Stimulus Won't Jumpstart Economy
There is no question that a stimulus package is needed to jumpstart our economy and provide relief to American families. Unfortunately, the proposal that recently advanced through the House of Representatives provides little hope for reviving our economy, creating jobs or restoring confidence in the marketplace.
With a price tag of $825 billion, the Democratic-driven economic stimulus bill represents the single largest expenditure by the federal government in history. We know from experience that big dollar amounts do not always translate into good policy. The Wall Street bailout bill, which cost taxpayers $750 billion, has failed to relieve the toxic debt and illiquid assets that have overtaken our nation's banking system.
The solution is not to spend more tax dollars. That will not solve our economic problems. Instead, our focus should be directed at providing much needed tax relief to American families and businesses - our real economic growth engines.
In fact, it is said that seven out of every 10 jobs are provided by small businesses and the self-employed. Yet virtually none of the funding included in the stimulus bill goes to creating jobs in this sector of the economy.
Most of the funding aimed at job creation goes to public works projects, such as highways, roads and bridges that are years away from breaking ground. Even then, this funding represents only 13% of the legislation's top dollar amount.
To make matters worse, a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that only 7% of this funding will be spent this year. Given this fact, it is understandable why so many Americans are skeptical that the stimulus package will actually generate the 3 million new jobs that its architects have deceptively promised.
No less concerning is the massive government expansion that is expected to follow. Included in the bill is $137 billion for the creation of 32 new government programs, seventeen of which have never been authorized by Congress and $600 million to prepare our country for universal healthcare. It also includes $76 billion to expand 60 existing government programs, even though 19 of these programs have been identified as "ineffective" by the Office of Management and Budget.
As the stimulus bill awaits consideration by the Senate, Congressional Republicans will continue calling for practical, sensible solutions that get Americans back to work and our economy back on track.
We can start by reducing the tax burden on small business by at least 10 percent. We can also reduce marginal income tax rates while dispensing with the taxes on unemployment benefits. To help get the housing market moving again, a first time home buyer tax credit should be offered to those who can meet mandatory mortgage requirements.
These are just some of the measures proposed by House Republicans that would go a long way toward reviving the economy. The American people still value a system that rewards hard work and offers opportunities for success. The Democratic stimulus package is the wrong approach at a time when tax relief and job creation must be our primary focus