Ugenti-Rita: Arizona Small Businesses Will Benefit from Tax Bill

Michelle Ugenti-RitaA little over a month ago, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, and Americans are already feeling better than ever about the state of our economy. In a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, 66 percent of Americans rated the nation’s economy as either “excellent” or “good”—a three percentage point jump since last month.

It’s difficult to not be excited about the impact the tax bill is having on Arizona and its small businesses. The relief could not have come sooner.

Arizona is home to nearly 500,000 small businesses that employ approximately one million people. For too long these entities have struggled under a burdensome tax code that has prevented growth. With the previous federal tax rate approaching 40 percent, small businesses saw much of their hard-earned revenue disappear into the pockets of Uncle Sam.

Fortunately, measures included in the new tax relief package will reduce this burden. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a 20 percent standard deduction that applies to roughly 95 percent of small businesses and eliminates high tax brackets in favor of new, lower ones.

To put the standard deduction in layman’s terms, with the help of the new tax legislation, small businesses earning $200,000 a year are able to shield their first $40,000 of income from taxation. That extra cash can now be funneled into employee bonuses, wage increases, job creation, and business expansion. These measures will further bolster Arizona’s pro-business, pro-growth reputation.

According to a report by BMO Financial Group, Arizona’s business environment is already strong. While most state economies are expected to grow by an average of 2.2 percent, Arizona anticipates 2.8 percent growth in 2018. The tax cuts package will only accelerate that advancement.

In fact, we are already seeing some positive results in the state. Arizona-based YAM Worldwide announced it will be giving out $1.3 million in bonuses to its employees. Furthermore, over 1,000 JPMorgan Chase employees in Arizona will receive wage hikes or bonuses as part of the companies nationwide $20 billion, five-year plan to invest back into the country.

In addition, a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found the bill will create almost 6,500 jobs in the state.

These must be the “crumbs” Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats scoffed at while trying to explain away the benefits resulting from tax relief. For some, these “crumbs” represent eased rent worries, the ability to afford childcare or help with the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

The examples chronicled above are only a small piece of the benefits the tax bill has induced. Imagine the impacts Arizona will feel a year from now.

Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) is the Chair of the Arizona House Ways and Means Committee and represents the 23rd House District

Arizona Business Owners React to Hearing in U.S. House Ways and Means Committee

Americans for Affordable Products

Hearing Showcases Border Adjustment Tax Based on Academic Theory, Not Real-World Reality

Scottsdale, AZ – Local business owners throughout Phoenix are sharing their reactions on the U.S. House’s recently-concluded Ways & Means Committee hearing focused on the border adjustment tax.  Anthony Cantelmo, owner of Fifth and Ford Cigars, said “The Border Adjustment Tax will cripple my business here in Scottsdale.  I cannot absorb a 20% increase in costs for the items that I import, which is everything. I’ll have to make some very painful decisions—scale back business, let employees go or close my doors. None of these are desirable. I hope that the committee will reconsider this proposal and think of the small business owners like myself.”

John Arterburn, owner of Ace Hardware in Scottsdale, also had a strong reaction to the hearing, saying “The committee wants tax reform that’s based on fairness and simplicity. The Border Adjustment Tax provides neither. Everyone will be touched one way or another by the price hikes it will impose.”

Jim Mapstead, owner of Accurate Signs and Engraving, released the following statement, saying “Retail accounts for 20 percent of the jobs in the U.S. That’s a big chunk of the economy to hit with a 20 percent price hike on the cost of doing business.  There must be a better way and hopefully the Ways and Means Committee is looking at alternatives.”

Americans for Affordable Products is a coalition of job creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and consumers united against higher prices on everyday necessities. To learn more, please visit:

www.KeepAmericaAffordable.com.

Additional Information:

Border Adjustment Tax Could Derail Tax Reform

Americans for Prosperity - Arizona

By: Tom Jenney – Americans for Prosperity, Arizona

One of the most enduring symbols of Arizona is the Grand Canyon.  In fact, many people have nicknamed us the Grand Canyon State.  This most famous of the national parks also illustrates the stakes for Arizonans in the debate that is currently being waged in Washington, D.C. over tax reform.

Let there be no mistake: the so-called Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) would blow a Grand Canyon-sized hole in our economy and the budgets of working families.

In Arizona, the retail industry is a significant source of jobs.  There are more than 64,000 retail businesses that support 828,000 jobs, contributing $53 billion to our economy every year.  If you lined up the workers who are employed because of retail in Arizona shoulder to shoulder, they would span just about the entire length of the Grand Canyon.  That’s a lot of jobs and many of them could be on the chopping block if Speaker Paul Ryan, and U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady move forward with the BAT.

The BAT is a national sales tax that would raise $1 trillion in new revenue over the next ten years by taxing imports.  Small businesses, particularly retailers would be discriminated against, while big multinational corporations that ship products overseas, would have their exports exempted from federal taxes.  This is a classic example of Washington picking winners and losers among industries, but in this case, it would be middle-income working families who get the shortest end of the stick and pay the ultimate price.

The BAT would drive up the cost of everyday necessities, such as gasoline, groceries, food and clothing, including prescription medicines.  According to the National Retail Federation, the average Arizona family could end up paying more than $1,700 per year in higher prices.  This is a lot of money that struggling, working families, who have seen their wages stagnate in recent years, simply can’t afford to pay.

Fortunately, the BAT is running into a buzz saw of political opposition.  Conservative organizations such as the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity have blasted the BAT as being anti-consumer and anti-free market.  Senator Jeff Flake should take note of this opposition and publicly oppose it.  Moreover, Congressman David Schweikert sits on the Ways and Means Committee and should work to keep this tax increase on Arizona families from ever getting out of his committee.

Arizona’s elected leaders could do the vital retail businesses in our state and middle-class families a great service by formally announcing their opposition and driving a nail in the coffin of BAT.  Tax reform is too important to the health of the economy and the pocketbooks of working households for it to be derailed by an exotic, anti-consumer, anti-small business tax.  The BAT is simply bad policy, and it deserves to die an early death, so conservative, free market tax reform can get back on the right track.

It is time to save tax reform, which is badly needed for families and businesses alike in Arizona, by saying no to and killing the BAT.  That is the first step to fairly and equitably lowering the rates for everyone and allow the free market to work.  Conservatives were not elected to Congress to put their thumb on the scale and pick winners and losers, and that is exactly what a trillion-dollar tax increase on Arizona families does in exchange for a permanent tax holiday for multinational companies, many of which already exploit loopholes and receive special deals from lobbyists in Washington.  Senator Flake and Congressman Schweikert, voters sent you to the nation’s capital to fight for their interests and are watching who you stand up for.

Tom Jenney is the State Director of the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club: Minimum Wage Initiative a Ploy to Unionize Workers

Free Enterprise Club

Reposted from The Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

Currently there is a massive effort underway to get several “California-style” initiatives on the ballot in November. The Club encourages anyone approached on the street by one of these petition carriers to “decline to sign.” One of the initiatives likely to get the signatures necessary to qualify jacks up the minimum wage and mandates minimum state-wide paid sick time.

Specifically, the measure increases Arizona’s minimum wage from the current $8.05, to $10 starting January 1st, 2017 – and tops out at a whopping $12 an hour in 2020, then defaulting back to increases based upon the cost of living index. Additionally, if passed, it would mandate businesses with more than 15 employees provide 40 hours of paid sick time and 24 hours of annual paid sick time for businesses with less than 15 employees.

This voter protected act would have a devastating effect on Arizona’s economy. Minimum wage schemes set an arbitrary floor on every industry, every business, and every job – and divorces wages from the actual economic value a position creates. As a result, minimum wages do not heed any more buying power for the people they purport to help, but instead increase costs and therefore create an eventual pressure to increase prices. Mandatory paid sick leave is another invention of the left which seeks to create policies in a vacuum outside any economic realities.

However the real intent of these “worker welfare” movements is more and more obvious. The campaign “Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families” is being pushed by the union-backed organization LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) who since 2013 has advocated the “Fight for $15” for fast food workers and other out-of-state union groups. The battles are for minimum wage and paid sick leave; the war is unionization of the total workforce. This is evidenced by the fact that this very initiative exempts workers under a collective bargaining agreement. In other words, we have hit a new level of hypocrisy. If this was about creating the workers’ paradise, and not about incentivizing unionization, there would be no exceptions.

As if this all wasn’t damaging enough, the initiative has another kicker, which allows cities and towns to pass more generous wage and benefit mandates. With cities such as Tempe, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson – Arizona can expect to have a patchwork of employment laws – making doing business across city borders an arduous endeavor.

Arizonans should be wary this election season. Union groups and leftist interests are out in full force – trying to make the Grand Canyon State look more like an increasingly bankrupt California. If voters are wise, they will reject destructive ballot initiatives such as this one.

Follow Arizona Free Enterprise Club on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanksgiving Story: The Pilgrims, Socialism, and Free Markets

pilgrims-300x215The story of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving is widely taught in all our schools. What is seldom taught, however, is what those Pilgrims learned, at great pain, about Socialism versus Free Markets.

The Pilgrim experience stands as the most authentic-ever, real-life comparison of socialism versus free-markets for human interaction, commerce, and governance.

As a reminder, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in November, 1620. They promptly lost half their population to starvation, sickness, and exposure that first winter, and they fared little better the second winter. We were all taught that a Native American named Squanto taught the survivors to fish, plant corn, use fertilizer, and hunt deer.

What most of us never learned (or glossed over) was that the original contract the Pilgrims brokered with their London sponsors required that everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store, and every member was to be allotted one equal share.  Further, all the land they cleared and all the buildings they constructed were to belong to the whole community rather than to any individual.

To those with visions of utopian egalitarianism (which today’s Left piously calls Social Justice), this must have sounded like the ideal society.  Free of outside evil influences from Europe, personal property and greed were to be banished.  Everyone was to work hard for thecommon good, and altruism was to be its own reward.

How did it work out?

williambradford.statue3Horribly!

In the two winters beginning in 1621 & 1622, many died from starvation, pneumonia, or both.  Here are excerpts from Governor William Bradford’s own retrospective summary of the community’s experience with what we now variously call collectivism, socialism, or communism:

This community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.

For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. 

And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.

Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.

In other words, said the Governor, it simply didn’t work. Mankind’s nature simply wouldn’t accommodate it, no matter how “ideal” it may have seemed.

Bradford had discovered that even these most idealistic of peoples had no reason to put in any extra effort without the motivation of personal incentives to do so.

Wisely, in April, 1623, Bradford abruptly abandoned collectivism. Instead, he assigned a plot of land to each family, permitting them to keep everything they grew or made and to market anything they didn’t consume themselves.  He actually harnessed all that awful human ”greed” and put it to work in a free-market system.

So how did free markets and private property work out for the same people in the same place under the same circumstances?

corn-187781_640Boffo!

The Pilgrims soon had more food than they could eat or trade among themselves.  So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Native Americans.  They paid off their debts to their London sponsors and soon attracted a great European migration. They still had plenty of problems, but hunger was never again one of them.

As Bradford summarized the new approach:

The women now went willing into the field, and took their little ones with them to plant corn, while before they would allege weakness and inability, and to have compelled them would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

This [new approach] had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content.

Most importantly for us today, Bradford wrote about the bitter lessons learned from the failure of original plan:

Let none argue that this is due to human failing rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself ...

In modern times, when confronted with the undeniable historical record of socialism’s failures, the Left usually argues that the “right people” weren’t in charge, and if only they had been, their utopian socialist vision would have succeeded. If Bradford could speak, he would surely disagree based on the Pilgrims’ real-life experience.

So …

Why isn’t this lesson featured up front, in neon lights, in American history classes? Why isn’t it the lead story of the Pilgrim experience?  Why has the history even been falsified and its most important lesson ignored?

Perhaps it’s because the people who write our history textbooks still don’t want to believe it. Perhaps those authors still cling to the hope that some form of their beloved utopian socialism, collectivism, Marxism, communism, … will one day triumph over Private Property and Free Markets.

Unfortunately for those authors, the historical record couldn’t be clearer. For Americans, the Pilgrims’ experience should rightfully be our Exhibit One. In our own time, Milton Friedman said much the same in this now-classic video clip.

milton-friedmanWhen it comes to bettering the life of the common man, Free Markets and Private Property work — the alternatives don’t.

Granted, socialism, fascism, communism and other grand central-planning systems may work for a little while, after a fashion, most especially for those in power. But eventually they always fail, hurting most the people those systems were supposed to help — to the point of killing them. Yet even to this day, people keep falling for the false promises of those failed systems of human interaction and governance.

Finally —

For more than 3000 years at Passover, Jews around the world have been re-telling the story of their deliverance from slavery. And for over 2000 years at Easter, Christians have been re-telling the story of their redemption.  Now that it’s been nearly 400 years since the Pilgrims landed in America, perhaps we could begin re-telling the real story of Thanksgiving every year, headlining those life-and-death lessons the Pilgrims learned about the differences between Socialism and Free Markets.

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The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;
the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill

[Note: This is an updated version of articles written in January, 2011, and the Novembers of 2012, 2013, and 2014. This article was originally published at http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/11/22/thanksgiving-story-the-pilgrims-socialism-and-free-markets-2/]

Tim Steller Verdict Is In: Billboards Are True

ChangeTucson1

The facts are the facts. Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunningham are tearing our city down. Due to the recent lawsuit filed by Liberal extremist Barbara Tellman, claiming the Revitalize billboards are ‘misleading’, Tim Stellar, reporter at the Arizona Daily Star decided to take a look at whether the Revitalize Tucson billboards are truthful or partisan.

TOO much Crime -TOO many families in Poverty – TOO many Potholes – TOO LONG IN OFFICE!

A recent survey of highly likely voters, mostly Democrats and Independents, has 60% saying Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunningham are doing a poor job. Now the far left media can no longer ignore the facts and joins Revitalize Tucson to complete the bi-partisan consensus: it is bad and it is time to CHANGE TUCSON.

Revitalize Tucson hopes that Mr. Stellar shares his findings with Barbara Tellman and Vince Rabago.

ChangeTucson4From Tim Stellars article from October 4, 2015. (The article has been edited with the final opinion highlighted for purposes of this article. The complete article can be found here. )

So let’s go sign-by-sign and see if Revitalize Tucson is telling the truth or just being partisan …

Billboard 1: “Who made Tucson the 5th poorest city in the US? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
There’s no doubt Tucson is a poor city, so arguing over exactly how poor might be seen as pointless quibbling.

ChangeTucson3Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 2: “Who let a few radicals hold downtown hostage? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … To that extent, you could say the council “let” them take over part of downtown… ”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 3: “Who gets $1.36 billion and won’t fix the potholes? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … A study that came out this year showed Tucson’s road conditions were the worst among 11 western cities.
(Aside: I must comment on Steller’s comments: Steller joins the Tucson City Councilmen in blabbing on and on about all the work they are doing to fix the roads. You really need to be replaced in office if you are going to run on Tucson road conditions… ” )

ChangeTucson2Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 4: “Why are we Arizona’s most dangerous city? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … Can’t argue with this one… ”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 5: “Who raises water rates four years in a row? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … the City Council has … indeed repeatedly raised rates…”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

Billboard 6: “Who is paying $40 million for empty Sun Tran buses? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … So, to an extent, the “empty” buses are the council’s fault… ”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

( Note: In the original article Steller questions the $40.4 million dollar amount. This can be found as a subsidy for transit on page 76 of the most recent CAFR. https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/finance/2014_CAFR_Book_CD.pdf . )

Billboard 7: “Who still can’t find the $230 million from Rio Nuevo? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Stellar agrees (though it pains him greatly): ” … the fact is, nobody can “find the $230 million …”

Steller Verdict: TRUE

(Aside: Mr. Stellar tries to make the point that no one is looking for the money anymore. That fact does not take away from the fact that Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunninghman lost $230 million.
Steller also points out that the State Legislature removed control of Rio Nuevo in 2010 from the Tucson City Council. What he does not point out is that Shirley Scott, Regina Romero, and Paul Cunninghman are now campaigning that they have restored the downtown. This is far more than a cheap tactic, this is an outright lie. )

Billboard 8: “Who lost jobs at McDonald’s and Grand Canyon U? Ask Shirley Scott, Paul Cunningham and Regina Romero”
Tim Steller: ” … The short answer to this would be: Nobody…”

Steller Verdict: NOT TRUE

(Aside: Steller’s comments miss the basis of the question. Unemployment is high in Tucson and the jobs that exist are low paying jobs. Like it or not the McDonalds on 22nd street/Alvernon has become a symbol of much that is wrong in Tucson. A man has a dream and works hard and spends money to realize the dream just to have it squashed by the Tucson City Council. Business owner after business owner relates and understands the frustration and aggravation of trying to do business in Tucson. The Councils treatment of this businessman is the proverbial straw that has broken the back of the Tucson business community. )

Doug Ducey – Good For Business

Doug Ducey

Lisa Rigler

Lisa Rigler – President, Small Business Alliance

As a small business owner and president of the Small Business Alliance, I get to work with some of Arizona’s most energetic entrepreneurs on a regular basis. The entrepreneurial spirit and fresh energy I see in other small businessmen and -women are qualities that I also see in Doug Ducey, and I know he will bring them to the governor’s office.

Doug built Cold Stone Creamery from a few shops in Arizona to a worldwide brand, so he’s well aware of the challenges small business owners face. He has an aggressive tax reform agenda that will attract businesses in a dynamic yet fiscally responsible way while also benefiting growing Arizona businesses.

With Doug’s leadership talents, reform-based approach to problem-solving, and positive outlook, I’m confident Arizona will have a bright future if he is our governor.

So, I encourage you to step up and cast your vote for Doug Ducey.  Whether you’re voting early at your kitchen table or you’re going to the polls on August 26th, if you’re looking for a small business champion, Doug should be your choice.

Doug can kick-start our economy, but he has to get elected first. Please sign up for a volunteer shift, put a bumper sticker on your car, and tell your employees, colleagues, friends and family: Doug Ducey for governor!

Let’s go Doug!

Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance

NFIB Arizona weighs in on latest economic report

Congress can help where Arizona fell down

PHOENIX, Ariz., June 10, 2014Today’s release of one of the nation’s most trusted economic surveys casts in sharp relief how pervasive our political leaders’ inattention to small-business job creation is, according to the Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s voice of small business.

As it does very month, NFIB releases its Index of Small Business Optimism, which measures the pulse of the nation’s largest employer group—Main Street entrepreneurs. Although the index rose to its highest level since 2007, the underpinnings of a strong economy are still not seismically sound.

“What stood out for me in the latest optimism index was Arizona’s missed opportunity to spur capital spending and new job creation by our own small businesses when Governor Brewer vetoed House Bill 2664 earlier this year,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for NFIB. The bill, which passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, would have created an immediate state income tax allowance for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000, similar to federal Section 179 expensing.

Indeed, in summarizing the latest optimism index, economist William Dunkelberg, its author, noted, “May’s numbers bring the Index to its highest level since September 2007. However, the four components most closely related to GDP and employment growth (job openings, job creation plans, inventory and capital spending plans) collectively fell 1 point in May.”

“Shifting capital spending into a higher gear is essential to a full and sustainable economic recovery,” said Quinlan. “Now, even though Arizona’s capital expensing vehicle stalled, Congress can turn on the ignition of job creation by passing H.R. 4457, the Small Business Tax Relief Act, when it comes up for a full House vote Thursday.

H.R. 4457 would allow small businesses to immediately deduct on their federal taxes the full value of equipment in the same year the investment is made, instead of depreciating the investment over time. This simplifies accounting and frees up cash to be reinvested and grow the business.

“The job-creation user’s manual is pretty straightforward and easy to follow,” said Quinlan. “If business owners have an incentive to invest in more equipment, they will need to hire more employees to meet the increased sales that equipment will generate. But I worry H.R. 4457 may face a similar grim fate in Congress as House Bill 2664 suffered in Arizona, despite everyone—Democrats, Republicans, business and labor—favoring it, a tragic misreading of the economy’s weakness will lead to continued inertia and another missed opportunity.”

Despite broad, bipartisan support, small-business federal expensing fell from $500,000 to $25,000 this year because previous extensions were temporary. H.R. 4457 would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.Click here to read a letter 154 business associations signed and sent to Congress.

NOTE: The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. For almost 40 years, NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism has been one of the nation’s bellwether economic barometers, used by Federal Reserve, chairmen, congressional leaders and presidential administrations.

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For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

Kevin Thompson: Mesa Should Always Be Open For Business

Kevin ThompsonThe rumors we’ve been hearing for several weeks are true. According to breaking news, the 1.3 million square foot facility formerly owned by First Solar, has been bought and the new owner is Apple, Inc. The factory, which is approximately the size of 43 football fields, is located at Signal Butte and Elliott roads. The facility will manufacture microchips and will bring more than 700 new jobs to Mesa. Another 1,300 jobs will come as a result of construction and other associated efforts.

What does this mean for Mesa and the region? It means high-paying jobs. Not only does it mean direct jobs at the plant, but also the supplemental jobs that follow a manufacturer to support their technology and development. One only needs to look at the Price Road corridor in Chandler and the companies along that corridor supporting Intel to see the potential for the future of our District and our City. It also means additional revenue and a financial boon for Mesa and its citizens.

I applaud Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and our City Council on their proactive approach in bringing development to our City. The HEAT philosophy and approach (Health, Education, Aviation, and Technology & Tourism) is being applied in our City, and it’s working.

If elected to the Mesa City Council next year, I promise that I will continue make sure the City of Mesa is Open for Business.

Welcome to Mesa, Apple!

Kevin Thompson is a Republican candidate running for the open seat for Mesa City Council District 6. Thompson’s district includes the Apple factory. Thompson is an Air Force veteran and a 15-year employee of Southwest Gas. To learn more, visit www.ThompsonForMesa.com or visit on Facebook.

LIBRE: Minimum Wage Workers Protest for More Pay

Growing the Economy is the Best Way to Raise Wages

(Washington, D.C.) – Fast food workers in many parts of the country today intend to walk out on their jobs in protest of low wages. Press reports indicate these workers support a doubling of the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. This walkout – which is financed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – is the most recent in a series of strikes in major U.S. cities. Supporters of the minimum wage increase for fast food workers say a higher salary is more important now because while fast food jobs used to be primarily taken by teens, many workers are now older and supporting families. Small business advocates argue that raising the minimum wage has the effect of forcing employers to increase their use of technology to replace personnel, reduce employee hours worked, or cut costs in other ways.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

“While the struggle of these workers to make ends meet is legitimate, their complaints are aimed at the wrong target. Minimum wage increases come at a cost to job creators who will inevitably pass the economic burden on to clients and potential employees. Empirical research shows that such increases tend to reduce employment of the very ones requesting higher wages. The best way to get employers to raise wages is to create more jobs, grow the economy, put more money in the pockets of consumers and decrease regulations like the Affordable Care Act that are causing restaurants to lay off workers and cut hours.

More than four years into what the White House calls ‘a recovery’, family incomes have fallen, small businesses are hurting, and a shift in the job market has teens and older Americans competing for the same entry-level, low wage jobs. Fast food workers and others should demand a new approach from Washington – one that doesn’t rely on more borrowing, more taxes, and more regulation. Instead, we need to get government out of the way of entrepreneurs who know how to grow businesses and create economic opportunity.”

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The LIBRE Initiative is a non-partisan, non-profit, national grassroots organization dedicated to informing the U.S. Hispanic community about the benefits of a constitutionally limited government, property rights, rule of law, sound money supply and free enterprise through a variety of community events, research and policy initiatives. Latinos have been disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn suffering from higher levels of unemployment and poverty. Our aim is to equip the Hispanic community with the tools they need to be prosperous. Connect with us on Facebook at The LIBRE Initiative and @LIBREInitiative on Twitter. Visit: www.thelibreinitiative.com.