A recent Tennessean poll revealed what many had known for some time. Tennesseans are worried about jobs, period. Yes, health reform has been a big topic. Cap and Trade has been a big topic. Financial reform has been a big topic. But these issues are not as important to constituents unemployed and unable to find work. A lost health plan, increasing energy costs though unable to pay current energy bills, and changes to bank regulations on a house account with very little in it, etc. The solution to those issues is contingent on finding and securing a job.
Years after the Great Depression historians discovered that Roosevelt’s move on the private sector only prolonged the economic misery of the nation. The recovery began with the industrial buildup to win the Second World War. What economists are now reporting is that less government intrusion results in the immediate rebound of a sluggish economy. President Kennedy discovered this in 1961. President Reagan discovered this in 1983. President Bush discovered it again in the past decade. The facts are irrefutable.
So what has Jim Cooper been doing to stimulate jobs? Since the Democrats took back control of Congress four years ago, he has been siding with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, on Cap and Trade, Cash for Clunkers, $800 billion stimulus bills, bailouts of private businesses in order to shore up failing unions, budget-busting health reform, and trillion-dollar budget deficits. The result: a continual rise in unemployment and a bleak outlook for job creation in the coming year. Did I mention record deficits running into the future?
And now, the punch in the gut. The aforementioned Bush tax cuts are scheduled to go away January 1, 2011, creating the largest tax increase on the middle class since Bill Clinton did it in the 1990’s. An already struggling economy will be brought to its knees, businesses will lay off more employees, more benefit plans will go away, and more social monies will be required for food stamps, housing, unemployment, etc. All of this from a shrinking taxpayer base. The reduced payments to Social Security will place it in red ink for the second time in the past twelve months.
What can we do? How did we get here?
Congressman Jim Cooper followed Nancy Pelosi down the road to American economic catastrophe. He voted with her 90% of the time, often against the wishes of the constituents he swore to represent. They called, email, wrote letters, begged for town halls, and drove downtown, paid to park, and took time out of their busy days to meet with him in his office to urge him to stop the spending and debt train. And yet he went about his merry spending spree.
The Stimulus that was supposed to generate millions of jobs and return unemployment to under 8% has been a miserable failure. Even Joe Biden cannot ignore the fact that the Stimulus did not do what they said it would do. But Jim Cooper made sure that the vast majority of the $100 million that came to the 5th District went to his other employer, Vanderbilt University. How many jobs did that $79 million create?
It is time to get our history straight and get the federal government out of the business of “creating” anything. The things Jim Cooper should be attending to, fiscal restraint, tax reform, energy independence, a secure border, and a jobs-sensitive federal policy, he has pushed aside in favor of more government control over the daily lives of hard working Americans. The American people are fed up with having this agenda “crammed” down their throats. This nation thrives on a vibrant private sector, not a jobs-choking federal noose around the necks of entrepreneurs.
Recently, the President questioned why small businesses are hoarding trillions in capital. It is almost as if he feels entitled to the money and is angry that they are not spending it. Stephen Wynn, of Las Vegas fame, recently opined that he would rather be investing in Asia because, “they don’t change the rules every ten minutes.” American business owners are finding it difficult to plan for the future. When the federal government in involved in the private economy is is difficult to determine what the next law or regulation will be.
As a result, business owners hesitate to expand, buy new equipment, open new offices, hire new people, expand into other lines of business, etc. This is where 20% unemployment comes from and is the sole reason it will stay that way. As long as the federal government continues to meddle in the private sector, unemployment will be an issue. Economists know that a big part of economic vitality is confidence in the market. Confidence that causes individuals to risk capital, invest, build, grow and expand which leads to jobs.
The supposed “cure” has become worse than the disease. We have certainly seen the increase in government jobs. But these jobs do not create anything except more votes for Democrats and a more powerful federal employees union. Jim Cooper has been a willing participant in these tens of thousands of new federal jobs inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway. But did he represent the people of the 5th District of Tennessee?
There is a better plan for creating jobs. I intend to submit legislation to roll back federal spending, joining Marsha Blackburn, in a proposed minimum 5% rollback. Just like we do in Tennessee when money spent is expected to be more than money collected, we cut spending. I will act to close regulatory offices that do things being done by individual States. I will join others working to create simple and fair tax policy. I will submit legislation to eliminate needless regulation and taxation on business, balance the federal budget, close the southern border and enforce existing immigration law that forbids employers from hiring illegal immigrants. I will move to begin ramping up domestic energy production including new nuclear power, compressed natural gas, new oil drilling, and continued improvements in clean coal. I will work with conservatives in Congress to craft a market-sensitive health reform bill that will deal with the real issue; cost. Finally, I will encourage the creation of a more fiscally sound Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security system.
These are the most pressing agenda items that need to be addressed. As we begin to get these problems solved, we can address the numerous other issues that confront us.
Although Jim Cooper would rather pass the debt issue onto our children, we will not. With the arrival of Statesmen in D.C. in January, the road to recovery will begin with initiatives that will provide the tools for business to thrive once again. And not a moment too soon…