With more than 100,000 Iowans drawing unemployment benefits and economists calling long-term joblessness "the new normal," Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks said today that Rep. David Loebsack can no longer ignore calls to debate the important issues facing Iowa and the nation.
"I'm not willing to accept that millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Iowans should be out of work for indefinite periods of time," Miller-Meeks said. "I believe the federal government can take action to create a climate for the private sector to do what it does best - and that's to create jobs and opportunity. To get there, though, we're going to need new people in Congress who know the solution is to energize America's businesses rather than saddling them with stimulus programs that don't stimulate anything more than the national debt."
In the past few weeks, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have attempted to reset Americans' expectations to accept extended levels of high unemployment as routine. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on July 22 that unemployment will remain stubbornly high for several years to come but said "we're not prepared to take any specific steps in the near term, particularly since we're still also evaluating the recovery and the strength of the recovery."
"After David Loebsack, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress wasted billions of dollars with last year's stimulus program, unemployment keeps going up. Now, Ben Bernanke says the plan is to wait and see what happens," Miller-Meeks said. "Small businesses aren't hiring because they've been saddled with more regulations, higher taxes and more government-mandated costs. With the Bush tax cuts set to expire soon, new health-care rules in place and the pending cap-and-trade legislation that will be a heavy tax on us all, it's no wonder businesses aren't willing to hire right now. If David Loebsack thinks that approach is going to create jobs instead of continue to kill them, then he needs to join me in a series of debates across this district and explain it to Iowans."
Loebsack has been silent for 53 days since receiving a challenge from Republican nominee Mariannette Miller-Meeks to debate in each of the Second Congressional District's 15 counties.