With the election over, President Obama and the Congress need to turn their attention to finding long-term solutions toward building a sustainable economy. A sustainable economy is innovative—it thrives over time. It makes useful products, and it fosters broadly shared prosperity while contributing to the well-being of our communities and the planet.
As a national business organization, the American Sustainable Business Council is committed to working with the Obama Administration and Congress to enact policies that address job creation and capital access, climate change and clean energy production, smart regulations that level the playing field, campaign finance reform, a fair tax system, and farm policies that support small farmers and healthy food systems.
A market-based business system must remain the heart of our economy. It can spur innovation and efficiency and allocate resources better than any alternative. However, our current market system must be adjusted to account for externalities—the health challenges and environmental costs that are passed on to the general public and our government to address.
As policymakers look ahead, they must reject the false choice between short-term profits and the needs of the future. As business leaders, we know that environmental stewardship and economic prosperity are directly linked.
A sustainable economy is good for business and for the public. Such an economy focuses on directing capital toward job-creating initiatives, investing in growth while reducing income gaps, building a fair tax system, and protecting the environment.
Here are six steps President Obama and the 113th Congress can take:
- Reform the Tax System—eliminating offshore tax havens, repealing the Bush-era tax rates for the highest income earners, and closing corporate tax loopholes.
- Provide Tax Incentives and Capital for Small Businesses—encouraging the growth of entrepreneurs, innovation, and more broad-based ownership through ESOPs and co-ops.
- Shift Subsidies and Supports from Fossil Fuel Industry—expanding investment in clean energy, including passage of the PTC, PACE, Energy Efficiency measures, and passing a national renewable energy portfolio of 20% by 2020.
- Support Sensible Regulations—ensuring clean air and water, safe chemicals, and a level playing field that promotes fair competition, financial stability, and innovation.
- Pass a Farm Bill—providing capital to small farmers and ranchers, promoting healthy local and regional food systems, labels for GMOs, and economic equity for agriculture workers.
- Reform Campaign Finance—encouraging a fair and transparent election system.
ASBC encourages all companies to join with us in advocating for policies and solutions that help create a sustainable economy that will ensure a healthy and prosperous future.