Flashy federal initiatives are missing from the job-creation plan released Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., who wants to pursue her proposals through a seat in the U.S. Senate from West Virginia. At first glance, her ideas seem like simple common sense.
But that is precisely the point. Action by the federal government during the past few years has been counterproductive in creating new jobs. In fact, especially here in West Virginia, it has had the opposite effect.
Capito chose the Northern Panhandle to release her six-point West Virginia Works Plan on Tuesday. Point by point, it is the kind of common sense missing from much of what has occurred under President Barack Obama:
Energy - Capito points out energy jobs "are under assault from President Obama's administration." Our state and tens of millions of other Americans need the inexpensive electricity coal-fired power plants provide, yet Obama wants to close them. Capito wants to end the war on coal. She also wants to ensure our state benefits from the natural gas boom.
Small business - Pointing out most working West Virginians are employed by small businesses, Capito notes that "astronomical increases in health insurance premiums, taxes and regulatory compliance have left many small businesses struggling to survive." That, too, needs to change.
Infrastructure - There needs to be more investment in roads, bridges, water and sewer systems. Capito thinks Congress can use income from energy resources to do that. She points to a water resources measure passed by Congress last year.
Job training and other education - Communities and states are encumbered by too many federal rules that prevent us from doing what we know works. Communities, teachers and parents need to take back control from Washington, Capito stresses.
Military veterans - The federal government needs to keep its commitments to men and women who have served our country, including those from rural areas, Capito believes.
Families - Washington should provide lower taxes and help for working families who must care for children or elderly family members, Capito recommends.
Again, none of this is economic or social rocket science. It is simple common sense - but it goes counter to the big-government philosophy that prevails in Washington.
No doubt Capito's ideas mirror the thinking of many West Virginians, who will agree with all six of her points, while adding a seventh - sending Capito to the U.S. Senate so she can implement her plan.