By Elizabeth Hyman
CompTIA executives were in Tampa and Charlotte in recent weeks to make sure that policymakers and activists at both the Republican and Democratic party conventions were aware of our economic contributions to the economy and that they heard the core concerns of the IT channel as we head into the November election. While tech was not a central focus of either political convention, it was included in each partys official platform. We took the time to read through the party platforms to better understand where each party stood on our most pressing industry issues. Heres a summary below:
- The Republicans more than anything emphasized debt reduction through decreased government spending, pledging to pass legislation only if it had a sound financial basis. Republicans pledged to reduce the corporate tax rate to keep corporations competitive with overseas companies, repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax and establish a permanent research and development tax credit. The Republicans also have vowed to take a less government” approach to technology through regulatory partnerships that place the opportunity to attract private investment in the hands of university technology centers. To help keep more jobs here at home, the party vowed to grant more work visas to those who own advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees.
- The Democrats on the other hand with President Obama on board vowed to take executive action to bolster our nations computer defenses after months of stalemate on cybersecurity legislation in Congress. They also proposed to double investments in STEM fields to better train teachers and more importantly attract a future generation of scientists, technological innovators, engineers and mathematicians. To relieve small businesses of financial stress, they promised to take action on corporate tax reform, helping in particular those companies that specialize in research and development. The Democratic party also stressed the need to retain foreign talent in the US by not deporting those who have earned advanced STEM degrees in the US ultimately making America a destination for global innovators and entrepreneurs.
Both candidates are making a move to court the IT sector, but they still have a ways to go before November. A recent survey by JZ Analytics for CompTIA found that one in three industry executives is undecided between President Obama and Governor Romney.
Clearly, the IT channel has yet to be swayed by either candidate. But as the election approaches, we should press our policy concerns and engage candidates at all levels to create a supportive environment for the technology sector to continue its global leadership and its job creation drive.
Elizabeth Hyman is the vice president of public advocacy for CompTIA.