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Candidates promote plans for economic growth

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In the final days leading up the Aug. 3 primary, the candidates for U.S. Representative of District 7 are getting the word out. In a four-part series, Springfield Business Journal introduces you to the 11 men hoping to fill the seat vacated by Roy Blunt as he pursues a U.S. Senate seat.

In our final week, we talk about an economic plan with Republican Darrell Moore and global reach with Republican Michael Wardell. Steve Hunter, didn’t respond to telephone or written requests for an interview.

Darrell Moore (R)

Republican Darrell Moore is in his 12th year as Greene County prosecutor, a role in which he’s often worked with various groups to move public safety projects forward. That ability to rally behind a common goal is something he believes is a necessity for elected officials.

“I have worked not only with law enforcement groups, but private individuals and nonprofit organizations that represent all kinds of viewpoints in the community,” he said. “We were unified behind the principle of seeking ways to improve the overall quality of life and public safety, and we’ve managed to do that well.”

Moore wants to bring that spirit of cooperation to Washington, D.C., and after a thorough examination of the economic issues and challenges facing small businesses, he said he’s found a plan he can wholeheartedly support: A Roadmap for America’s Future by U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“Under the roadmap plan, you would encourage small businesses to create more jobs. It would promote more individual responsibility and would eventually get the federal deficit under control,” Moore said.

To lasso in federal spending, which Moore calls “totally out of control,” he proposes a freeze on the budget at 2008 levels.

“Then you need to go through each program one by one and determine what is the purpose of the program, is that purpose consistent with the federal government being involved in it or should it go back to state and local government,” he said. “If it is a program the federal government should fund, then is the money being spent in a manner to achieve the purpose?”

To help businesses, Moore proposes eliminating the estate tax, capital gains tax and tax on interest.
“Those would all be very pro-job creation issues that would encourage small businesses to create jobs and thrive in the economy,” he said.

Michael Wardell (R)

Republican Michael Wardell isn’t afraid to speak about the challenges his party faces in the coming years, and his plans to overcome those hurdles involve empowering small businesses to move in international circles.

“Even if the Republicans do take over the House and the Senate, we still have a Democratic president who does not agree with our philosophy,” Wardell said. “We’re going to be at least two and a half years (away from) any decent tax relief.”

Meanwhile, the retired Marine and owner of Oscar’s Ribs and BBQ in Nixa said he’s using his contacts to lay the groundwork for southwest Missouri businesses to expand into global markets.

“I’ve worked for more than 20 years either for the military, the State Department or in business overseas,” he said. “If we are to dig ourselves out of this hole without the government’s help … we need to start learning to eat with our left hand.”

Wardell believes small businesses can export products to international markets such as Brazil, Russia and India.

“There are a lot of markets that are very robust,” he said. “They want and need our products and I think it’s a great opportunity for businesses here, regardless of how small, to start thinking outside of the box.”

While Wardell said he would be cautious about using federal tax dollars to support business – because, he notes, legislators are choosing which businesses will be successful – the disabled veteran is passionate about bringing a veterans’ hospital to Springfield. A service-related injury and multiple spinal surgeries have left him unable to walk.

While Wardell recognizes the hospital might not directly boost the local economy, it would have an indirect impact, he said.

“Putting a hospital in a place where veterans can get regular care, that may get them to a point where they can reinsert themselves back into society and the work force,” Wardell said. “That, I believe, is the right course of action.”

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