Latta Statement on H.R. 1
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) made the following statement after voting against H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Stimulating our nation's economy cannot come from pork barrel spending. The Democrat majority have littered H.R. 1 with wasteful government spending that only puts our country further into debt with no real effect on our economy in the immediate future. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that 60 percent of the discretionary spending in this bill will occur after 2010.
Our economy needs fast and immediate relief, and unfortunately, spending $50 million on the National Endowment for the Arts, $600 million for new cars for federal government employees, $1 billion for the census, and $194 million for repairs to the Department of Agriculture headquarters and the Smithsonian Institute, do nothing to quickly pull our country out of recession. Furthermore, members of Congress have asked repeatedly for numbers showing how many jobs will be created with this package. To date, we have yet to see any statistics that prove this package will work in terms of job creation or reducing the growing unemployment rate. I, along with my Republican colleagues in the House, believe that the fastest way to recover from this recession is immediate tax relief for small businesses and incentives to promote job growth. The private sector, not the Federal government, is best suited to stimulate the economy and this can be done through tax relief which will put money directly in the hands of American families and businesses- where it deserves to be.
The Republican alternative reduces the lowest individual income tax rate from 15% to 10% and 10% to 5% which will put an average of $500 and $1200 respectively back into the pockets of American taxpayers. This plan would also save married couples up to $3,200 per year as well. This package allows businesses to take an (up to) 20% deduction on their income which will allow them to put our neighbors and friends back to work. People in the housing market with 5% down would receive a $7,500 tax credit for new home purchases. By drastically reducing the size of the spending package, including much needed tax relief and an extension of unemployment benefits, our package is far better suited for both short and long-term economic growth.
With our national debt at a staggering $10 trillion, the American people, along with House Republicans, know that we as a country cannot borrow and spend our way out of this recession. Americans already owe foreign governments $3 trillion, with China owning $683 billion of that alone. With the final price tag of H.R. 1 being over $1 trillion, we cannot in good faith continue to drive our national debt higher and place future generations of Americans in peril by enacting a plan that is little more than a "shot in the dark."