Today is Tax Day! Check out Rep. Thornberry's latest blog post on the subject: http://t.co/ePm9o51FqFFollow Mac On Twitter
“America is the land of opportunity. Congress needs to keep it that way by keeping taxes low, making sure regulations are limited and based on common sense, and ensuring Americans have the freedom to make the decisions that are best for themselves and their families. We must have competent government that spends within its means and is accountable to those who are paying the bills—the taxpayers.”
Economic recovery is stagnant
Many of the economic measures put in place focus on increasing the role of the federal government in business and financing it with taxpayer funds. The fundamental relationship between government and its citizens is being altered. The recession officially ended in 2009. After almost $800 billion in “stimulus” funding that I voted against, countless regulations, and more far-reaching involvement by the federal government, the unemployment rate still has not fallen below 7.4%.
Rescuing small businesses
While the federal government can encourage economic growth and help those who have lost their jobs, we cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity. Instead, we should first focus on helping small businesses, which created 60 to 80 percent of new jobs over the last ten years. In 2013, Texas has added 131,900 jobs, a growth rate of 2.06%. The Federal Reserve in Dallas notes that Texas has created 83.8% of these jobs in the business sectors other than government. The most effective way to help our nation’s businesses is to lower or eliminate taxes like the death tax, make health care more affordable, and reduce regulation.
Federal spending spree
In addition to being too heavy-handed, the government has been on a spending spree with few results to show for it. The 2009 stimulus, which I voted against, is a good example. While President Obama claimed the stimulus bill would create 3.5 million jobs, the employment to population ratio has held at 58.7% and has been essentially flat since 2009.
There is some discussion by the President and the Democratic leadership about “investing” in our nation’s infrastructure, education, and funding additional government programs to create jobs. Investing is simply another word for stimulus spending, and I am afraid this second stimulus will be as ineffective as the first.
Deficit and debt are shrinking, but we must do more
Long-term deficits will drive up interest rates for consumers, raise prices of goods and services, and weaken America’s competitiveness and economic security. When there is a deficit, the government must borrow the money it needs to pay its bills. This borrowed money constitutes our national debt, which currently stands at just over $16 trillion.
Since the start of the 111th Congress in 2011, federal spending has decreased for two consecutive years – the first time since the end of the Korean War that has happened. For Fiscal Year 2013, the government is on track to spend approximately $600 billion, which is down from the $1 trillion budget last year. While this is over a 30% decrease in spending, the spending cuts have come largely from our nation’s defense. These cuts are only a beginning, but going forward, we must reduce the federal budget by cutting spending elsewhere and reforming mandatory spending programs, which account for two thirds of the federal budget.
Growing our economy
Deficit spending that leads to a doubling of the debt is no solution to jump-starting our economy, creating jobs, or running the government. It is my hope that Democrats and Republicans can come together to bring real fiscal responsibility and do what’s right for families, for small businesses, and for our country’s future. But, ultimately, it will be you and other hard-working Americans that strengthen the economy and bring our country to prosperity. Congress needs to make policies that recognize and reward America’s natural entrepreneurship rather than stifling it.