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Issue Position: Economy and Jobs

Issue Position

Unemployment just rose to 9.6% and it is even higher in South Carolina. Enough is enough. It is time for for lawmakers to provide job creation incentives to get people back to work.

Bottom line is that low taxes, worker training, right-to-work protections, and less regulatory red tape will attract business. I believe we should provide broad, growth-oriented, permanent incentives for economic activity across all sectors and industries, with immediate application and sustained, long-term implications. This will ensure that Washington takes a back seat to Main Street and job creators are empowered to do what they do best--create jobs. Small businesses which are the basis of job creation deserve positive encouragement. Let me know your thoughts on my job creation plan that I've laid out below:

Joe Wilson's Job Creation Plan

* Authored legislation for repeal of healthcare takeover, replace with health insurance reform (H.R. 4944)
* Allow small business to take a tax deduction equal to 20% of their income
* Make unemployment benefits tax free so that those individuals between jobs can focus on providing for their families
* Maintain a strong right-to-work workforce
* Reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act for job training, employment services, adult education, and family literacy programs
* Provide a 5% across the board income tax cut
* Increase the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $5,000
* Make the lower 15% rate on Capital Gains and Dividends permanent -- this will make our rate competitive with European nations
* Reduce corporate taxes to compete with Europe and Japan
* Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax on individuals
* Make all withdrawals from IRAs Tax-and Penalty-Free
* Permanently repeal required distributions on retirement accounts
* Increase by 50% the tax deduction on student loans and the tax deduction on qualified higher education expenses
* To encourage responsible buyers to enter the housing market and stabilize prices, offer a home-buyers credit of $7,500.
* End burdensome paperwork requirements -- like the new 1099 process required by the healthcare takeover
* Permanently repeal the estate tax
* Authored legislation for bonus depreciation to help small businesses upgrade equipment (H.R. 212)

Our economy has been hit hard by a number of avoidable and unavoidable factors that have caused job losses, declining home values, shrinking retirements, and damage to our financial structure. In efforts to strengthen our economy, I remain committed to keeping taxes low while providing the proper level of oversight and tools necessary for the American people to build upon the proven strength of the free market. American families deserve to keep their hard-earned money, not have it frivolously spent in Washington.

During debate on the recent stimulus package, I fought for solutions that would have provided tax relief for American families and small businesses, assistance for the unemployed, and tools to upright our housing market. While I did not support the final spending bill passed by Congress, I remain dedicated to working with all of my colleagues to draft a smart, commonsense, and effective strategy to help America lead itself and the world out of these tough economic times.

Here are two key initiatives I have fought for both this congress and in years past:

*Bonus Depreciation Extension Act (HR 212) -- Reinstates the 50% bonus depreciation provisions previously passed by Congress which would provide further incentives for businesses to continue investing in machinery and equipment. Greater investment creates more new jobs and spurs economic growth.

*Tax credit for certain home buyers (HR 214) -- Provides a $5,000 tax credit a year for three years for home purchases made under the following conditions:
o new homes where the building permit was issued and construction began on or before September 1, 2007 owner occupied homes whose first mortgage loan was in default prior to March 1, 2008
o single family homes that have been foreclosed on or are owned by the mortgagor or its agent

I believe in the power and promise of the American people to do what is necessary to rebuild our economy and to make it stronger. The government, for its part, needs to be bold but also precise. Our economy will recover, so we must prepare for that recovery by avoiding actions today that could lead to hyperinflation, high interest rates, and higher taxes in the future.

Following passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to help reassure skeptical American citizens that there will be accountability and transparency with the stimulus funds. As one of those skeptical citizens, I took comfort in hearing these words from our President:

"That's why our goal must be to spend these precious dollars with unprecedented accountability, responsibility, and transparency. I've tasked my cabinet and staff to set up the kind of management, oversight, and disclosure that will help ensure that, and I will challenge state and local governments to do the same. Once the plan is put into action, a new website -- Recovery.gov -- will allow any American to watch where the money goes and weigh in with comments and questions -- and I encourage every American to do so. Ultimately, this is your money, and you deserve to know where it's going and how it's spent."

While I applaud the effort and intention to bring unprecedented transparency into such a large spending bill, the bottom line is that these promises have not been kept. The reality of the situation is that Recovery.gov, the official Administration website charged with reporting abuse was its own worst offender. It is full of fake stimulus jobs in fake Congressional districts. The Government Accountability Office says that one out of every 10 jobs created by the stimulus are also fake.

In order to ensure the full accountability of taxpayer dollars, I plan to introduce legislation that will create a bipartisan commission to investigate the effects of this "stimulus" bill. The ten member panel, appointed by the President and Democrat and Republican leaders in the House and Senate, will investigate how many jobs have actually been saved or created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5); the circumstances in which those jobs have been saved or created; and, the effectiveness of measures taken to prevent the improper payment of funds. Following the investigation, the Commission will make recommendations on what changes could be made to save or create more jobs and what steps can be taken to prevent the improper allocation of taxpayer dollars.