Folks all across our nation are worried. They worry if their job is still going to be around in six months. They worry about what will happen to their families, their children, and their homes if their employer shuts down and they find themselves out of work. Unfortunately, too many people are facing this situation today with nationwide unemployment hovering around ten percent.
The Democratic leaders in Washington promised the American people that if we passed a stimulus bill we would be able to strengthen our economy and create jobs. But in the 18 months since that monstrosity was passed by Congress, we have lost 2.6 million private sector jobs, unemployment has increased by almost two percent, and we have added trillions of dollars to our national debt. Bailouts, massive government spending, out of control deficits, federal takeovers, and more bureaucratic interference is not the solution to the difficulties we face today. As President Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."
To spur economic growth, create new jobs and bring personal opportunity to every American we must strengthen our free market system, not hamper it. We must reduce government intrusion, not allow more bailouts and takeovers. We must give our nation's entrepreneurial spirit the opportunity to thrive, not enact policies that will forever alter our ability to seek prosperity.
Out of control spending, skyrocketing deficits, and massive growth in government programs have increased economic uncertainty and prolonged our unemployment crisis. Yet, the Majority in Congress is already preparing to pass, without my support, a $26 billion bailout bill which will increase taxes on American businesses and once again expand the size and scope of the federal government. Americans need jobs, not another failed bailout. With businesses already struggling to make ends meet, further tax increases will only add to that burden. The federal government should focus on cutting spending and reducing the deficit, not finding more ways to spend taxpayer's dollars. That's why I have introduced legislation that would force the federal government to balance its budget.
The President and the Democratic Leadership in Congress believe their big government programs can better grow our economy and create jobs than the free market system that has made America the most prosperous nation on earth. They are also preparing massive tax increases. We simply cannot afford any more of these tax and spend job killing policies in the private sector. We must find ways to create new jobs and expand opportunities and that remains my top priority. As a member of the House Republican Economic Recovery Solutions Group, I am committed to finding real solutions to our nation's unemployment crisis. We must remove barriers to employment including the threat of higher taxes, additional government regulations, and costly mandates.