The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released November unemployment numbers. For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate is at 10% -- the highest rate in 26 years. Equally sobering is the fact that last month the national debt surpassed $12 trillion.
Earlier this year, the Congress passed a one trillion dollar "stimulus" bill on the promise that it would create jobs immediately. Instead, three million jobs have been lost since the so-called stimulus bill was signed into law.
At a time when Congress should be working to save and create jobs, a job-threatening policy agenda is working its way through Congress instead. The Democrat budget contained over $1.5 trillion in crushing tax increases over the next 10 years. These huge tax hikes on families, small businesses, and workers will slow economic growth and cost jobs. House Democrats also passed a national energy tax as part of the cap and trade legislation. According to one study, 2.3 to 2.7 million jobs would be lost per year for the next twenty years as a result of the energy tax. And Speaker Pelosi's government takeover of health care would kill jobs by imposing $729.5 billion in higher taxes on an already struggling economy. It has been estimated that as many as 5.5 million jobs could be lost as a result. The impact of these policies has been to create uncertainty that has halted hiring by businesses, large and small, around the nation.
As a member of the House Republican Economic Recovery Solutions Group, I am committed to finding real solutions to address our nation's unemployment crisis. The first thing we must do is remove barriers to employment including the threat of higher taxes, new government regulations and costly mandates. It is common-sense that you should not raise costs and taxes on employers at a time when unemployment is at record levels.
In addition, we must restore confidence in America's economic future by restraining federal spending. This would allow banks who are financing the debt to invest in more productive activities, like small business growth to help turn our economy around. Other common-sense solutions for job-growth include assisting community banks with the downturn in the commercial real estate market, reforming the unemployment system to help those out of work find jobs, lowering federal payroll taxes to assist in hiring and removing unnecessary barriers to domestic energy production.
As we head into the holiday season and many Americans struggle as job losses continue to mount, Congress must abandon its job-killing, tax-and-spend policies and instead focus on real solutions that will create jobs and get Americans back to work. To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.