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This Week in Washington: "Tax Cuts and Spending Freeze Needed to Jumpstart the Ailing Economy"

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Folks in South Alabama are still scratching their heads at the rhetoric they're hearing from our president. Mr. Obama's boasts of a "recovery summer" and the need for tax hikes as the nation suffers more job losses, continue to undermine the administration's credibility.

Not backing down, last week the president's spokesman tried to defend the administration's dismal record, claiming, "…by virtually any measure, our economy is a better place than it was two years ago." For the record, unemployment in August 2008 was 6.1 percent. It was 9.6 percent in August 2010.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted at the end of August indicated that 57% of Americans surveyed disapprove of the president's handling of the economy and 58% polled also disapprove of his handling of the federal budget deficit.

Mr. Obama's presidency already has the dubious distinction of adding $2.5 trillion to the national debt and is significantly increasing annual federal deficit spending. Prior to the Obama White House, the highest one-year federal budget deficit was $458 billion. Mr. Obama has overseen budget deficits of over $1 trillion for the last two years with 2011 also predicted to rise above $1 trillion. This disturbing upward trend shows no sign of slowing with deficits soaring to $8.5 trillion if Mr. Obama's spending policies continue.

Americans' futures are directly threatened by our mounting national debt that is increasingly owed to foreign nations, including China. We cannot continue to spend money at the pace the Obama administration is doing -- roughly $7 million a minute -- a rate that is twice as much as in 1980.

When he took office in January 2009, President Obama pledged that if Congress would only deliver to his desk a $787 billion stimulus bill, it would help save the economy by creating over three million new jobs. The national jobless rate was 8.1 percent in February 2009 when the president signed the stimulus bill into law. Since then, unemployment has averaged above nine percent for 16 consecutive months. The stimulus and subsequent supplemental stimulus bills have failed in their mission to revive the near comatose economy.

Last week, the president refused to back away from his free-spending agenda, telling an audience in Cleveland, Ohio that the only problem with his stimulus spending is that it isn't enough. The $1.2 trillion Washington has so far put on the national credit card hasn't done the trick, so now the president says we need to spend another $50 billion, primarily on transportation infrastructure. Interesting to note that the president dedicated only seven percent of the initial $787 billion stimulus to these same infrastructure projects.

But President Obama isn't done yet. Growing the federal government is not enough. In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, the president also wants to raise taxes on America's small business owners -- the nation's most reliable job creators -- by allowing a portion of the popular 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to expire.

Under Mr. Obama's plan, Americans earning over $250,000 a year would see their tax rates rise from 33 and 35 percent to 36 and 39.6 percent. As a result, nearly half of the country's small business owners would be socked with a tax increase at the same time they are fighting to stay in business. This would surely further depress business growth and fuel more joss loss.

This is such a bad idea that even President Obama's former budget director, Peter Orszag, opposes it. He recently opined in the New York Times, "no one wants to make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two, which is exactly what would happen if the cuts expire as planned."

House Republican Plan to Spur Economy:

Last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called on President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to abandon their destructive taxing and spending agenda and adopt a
two-point plan to restore confidence in the economy and promote job growth.

The Republican plan would cut non-security related government spending to 2008 levels -- before the reckless stimulus spending began. Furthermore, the Republican plan would freeze the federal tax rates at their current level for two years.

These are modest measures that would demonstrate a good faith effort on the part of the government to reduce spending while also providing breathing room for small businesses struggling to navigate our turbulent economic conditions.

I support this common sense plan to jumpstart job growth and call on President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to work with Leader Boehner and House Republicans to help rebuild trust in our government and in our economy.

My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721.


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