JOBS: A Better Path Forward
Two and a half years after Congress passed the $830 billion stimulus plan, unemployment remains above nine percent nationally and above 10 percent in Florida. People in our state and across the country are still asking, “Where are the jobs?”
President Obama recently proposed a new, $447 billion stimulus package. Like the first stimulus plan, this proposal includes billions of dollars for new spending programs and bailouts for state governments. He has asked Congress to pay for this plan with nearly $500 billion in tax increases. However, he has not adequately explained how this stimulus will succeed when the first stimulus failed to meet its stated goal of keeping unemployment below eight percent. Americans need jobs, and we can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Small business owners I talk to in Florida are looking for a new approach to get Washington out of the way and let private sector job creators put Americans back to work. I am committed to finding common ground and creating an environment where small businesses can grow and hire new workers. I hope that we can get to work quickly on these common sense proposals:
- Eliminate burdens on small businesses. Unnecessary federal regulations take billions of dollars out of our economy and cost us much-needed jobs. Yet the Obama Administration has proposed 4,257 new regulations according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which estimates that 219 of these new mandates would cost more than $100 million each to implement. OMB estimates that the seven most expensive will cost more than $1 billion apiece, and as much as $100 billion total. By repealing many of the costliest, most unnecessary mandates and requiring Congressional approval for new regulations, we can get the federal government off the backs of small businesses, letting them grow and create jobs.
- Fix the tax code. The complexity and uncertainty of the tax code makes small business owners think twice about hiring new workers. We should enact tax code reform to eliminate most loopholes and deductions, and replace them with permanent reductions in tax rates. A flatter tax code would allow small businesses to grow and compete on a level playing field. Permanent tax relief would increase demand by putting more money in the pockets of American families, while giving job creators the certainty they need to hire new workers.
- Give states flexibility, not bailouts. Rather than throw billions at “shovel ready” projects, we should look at cost-effective ways to improve our infrastructure. Federal law requires states to use 10 percent of their surface-transportation funds on projects like transportation museums and educational programs. Waiving this requirement would let states use these funds for pressing infrastructure needs without adding to the deficit.
- Expand markets for American goods. Expanding markets for American producers will help small businesses, manufacturers and farmers in Florida create jobs right away. The President should send Congress pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, so we can pass them quickly.
We’ve tried the stimulus approach and seen the results. We need a new, pro-growth agenda that focuses on relief from costly mandates, permanent tax code reforms, and real spending cuts. Short-term, government-centered fixes are not the solution.
As I review jobs proposals before Congress, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Please take a moment to complete my survey below. You can also contact me by visiting my website, and be sure to stay connected by "liking" my Facebook page and following me on Twitter and YouTube.