Issue Position: Get the Economy Going Again

Issue Position


We can create new jobs in one of two ways: incent the private sector to do it, or have government hire people in public sector jobs. The current federal administration and my opponent advocate the latter approach. I believe this is the wrong track to take and that it will lead us to a stagnant economy with no real growth in private sector job creation and economic activity for years to come. We must change course and direction now.

But what are we getting for this?

The May jobs report stated that 441,000 new jobs were created nationally. But only 41,000 of these new jobs were created in the private sector. The vast majority of new hires occurred in the federal bureaucracy--the Census Bureau alone reported hiring 400,000 people during May for temporary positions.

We were told that the stimulus program would keep unemployment from exceeding eight percent. It is now 9.7 percent--which means 15 million of our fellow citizens are out of work. This is "crimping" our nation's economy by $1 trillion a year.2 The quickest way to get our economy going again is to reduce unemployment. The best way to do this is incent private sector businesses to create new jobs and expand into new markets. I have a plan to do this.

* Prevent scheduled tax increases from taking effect. It may surprise many
people, but hidden tax increases are slated to take effect next year if the current tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 are allowed to expire. These tax cuts played a major role in getting us out of the 2001 recession quicker than what would have otherwise happened. The heart of the approach has been to reduce and lower income tax rates for everyone who pays taxes. The package also encourages saving and investment by taxing capital gains and dividends at a lower rate. This creates pools of capital which, in turn, are invested in the private sector economy to increase efficiency, investment and growth. This is precisely the wrong time to increase taxes. As an alternative, I propose that we simply extend and keep in place the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that I was proud to support when they were enacted into law.

* Reduce government spending and the national debt. More and more economists believe our nation's economic trajectory is not sustainable. I agree with this. I believe we can take immediate steps to cut spending, such as not funding the $10 billion in new money the Internal Revenue Service seeks for tens of thousands of new employees to process paperwork and
fines under the federal healthcare reform law. We can also save several hundred billion dollars by terminating TARP and applying the proceeds to reduce the federal debt. Finally, Congress must stop passing legislation that funds new programs without paying for them. I recently voted against one such bill-- H.R. 4213--that was "sold" as a job creation proposal. The fact is, the bill was a "job killer" since it raised taxes and expanded numerous government programs. The bill also added another $54 billion to the nation's debt--an approach I will not support. The nation's debt is $13 trillion--it must be reduced or our country's economic future is jeopardized.

* Delay new programs and regulations that harm our economy and stall economic growth. This year, the federal government has proposed and promulgated new regulations on businesses that cost $14 billion.3 That's $14
billion not available for retooling, investment in new technologies, business
expansions and new hiring. Meanwhile, the administration succeeded in
ramming their healthcare proposal through Congress on a party-line vote--an
initiative that will cost a net $1.2 trillion over the coming decade. At the same
time, they continue to advocate new laws that will hinder our economic recovery:
"Cap and Trade" is an example of this. Under Cap & Trade (C&T), businesses,
manufacturers and every family that pays a monthly utility bill will see steep
increases in costs. C&T will increase the cost of products and services across the economy--something that could not come at a worse time for struggling
businesses and consumers. These huge new government programs and mandates will cost jobs--they should be repealed or abandoned altogether. .

Lee Terry believes the federal government spends too much, taxes too much and is carrying too much debt. Terry's opponent, State Sen. Tom White, has a different approach:

Spend More--Tom White supports the federal stimulus program ($800 billion) and the federal healthcare program ($1.2 trillion). Together, these two initiatives will add two trillion dollars to the nation's debt.
Tax More--Tom White opposes extending the current tax cuts. He is also on record as supporting $500 billion in higher taxes on individuals, families and businesses to finance the national healthcare program.
More Debt--Tom White has supported the administration's economic program that will lead to $9 trillion in new federal debt over the next decade--an unsustainable path for our nation.

For economic growth, the choice is clear: Congressman Lee Terry.

1 "Prune and Grow," editorial column, The New York Times, June 11, 2010, David Brooks.
2 "White House Knot: Add Jobs but Don't Add to Deficit," news article, The Wall Street Journal, Deborah
Soloman, June 11, 2010.