Last week the Department of Labor announced that Kentucky's unemployment rate fell below 10 percent. While there were mixed reactions to this news, I stand firm that we must do a better job to get our economy back on track.
I have been working with leadership in the House to draft a pro-growth plan to get our economy moving in the right direction. This plan focuses on curtailing overreaching regulations, reducing the tax burden, starting a real a national energy plan, and cutting spending.
The first step is that is we must not do additional harm. Job creation is not going to come from Washington but bureaucrats in the nation's capitol can certainly create obstacles to job creators. In recent years the regulatory burden from Washington has stifled our businesses, both big and small. I hear this from small business owners, manufacturers and farmers weekly when I am traveling around Kentucky. One of the top priorities for the 112th Congress has been to empower the committees to put a halt to the over-regulation coming from the unelected officials within the Administration. In addition, we need to pass the REINS Act. This legislation, which was introduced by my Kentucky colleague, Rep. Geoff Davis, ensures congressional review and approval of any government regulations that have an impact on the economy, especially on small businesses.
Second, we must lower the tax burden on job creators. Whether we like it or not, we live in a global economy. We are now competing with many more countries in the global marketplace than we were 10 years ago. Unfortunately, we are at a serious disadvantage because the United States has one of the highest tax rates in the developed world. There is no question that our U.S. workers make the best products and can compete, but only if the playing field is level and they are given opportunity. Furthermore, we must open the doors to more overseas markets for our farmers.
Third, we must end our dependence on foreign energy. Every day we send far too much money to unstable places half-way around the world. Instead, we need to develop American energy sources. I worked hard last year to earn a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee so I could help push this agenda. To date, our committee has completed legislation to fix the permitting process that environmental activists have used to halt offshore oil exploration, and we have passed a bill to stop President Obama's backdoor plan to impose cap-and-trade by regulation.
Finally and most importantly, we must cut federal spending. Federal spending is not going to get us out of this economic slowdown. Just look at the results of the bloated stimulus bill as evidence. We cannot continue to saddle future generations with mounting debt. We have an opportunity later this summer when debate begins on raising the debt limit to send a clear message that the days of borrowing and spending are over.
In closing, it is time to put politics aside and focus on what is best for our nation. We owe it to all Kentuckians who want to get back to work, we owe it to the recent college graduates who are anxious to start their careers and we owe it to our next generation to leave them with less debt and more opportunities.