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Visions from vying Virginians
Tim Kaine's op-ed column about his goals if elected as U.S. senator from Virginia.

 Democratic candidate Tim Kaine (left) shakes hands with Republican candidate George Allen at a recent debate in the campaign for the U.S. Senate seat representing the commonwealth of Virginia.
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Date published: 10/28/2012


--Virginia is poised to lead the way in a global economy. We boast a highly skilled workforce, unparalleled access to global markets through Dulles Airport and the Port of Virginia, and burgeoning industries that will continue to flourish if given the right support. However, Congress' inability to compromise is an ankle weight on our economic recovery and will continue to stifle our businesses' ability to create jobs if leaders in Washington don't work together.

There are things we can do right away to allow small businesses to grow and create jobs, including leveling the playing field when it comes to taxes, increasing access to capital, and helping them to export more goods overseas. Large businesses and corporations with teams of accountants and lobbyists are too often given a tax advantage over the small businesses that create the majority of new jobs. By simplifying the tax code and closing gaping loopholes, we can ensure small businesses are treated fairly.

We also need to invest in infrastructure like roads, rail, bridges, broadband, airports, and ports that will create jobs today and raise our platform for future economic growth. The more international connections we have, the more successful we will be as a commonwealth. Upgrading assets like Dulles Airport and the Port of Virginia isn't just good for their respective regions; it's good for businesses all over the commonwealth.


When I was governor, publications ranked us America's most business-friendly state all four years, but recently, Virginia has dropped in business rankings because we have neglected to build a 21st-century infrastructure. This is a result of politicians, like my opponent, who take pledges to never raise revenue for these projects. The consequence is further gridlock on our roads that robs people of time with their families and jobs.

Government won't be the primary force behind job creation, and it shouldn't be. But it can implement policies to bolster the creativity and ingenuity that has made America an economic superpower. As governor, I worked to secure resources for infrastructure projects like HOT lanes on the Beltway and rail to Dulles. These upgrades help commuters across Virginia get to work faster and will make it possible for businesses to move goods and services at the speed of a global economy.


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Tim Kaine served as the 70th governor of Virginia and is a candidate for U.S. Senate.