State Of The State 2015

Gov. Jack

2015 STATE OF THE STATE  President Blevins, Speaker Schwartzkopf, members of the 148th General Assembly, other elected officials, members of the Cabinet, members of the Judiciary, Carla, the people of Delaware. Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

And I say to our new Attorney General, I miss having you right up here. You have been a great partner and an important leader of this chamber for the last six years.

I had been hoping until the last minute that Taylor Swift would be able to join us today, but fortunately we have someone even better. I ask to you to join me in recognizing Dover police officer, Master Corporal Jeff Davis.

While I’m happy to have Jeff here, this is also a particularly difficult moment for me because I’m about to lose the best dancer in my cabinet. Join me in thanking Secretary Shailen Bhatt for his service to our state.

Corporal Davis and Secretary Bhatt are just two examples of great public servants who make Delaware the special place it is to live and work. We are so lucky to have them and thousands of other committed public employees who devote their careers to the benefit of others – the scientist at DNREC, the nurse at a long-term care facility, the teacher, the snowplow operator. Across state government, our state employees have done more with less and they deserve our thanks.

Six years ago, we faced an economy in freefall and a budget deficit that was skyrocketing. Tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors would lose their jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of tough decisions needed to be made to keep our state afloat and serving its citizens.

Dark times. But we knew if we worked together, we could help move our state to a brighter future. Which is why it gives me so much pleasure to be able to start today with this fact.

There are more people working in Delaware now than at any time in our state’s history. Thank you all for all you’ve done to make that happen.

 Every day we are inspired by the stories of Delawareans building a brighter future for themselves, their families, and our state.

The entrepreneur who takes a chance on a new idea. The farmer who tries a new market for her produce. The father who holds down a job to support his family while going back to school to get a better job.

More than in decades past, theirs are stories not only of hard work, but also of embracing the future. They recognize that as the world is changing around them, they have to retool and seize new opportunities to reach their potential.

These Delawareans offer lessons for all of us at a time when we must think differently about the challenges we face.

It’s a time when two major forces are remaking our economy. And if we don’t understand and respond appropriately, they threaten our people.

Now here’s the irony. These two forces have the potential to do a lot of good.

First, the emergence of the digital age has brought amazing innovations to improve our quality of life. Throughout history, increased productivity has led to more wealth and opportunity.

Second, in a global economy, export markets and foreign direct investment have meant more jobs for Delawareans.

But these forces – digital technology and globalization — also threaten to leave many of our people behind. Workers produce nearly twice as many goods and services as they did 25 years ago, but middle class incomes haven’t grown. In fact, they’ve shrunk.

Jobs that once guaranteed a stable career are now outsourced to other countries or handled by new technology. There has never been a better time to be somebody with the right skills, but never a worse time to be somebody without the right skills. These are not passing trends; this is the struggle of our time.

Just as individual Delawareans are adapting to new circumstances and discovering new ways to prosper, we must choose to embrace rather than resist the future.

And we know from the history of our oldest town that this process can be incredibly fruitful.

In the late 1950s, Lewes was the biggest industrial fishing port in the country. The town thrived. But then technology transformed the industry, driving up production and decimating the fish population. In 1964 alone, the industry shrunk by 75 percent. By 1967, it was gone.

The leaders of Lewes could have tried to hang on to their past. Instead, they reinvented the city, resulting in prosperity for years to come – they invested in arts, culture, and a tourism industry that today makes Lewes a first-class city.

Like Lewes in the 1960s, we are faced with a new reality, and we must embrace it to create a brighter future.

We are on the right path.

The state of our state is stronger because forty thousand more Delawareans are working today than in 2010.

Our job growth has been better than the national average for 24 straight months. And for the last 12 months, it has been the fourth fastest in the country.

The state of our state is stronger because our high school graduation rates are rising and our drop-out rates have fallen to record lows, while last year, for the first time, every college-ready high school senior applied and was admitted.

The state of our state is stronger because our farmers are producing more and selling more to Delawareans and other consumers.

It’s stronger because we’ve shifted to cleaner, more reliable energy sources, reducing damaging greenhouse gases faster than any other state.

And it is stronger because we have improved the quality of life in our state with unprecedented investments in libraries, the arts, walking trails, and bike paths.

Yes, we have made great progress. But our rapidly changing economy poses significant challenges. As we learned from Lewes, we can overcome these challenges if we embrace our future and seize the opportunities of a new era.

To thrive in this new era – to seize the opportunities of the future – we must expand our workforce, and rethink how we train Delawareans.

Today’s jobs do not look like those of decades past. Few high school graduates can count on a good-paying factory job or a stable career, with benefits and a comfortable pension. Manufacturing jobs created today — building fuel cells, airplane parts, and other high-tech products — require a much higher skill level than the jobs of generations past.

By 2025, at least 65 percent of our jobs will require training beyond high school, but only 40 percent of our workers have that today.

The result: employers can’t fill openings fast enough in growing fields. And there are thousands of these available jobs right here in Delaware.

For too many years we have relied on a strategy known as “train and pray” – train people and pray that they’ll find a job. That isn’t meeting the needs of our business community or our workers.

So we’re changing.

This year, I ask the General Assembly, our schools, our colleges, and our businesses to join me in committing to the Delaware Promise. This is a new goal for our state. By 2025, 65 percent of our workforce will earn a college degree or professional certificate. Everyone will earn at least a high school diploma.

Our efforts build on the tremendous work led by Senator Harris McDowell in creating the SEED and INSPIRE scholarships, which make Delaware one of the only states where high school graduates can secure a two-year degree at virtually no cost. And thanks to the leadership of Gary Stockbridge, and the tremendous efforts of our business, non-profit, and education communities, more than one hundred Delaware companies are providing training, mentoring, and workplace experience to our young people through the SPARC initiative.

But we know we must do more, so today I’m announcing three parts of our strategy to fulfill the Delaware Promise.

First, we will create an initiative called Pathways to Prosperity, which will establish partnerships with Delaware employers, universities, and our K-12 system to prepare students for a bright future in key industries. High school students will take hundreds of hours of specialized instruction and hands-on training. They will graduate with industry-recognized certificates and college credits.

This fall, we will launch pathways statewide for the IT and hospitality industries. We will also expand to southern Delaware the manufacturing pathway we started last year with Colonial and New Castle County Vo-tech School Districts. Those manufacturing students are already making great progress and will get paid internships this summer at companies like Agilent Technologies, PPG, Kuehne and Siemens.

The following year, we will expand the network to include two more of our fastest growing industries – financial services and healthcare.

I want to thank President Mark Brainard for his personal commitment to this initiative.

These pathways will transform opportunities for our young people for years to come. But we must also address our employers’ immediate needs for skilled workers.

The second initiative I’m announcing is that Delaware Tech will partner with the national consulting firm McKinsey to significantly accelerate the training of entry-level healthcare workers. Employers have committed dozens of internships for young people who have already completed our terrific Jobs for Delaware Graduates program. As a result of this new training, they will be working in the field within months rather than years.

Third, many of our employers have told me that they can’t find enough qualified IT workers and must resort to hiring them away from each other. We need a new pipeline of Delawareans trained to do these jobs. I’m pleased to announce that eight major employers are joining with us to train and hire hundreds of IT workers in our state. Through accelerated education programs and a “coding school” launching this fall, these employers will have access to a new cohort of skilled software programmers. Again, this training will take months rather than years.

Everyone can contribute to our state when given the chance, but efforts to expand our workforce have traditionally excluded people with disabilities. They miss out on the fulfillment of gainful employment, and employers miss out on the talents of so many. As you may remember, I made this issue the central plank in my role as chair of the National Governors Association. I’m thrilled that governors across the country are making this a priority.

Here in Delaware, we are building on progress we have made since the General Assembly passed the Employment First Act with Representative Heffernan’s leadership. More than 20,000 Delawareans are contributing, are engaged in their communities, and have purpose like never before. One of our biggest IT companies, CAI, has committed to hiring people with autism because they excel in roles like software testing and programming. And there are many other stories to remind us of the abilities of these Delawareans – people like Lucinda Williams, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Delaware – and Alaric Good, who unloads supply trucks and manages the front desk at Walgreens.

Here is what people like Lucinda and Alaric have taught us: when we focus on the ability, rather than the disability, we are able to do amazing things, together. Please recognize them.

This year, DHSS will launch two programs to give Delawareans with disabilities a fair shot at employment. One will help young people plan their career while supporting them with transportation, personal care, and assistive technology. Another will provide specialized employment supports for adults with mental health needs and substance use disorders.

Preparing Delawareans to seize the opportunities of the future starts long before they enter job specific training. All of our children deserve a world-class education from day one.

I’m proud of our educators, like teacher of the year Megan Szabo; our principals, like Mark Pruitt from Conrad Schools of Science; and other school officials, like the Chief of our Chiefs, Superintendent Mark Holodick, all of whom are working so hard to help our students succeed. Please join me in thanking them and their colleagues.

We know that the education we received years ago will not be enough to prepare students to thrive in our new economy. So we’re making investments and improvements across our education system.

Our educators are teaching to higher academic standards.

We have doubled the number of high school students who take college classes in the last year. And the number of students taking AP classes has doubled over the last decade. That means hundreds of additional students graduate from high school with college credit.

Ninety percent of children’s brain development occurs before they even enter kindergarten. So thanks to your support, we have enrolled more than 3,000 additional high-needs children in the best early childhood centers in the past two years. And we’ve given grants to 89 top early learning programs to offer the highest quality infant care to more of our neediest kids. We know that care is expensive and hard-to-find, yet key to our children’s success.

We have also invested in language immersion programs because our children will have greater opportunities in the global economy when they can speak more than one language. After only two and a half years, we have 1,400 students spending half of their school day learning in Chinese or Spanish. And we’ll keep expanding next year.

We’re recruiting and retaining great educators and principals, because we know that nothing is more important for our students’ success than the people who teach them and lead their schools.

That’s why we have spent more than a year carefully crafting an improved compensation system for new educators, and for current teachers who want to participate. We’ll raise starting salaries and allow educators to earn more by taking on leadership responsibilities while remaining in the classroom.

With leadership from DSEA and feedback from teachers statewide, the committee you established last year will make a proposal this spring. I thank Senators Sokola and Pettyjohn, as well as Representatives Kenton and Williams and former Representative Scott for their contributions to the committee.

Communities across the state, from Western Sussex to Wilmington have urged that we reexamine the way we pay for education.

In the coming months, at the recommendation of House Education Committee Chair Earl Jacques, President Blevins, Speaker Schwartzkopf and I will create a school funding task force to make recommendations that would spur more innovation in our schools and address inequities for our neediest students. We cannot prepare our students to seize the opportunities of the new economy with a funding system developed three-quarters of a century ago.

That work is particularly important for our high-needs students, including those who have been at the center of our efforts to transform Wilmington’s Priority Schools.

I know the debate around these efforts reflect a commitment on the part of everybody in this chamber and many beyond to do what is right for our most at-risk children.

However, while we are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts. And the facts are clear. The students in these schools aren’t making sufficient progress, while students with similar challenges are making extraordinary progress in other schools.

We understand that these students bring significant challenges to school each day. Challenges of poverty. Of homelessness. Of unstable family situations. These are tragic problems that we are fully focused on addressing through economic development, housing, and other initiatives across state government.

And we know that educators in the Priority Schools are working passionately to help these children.

But for too long, problems of poverty have condemned these students to low expectations. They only get one chance at an education. They can’t wait any longer.

That’s why we took action. We’re prepared to invest more than six million dollars to support great teachers and leaders in helping our neediest students thrive. We have required the Red Clay and Christina School Districts to develop a new approach to turning these schools around, by doing things like extending the school day, offering after-school programs, and providing hungry children with three meals a day.

We’ve been working closely to support the districts in this effort, and we are days away from receiving their plans. If these plans give our students the opportunities they deserve, we will approve them and move forward together.

Just as every student – every current and future worker – deserves a fair chance to adapt to the new economy, we must ensure that Delaware businesses can embrace the future and make the most of their opportunities.

We should all be proud that so many businesses are demonstrating their confidence in Delaware by investing here.

Energizer recently announced hundreds of new jobs at its Playtex manufacturing site in Dover.

SevOne, one of the country’s fastest growing IT providers, is moving to UD’s STAR Campus where they plan to add 150 jobs over the next three years.

Croda is investing tens of millions of dollars in an upgrade to its plant near New Castle.

We’re celebrating new small businesses growth, like the Israeli technology start-up PhysiHome relocating an office to Delaware, the refrigerant services company Weitron moving jobs to Glasgow, and the data management company IPR International establishing its headquarters in Wilmington.

And we’re creating opportunities for new companies to flourish, including at business incubators planned for the University of Delaware and Delaware State. To further support our entrepreneurs, we must also continue to eliminate red tape that inhibits growth.

We have already made progress on this front under Executive Order 36. With strong support from Representatives Bryon and Danny Short, state agencies conducted a comprehensive, customer-focused review of the regulations on their books – and, as a result of 39 public meetings and many hours of public comment, they modified or eliminated well over a hundred of them.

That process is a valuable tool and it should continue long after I leave office. Today, I’m asking you to pass legislation to make that review process part of state law. I’m also asking you to pass a law requiring regulatory impact statements for new regulations. While regulations are sometimes necessary, we must strive to ensure that they don’t impose unnecessary burdens upon our citizens.

We need a modern transportation network that allows people to travel safely and allows businesses to operate efficiently.

This chunk of concrete came loose from the I-95 bridge over the Brandywine River this summer. Similar pieces have fallen from Route 141 onto the I-95 shoulder and from the Dupont Road Bridge over the East Penn Railroad. And these aren’t the only examples of roads and bridges falling part.

We must do better. We have been talking about this for too many years. As the 2011

Transportation Trust Fund Task Force Report made clear, the condition of our roads and bridges will deteriorate without more investment. It’s that simple.

On the other hand, investing in our infrastructure will promote long-term economic activity, while reducing commute times and improving road safety. And in the short term, we can put thousands of people to work through construction – exactly the types of jobs that have suffered the most since the recession.

Last year, I proposed a plan to make these investments.

Legislators have asked me a number of questions regarding my commitment to investing in transportation. Representative Miro has asked if I would consider a phase in of additional revenues. I would. Senator Lavelle and Speaker Schwartzkopf have asked if I am willing to put additional revenues into a “lockbox” – available only for transportation needs. I am. Many members have asked if I am willing to consider other changes that would make more money available for these projects. I am.

Bring me your ideas on how to fund our infrastructure responsibly, and I will work with you to pass and sign legislation to accomplish this important goal.

In many cases, strong infrastructure can help attract people to urban centers. Cities across the country are being transformed by an influx of urban migration. We want the same in Delaware. That’s why last year, with the General Assembly’s support, we launched the Downtown Development Districts program.

One of the most impressive applications was from Wilmington, whose plan not only improves the downtown Market Street area, but also the nearby neighborhoods where people are struggling the most.

In one sense, it’s an opportunity to build on some of the great things happening in Wilmington. In the next two years, more than 500 apartments, condominiums, and homes will be built for a total investment of $140 million. Four new middle and high schools are opening this year. More people are working in Wilmington than before the recession.

We are so fortunate that Wilmington has great neighborhoods and employers that include some of the biggest banks and best respected law firms in the world along with an arts community that is the envy of bigger cities.

However, the city has a significant problem with violent crime and what we are seeing today is unacceptable.

This isn’t just Wilmington’s problem or New Castle County’s problem. It’s Delaware’s problem. Wilmington belongs to all of us – and from Delmar to Claymont – the outlook for our state is tied directly to the fate of our biggest city.

A number of steps have been taken to stem the tide of violence. Wilmington is now working with the U.S. Department of Justice – the FBI, the ATF, and the Drug Enforcement Administration – to bring additional resources to combat violent crime. We’ve provided hundreds of additional city youth with access to safe and constructive activities after school.

But these efforts alone are not enough.

Over the past several months, I have been approached by hundreds of Wilmingtonians who love their city. They believe, as I do, that state officials have a profound responsibility to address violent crime.

I’m confident that solutions exist. The crime rate is down in most cities across the country, including some that had developed terrible reputations over the years. If they can reverse the trend, so can Wilmington.

Earlier this week, the Attorney General and a number of legislators put forth a plan that would direct $36 million targeted to economically troubled communities, including Wilmington. I support this plan.

And we need to do more to ensure that we take the most effective approach to fighting crime. And we need to do it now.

So today, I am urging you to support a rapid, fact-based, intensive examination of public safety strategies in the City. The entire Wilmington delegation is sponsoring a Joint Resolution to establish a commission co-chaired by Public Safety Secretary Lew Schiliro and New Castle County Public Safety Director Joe Bryant. Working with an outside expert, the Schiliro-Bryant Commission will make recommendations that can be acted on by the City of Wilmington and by the General Assembly this session if necessary. Its success will require a joint commitment from city and state leaders and I thank the Mayor for his support.

We know that one of the best ways we can build a safer city and state is to improve the chance that those who were involved with our criminal justice system can get a job when they return to their communities.

Ninety seven percent of the people in our prisons are coming out.

That’s why we’ve reduced barriers to rehabilitation and employment. Because of laws we passed with your bipartisan support, nearly 800 non-violent offenders had their driver’s licenses returned after being released; the Department of Correction will start hiring ex-offenders into a job training program this year; and thanks to Representative J.J. Johnson, we banned the box on state job applications so the more than two thousand ex-offenders who apply have a better shot at employment.

This year, I’m asking you to build on our progress.

We must eliminate onerous requirements that prevent ex-offenders from holding a job, going to school, and caring for their families. A valid driver’s license is essential to fulfilling those important obligations, but thousands lose it because of difficulty paying fines and fees. Everybody should work to pay back what they owe, but I ask you to eliminate the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for Delawareans who don’t pose a traffic safety hazard. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep people safely on the road with a valid license, registration and insurance as they work to put their lives on track.

We should also enable more offenders to develop their job skills and abilities while incarcerated. As a young woman on the East Side of Wilmington recently told me: “The streets are always hiring.” We can’t let the street be the only option. We should expand our auto mechanics training program in our prisons so ex-offenders have a better chance of getting a decent job.

I propose that we also expand the culinary arts program at James T. Vaughn. In doing so, I’m reminded of the late restaurateur and philanthropist Matt Haley, who credited his culinary training in prison with turning his life around. It’s appropriate that we name this initiative the Matt Haley Culinary Arts Program as a reminder that everyone has something to contribute when given the chance.

Embracing the future of our criminal justice system means recognizing that many offenders suffer from addiction. But the impact of this disease is not limited to them – I would guess everyone in this chamber knows someone who has been touched by substance use disorder. And the problem is growing. Heroin incidents more than doubled in 2012 alone. Last year, Delaware saw a death from an overdose an average of every other day. That means someone’s father, mother, or child died yesterday, and tomorrow we’ll lose another father, mother, or child.

Over the last year, we have made real progress on a plan to make our system stronger. I thank Secretary Landgraf and Commissioner Coupe for leading this work, along with Representatives Keeley, Barbieri, and Mulrooney, Senators Henry and Hall Long, and my wife Carla.

We have invested in a treatment center in Sussex County to help downstate residents, and greater capacity for detox in New Castle County. And we passed legislation providing for wider use of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. One of the people most responsible for passage of that bill was David Humes from the organization Attack Addiction. He and his wife Gail lost their son to heroin in 2012 and were determined to save other families from that pain. Thank you both for your courage and leadership.

These efforts are only the beginning. More needs to be done and I will be proposing that we make a substantial investment in services for those struggling with substance use disorders. We will create a more flexible system that meets the needs of individuals challenged by addiction where they are, as opposed to relying on a “one size fits all” model. And we will put an increased emphasis on education, prevention, and early intervention.

One last point on the treatment of substance use disorders: While medication maintenance treatment like methadone may be an appropriate tool at times for some patients, we should aim to get patients off of drugs altogether.

Let’s also remember that increasing access to treatment goes to the heart of one of our most fundamental responsibilities. We invest in treatment for the same reason we have invested so heavily in early childhood programs for low-income families, after school and summer activities, and, now more than ever, the education provided in our poorest neighborhoods. It’s why we focus on what happens to ex-offenders when they leave our custody. Senator Marshall’s low wage taskforce placed a similarly important focus on those living in the most difficult circumstances. All of these efforts mean a new chance for Delawareans to turn their lives around, but also a chance for us to gain from their contributions. A lack of opportunity for anyone in our state is a missed opportunity for all of us.

The opportunities our people have today would not be possible without our men and women in uniform. It’s been my honor to meet many of our soldiers and airmen who, under the outstanding leadership of General Vavala, serve us at home and abroad. Thank you General.

Let me recognize a couple of our best and brightest – Specialist Joel Tellez-Belardo, Jr. of the Army Guard’s 238th General Support Aviation Battalion and Technical Sergeant Dave Magill of the Air Guard’s 166 Logistics Readiness Squadron. We are blessed to have many hometown heroes like Joel and Dave who courageously serve our state and nation. The most important expression of gratitude we can offer them is to help them find jobs when their service is complete. I am proud to say that thanks to our business community, we have cut the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans.

So today, I also want to recognize Mark Aitken from Horizon Services and Mike Berardi from Wohlson Construction Company, who recently hired Joel and Dave and have joined more than 100 companies partnering with the National Guard to support our veterans.

 Recognizing our special obligation to veterans, nothing should disturb us more than the high rate of homelessness among former service members. I know you agree that even one homeless veteran is one too many. Housing Director Ben Addi and Secretary Landgraf are developing a plan to end veteran homelessness in our state by the end of this year.

Let me close with this.

Every one of us in this chamber is blessed to have the opportunity to serve the people of Delaware.

But with this opportunity comes enormous responsibility to be thoughtful about the challenges facing our state and about the chance all of us have together to secure a brighter future for our neighbors.

And all of us – our 62 legislators and everybody in my administration – are fortunate to have so many amazing individuals from whom we can learn.

Like the leaders of Lewes half a century ago, we are faced with a new reality – one that requires thinking differently about the challenges of our time. But those challenges also mean extraordinary opportunities – to strengthen our schools and train a more skilled workforce, to build a world class infrastructure; to make Delawareans safer.

We are on the right path, creating more jobs, better educational opportunities, and a higher quality of life in our state.

But we will only continue to make progress if we make the right choices. The citizens of Lewes, like the people of Delaware today, were hardworking and industrious, and when faced with a crossroads, they embraced a new economy and a brighter future.

We can learn much from those leaders of an earlier day.

But we can also learn from Delawareans of our day.

People like AJ Bosler, who, after working a series of low-paying jobs, recognized the value of going back to school. He earned a Manufacturing Technician certificate at Delaware Tech, leading to a higher paying job at Bloom Energy and the start of a new career.

People like Monique Pochvatilla – who after growing up in foster care, was struggling with debt and her bills while raising her young children. After receiving help from the state’s Stand by Me financial coaching program she improved her credit and got hired by CSC. Today, she has a good job and just bought her first home.

And people like Jerome Holden – who initially struggled in high school as he cared for a mother with disabilities and a younger sister in Wilmington. With support from teachers, he turned his grades around and is pursuing a degree in radiology after earning one of our SEED scholarships.

When given the chance, these individuals – AJ, Monique and Jerome — like many Delawareans, have chosen to seize the opportunities available to them and embrace a brighter future.

It is up to us to learn from them so that we can ensure all of our people have that same chance – to ensure our children and grandchildren have the same kind of bright future that previous generations left behind for us. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to make it so.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless the people of Delaware!


25 Comments on "State Of The State 2015"

  1. Frank Knotts says:

    This speech is full of the usual SOTS flowery rhetoric. It is also very full of special interest pandering. Seems our governor is more focused on special interest groups than the average citizens. He talks a lot about people who have been in jail, and people with “special” needs, and challenges, at risk this and high risk that.. All well and good, but some feel that if we focus on the average citizens, then the rising tide will float all ships.
    His focus on jobs seems to be mainly on the IT industries,(well except for his plan to train more people in the hospitality industry) naming several initiatives to increase the number of people in the workforce trained in that field.
    That is all well and good, but if the state is luring, and or encouraging people into the IT field, then that increases the number of people applying for those jobs, which devalues those skills in the long run, and drives down the wages in that area of employment.
    Also once again Gov. Markell is a petri-dish for Pres. Obama’s agenda. He states that he is setting a goal for 2025 (which he won’t be around to take the blame for) that 65% of Delaware’s workforce will have a college degree. This is nothing more than the groundwork for Pres. Obama’s “FREE” two years of college for everyone. Again, if you flood the job market with people with two year degrees, then you devalue those degrees, and drive down the wages in those fields.
    I also hope that you never need a plumber or someone to turn a wrench since the only mention he made of any trade education was again for people in prison to become car mechanics. Will come in handy at the chop-shop I guess.

  2. delacrat says:

    ” focus on the average citizens, ….”


    There is such person as an “average citizen”.

  3. delacrat says:

    focus on the average citizens, ….”


    Correction: There is NO such person as an “average citizen”.

  4. Frank Knotts says:

    Sure there is, there is always an average anything. You have the non-productive people who only take from the system, then you have the over achievers, or as you like to call them the “terrible, disgusting, horrible rich”, and in the middle you have the average citizen.
    Like his mentor pres. Obama, Gov. Markell is only really interested in the two extremes. They would take from the top and redistribute to the bottom, ignoring the average citizen.
    When it is the average citizen who carries the load for all.

  5. delacrat says:


    So …. you think the “over achievers” at “the top”, like a hedge fund manager or Sam Walton’s heirs are productive.

  6. Frank Knotts says:

    Delacrat, I am fortunately not crippled with class envy. If someone inherits what their famiy worked for, that is no reason that the government should target them for redistribution. As for hedge fund managers? Unless they broke actual laws, then they managed their job in a manner to be as profitable as possible. If they broke laws then they should be prosecuted. How is a hedge fund manager who worked the system for their own benefit any different than a person who works the welfare system for theirs?

  7. Dave says:

    “hedge fund manager who worked the system for their own benefit any different than a person who works the welfare system for theirs”

    By “worked the system” I assume you mean getting something that should not be entitled to. If so, then your disdain should be equal. Even so, what many hedge fund managers earn is what they call “carried interest charges,” which is basically their wages for the work they do. The difference is, those non-wages are taxed at the capital gains tax rate and not at the same rate that you pay for your wages. They earned the money by doing their job, just as you earn your wages by doing your job. Should they be getting a better deal than you for taxes? Because you labor with your hands you have the privilege of paying more. I would hope you would resent the fact that you are taxed at a higher rate than the hedge fund managers.

    Further, Mitt Romney has no job and consequently no wages (except speaking fees I suppose). He lives in the manner he does because he earns money through his investments. When he withdraws some of that money to buy a house, go on vacation, whatever, that money is taxed at a lower rate than the money you earned by doing you job everyday. Those who defend that situation say, that if the capital tax rate were higher it would decrease investment, but really do you think he would put his money under a mattress? A dollar earned is a dollar earned. All those dollars should be treated the same when it comes to personal income tax. It’s only fair. Now that would be a fair tax.

  8. fightingbluehen says:

    “So …. you think the “over achievers” at “the top”, like a hedge fund manager or Sam Walton’s heirs are productive.”

    They spend money. That’s productive enough for me.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    Dave, you may have misunderstood me, or I you. I said if someone is breaking the law, then they have to pay the price. If the law allows it then change the law. I do support a flat tax, but only if it coincides with the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
    And as I said, I am not burdened by class envy. I am not less because you are more.

  10. Say it Ain't So says:

    Over achievers should pay the same tax rate? I’m not so sure, there are two inputs Capital and Labor. We tax Labor at a higher rate because its transitory, capital is more permanent. Thus we want production to be skewed towards Capital, and hence tax it at a lower rate. Capital is what separates the developed world from the undeveloped third world. There is a ton of cheap labor around the world, but exceptional economies are distinguished by their capital and capital formation rates. If you tax something you get less of it. We want capital. That is why the tax code favors investment in capital, i.e. I buy a ditch digging machine I can write off a lot of the cost upfront, labor is expensed as it’s paid. A lot of “overachievers” make all of their income in capital, and why we tax it at a more favorable rate. It amazes me when people just don’t understand why we have incentives that favor capital formation.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    Can I borrow that ditch digger.

  12. delacrat says:


    So… you don’t care if the “over achievers” at “the top” are non-productive as long as they are taxed at a lower rate than you are.

  13. Frank Knotts says:

    Delacrat, where did I say that? I said I do not judge my success based on the success of others. If I am happy, then I am happy. Some see only to be happy if others are less so.

  14. delacrat says:


    When Dave stated that a non-productive hedge fund manager’s income is classified as “carried interest” is and therefore taxed at the lower capital gains rate, not as income, you neither contested that fact nor attempted to justify it.

    It’s quite obvious that you feel non-productive rich people should be given more favorable tax treatment.

    That a working man feels rich swells should be so specially entitled, is testimony to the power of whatever propaganda you allow to control your mind.

  15. Frank Knotts says:

    And that you feel such envy of those who have more than you is testament to whatever propaganda that rules your life. All I have said is that my life is not judged based on the life of others.

  16. Dunleve says:

    Anyone want to guess who the richest man in Delaware is related to?

  17. mouse says:

    For sucking up to the federal gov in every state program and having the VP from DE, we sure haven’t got much out of it

  18. Dunleve says:

    Great wisdom from another Democrat, always so many wise words from a party of hypocrites.

  19. Rick says:

    Those who defend that situation say, that if the capital tax rate were higher it would decrease investment, but really do you think he would put his money under a mattress? A dollar earned is a dollar earned. All those dollars should be treated the same…

    Then what you are advocating is a flat tax. All income, however derived, is taxed at the same rate. It would apply to those who make 25k and those who make 250k.

    Thus we want production to be skewed towards Capital, and hence tax it at a lower rate. Capital is what separates the developed world from the undeveloped third world. There is a ton of cheap labor around the world, but exceptional economies are distinguished by their capital and capital formation rates. If you tax something you get less of it. We want capital. That is why the tax code favors investment in capital…

    This is true. It is also why the left has always declared war on capital gains. Because the left wants all wealth transferred to the government. After all, the elites know how best to run an economy- into the ground.

    Look at Omaba’s credentials. A career street-hustler turned politician. He knows absolutely nothing about business, and it shows. He has never had to formulate a plan to raise capital, has never created a job, and never had to meet a payroll. He wanted to “transform” America, the implication being that the U.S. must have inherent flaws that need to be “transformed.” If that is so obviously true, then why do so many want to come here, and why do so few leave?

    What Omaba really wants is a socialist state, where at least 50% of the citizenry is in some way dependent upon a government subsidy, and thus, will be inclined to vote for the party that is most likely to keep providing largesse- the Socialist-Democrats. See Greece.

    Unfortunately, since so many Americans fell for pomp and ceremony as opposed to substance (until the ’14 midterms), Omaba is succeeding. The workforce percentage is in the high 60’s, which is why unemployment is “officially” in the 5-6% range. If those who have literally quit trying to find a job are included, the real unemployment rate is over 10%.

    The “unpatriotic” Bush debt has doubled under Omaba. I guess he, and his Socialist-Democrat facilitators, don’t worry so much about “our children” after all.

    The middle-class has experienced wage stagnation under Omaba, while the rich have gotten richer. Big Banking gets Fed cash at close to 0%, and dumps it into the stock market, artificially driving-up stock values. And when they all bail simultaneously, the average investor will be left holding the bag. So much for the left’s professed concern for “working families.”

    Romney, for all of his political faults, is a builder of income and wealth for many. Omaba and his ilk merely consume.

  20. mouse says:

    I heard Romney was teaching seminars on how to build capital by raiding pension funds and dismantling companies

  21. mouse says:

    I often wonder if the guys down at the plant listening to talk radio working a 1000 hours over time to make 80K realize the guys making 80K for collecting interest and and coupons pay 1/2 their rate.

  22. Dunleve says:

    Did someone sentence the plant workers to life in production. You act like the Captain has put on the seat belt sign. Everyone is free to roam around the cabin. You are making excuses for people who feel entitled and did not prepare for their future. If the job suck that bad, they answered the ad.

    Those who are stuck making the $80,000 a year for 3,000 hours work are still averaging $26 an hour flat rate. Bad analogy. Just like your shot at Romney. ANYBODY could have bought the companies Bain Capital purchased and ran them farther into the ground. Private equity is not welfare, it made the companies profitable again, period. Its not a charity, its business. Many people are still employed by companies who have fallen on the verge of insolvency and were purchased by someone else who saw value.

  23. mouse says:

    Perry termed it Vulture Capitalism

  24. delacrat says:


    “Everyone is free to roam around the cabin.”

    So what. Even were that true, what does that have to do with a tax code that coddles non-productives like Romney

    “Private equity is not welfare, it made the companies profitable again, period.”

    Well, 1) none of us ever said Private Equity was welfare. and 2) Romney’s record of “making companies profitable again” has been debunked by everyone from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone to Republicans, Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor, Rick Perry and the Wall Street Journal.

  25. mouse says:

    Isn’t there a tax credit for help with the costs to raid a pension fund?

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