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Tax Hikes & More Stimulus Spending: Not a Recipe for Job Creation




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U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
September 16, 2011 | 1960 views | 4 comments

Like many Americans, I listened to the President’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress, anticipating new ideas for getting our economy moving again. What I heard was, in general, a repeat of many of the same policies and promises that have gotten us nowhere, or worse. We see the results around us: 14 million Americans out of work, 41 million on food stamps, the first downgrade of sovereign U.S. debt in history, and mountains of new regulations that are burdening job creators.

However, there are aspects of the President’s plan that do have merit. First, I am encouraged that the President focused on employing veterans by giving businesses tax credits for hiring those who’ve served, particularly those individuals who have been disabled, and those veterans who have had a period of unemployment.

Also, I was pleased that a variation of my infrastructure improvement proposal with Senator Kerry was included in the President’s plan. “The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development Act” (BUILD Act) that Senator Kerry and I have brought forward could leverage up to $600 billion in new infrastructure investment with $10 billion in federal seed money. Rather than adding hundreds of billions to our government’s nearly $15 trillion debt, we propose seeding a national revolving loan fund and authorizing strictly underwritten loan guarantees, to be matched by private sector investments and local governments. Our legislation requires that applicants have not only a strong financial base, but a dedicated revenue stream to ensure repayment of revolving and guaranteed loans.

These elements are essential safeguards to protect taxpayers from being left holding the bill for politically inspired projects that don’t make good business sense. If the President and Congress will support all of these key features of the BUILD Act, I believe the legislation could well become law and help to spur badly needed development and job creation. However, if the President adds grants and items that will increase the costs of a project, it would damage its chances for Congressional approval.

I also believe that the President could find support for his temporary payroll tax cuts for both employers and employees. These tax measures are good but temporary and do not give long-term predictably to businesses.

However, with much of this bill the President is going in the wrong direction. And it does not help consumer or business confidence when the President pushes again and again for policies that haven’t worked and won’t work. What we need is a business friendly environment, one that keeps taxes and regulation low so that businesses can thrive. As a President famously said, “The last thing we want to do is raise taxes during a recession." President Obama said that in 2009. And yet today, he proposes to pay for his jobs bill with a half trillion dollars in new taxes.

We shouldn’t talk about higher taxes. We need to give business people the confidence that things are going to get better. The President singles out oil and gas operations, as he has done many times, and proposes $40 billion in new taxes on this industry over the next decade. The deductions it would eliminate are used by many different industries and are not unique to oil and gas. The administration fails to recognize that most of these deductions can only be used by small, independent producers--not the majors. Many of the targeted deductions have been in place for nearly a century to allow producers to recover some of the massive costs associated with the exploration and development of oil and gas. The President’s plan puts at risk our domestic production, as well as the 9.2 million jobs supported by the oil and gas industry. Why does the president insist on punishing successful enterprises and an industry that employs more than 9 million Americans?

The other important aspect of job creation is cutting regulation, which is hampering productivity. In late August, the White House proposed to cut $10 billion in red tape over the next five years. What officials didn’t mention is that the Obama administration rolled out more than 1,225 regulations, estimated to cost $17.7 billion, in just July and August alone.

In fact, as I travel around Texas today, I am told by business people that they feel as though they are in the business of filling out government forms. And the negative impact of these regulations has a human toll. Earlier this week, it was announced that a new EPA rule forced a Texas energy company to shut down a plant, causing 500 Texans to lose their jobs.

Most important, the largest cloud looming over our economic future is President Obama’s health care law. Its expected taxes and fines are already freezing hiring.

If the President wants to grow the economy and put Americans back to work, he should consult with Congress on a bipartisan plan, starting with permanent reform of our tax system, and a reduction of out-of-control regulations. The President should consider something big to get this economy moving again. Here’s one idea: a moratorium on all new regulations, with exceptions granted only in areas of public health and safety.

Looking forward, we need to focus on bringing down our debt, cutting unnecessary spending, reforming our tax code, reining in burdensome regulations, and, above all, taking steps that will create much-needed jobs. After nearly three years, it is clear that the President’s policies have made our economy worse, leaving millions of Americans jobless and unable to provide for their families.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior U.S. Senator from Texas
 
« Previous Blog Entry (September 16, 2011)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
Bob Pritts  
St Hedwig, TX  
September 19, 2011 1:56pm
 
 
Rock'n - couldn't agree more.

Senator Hutchison: What are you? Some kind of schizo? On one hand you tell us that we need to get rid of smothering government regulations ... Read More Read More
 
 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
September 19, 2011 1:18pm
 
 
Yep, ol Kay is gettin' outa Dodge just in time. Her warp drive is outa sync.
 
 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
September 17, 2011 6:56am
 
 
"...we propose seeding a national revolving loan fund and authorizing strictly underwritten loan guarantees,...
"

Guaranteed by whom, a bankrupt federal government???? ... Read More Read More
 
 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
September 16, 2011 10:03pm
 
 
New post.
 

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