Since 2000, our national debt has grown by more than $3 trillion, placing a great burden on future generations. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I have worked to decrease our national debt by ensuring the federal government doesn't spend beyond its means. With responsible spending cuts and limited tax cuts that will provide the greatest stimulus to the economy, we can keep our national debt under control and increase job creation.
Over the past five years, we have experienced the worst level of job creation since the Great Depression. Although 28,000 jobs have been created each month since 2001, we need 150,000 new jobs a month to keep up with population growth.
Currently, rising energy prices are driving up inflation and increasing the cost of production. If American salaries can't keep pace with this inflation, our workers won't be able to afford the goods they produce. I have supported numerous efforts to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, which would lower energy costs and help keep inflation in check.
Finally, I support legislation aimed at increasing trade. I have supported free trade agreements, including CAFTA, which will mean more exports for the U.S., many of which will travel through Florida on their way to Central and South America.
Government bailout of financial institutions
This is not the time for political rancor, but for casting aside partisanship. When Congress does that, I think most will see we shouldn't be bailing out banks that caused the problem in the first place - without guaranteeing that taxpayers don't get the short end of the stick. If we hand the administration seven-hundred billion dollars, then we also must assure there's tough oversight, profit-sharing for taxpayers, fair refinancing for homeowners facing foreclosure; and, we must make sure none of the money ends up back in the CEOs' pockets.
Senator Nelson, along with Senator Mel Martinez, has introduced legislation that will permanently protect Florida from the threat of offshore drilling. By providing a long-term guarantee to keep oil and gas rigs at least 260 miles off Tampa Bay, this bipartisan legislation safeguards Florida's unique environment, the state's tourism-dependent economy and the nation's essential military training ranges in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This move by Senators Nelson and Martinez is receiving praise from key members of Florida's congressional delegation, as well as from consumer and environmental organizations. A staunch defender of Florida's coastline in the past, Senator Nelson has been at the forefront of previous efforts that successfully blocked attempts to open the eastern Gulf to drilling.
Nelson sought and won a major expansion of the Job Corps program to build an extra center to teach Tampa Bay area disadvantaged youth marketable job skills.