Flickr photos by Max Morse, Phil Konstantin
With the state suffering under the weight of a crushing 12.4 unemployment rate, "jobs, jobs, jobs" has been the rallying cry of both candidates.
Meg Whitman has positioned herself as the one with the business savvy to make these jobs materialize and touts her experience leading eBay as evidence of her job-creating skills. Jerry Brown points to his tenure as governor between 1975 and 1983, a much different era of prosperity and rapid growth. He could make that happen again, he says, this time by focusing on “green jobs” in clean, renewable energy.
AB 32, California's landmark global warming law, is a central part of each candidate's jobs plan but in very different ways. Whitman says it's a "job killer" and wants a one-year moratorium while Brown uses the legislation as a platform for job creation based on renewable energy.
California Watch has been tracking every job-related statement, promise, prediction and deflection by Whitman and Brown over at Politics Verbatim. This post is the fifth in a series that is using those records to lay out each candidate's stance on a specific issue in detail. During our final week of pre-election coverage, we'll also be taking a look at Whitman and Brown's personal history.
To kick-start job growth, Whitman would rely heavily on tax cuts – eliminating the capital gains tax, for example, which she calls “a major impediment” to new jobs. In addition to cutting taxes on factory equipment and rolling back the limited liability corporation startup fee (more about all that in our taxes voter guide), Whitman would provide tax incentives to encourage businesses to partner with universities. Such collaborations “provide leverage points for significant economic growth and job creation,” she says in her policy agenda.
The former eBay CEO also wants to change the state law that requires businesses to pay workers overtime if they work more than eight hours in a day. Repealing this regulation would allow for more flexible work hours, she says.
Whitman has promised a 90-day moratorium on all new regulations as soon as she takes office while existing rules are reviewed. By combining the targeted tax cuts with streamlined regulations, Whitman says she will create 2 million new jobs by 2015.
While Brown agrees regulations need to be re-examined and streamlined, he is staunchly opposed to eliminating the capital gains tax. He says such a move would further cripple the state budget and hurt vital services, like education.
An avid proponent of AB 32, the attorney general’s jobs plan is a dramatic expansion of the renewable energy sector, which he estimates will create half a million jobs over the next decade. He has assailed Whitman's plan to delay the global warming legislation as a step backward. "It is absolutely imperative that we continue to lead and not back off these policies that will create the jobs of the future," he says in his jobs plan.
Among the goals in Brown's eight-point “clean energy jobs plan”: creating more localized energy systems (where electricity is produced and consumed in the same area, eliminating the need for new transmission lines), fast-tracking new transmission lines, focusing on making homes and buildings more energy efficient, and implementing tougher efficiency standards for appliances and consumer electronics.
Overseeing all of this would be an energy czar appointed by Brown. Brown also advocates improving job-training programs, like those offered at community colleges, and expanding the California Conservation Corp, the youth jobs program he created as governor in 1976.