Virginia Senator Mark Warner Visits Highland County
Monterey, VA – Senator Mark Warner and three of his staff members visited Monterey during Veterans Day week. They started off by getting a guided tour of the Veterans Memorial from Richard Waybright. However, it wasn’t long before the gusty winds and cool temperatures drove the group indoors to the Highland Inn’s dining room, where Senator Warner answered questions from about 20 county residents. I asked him to comment on his outlook for the economy over the next 12 months.
“I think the Virginia economy is still better than the national economy” says Warner “our unemployment numbers are lower. I think some people forget that it was only 15 months ago when we were losing 700,000 jobs a month, stock market was at basically half of what it is today. I think the economy is on the verge of starting to accelerate.”
Senator Warner goes on to give his plan for boosting economic growth next year.
He says that acceleration will need to come from private companies reinvesting in the markets and that’s why he’s arguing for targeted business tax cuts.
“You pay for those by letting the top 2% Americans go back to the rates they used to pay under President Clinton, but use the revenue for targeted business tax cuts to get that money back off the sidelines and reinvesting.”
Next, I asked him what he thought of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay by increasing regulations on farmers.
“I’m in favor of the goal, but I believe the EPA at times has come in a little heavy handed” he says. “It just seems to me we could set up a cash reimbursement system for farmers to make some of these changes. There is a solution here that could become a profit center for farmers.”
Senator Warner has a proposal of his own.
“You’d have a nutrient trading system where the communities could buy these credits to pay for the farmers to do these changes that would help” says Warner. “It’s trying to bring a little more free enterprise to this kind of over regulatory approach.”