Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, has been chosen to deliver the weekly address for the Congressional and Senate Western Caucus. The subject of the address is job creation in the west, and the new Western Caucus "Jobs Frontier" report.
"We don't need more government borrowing and spending to create jobs," said Rehberg. "We tried that with the failed stimulus, and it didn't work. What we need is to get government back on the side of the hard working American job-creator, and the Congressional Western Caucus has already introduced -- and in some cases passed -- the legislation to do just that."
The Congressional Western Caucus is a long-standing group of western House and Senate members who work together in order to enhance, sustain, and preserve the West's dynamic and unique culture, and to find innovative solutions that address the distinctive concerns facing western and rural communities. Rehberg was asked to deliver the address because of his strong leadership on Western jobs and economic development.
Rehberg's address can be viewed on the Congressional Western Caucus web-page (http://westerncaucus.pearce.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=49§iontree=6,49&itemid=287), or directly via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA5IT12eOPA
The transcript of the address is below:
Hello, I'm Denny Rehberg and I have the honor of representing the great state of Montana.
Today, I want to talk with you about jobs. Last month, for the first time since 1945, no jobs were created in this country. Unemployment was higher than 8 percent for the 31st consecutive month. For two years now, the federal government has been spinning its wheels. We need a new approach to right the ship and get our economy back on course.
I want to talk about how.
For too long now, folks in Washington have been acting under the notion that the government creates jobs through deficit spending. It was that mind-set that led them to pass the failed stimulus which wasted nearly a trillion dollars expanding the government but didn't deliver on the promise to keep unemployment under 8 percent. Then they passed taxpayer bailouts of "too big to fail' companies and fat cats on Wall Street.
Think about this: If government spending was the key to job creation and economic growth, shouldn't the record spending of the last two years have correspondingly resulted in record low unemployment and record economic prosperity?
But it hasn't. In fact, quite the opposite; the more the government spends, the worse the economy gets. It's time to try something different.
The Congressional Western Caucus has a bipartisan plan. It's called the "Jobs Frontier" and it's an outline of legislation Congress can pass right now in support of creating good-paying American jobs.
We've scrapped the failed idea that the federal government creates jobs. Instead, we understand that while ineffective, inefficient government can destroy jobs, job creation comes from empowering the engine of our economy: small businesses.
We start by increasing the domestic production of energy. By producing more energy right here at home, we can reduce our dependence on foreign sources, lower energy costs and create good energy sector jobs right here in the United States.
And while traditional fossil fuel production is a big part of our plan, it's just the beginning. We've also got a great opportunity to invest in alternative energy sources. Like any good plan, we tackle the challenge by land, by water and by air. By opening the door for energy development, we can create good jobs in geothermal energy production, hydropower and wind power.
My state of Montana is a warehouse of energy opportunities. We've got it all: Wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydro, coal, oil. We want to be a part of the short- and long-term energy solution in this country.
Through smart planning, we can harness so-called green jobs without destroying the existing energy industry that so many American families depend on.
Right now, environmentally sound oil and natural gas production accounts for 9 million American jobs. Coal is responsible for another half a million jobs across 25 states. These are good jobs. The average coal miner earns $73,000 a year, compared with the national average wage of $45,000.
But even with consistently high unemployment, some special interest groups in Washington want to regulate these jobs out of existence. They impose new rules and regulations, drag their feet on permits and subject would-be job creators to an endless barrage of expensive lawsuits. This has lead to what some of my colleagues in the Congressional Western Caucus have come to call the War on Western Jobs.
Poorly executed government regulations are literally destroying jobs. Our plan helps eliminate that economic drag by striking a balance between a healthy natural environment and a healthy economic environment.
It's time to re-evaluate the role government plays in economic recovery.
Jobs and economic prosperity don't come from the government. They come from small businesses. The failed policies of the last several years prove that, if anything, more government just makes things worse.
If we're going to improve our economy and create jobs, we've got to stop doing the things that got us into this mess in the first place. That means reining in senseless regulations and getting government back on the side of the American job creator.
Please take a minute to visit the Congressional Western Caucus online and read our plan to stake out the "Jobs Frontier" for the American people. Together, we can put the government to work empowering people to restore economic prosperity.