deliver a stronger delegation for manufacturers in Washington, D.C. Now the hard work begins, and voters have made clear their motivations. In a post-election survey by McLaughlin & Associates, 64.3 percent of voters said the U.S. was on the wrong track. Just one day before Election Day, a Wall Street Journal and NBC survey found Congress with an approval rating of just 12 percent. In that same survey, 77 percent of respondents named either job creation/economic growth or ending gridlock/getting things done as the top issues behind their vote for Congress. So the election wasn't just a referendum on the president. It was a call for leadership – for a government that works to spur job creation and ignite widespread and long-term economic growth. !at's why the NAM's message to the president and Congress is very basic: It's time to govern – to come together for real solutions that allow us to take full advantage of our high productivity, world-leading innovation and the boom in reliable and affordable domestic energy. Manufacturers know that if Washington gets its act together, we can unleash these advan- tages to improve our economy in a meaningful way. And, beyond the short-term benefits, if Washington acts now on the policies manufac- turers need, we can seize global manufacturing leadership for generations, securing pathways to the middle class, to stable and secure retirements, and to a future where America's possibilities are only limited by our dreams. Some will misread this election's mandate and seek to divide Americans, satisfy populist sentiment and serve up a campaign platform for 2016. Others have chosen to emphasize select polls and turnout instead of the results, trying to dismiss the decisive outcome for a new direction. !e window for divisive tactics or out-of-touch rhetoric must end now. Elected officials need to renew the faith of the American people in our government and in our institutions. And Americans, most notably those in the business community, must continue to counter those who distract from the goal of economic growth. U.S. manufacturers are growing the economy, but we can't do it alone. We're asking our elected officials to just solve problems: extend important tax policies; approve the Keystone XL pipeline; make comprehensive tax reform happen, including for companies that operate as "S"-corporations or as other "flow-through" entities; invest in our aging infrastructure; fix our nation's broken immigration system; stop the Environmental Protection Agency's assault on American energy security; move Trade Promotion Authority; and enact regulatory reform to name just some of the issues that need immediate action. !e facts back us up on the need for these vital initiatives. For example, a recent NAM- commissioned study found that a sustained investment in our nation's aging infrastructure would increase jobs by almost 1.3 million at the onset of initial investment, return three dollars for every dollar invested, and grow real GDP by 2.9 percent by 2030. Manufacturers are realistic about the chances of moving many of our priorities. It's not going to be easy. No one can predict with certainty how the new Congress will oper- ate. But as a manufacturing economy, with important partners like Associated Equip- ment Distributors, we're ready to work with the president and Congress to achieve real leadership – and results. It's time to work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again. It's past time to govern to bring about the solutions our people and businesses need. It's about time to build on our progress, together, and make this nation prosperous and proud. JAY TIMMONS is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. "U.S. manufacturers are growing the economy, but we can't do it alone. We're asking our elected officials to just solve problems..."