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As I have made clear from Day 1, the main reason I got into politics is out of concern for the future of our nation. As a grandfather of 13, my priority is to improve our economy by helping foster an environment where businesses can create lasting jobs and address our national debt crisis so our children and grandchildren can prosper in this country.
These are the two fundamental issues that are keeping our economy from getting back on track. No other option will work until these two factors are addressed. There have been a couple of opportunities missed, but there are still options available to us if we get serious about our situation and commit to taking action.
One critical component to getting our spending under control is requiring the federal government to do what many of you do every month: balance the checkbook. Unfortunately, we missed an opportunity to put that requirement in place when the U.S. House of Representatives was unable to pass the balanced budget amendment, which fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to pass.
Our national debt crisis is bringing our country to the brink of catastrophe. We now have a federal debt that has surpassed $15 trillion and is rising. We have another potential credit downgrade on the horizon and a growing deficit of consumer confidence. The resolution of a balanced budget to address our government spending problem is paramount.
I believe a balanced budget amendment is an important first step to getting our economy back on track and will keep it strong for the long haul. Though we were unable to make the balanced budget amendment a reality during this session of Congress, I plan to continue pushing for it as long as I am in Washington.
Another unfortunate opportunity was lost when the supercommittee was unable to agree on how to cut $1.2 trillion in spending over 10 years in order to cut the federal deficit. Our government is currently borrowing 40 cents from other nations for every dollar we spend and there is no end in sight. Some believe that the best way to fix this issue is to increase taxes and ignore the out-of-control spending our country is accustomed to.
But this strategy has taken our deficit to $15 trillion and kept our unemployment rate above 8 percent for the last 34 months. It is a short-term band-aid for deep wounds in our economy. We must find common sense solutions that increase tax revenue in our country by increasing productivity and creating jobs.
We are kidding ourselves by believing that raising taxes before cutting our spending or getting Americans back to work will get our country out of the hole. We will be revisiting this issue in Congress over the next several months, and I can assure you I will do all I can to ensure that our government focuses on scaling back its spending.
We all know small businesses are unquestionably the economic engine of the U.S. economy. The start-up or small business of today is the Apple or Facebook of tomorrow. The best thing the government can do to grow the economy is to create an environment that allows American businesses and entrepreneurs to create real, lasting jobs for Americans.
The House has already passed more than 25 bipartisan bills that focus on cutting regulations and increasing capital for businesses to get started and grow. One such bill was the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act, which waived the 3 percent withholding imposed on government contractors. This bill keeps money in the pockets of business owners so they can take on more opportunities and create jobs. The act is a step in the right direction, but there is still much to do.
We must also create an environment that allows start-up businesses to acquire capital by more creative means. One bill I voted for that addresses this is H.R. 2930, the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act. This bill will help start-up businesses raise capital by eliminating constraints and provide a crowd-funding exemption that will enable them to collect up to $5 million in donations from an unlimited amount of investors.
This strategy will allow businesses to acquire capital from other recourses during this time when lending restrictions prevent entrepreneurs from taking out traditional loans. This sort of out-of-the-box approach can be found in other bills still stalled in the U.S. Senate.
It is time we acknowledge that quick-fix stimulus spending at taxpayer expense only digs America deeper into the hole and kicks the can forward for the next generation. Raising taxes on Americans without addressing our out-of-control spending or current business environment is not a sustainable plan for growth.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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