Earlier this week President Obama delivered his first official State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. The President articulated to the American people in very frank terms, what most Americans know all too well -- economic uncertainty continues to plague our nation. In this tough economic climate, Americans are looking to the government for leadership.
President Obama laid out his domestic agenda for economic growth and job creation. While I particularly welcomed the President's call for fiscal discipline, I am greatly concerned that the Democrat controlled Congress continues to pursue a job-killing, tax-and-spend agenda.
A year ago, the Congress passed the so-called "economic stimulus" legislation which was supposed to put Americans back to work. However, as recent reports have shown this legislation has been a failure. 2.74 million more jobs have been lost since last March. Not only did the stimulus legislation fail to create jobs but it is now estimated to be costing American taxpayers around $1.2 trillion including interest.
Just last month the President signed into law an omnibus spending bill which included a twelve percent increase in spending. It is these reckless policies that have cost us nearly three million jobs and caused our national debt to explode in the last year. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget, our national debt will grow an additional $9 trillion over the next decade to more than $20 trillion.
As a member of the House Republican Economic Recovery Solutions Group, I am working to find real solutions to address our nation's unemployment crisis and restore confidence in our economy. The first thing we must do is restrain federal spending. That is why I have introduced bipartisan legislation which amends the United States Constitution to force Congress to rein in spending by balancing the federal budget. This legislation ensures that the federal government is held accountable and that the money our citizens work so hard to earn is not squandered on wasteful spending and programs.
Secondly, we must 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.
Our economy continues to face historic and unprecedented challenges. Meeting these challenges with unprecedented spending of taxpayers' dollars is simply not the answer to this current crisis. I remain committed to working with the President and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to focus on real solutions that will create American jobs and restore confidence in our economic future. To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.