Thursday, April 1, 2004

Murphy program pushes for jobs

Candidate's plan affects some taxes

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FORT MITCHELL - Saying the federal government doesn't do enough to spur employment, Republican congressional candidate Kevin Murphy unveiled a five-point job-creation program Wednesday.

"It's become too hard for Americans to hire other Americans," said Murphy, an Erlanger lawyer running in the 4th District GOP primary.

"High taxes, oppressive government fees, cumbersome red tape and poorly managed government programs make it hard to get a job, keep a job and take home enough pay once you've got a job," he said.

Murphy's plan includes:

• Lowering the capital gains tax. After the 1997 cut from 28 percent to 20 percent Murphy said, "the value of stocks, the value of our children's college funds, our retirement funds, our 401ks, jumped by eight percent."

• Eliminating double taxation on stock dividends. "Today when you ... invest in a company, our earnings are taxed twice," Murphy said. "Once when the company is taxed and again when the company pays us a dividend. Because of double taxation, if a company makes a $100 profit, the government takes $35 from the company and another $13 from the shareholders," he said. "It's counter-productive and wrong, and it discourages investment."

Quoting the non-partisan Heritage Foundation, Murphy said double-taxation costs Kentucky more than 6,700 jobs a year because companies have less money to invest in expansions and hiring.

• Permanently eliminate the estate tax, also known as the "death tax," which is often paid by the owners of small businesses. "The death tax is killing small businesses, and it's killing job creation as well," Murphy said, adding that 70 percent of Kentucky's companies are classified as small businesses.

• Make permanent the tax cuts President Bush has pushed through Congress on a temporary basis. "Unless the cuts are extended or made permanent, tax rates will rise for all Americans, the $1,000-per-child tax credit will be reduced and the so-called 'marriage penalty' will return," he said.

• Cut regulations on businesses. Murphy said the U.S. Small Business Administration calculates that government regulations cost Americans $843 billion every year, and for firms of 20 workers or less, every new employee hired costs the company $7,000 to comply with existing rules and regulations.

"If we can reduce that cost, we can speed up the (economic) recovery, create jobs and help employees and consumers alike," Murphy said.

Murphy is running in the GOP primary against Boone County businessman Geoff Davis and Union chiropractor Dr. John Kelly King.

Davis spokesman Justin Brasell said Murphy is "embracing the ideas that Geoff Davis has been advocating for years."

"The real difference between the candidates is that Geoff Davis has real-world experience helping businesses expand and create jobs, while our opponent is a trial lawyer with no record of creating jobs," Brasell said.

Murphy said he employs 10 people at his Fort Mitchell law office. Davis's consulting business focuses on helping manufacturers and others improve efficiencies in their operations and production systems.

Three-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas of Boone County is not seeking re-election. Nick Clooney of Augusta, a longtime media personality, is the only Democrat in the race.


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