Wisconsin senators make stops, discuss economy

U.S. Capitol dome
File photo (MGN Online/F Delventhal)

WAUSAU (AP) – U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin made stops in Wisconsin this week, discussing job creation and the Littoral Combat Ship program.

Johnson stopped by Hsu’s Ginseng Enterprises in Wausau on Tuesday, where he said high business tax rates are hindering the creation of higher-paying jobs in Wisconsin and throughout the nation, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.

“You need to make America or Wisconsin a more attractive place for the type of business risk-taking investment that provides those good-paying jobs,” the Republican said. “And right now we don’t have a competitive tax system. We have the highest business tax rate in the developed world.”

Johnson also spoke about the ongoing unrest in Iraq, federal debt and the low approval rating of Congress.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Baldwin visited the Marinette Marine Corp. to talk about the Littoral Combat Ship program and the results of two federal audits, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported. The audits pointed to concerns about the warships’ maintenance, crew and operation costs. Baldwin said improvements will be made as the program continues.

Marinette Marine is the city’s biggest employer.

“Every prototype … has to be tested and fully vetted,” the Democrat said. “That’s exactly what’s happening. It happens with every new ship, every new procurement, the defense department does. This is no exception.”

Marinette Marine Corp. produced two of the program’s ships, the USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, and has already delivered them to the Navy. Five other ships, including a Lockheed Martin version of the Littoral Combat Ship, are being built at Marinette Marine while federal officials continue to observe the program and the performance of its vessels.

“This shipyard has learned from its prototypes, changed accordingly, and is now getting into the mode of serial production of a ship that incorporates a lot of lessons learned along the way,” Baldwin said.

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