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Even as our economy recovers from a worldwide recession, it is clear that we are operating in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global economy. At this unique time, we must take bold action to put the recession behind us quickly and to remain ahead of the transition, so that our nation emerges stronger than ever.

A key component in this pursuit is to encourage American innovation and new investment through incentives. In Congress, I introduced a bill that would temporarily reduce the capital gains rate to 5 percent for new commercial real estate acquisitions. If enacted, this bill will encourage desperately needed investments in the commercial real estate market and, like the first-time homebuyers tax credit, spur immediate economic growth.

Of course, not all investments are equal. As cofounder of the Congressional Competitiveness Task Force, I am committed to policies that create opportunities for American companies to grow within the emerging realities of the 21st century landscape. 

The Task Force will examine a range of issues — from education, manufacturing, immigration, and infrastructure to broadband, innovative technology, and other new and emerging fields. By seeking input from leading academic, public and private sector experts, and other sources, the Task Force provides a forum for debate on national priorities, offers new and wide-ranging perspectives on key issues, and helps shape the long-term policies needed to strengthen our global economic competitiveness. 

Locally, Ford has been an excellent example of growth in their impressive rebound.  With the help of targeted federal incentives, Ford has retooled many of its plants — including those in Louisville — to produce more fuel efficient cars and meet the skyrocketing demand of consumers who want to go farther on a gallon of gas. Also leading the way with the help of government investment is GE, which is bringing more than 1,000 quality jobs to our community to manufacture new energy-efficient products.

Congressman Yarmuth receives an award
for his work with small businesses from Score Louisville

But no discussion of economic growth would be complete without mentioning health care, which has been an increasing burden on virtually every Louisville family and an obstacle to growth in companies of every size. As provisions in the Affordable Care Act go into effect, our corporate citizens will finally see the overwhelming financial burden of providing health insurance lifted, while those who do provide coverage will receive tax credits. Individuals will no longer be health care hostages to jobs that limit their potential. And perhaps most importantly, when people no longer need to forgo critical care due to cost, we will see our workforce and consumer base grow healthier.

I will continue to advocate for more pragmatic tax reforms that support our nation's financial growth, such as exempting family-owned small businesses from the estate tax, increasing the child tax credit and education tax credits, and extending small business expensing levels to encourage businesses to invest.