Congressional Democrats rolled some heavy artillery into the 6th District on Tuesday as House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) came to Borough Hall to talk jobs — and to support Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) in her bid for Congress.
“Grace Meng has a track record of putting results before rhetoric and the needs of people before partisanship,” Hoyer said. “That’s exactly the type of leadership we need in Washington.”
Meng and the House’s second-ranking Democrat spoke in support of the party’s “Make It In America” jobs plan, which they said would increase manufacturing jobs both by encouraging new growth and rewarding companies for repatriating work now done overseas.
“It’s just common sense that we should be making every effort to promote domestic manufacturing and provide tax credits to companies who insource jobs,” Meng said.
Meng also presented her own four-point plan that includes offering more aid to local and state governments to hire more public sector workers “including teachers, police officers and firefighters”; more federal funding for transportation and infrastructure projects; tax credits for small businesses that hire new workers; and investment in technological initiatives that are in the planning stages in Queens.
When asked why temporary tax credits would be better for small businesses than permanent tax cuts like those fashioned by President Kennedy in the 1960s, Hoyer took the question.
“What all businesses, large, small and medium, want is certainty,” Hoyer said. “Republicans like to talk about the Kennedy tax cuts, but remember that Bill Clinton raised taxes and it produced the best economy you have seen in your lifetime.”
Hoyer said he is pushing to have things like business investment credits made permanent to offer the certainty he spoke of.
Meng did not directly address the proposal for more public sector workers, particularly in states and municipalities that are under increasing burdens from their public payrolls.
“I don’t think unions should be made scapegoats,” she said.
Steven Stites, spokesman for Meng’s opponent, Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), wasn’t impressed.
“Assemblywoman Meng borrowed President Obama’s job plan,” he said. “That’s the one that has given New York City 10 percent unemployment.”