Kaine talks small-business growth in radio interview

Tim Kaine talked up his focus on the economic success of small businesses as a key part of his vision for our economic future in a Thursday radio interview with John Fredericks on Hampton Roads’ WHKT.

In the interview, Kaine pointed out that “if you are a small business you are still not able to get banks to lend you money.” He also pointed out that “it’s the small businesses and the start ups that are the ones that really drive the economy and job growth.”

Kaine has outlined an economic agenda that includes strategies to spur immediate job creation, initiatives to build a talented workforce, and tactics for responsibly reducing our debt and deficit by making significant spending cuts while leaving room for investments that are fundamental to our economic foundation.

Below is an excerpt from today’s interview:

The John Fredericks Show
WHKT 1650, Hampton Roads
June 14, 2012

John Fredericks: Alright now, Governor, you are a commonsense guy. Do you agree with President Obama’s assessment that the private sector is doing fine?

Tim Kaine: No, there are some who are, I mean look, ExxonMobil is doing great. Their corporate profits are high. Corporate cash balance sheets are flush if you’re big. But if you are a small business you are still not able to get banks to lend you money. And so, I don’t think the private sector is doing fine in that, especially, in that small business space. And it’s the small businesses and the start ups that are the ones that really drive the economy and job growth.

Fredericks:  Speaking of job growth, Governor, you’ve come out with a pretty substantial plan for jobs of your own. If I could paraphrase it, “grow business, grow jobs.” Can you outline for our audience specifically what some of those policies are?

Kaine: Absolutely. So there’s sort of three pieces to it. I call it growth, talent and balance. The growth piece is heavily about small businesses. So again, I’ve done 55 round tables around the state and what I hear again and again is that small businesses don’t have access to capital. They can’t get lending to add equipment, machinery, or grow. So we have to expand small business lending. I think we need to be doing more, not less, infrastructure spending as a nation. So roads, rails, bridges, broadband roll out. If you do that you employ people in the private sector today but then you also are raising your platform for economic success down the road.

The second thing is on the talent side. We’ve got to recommit to being the most talented place on earth in terms of our workforce. We are slipping recently. Stats show we’re sixteenth in the world in the percentage of young people who are now getting any kind of a degree after high school. That’s just unacceptable and we’ve got to embrace a whole series of policies to get us back to number one in the world, in that place where we’ve been for so long.

And then finally we’ve got to approach balancing our budget at the federal level, being more fiscally responsible but doing it the right way, not the wrong way. If you do it the wrong way you are going to hammer key priorities like defense, Medicare, Pell Grants. You’ll slow the economy down. You know, I want to get thinner but I don’t want to get weaker. So you have to come across this balanced strategy in the right way and I have some very direct experience in doing this because I had to shrink the size of the state general fund budget when I was governor, but do it in a way that would keep Virginia, as best state for business in America.


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