The solution to grow our economy lies in creating an environment where Americans see more opportunity through job creation, not through an expansion of government's reach. For more than two centuries, American workers and innovators have been the engine of an economy envied around the world because they had the ability to create, invent, hire, and expand without a looming uncertainty of the government's role in their business.
On Sept. 8, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to share his ideas for job creation and economic growth. It is disappointing much of his proposal promotes stimulus-like policies and spending, which evidence shows will not work. Since the trillion-dollar stimulus package was enacted in 2009, America has seen a net loss of 1.7 million jobs from the economy and failed to keep unemployment below 8 percent as the Administration promised. Doubling-down on another stimulus plan will drive us further into debt without creating jobs.
While I do not agree with the President's plan to throw more government money at the situation, now is the time to focus on areas where we do agree and can build consensus for bipartisan solutions to get our economy moving again. In the remaining months of the year, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vigorously pursue commonsense policies, which the President also mentioned in his speech, to help provide the stability needed for economic growth.
Expanded trade remains one of our best engines for economic growth. By passing the long-stalled agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, we immediately can increase market access, and in turn create new American jobs without one new dime of government spending. By the President's own admission, passing the pending trade agreements will create 250,000 American jobs. Serving on the Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Trade enables me to continue advocating for quick passage of these pending agreements. The longer we wait to approve the agreements, the more market share farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses lose to international competitors.
As the debate on how best to get our economy growing again continues, one thing remains abundantly clear - any call to raise taxes must be rejected. Instead, history has shown tax reforms help spur the economy by actually increasing revenue while reducing rates and broadening the base since these policies put taxpayers first - not the government. The temptation remains to think Congress cannot pass significant tax reform, but now is not the time to think small and shy away from tackling America's biggest problems. Democrats and Republicans may not agree on everything, but both parties agree our tax code needs fixed. My work on the Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over the House's constitutional mandate to handle any legislation dealing with taxes, allows me to be fully engaged as we work to articulate a vision for comprehensive, fundamental tax reform.
Eliminating redundant, harmful, and burdensome regulations is critical to our economic recovery. Washington has tied the hands of job creators with onerous regulations for too long, which in turn bogs down the economy. For example, the National Labor Relations Board has started to issue orders restricting where an employer can create jobs even in the United States. This government interference, which is just one example of the regulatory handcuffs Washington has put on the economy, will be one of the first issues brought to the House floor for action as part of a regulatory relief agenda. Removing the cloud of uncertainty hanging over employers from arduous regulations will empower them to hire more workers and expand operations.
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