Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the unemployment rate grew to 9% in April--reminding us that one of the most serious recessions is being followed by one of the most tepid recoveries in the history of the postwar era. This is attributable to the policies of the President and the previous Congress.
The problem with our economy right now remains clear -- government is too big, too intrusive, and too expensive to allow the private sector to create jobs at the pace that our nation's workers need. Right now, 1 in 7 Americans are on food stamps--an 11.6 percent increase from last year. Productivity growth slowed between the last quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. And the number of Americans filing for jobless assistance is at an eight-month high. These are not signs of an economic recovery; they're the result of a failed agenda that needs to be reversed.
Record spending led to record deficits, and record debt continues to plague our economy with enormous uncertainty that's preventing East Texas businesses and industries from innovating, expanding, and hiring more workers. When President Obama and Washington Democrats call for more spending, more taxes, and more government, job creators and investors take notice. As government grows, the private sector slows.
At a time when we are already borrowing 42 cents on the dollar, much of it from the Chinese, and sending the bill to our children and grandchildren, continuing the Democrat spending agenda is a recipe for national decline. The House-passed Path to Prosperity is the blueprint for how Washington can help revive our economy, create jobs, and avert national bankruptcy by adhering to a principle that East Texas families already live by: we cannot spend money that we don't have.
America is at a crossroads. We can continue the trend of the past several years and ignore the threat that an unprecedented $14.3 trillion debt poses to our nation's jobs, our national security, and our children's future. Or we can choose to take our spending-driven debt crisis seriously and set the nation on a brand new fiscal trajectory that grows the economy and saves the American dream for our children and grandchildren. House Republicans have taken the steps to put our nation on the right fiscal course. It's time for Washington Democrats to join us.