Hoosier families and small businesses are facing daunting economic challenges. For far too long, Members of Congress of both political parties have spent our hard-earned money irresponsibly, set us on a path toward future tax increases to pay our foreign bankers, and put at risk our future standard of living and competitiveness in global markets.
During this down economy, our Congress has merely traded the irresponsible borrow-and-spend policies of the past for the grossly irresponsible policies of the present. Our current leadership has recklessly attempted to implement a risky government-run health care scheme, a national energy tax, and a variety of tax increases - all of which will kill jobs.
Employers will continue to hold off on hiring as long as Washington pursues this flawed, big spending agenda and piles more debt on our children and grandchildren. Members of Congress must stop the bleeding now and get federal spending under control.
If America is to enjoy truly sustainable economic growth and job creation, we must send leaders to Washington who will speak truth to power, stand up against those who embrace the excesses of the past and, when necessary, oppose leaders in their own party who lose their way. In short, our highest priority should be to tackle the biggest deficit in Washington: the leadership deficit.
Members of Congress must also boldly advance pro-growth policies to create an environment where innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and job creation flourish. Among these policies are:
* Bring down the cost of health insurance. Let's pursue real health insurance reform that actually bends the cost curve downward and improves access to affordable health insurance. Provisions should include allowing purchase of health insurance across state lines; tort reform; and equalizing tax treatment of health care benefits regardless of employer size.
* Reject calls to implement caps on carbon dioxide. The only way to reduce carbon dioxide is to dramatically reduce the amount of domestic coal used to generate electricity, which could force the premature closure of coal-fired steam-generating plants, send jobs overseas and greatly increase Hoosiers' energy costs. We must not impose costly restrictions on our own economy while other countries capitalize on Washington's misguided policies.
* Invest in Energy, Transportation and Telecommunications Infrastructure. It's high time we kick the pork barrel earmarking habit, set priorities, and invest in our nation's critical infrastructure needs, including:
o a new, expanded electric power grid that will increase reliability and access, especially in rural communities;
o a modern air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees, and airlines billions;
o rural broadband so that jobs of the future can be grown in small towns and big cities alike; and
o targeted investment in vital surface transportation projects to reduce costly and time-consuming bottlenecks like those at southern Indiana's Spaghetti junction where I-64, I-65, and I-71 meet, and the critical Ohio River bridges projects.
* Fix Job-Killing Provisions in our Tax Code. We should immediately simplify our complicated tax code -- and reward work, savings, and investment -- by replacing the current code with either a consumption-based tax or a flatter tax. Our tax system should be oriented toward attracting investment and growing jobs in our twenty-first century global economy. We should fundamentally overhaul our current tax regime, which makes American businesses and workers uncompetitive against many of our economic rivals. In a world where Ireland's corporate tax rate is a mere 12.5%, and China's capital gains rate is zero, it is time for our political class to wake up and stop killing jobs by retaining an outdated tax code.