Transcript: Democratic Radio Address

The following is a transcript of this week's Democratic radio address, delivered by Massachusetts senator John Kerry:

Good morning, this is John Kerry. Thanks for letting me spend a few minutes talking with you about one of the greatest challenges America faces: how to create and keep good jobs here at home.

Hard work has always been a basic American value. Good jobs mean that people can pay their bills, save for their family's future, and live with dignity and pride.

But, today, in too many places, American jobs are being sent overseas. Just a couple of days ago, the company that makes the red Radio Flyer wagons our children have played with for generations decided to start building them in China — laying off people who've worked for years at the plant in Chicago and letting another piece of America vanish.

For three years, President Bush's only answer on jobs has been tax cuts for Americans who are already earning over $200,000 a year. We now hear the Administration claiming economic success. But the definition of economic success should not be losing 2.6 million jobs in the private sector. There is not a single month of this administration that has seen the creation of a single manufacturing job.

From cars to computer software to call centers, millions of Americans have seen their jobs shipped overseas. We can't retreat from the global economy or bring back every lost industry or protect every job. Some of them will move abroad. But we shouldn't have a President who encourages it - or a tax code that rewards it.

In December, President Bush's Commerce Department hosted workshops to train American companies in outsourcing and show them how to export jobs to China. Earlier this year, the President's chief economic advisor said that outsourcing jobs "is a good thing." And just this week, Treasury Secretary John Snow told us that sending jobs offshore makes our economy "stronger."

I believe we need a new direction. That's why I have a detailed economic plan to put jobs first and create 10 million new jobs in the next four years.

We'll start by changing the laws that actually give companies tax breaks to send jobs overseas and their corporate headquarters to Bermuda. And we'll plow back every dollar we save into new incentives to help companies create and keep good jobs here in America.

Today, our tax code puts an American company that manufactures products in Michigan at a competitive disadvantage with an American company manufacturing the exact same products in Malaysia. Our tax code lets the one in Malaysia defer paying taxes — perhaps forever. In fact, we actually end up paying companies twelve billion dollars a year to ship their profits and our jobs overseas. In effect, American workers are actually subsidizing the loss of their own jobs. That's wrong; we're going to end it — and we're going to help businesses create new jobs here at home and cut the corporate tax rate by 5% to make our own companies more competitive in the world. I've outlined a plan to use that money at home to give corporations and small businesses the help they need to cut their taxes and create new jobs.

Under my plan, 98 percent of Americans and 99 percent of companies will get a tax cut. Instead of tax giveaways to the wealthiest Americans and tax benefits for exporting our jobs, we're going to have tax cuts that help middle class families make ends meet and help businesses create new jobs.

Ten million new jobs in America: We can achieve that goal if we have a plan to do it, if we invest in our future, and if we have a President who knows that job one is American jobs — and who goes to work every day determined to win that fight.

This is John Kerry. Have a good weekend and thanks for listening.