Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari plans to unveil a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for tax breaks for job creators, fracking of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business, increased spending on water storage and capping certain legal payouts.
The plan, to be released in San Diego, is the first policy the candidate has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. He faces a test, arguing against a popular incumbent in a Democratic-leaning state where unemployment has dropped 4.1 percentage points since Gov. Jerry Brown took office three years ago, dipping to 8% in February. Just over 1 million jobs have been created during his current term, according to Brown's Department of Finance.
But Kashkari argues that the three-term governor has failed to lead, causing the suffering of millions of Californians because many remain jobless and in poverty.
"Jerry Brown's legacy is the destruction of California's middle class," Kashkari wrote in a white paper about his economic proposal.
Kashkari proposes a 10-point plan focused on manufacturing, water, energy and business regulations that he claims will "unleash" the private sector. But he offers no specific projections for the creation of new jobs.
His most detailed proposal is to offer a 10-year tax break to out-of-state companies that move to California with at least 100 jobs, or to in-state companies that open a new manufacturing plant. Income generated from the new enterprises would not be taxed by the state for a decade.
Some of the proposals in the candidate's plan repeat calls Kashkari frequently makes on the campaign trail – fracking to create energy jobs, and going back to voters to ask them to cancel the bonds they approved for the high-speed rail plan favored by Brown and instead spending the nearly $10 billion in bond money on water storage.
Some of that money would be earmarked for cleaning existing reservoirs of sediment that decreases their capacity.
Kashkari also hits familiar Republican themes, calling for an overhaul of the state's landmark environmental law, and a reduction of the number of business regulations. He would achieve the latter by requiring regulations to be reviewed every 10 years and to expire without further action. Kashkari said he would also push for tort reform, new trade deals with Pacific Rim and European nations. and the creation of a task force to increase tapping of the state's oil resources.
Many of the moves would have to be accomplished with the consent of the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Kashkari's campaign advisers point to the candidate's work as a U.S. Treasury Department official working with congressional leaders of both parties on the federal bank bailout as proof he would be effective in Sacramento.