What I Believe We Should Do.
The first thing we need to recognize is that the government cannot snap its fingers and createprosperity. Government cannot create wealth. All it can do is move wealth around, robbing fromPeter to pay Paul. Government needs to approach the situation with humility, admitting that thereal power to create prosperity lies outside of Washington. Here are my priorities for addressingour current economic situation and restoring vitality and full employment to our economy.
Help Those Who Need Help.
We must never forgetthat millions of Americans are struggling. We need tohelp the unemployed, but the help we give must bepaid for and not added to our debt. This means toughchoices for politicians, but those choices are notougher than those made by Americans every day.
Extending Unemployment Benefits.
Inresponse to growing unemployment and adeepening recession, I voted to create theEmergency Unemployment Compensationprogram. This was the eighth time in historythat Congress has created such a program.Congress has since expanded or extended theprogram seven times. I supported thoseextensions and expansions when they weredone responsibly. For instance, there was anexpansion of the program in the “stimulus”bill, but I didn’t vote for it because the entirebill added more than $1 trillion to the debt.
Stable and Low Taxation.
One of the greatestimpediments to job growth is the tax code. Constanttinkering with our tax code makes it very difficult foremployers to plan ahead and hire new workers.
Maintain Existing Personal Income TaxBrackets.
In 2001, Congress restructured theincome tax to create a new bottom bracket of 10 percent and to lower each of the existing taxbrackets. Because some senators objected tothe tax cuts, the reductions were enacted foronly ten years.
Reduce Taxes on Employers.
The U.S.effective corporate tax rate is 40 percent, one of the highest rates in the world. This is asignificant disincentive for corporations to set up shop in America and dramaticallydecreases new job growth. I support H.R. 5029 that would reduce the federal corporateincome tax rate to 12.5 percent.
In 2009 and 2010, Democratic leaders inWashington used “job creation” as atalking point for other priorities, ratherthan focusing on job creation itself. Theyused the lure of “job creation” to pushfor every one of their priorities from Capand Trade to Obamacare. The actualcreation of jobs, of course, did nothappen.Even rank and file Democrats inCongress are angry about this. TheWashington newspaper
reported that “one liberal HouseDemocrat [Rep. Raul Grijalva] laughedwhen asked if he thought of the climatechange package as a jobs bill.”Likewise, Rep. Peter DeFazio, a liberalDemocrat from Oregon, blasted the“stimulus” bill, saying, “Those arefantasy jobs. Those aren’t real jobs. They just need to put a cork in it and realizethat some things that have been aroundfor a while are still relevant … like agood transportation network that isn’tfalling apart.”There are certainly many Democrats inWashington who believe the stimulus,healthcare, and cap and trade bills weregood policy. Seemingly few, however,believe they were truly focused on fixingthe economy and creating jobs.