"The simple truth is that small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals, not larger government, are the driving force of economic growth and prosperity in our country. "
- Charlie Dent
As many Pennsylvanians struggle through these difficult economic times, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the liberal controlled Congress continue to pursue big government, tax and spend policies that have failed to live up to the unrealistic promises made to the American people. Raising taxes, excessive federal government regulation, and burdensome mandates do not produce job growth or sustainable economic development. Instead, these job killing measures punish most the people who we are relying on to get the economy moving again.
What we need is a step-by-step jobs strategy that should include tax relief, sensible regulation, less litigation, modern transportation options, expanded education and training opportunities, and safe, reliable energy. Using this approach, we lay the foundation for economic growth by incentivizing job creation and business investment while also reassuring small businesses they will not be subjected to punitive government intrusion.
The United States needs tax policies and a tax code that favor work, savings, investment, productivity, and creative entrepreneurs. American businesses should be focusing their resources on innovation, development, competitiveness and hiring new employees; not complying with new, excessive regulatory and tax burdens. First and foremost, we should provide small businesses with a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income. American companies should also be allowed to recoup reasonable and necessary business expenses in order to foster greater business investment. Furthermore, the death tax should be abolished permanently so that entrepreneurs, family farmers, and small business owners no longer have to fear losing their life's work to the tax collector.
Finally, the Capital Gains tax should be suspended for 18 months as a way to stimulate investment.
The best way to let our families keep their money is to stop the government from spending more of it. The best way to help businesses grow is to make sure the massive national debt burden doesn't prevent them from accessing credit. Fiscal responsibility will take unwavering commitment to making tough decisions regarding spending, entitlement programs, and addressing budget deficits.
STOP HARMFUL LEGISLATION
The unprecedented growth of government, coupled with the job-killing ideas being put forth in Washington, has frightened many businesses from investing. These job-killers are:
* the national energy tax called "Cap & Trade,"
* the undemocratic "card check" bill that eliminates the requirement for secret ballots,
* the employer mandates and massive spending in the health care bill.
Government should foster, not stifle, competitiveness in a global market. We should approve bilateral trade agreements with our allies Colombia, South Korea and Panama. This will boost exports and create American jobs.
Investing in a strong transportation infrastructure will put our country on the road to job creation and economic development. Unfortunately, transportation funds allocated in the so-called "Stimulus" bill have largely been spent on bridge painting, repaving or pavement-widening projects which only provide limited economic impact. I support taking a more comprehensive approach to our transportation needs by adopting solutions that will improve our nation's infrastructure while encouraging long-term economic growth. We must enact a surface transportation bill instead of relying on temporary extensions which makes planning and budgeting extremely difficult for state transportation agencies such as PennDot. Furthermore, we must eliminate the bureaucratic red tape and streamline the environment review process in order to increase efficiency and assure taxpayers are getting the most for their money.
We must also develop a comprehensive national energy policy that will diversify America's energy portfolio an allow us to be less dependent on foreign oil and create sustainable jobs. Congress and government agencies must encourage energy exploration in an environmentally responsible way, and support the development of new technologies. In Pennsylvania that means developing clean coal technology and utilizing our natural gas reserves. Nationally, in the short term, it means drilling offshore for oil and natural gas, and advancing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. In the longer term, we should bring nuclear plants online and develop both plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell technology. And, of course, we must embrace conservation and efficiency.
A RECORD OF SUCCESS
While serving in the state government, I rewrote the law to strengthen Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin Technology Partners and the Manufacturers' Resource Center to further the development of both existing and new high technology industries by advancing product and process innovation and assisting small manufacturers in their efforts to enhance productivity.
In recognition of my commitment to economic development during my tenure in Congress, groups such as the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have consistently supported and endorsed my campaigns. As your Representative, I will continue to stand for small businesses and sustainable economic growth by supporting policies that limit the size of government, provide tax relief, assist small businesses and foster the entrepreneurial spirit.